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Old 02-20-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default Stop Putting Airlocks on Your Starters!

Remember, starters are for growing yeast not growing beer; yeast need the exchange of oxygen to grow and slapping on an airlock is counterproductive to that aim. You don't really want just a simple ferment.

Aluminum foil = airlock (my nod to Pseudochef).

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Foam stoppers sold at northernbrewer are also a good way to allow sanitary 2-way gas flow on an erlenmeyer flask or carboy. I guess you probably wouldn't want to shake a starter with one of those on, but I have a stirplate.

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Foam stoppers sold at northernbrewer are also a good way to allow sanitary 2-way gas flow on an erlenmeyer flask or carboy.
Absolutely, the key is gas exchange.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:36 PM   #4
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SCA homebrew myth #142...busted.

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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Some people use foil on primaries also.

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soperbrew View Post
Some people use foil on primaries also.
I've been known to do that.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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Thanks, flyangler!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soperbrew View Post
Some people use foil on primaries also.
Damn skippy we do



*Tangent: foil on primary is not just because I'm lazy, but because it allows less pressure forcing back on the yeast. This leads to a healthier fermentation and drives attenuation. Another BN link, but check out the last show from the White Bros. on The Session. If I have some time today, I'll figure out exactly when the topic comes up.

Also, here is a quote from an online chat with Chris White: "On CO2, [I] reckon that a small amount of dissolved CO2 in a fermentation will seriously reduce yeast performance. Even the small partial pressure of CO2 built up under an airlock will have an effect."

and

"I don't like airlocks, I don't think they are needed in primary. I say keep them off and only put on when fermentation starts to slow down. Prior to that, some loose foil is all you need on top....I would not seal the lid, just put loose foil around the sides. You will notice a faster fermentaiton- less CO2 stress."

Source. (Chat Transcripts - Dr. Chris White returns - BrewBoard)

End tangent*
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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Pseudochef,

I've heard snippets here and there regarding the effects of CO2 pressure on yeast health; thanks for sharing that. I've not actually done any experiments regarding attenuation and pressure, but I'd be interested in those who have.

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:04 PM   #9
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But they look so CUUUTE on growlers or Flasks...

Actually I have noticed that when I use foil they seem to take off quicker and I actually see real krausens on them.

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:05 PM   #10
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Would one of these in a stopper serve the same purpose, but relieve any stress about contamination?


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