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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Saran over fermenting bucket rather than airlock?
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:25 PM   #1
Tall_Yotie
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Default Saran over fermenting bucket rather than airlock?

Hey guys.

So because I had a high efficiency and a big starter that I did not decant, I have 6 1/4 gallons in a bucket that probably is short of 7 gallon capacity. I am expecting a LOT of activity in the blow off tube.

Issue is, the inlet for the blow off tube is close to the top of the wort, and I am concerned it may get clogged with the krausen and cause an explosion as the lid gives way.

So, could I forgo the blow off tube and instead layer the top of the bucket with some saran wrap (or aluminum foil)? Keeps crap out that wants to fall in, but gas can still escape.

Any suggestions? I would hate for a beer explosion to occur at any time, let alone when I am of at work and the wife has to deal with it. Assistant brewr does not want to clean it up.

Thanks all for any ideas, words, or snide comments that are somewhat construction.

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Old 02-22-2011, 08:47 PM   #2
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Yup, people have done it without ill effects. If this was my beer I would use sanitized foil for the initial fermentation because it will hold well, but still allow co2 to escape. I would be worried that Saran Wrap would seal too well and be blown off. Or better yet get a sheet of plexiglass or acrylic to lay on top. This would allow co2 to escape and still let you see what's going on inside.

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Old 02-22-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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I've done saran wrap before. You could also use aluminum foil

There really shouldn't be a worry about getting "too good" of a seal with it since at least for my buckets I've found that it's not really feasible to cover the whole top of the bucket with a single piece, so there ends up being some overlapping in the middle where air can escape. I used a big rubber band around the rim of the bucket to keep the saran wrap in place, as it doesn't stick to well to the bucket as-is.

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Old 02-22-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies! My wife is a bit afraid of our kitchen now, not wanting to get caught in there if it goes.

I may go with the acrylic sheet idea, as I have some scrap at work. And as a back up the aluminum foil, as it has some body and less likely to sag down over time.

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Old 02-22-2011, 09:27 PM   #5
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Aluminum foil will work well man, you don't need to keep it airtight, just not have anything fall in it per JZ. Try the foil and replace with an airlock once krausen has fallen. That's my two cents'

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Old 02-22-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
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If you have a cat or dog you might want something besides aluminum foil or saran wrap, but if not I have used both many times with no problems.

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Old 02-23-2011, 03:23 AM   #7
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Just leave the lid on without sealing it. When fermentation slows down push the lid down properly.

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Old 02-23-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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Got no pets. However, I realized that my apartment, especially where the fermenter is, gets very cold at night and this is supposed to be a warm ferment. I had it wrapped it towels, and was concerned that a soft lid with potentially fold in. I just made sure the base of the airlock is as high as possible. This morning there was a LOT of crap in the blow-off bucket, had to change out the water.

I will use your info though for next batch, will be a lot easier probably than worrying about a blow-off tube!

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Old 02-23-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Given any thought to how you'll contain the mess that will probably spill over the sides during fermentation? Sheet pan underneath? Big bucket? Nothing like a mess on the floor to make SWMBO kick you and your hobby to the outdoors, permanently.

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