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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > So you're NOT supposed to use an airlock for the primary ferment, is that right?
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
jsweet
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Default So you're NOT supposed to use an airlock for the primary ferment, is that right?

I've done a fair bit of beer brewing in the past, and a friend just asked about brewing kombucha. I'm off alcohol at the moment, so I was thinking this would be a cool way to use some of my equipment, so I'm starting to read up on it.

So, I'm gathering from what I am reading that for the primary fermentation, you need to have air circulation, and that's why people use a cloth on the top instead of an airlock? Is that a correct understanding, i.e. I should not use an airlock for the primary?

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Old 06-26-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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edit: nevermind

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Old 06-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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no you leave kombucha open to the air i just use an old 5litre pickle jar fill it about 3/4 full and then place a paper towel over it and secure it with an elastic band,

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Old 06-27-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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A paper towel allows air flow, while keeping dust out. I have found that the more the air is limited, the less my SCOBY thrives. I use SCOBYs to make organic leather (just starting) and I use a large container, completely open, and get the best SCOBYs from that. For the ones I drink, I use a single layer of cheesecloth over the top to keep out insects.

I haven't had any mold problems yet.

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Old 06-28-2012, 08:10 AM   #5
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The yeast is facultatively anaerobic, so it can live with or without oxygen. The bacteria is aerobic, so it can't live (or at least, can't function, multiply, etc.) without oxygen. If you try to use an airlock you'll probably end up with tea wine. I've considered trying it!

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Old 08-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #6
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I use old t-shirts that I wash then iron, then use a rubberband to secure them atop my brewers. That has been working well. You could probably get away with a more coarse weave if you don't have many fruit flies around. I think if the fruit flies get into it you may end up with vinegar eels in the brew, which can still be consumed. And actually I am wondering it if it wouldn't actually improve it nutritionally.

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