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Old 05-02-2009, 08:29 PM   #1
SueMac
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Default Covering Primary

During initial fermentation, is it better to use:
Cloth or primary bucket cover?
If cloth, does it have to be sanitized?
Fermentation Lock or just empty grommet?

I know that at this stage for many wines, oxygen is a good thing so that the yeast can do its thing (better). Covering is mainly to protect the must from dust, bugs, etc. Is there anything I should consider in choosing a closed bucket with fermentation lock over a cloth? For Apfelwein (a soon to happen adventure!), I read that primary (and only) fermentation vessel is a carboy with fermentation lock. Any feedback would be appreciated as I currently have hard iced tea covered with just a cloth...

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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I always primary with a clean cloth over the opening, to make it easier to stir the must several times a day. If it's not a must that needs to be stirred (to knock the "cap" back down) then I would probably just use an airlock.

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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I've fermented in a bucket with a lid & airlock, with a lid & a folded towel over the grommet, and with just a towel bungeed over the top; all worked for me. I'll often use just the towel though, it helps with aeration. I always cover it, that's just common sense to keep bugs, dust & hair out of the must. As the fermentation progresses though, I always put it under a lid (or bung) with an airlock. There are some who swear by using tin foil & no airlock, but I don't use that method, so I can't say how well it works. I'd say using the towel only makes for maximun aeration, while the lid & airlock provide the safest covering. Take your pick. Regards, GF.

EDIT: Yooper beat me to it again!

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:31 PM   #4
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I use a t-shirt around the top of a rectangular 8-gallon trash can and use a bungee cord to keep it in place.



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Old 05-03-2009, 12:47 AM   #5
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Thanks, everyone! Just wanted to make sure I was on the right track! I would hate to see something ruined due to a silly mistake. Summersolstice: I wish we lived closer...given the size of your fermentor, I can only imagine your wine collection! WOW!

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Old 05-03-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueMac View Post
I can only imagine your wine collection! WOW!
Over 300 bottles of wine and mead both in the cellar and another four racks scattered throughout the house and another 40 or so gallons bulk aging and in primaries and secondaries. Then there's the five cases of beer with another batch in the primary. My wife calls it an obsession. She doesn't drink and my bottle or two a week with 4-5 beers a week means that I can't keep up with production.

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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WOW again! What's your favorite beer and wine?

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
Over 300 bottles of wine and mead both in the cellar and another four racks scattered throughout the house and another 40 or so gallons bulk aging and in primaries and secondaries. Then there's the five cases of beer with another batch in the primary. My wife calls it an obsession. She doesn't drink and my bottle or two a week with 4-5 beers a week means that I can't keep up with production.

I have such a cyber crush on you!
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