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ezzellca 11-10-2012 07:09 AM


I started my first 5 gallon batch of apfelwein yesterday. I am using an s style airlock with vodka and i have a spare. The first airlock got gunky and I changed it, within 5 minutes the second was messy too. I am sanitizing before i reattach. How quickly should i change the lock? Should i be changing as soon as it gets messy (every 5 minutes) or can i give it a few hours?

Also, I bought some medium roast French oak chips. Would they taste nice in an apfelwein? What do yall think?


FlyinDan1017 11-10-2012 07:35 AM

By 'gunky' are you referring to must/foam coming up into the airlock? If that's the case, you prob didn't leave much headspace in the carboy and have a good active fermentation going. Easy fix that'll save yourself the trouble of changing and cleaning airlocks. Fashion a blowoff tube that leads to a jar to collect the 'gunk'. Leave that for a week until the really vigerous fermentation begins to subside. After that slap your regular airlock back on and let time do it's thing.

To make the blowoff tube, push some smaller siphon tubing through a bung and put the other end in a jar with sanitizer on the counter next to the carboy. An other alternative is to simply cover the mouth of the carboy with some cheesecloth and afix with a rubber band. During this stage of fermentation, the amount of gasses expelled really doesn't allow any oxygen back in to the carboy anyway.

Good Luck

ezzellca 11-10-2012 11:37 PM

Problem kind of cleared up on its own. Still has a nice layer of foam and a steady flow of bubbles in the airlock but no more mess.

About the oak, do you think it would go nice with an apfelwein? I have reservations.

WilliamSlayer 11-11-2012 01:36 PM

Moderation is key. Try the oak... but use half of what you think you should. I have tried several examples and like just the hint of oak, rather than it being overshadowing. Good luck!

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