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Old 10-02-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Primary fermentation question

I have been doing my primary fermentation in a food grade bucket with a lid and airlock. I have seen a couple items where the primary fermentation is just covered with a cloth?

Is there an advantage to this?

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Old 10-02-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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Like everything else in this hobby, it's JUST a different way of doing things. It doesn't mean it's better or worse, just another means to the same end.

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Old 10-02-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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I think the cloth covered method is called an open ferment. I don't know, usually I start all my ferments as open ferments for the first three days to a week, then airlock it. For wine I don't think you would want to have an open ferment much longer than that, since supposedly then the acetobacter can get hold after it isn't blanketing itself with as much co2 anymore. Things like sauerkraut you can do either way since even in an open ferment the fermentation actually occurs in an anaerobic environment underneath the brine.

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Old 10-02-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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Two advantages that I can see:

First, the lids are sometimes snarky about coming off and if you jerk the wrong way or apply too much strength I can envision wasted wine (I've sloshed a little but no major accidents. Yet.). Second, you stir the stuff every day and this makes it easier (see #1). I currently have 3 one-gallon buckets going and a pumpkin with its top just stuck back on as pumpkin pie mead brews inside. I like the airlock system because I get a kick out of watching the early vigorous fermentation through the airlock :-). But there is something to be said for not using the lids and airlock.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:28 PM   #5
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Well that makes sense thats another thing though. I have never stirred any of my wine in the first fermentation, what's that do?

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Old 10-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nwa-brewing View Post
Well that makes sense thats another thing though. I have never stirred any of my wine in the first fermentation, what's that do?
It breaks up the "cap" that can form on top, and keeps the fruit from drying out and molding. It also gets rid of c02, and brings oxygen in that the yeast need during the very early stages of fermentation.

I normally put a towel over my wines in primary, so I can stir easily, unless I have lots of fruitflies around. Then I put on the lid and airlock.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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All good things to know! Yea.... That cap is nasty o.o

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Old 10-02-2012, 11:03 PM   #8
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Don't forget to sterilize your spoon each time!

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Old 10-02-2012, 11:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Don't forget to sterilize your spoon each time!
Don't worry there! Everything gets a nice iodine bath
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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And you're all set if you cut yourself in the kitchen!!! :-D

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