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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Tin foil to airlock transition...
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:09 PM   #1
Nomadic_Joel
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Default Tin foil to airlock transition...

Very quick question: For meads, how long before you guys decide to replace your tinfoil with an airlock?

24 hrs
48?

More?

Thanks!

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Old 05-04-2009, 04:11 PM   #2
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I don't do tinfoil. I use a sanitized tight-weave cloth (like a dish towel). I airlock my meads only after fermentation significantly slows, such that I don't think the must is giving off enough CO2 to purge the airspace of oxygen any more. Each fermentation is different, but generally that's at about the 1/2 sugar break for most of my meads.

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Old 05-04-2009, 08:47 PM   #3
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hmm interesting...I have already airlocked...(after 72 hrs) I will indeed have to read more about this. Seems there are lots of techniques.

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Old 05-04-2009, 11:16 PM   #4
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Not a problem. Airlocking doesn't really hurt anything, except if the fermentation is still very active, foam might back up into your airlock, and it makes subsequent aeration more difficult. Aeration (or oxygenation) is actually a good thing early on in mead and wine fermentations, since it promotes healthy yeast development that allows wine yeast to ferment to generally higher ABV levels before going dormant. I typically aerate my musts at least once daily by vigorously stirring and splashing the must surface. That's another reason that i use an open bucket with a cloth cover rather than a narrow necked carboy in primary fermentation. Once I've passed the 1/2 sugar break, I'll put a hard cover on the bucket with an airlock installed through a grommet in the top.

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Old 05-05-2009, 07:45 PM   #5
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Excellent info. Would you say that 72 hours is a normal 1/2 sugar break? (typically)

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:53 PM   #6
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no idea what you're talking about. I"ve made meads for 14 years and always use an airlock immediately after pitching.

does the tinfoil keep space thetans from ruining the mead?

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:04 AM   #7
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Well, from my very very small knowledge....yeast and the beginning stage require oxygen in order to reach a healthy population number before then begin to convert sugars into CO2 and fun juice. Many say that in the first 48-72 hours it is actually harmful to airlock right away....starving yeast of much needed oxygen, as well as creating off flavors from C02 in the beginning.

The sanitized piece of tin foil is pretty common practice...as wild yeast/spores bacterial float down and wont get into the must.

But this like everything is open to debate...

JB

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Old 05-06-2009, 02:06 AM   #8
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I use a rubber band and a coffee filter for primary, and a 1 piece airlock for secondary, and never once have I had an infection or faulty start on fermentation

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Old 05-06-2009, 08:08 PM   #9
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Excellent idea.

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Old 05-06-2009, 11:54 PM   #10
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I oxygenate my must via splashing, pouring, or even pure O2 through an airstone.

actively infusing oxygen does more than not sealing the top. you need surface agitation to facility gas exchange into a liquid to any significant level.

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