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Old 01-20-2014, 06:20 PM   #1
Paul_F
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Default Using Gin an in airlock?

OK, so I hardly ever drink hard liquor.. so don't have a bottle of the oft-recommended Vodka handy..
But a local grocery store was going out of business and I picked up a 375ml bottle of Gin for $2.00...

So, as I gather my tools and wits to start a new batch of Mead - would there be any down-side to using Gin in an airlock?

Thanks in advance :-)
Off to the store to buy a few gallons of bottled water...

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:29 PM   #2
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Sometimes while moving a bucket or carboy, the contents of the airlock can be sucked into the beer. With vodka or easy clean, there is no flavor added to your brew...but with Gin, I'd be weary of adding an unwanted flavor if any of it was accidentally suctioned into your carboy. It's not something I would do, but other opinions may differ.

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:34 PM   #3
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I've done it before when out of vodka. There is the worry of suck-back, but that usually only happens under drastic temperature changes like cold-crashing.

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:36 PM   #4
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Just started homebrewing and my first batch if fermenting right now...is using purified water in the airlock bad?

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truemurphbrewery View Post
Just started homebrewing and my first batch if fermenting right now...is using purified water in the airlock bad?
Not necessarily. It serves the purpose of preventing oxidation while allowing an exit path for the CO2 created. Most people use vodka as an additional sanitizing step to keep any bacteria out of the fermenter. If all you have is water and you're concerned about it, adding a little StarSan in the airlock will serve the same purpose.

Some people use bleach instead, but then you run the risk of having to pitch the whole batch if it should get sucked into the fermenter.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:44 PM   #6
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I've used tequilla and rum when out of vodka, there is such a small amount in an airlock that any flavor contribution would be minimal.

truemurphbrewery... Purified water is fine, alcohols such as vodka keep anything that may fall through the vent holes in the airlock from contaminating your beer in the event of a sudden change in temperature creating a suction and pulling airlock liquid into the fermenter.

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:54 PM   #7
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I use water in my airlocks and have had 0 infect batches (except the ones I infected on purpose), I doubt that the less than 1oz of gin going into 1+ gallon of mead would impart any flavor (like CA mouse says). I'd use it without regrets.

Also, if you're using "S" airlocks, and you fill below the max line on both sides, you shouldn't have any spill-over.

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Old 01-20-2014, 10:41 PM   #8
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You've set my mind at ease... I'll use the Gin.
I'm probably over-thinking things again. :-)

Should have this batch mixed and airlocked in a little while...
Then I'll post and see what I did wrong!

Thanks again to all!

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Old 01-21-2014, 01:20 AM   #9
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Default Thanks!

Sorry to jump in on your post Paul, but that's guys for the advice! Good stuff! I greatly appreciate the help!

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