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-   -   Tinfoil instead of airlock? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/tinfoil-instead-airlock-118135/)

jajabee 05-08-2009 02:07 AM

Tinfoil instead of airlock?
I figured I'd give the ol' Apfelwine a try this week, seeing as it's such a simple thing. Trying to keep it as easy as possible, I just bought a glass gallon jug of juice at the store, poured in the yeast, and put some tinfoil on the top. The first 24 hours it was in the mid-50's in the garage, so I moved it inside to the mid-60s. It's been there for 3 days, bubbling away happily. But now I'm thinking, hmm, is that tinfoil a good idea? I'd heard people saying around here that they don't bother with airlocks, just use tinfoil, so I figured I'd try it... but now someone's telling me I'll only get vinegar this way. What do you think?

llazy_llama 05-08-2009 02:10 AM

Unless acetobacter have somehow learned how to pierce tinfoil (which they hadn't yet, as of last weeks acetobacter weapons summit) you're not going to end up with vinegar. I have frequently used tinfoil in my primaries, and have yet to get an infection of off flavor from wild yeast or bacteria.

I think you should let your friend sample the finished product just to rub it in. :D

Austin_ 05-08-2009 02:44 AM

Not sure where you live, but if you use tinfoil watch out for fruit flies. I know from experience. I came home one day to a few in the carboy. They managed to crawl up under the foil. A couple days later I had a nice little infection going. Luckily I was able to rack it quick enough and carb it to stop the infection from getting worse.

Nomadic_Joel 05-08-2009 02:47 AM

There is much reading on the BENEFITS of not using an airlock. Especially in the first 72 hours yeast NEED oxygen and CO2 is actually a poison (thats why they poop it out) Not to get crazy technical but yeast need oxygen at the beginning of their cycle in order to begin eating sugar and making fun juice. You can do a search as their is LOTS of posts on this topic with most concluding that at minimum the first 72 hrs there is no need for one.

Tin foil will do just fine as spores and bacteria just float downwards.

Just dip a piece in StarSAN and you are good to go.

Nomadic_Joel 05-08-2009 02:48 AM

as for fruit flies in your area...many use a coffee filter, or cloth that is sanitized with a elastic on tight...

IrregularPulse 05-08-2009 02:53 AM

I'm rocking tin foil for the first time one some some cider and a Rye Ale. I put an airlock on the beer after kraussen settled back down do to co2 not as actively pushing up. But I mostly just get freaked out without seeing an airlock on there. But the beer seems to be fine.

gregbathurst 05-08-2009 03:06 AM

Covered fermenting is fine so long as plenty of co2 is being produced but if O2 gets in it only takes a couple of days to go off, and you need a pretty good seal to keep it out. I often leave the airlock off for the first couple of days, and when making red wine you have to get in and plunge the skins a few times a day, which is good fun.

jajabee 05-08-2009 03:19 AM

No fruit flies around here yet, and it's in a closed off cupboard... so the general consensus is that I'm doing fine with the tinfoil for these first 3-4 days, but maybe tomorrow I should mosey on down to the LHBS and pick up some airlocks?

EvilTOJ 05-08-2009 08:27 AM

It certainly can't hurt to put an airlock on it. Some people go without airlocks and only use tinfoil, which will work. In my area I get fruitflies every year, so airlocks all the way for me.

gratus fermentatio 05-08-2009 12:03 PM

Since a bung & an airlock cost me about $2 and my juice/fruit/honey/etc... costs considerably more, I'm not going to risk it by using tin foil. Regards, GF.

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