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-   -   Air locks (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/air-locks-9228/)

Dab the man 05-10-2006 09:14 PM

Air locks
how can you make a simple airlock, and why is it so important??

also, how is a good way to make sure your end product isnt toxic??

chillHayze 05-10-2006 09:38 PM

You can purchase one for like 2$ at a HB store. Alternatevly you can make an airlock/blowoff hose from nothing more than a hose and a glass of water, providing your fermenter has a fitting for such an apparatus. Check out www.howtobrew.com for more on airlocks and all brewing principles.

In a nutshell, an airlock is important to seal off your fermenter from the nasties in the air we breathe as well as the oxygen in the air itself.
Beer should be kept under CO2 if it is in a closed container. The airlock just uses simple principles (like pressure and gravity) to isolate your brew from the outside air, keeping it under the CO2 blanket created from yeast farts (yum).

Dab the man 05-10-2006 09:42 PM

cheers :mug:

homebrewer_99 05-10-2006 10:11 PM

It's basically a one-way valve. Allowing pressure to escape while keeping out the "nasties" as we put it.

You can use a balloon with a hole in it or an un-lubricated condom which you may or may not have in your wallet. :D

If you have a balloon and not a condom in your wallet I am going to assume you are a clown...:drunk:

kornkob 05-10-2006 10:41 PM

And to address the 2nd question: Everything you put in beer is edible. As long as you are careful to sanitize everything that touches your beer then it will be safe to drink. Even if you screw that up, if you can stand to drink it then it's almost certainly safe to drink. It's hard to make beer that is dangerous to consume (not counting the 'danger' of drinking too much and doing something stupid-- that's easy).

Kaiser 05-11-2006 01:59 AM


Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
It's basically a one-way valve.

It's actually a two way valve since it works both ways. At least the one-piece kind. The three-piece kind will suck in the barrier liquid first.

The only big advantage of airlocks is the ability to see the CO2 escaping and keeping O2 out of the fermenter. Infection could also be prevented by simple tin-foil or attaching a tube that that faces down on the other end. It is not necessary to actually submerge a blow-off tube in water and if it is submerged in water, the water doesn't need to be sanitized. Why? because germs cannot move by themselves and will not crawl from the water into your wort. They need to fall be be blown in.

Currently my primary is sitting in a water bath and the bow-off tube is submerged into this water ;). i don't expect anything bad to happen.


homebrewer_99 05-11-2006 02:42 AM


Originally Posted by Kaiser
It's actually a two way valve since it works both ways. At least the one-piece kind. The three-piece kind will suck in the barrier liquid first.Kai

You're right, it can do that when there is a big range in temps between the inside and outside temp, but it's PURPOSE is to be a one-way valve (exit only).:D

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