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Old 03-09-2006, 01:05 AM   #1
tubejay
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Default Airlock, another seemingly obvious question

This is the airlock I have (the one on the right):



There's a cheap plastic top that goes on it. I'm guessing this part is for storage, not for the actual ferment. I just want to be sure though. It doesn't seem like I should put anything on top...or my guess is that it would just pop off, or worse, explode.

Am I right?

Thanks

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:12 AM   #2
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No, you put it on. It's got little holes drilled in it to let CO2 escape. Now that you mention it, though, it probably wouldn't hurt anything by leaving it off.

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:14 AM   #3
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The plastic top keeps the center section from popping out of the airlock, so use it. It has holes in it to let the CO2 out. And some times they blow off anyway, just like the S-type.

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:14 AM   #4
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a really aggressive ferment might pop the little plunger out

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:32 AM   #5
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Thank you!
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:45 AM   #6
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And don't forget to fill to the fill line. To little, air could possibly get into the fermenter, to much, you could have of you sanitizer (or what ever you use) drawn back into the fermenter (possible contamination) or a nice dent in the ceiling. Don't ask... lets just say them inside pieces can become little rockets.

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Old 03-09-2006, 02:34 AM   #7
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I like the type pictured on the left. It is easier to see the bubble action in it. I've always assumed that the covers on both types help keep the gunk out of the solution. The covers will not inhibit CO2 from escaping.

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Old 03-09-2006, 02:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBrewer
I like the type pictured on the left. It is easier to see the bubble action in it. I've always assumed that the covers on both types help keep the gunk out of the solution. The covers will not inhibit CO2 from escaping.
I've stayed away from those on the left because, even though I have never had a blowout of kraeusen, I suspect that I will have one as soon as I stick that S-shaped piece of plastic on top. Not because the airlock caused it, but Murphy would like to see me attempting to clean the gunk out of that thing.

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Old 03-10-2006, 02:58 AM   #9
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Okay day one is done, and it's fermenting pretty nicely I think. I'm having two large bubbles every second or so, and it was going along at one to two bubbles a second all day today.

Now, the bubbles are causing the airlock to lose a small amount of the water in it. Do I top this off, or should I just play it safe and leave it?

How thick should the krausen be? Mine is about 1/2" thick, and has been all day. It doesn't seem to be getting thicker or thinner. There's a layer of goo at the bottom too, whitish in color...not sure what that gunk is.

It's starting to smell like beer though, though sweeter than beer. Don't worry, I'm not opening the seal, just smelling the bubbles coming out of the airlock.

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Old 03-10-2006, 03:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubejay
Okay day one is done, and it's fermenting pretty nicely I think. I'm having two large bubbles every second or so, and it was going along at one to two bubbles a second all day today.

Now, the bubbles are causing the airlock to lose a small amount of the water in it. Do I top this off, or should I just play it safe and leave it?
Just leave it for now, I'd say. Keep an eye on it, though, and if it gets too low, put more water in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubejay
How thick should the krausen be? Mine is about 1/2" thick, and has been all day. It doesn't seem to be getting thicker or thinner. There's a layer of goo at the bottom too, whitish in color...not sure what that gunk is.
The kraeusen will vary from batch to batch. Sometimes an inch, somtimes 4 inches, somtimes for some people it blows right out the top of the carboy.

The whitish goo at the bottom is a pile of billions and billions of yeast. aka: the yeast cake. There's probably some other stuff in it too, like maybe hop pellets and proteins and such, but it's mostly yeast. crazy, isn't it?

CONGRATS! YOU ARE MAKING BEER!

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