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Old 03-29-2013, 02:16 AM   #1
Cooley
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Default Airlock drains

The vodka in my airlock had evaporated, so I re-filled and the liquid drained down into the beer. Filled it up again and same thing, did it a last time and it held. What is going on?

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Old 03-29-2013, 02:20 AM   #2
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Is your fermenter somewhere where the temp fluctuates?

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Old 03-29-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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high and low pressure weather systems moving thru can cause suck back in air locks. Use a blow offtube.

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Old 03-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Its in my bathroom.Temp is set at 70.

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Old 03-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Do you mean that as you pour the vodka in it goes straight through, or do you mean that you filled it and the next day it was empty again. If it is the former than you are witnessing what happens when you form a syphon in your airlock; basically replicating the way a toilet works. If it was the latter then your buddy, kid, homeless guy hiding in the attic is drinking it at night.

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Old 03-29-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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Yea. As soon as I pour it in, it goes straight through.

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Old 03-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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As soon as I pour it in, it goes straight through.

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Old 03-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #8
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That's called suck back,a partial vacuum created by wide temp fluctuations. Or even when initial fermentation is done,& the beer cools down while finishing up fermenting down to FG.
Lift the center piece of the airlock to release the vacuum. Then top off with more vodka. & try to get the fermenter temp more stable between night & day.

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Old 03-29-2013, 02:46 PM   #9
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Yup, the suck back effect. When my beer is fermenting and the temperature is changing, like when I begin to cold crash, I remove the airlock (keep the bung piece in) and cover the carboy opening with 2-3 paper towels soaked in StarSan. This keeps the sanitizer/vodka out of my beer and adds a layer of protection to the beer. That's my approach anyway

Don't worry too much about the vodka though, it's really a small amount in a large batch of beer, I doubt you'll even know it's there.

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Old 03-29-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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It could be suck back. However it could also "kid suck" (sometimes confused with "kids suck"). I had the same thing happen to me for my first seven brews. Then one evening, I woke up to take a leak and decided to go into the garage and check on two carboys from a 10 gallon batch I did the night before. That's when I discovered the problem. My 19 year old daughter was in mid slam of what she liked to call an "airlock shooter". It is very painful to find out that even when you think you have done everything right in raising a child, some of them are just going to prefer hard liquor over beer.

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