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Old 01-21-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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Default Do secondaries need air locks?

i was thinking of just picking up a 5g bucket from lowes with top for like 4bucks. do i need an air lock for a secondary?

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Old 01-21-2010, 11:49 PM   #2
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If I was using a secondary, I'd use an airlock.

You didn't ask this, but I wouldn't use a bucket. The headspace in a bucket is however wide the bucket is, plus a few inches deep. The headspace in a carboy is just about an inch or two wided. I don't use secondary vessels often for beer, but if I did I'd make sure it was a carboy in the proper size with an airlock.

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Old 01-21-2010, 11:50 PM   #3
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in my limited experience the air lock releases co2 and keeps the bad out, if you just clog the hole pressure will build and if its open bacteria or other might get in

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Old 01-21-2010, 11:54 PM   #4
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Yes but you might get away without one. If you were using a carboy and plugged with a solid stopper, it would pop out. If you get a bucket and lid from Lowe's you might be fine. At least in my market Lowe's is carrying the lids that don't have a gasket and don't look as if they really give a very tight seal.

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Old 01-22-2010, 12:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwan05 View Post
i was thinking of just picking up a 5g bucket from lowes with top for like 4bucks. do i need an air lock for a secondary?
When I started out with my brewing adventure about 10 years ago, the common wisdom at the time was to ferment in the primary for 2 weeks and after that rack it into a secondary for 2 weeks. My LHBS gave me a kit with 1 "primary" fermenter with an airlock and 1 "secondary" without one. This setup worked pretty well, I guess there isn't enough CO2 produced to demand an airlock in the secondary.

Of course now i use a primary fermentation for a month and after that the beer goes into kegs... Things had changed a little since then I guess
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:38 AM   #6
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I do secondary in a Home Depot bucket and a lid with a gasket in it. It works perfect. It's over 5 gal up to the brim so I've always gotten all my beer in there and never had it explode on me. I would suggest using a carboy for long secondarys though. I use my Homer bucket only for short term for dry hopping, herbs, and such.

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Old 01-22-2010, 02:31 AM   #7
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This will probably get me shunned, but I bought a plastic water jug, think office water cooler type, at Wal Mart for about $7. I picked up a couple 3/8" inner diameter gasket at Lowes for about $2. Drilled a hole in the lid for the water jug, inserted the gasket and TA DAAA!!!!! It looks like a carboy, you can see your beer to check its clarity, screw off lid (its watertight so it must be airtight too), nice big handle built into the side, and if it goes bad or breaks or whatever, I'm out less than $10.

I think you'd be fine with the bucket from Lowes. Like I said, they also have gaskets. Its real easy to set it up if you want to use the airlock.

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Old 01-22-2010, 02:35 AM   #8
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Beer should maintain positive pressure from start thru consumption. So, yes.

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron_city_ap View Post
This will probably get me shunned, but I bought a plastic water jug, think office water cooler type, at Wal Mart for about $7. I picked up a couple 3/8" inner diameter gasket at Lowes for about $2. Drilled a hole in the lid for the water jug, inserted the gasket and TA DAAA!!!!! It looks like a carboy, you can see your beer to check its clarity, screw off lid (its watertight so it must be airtight too), nice big handle built into the side, and if it goes bad or breaks or whatever, I'm out less than $10.

I think you'd be fine with the bucket from Lowes. Like I said, they also have gaskets. Its real easy to set it up if you want to use the airlock.
I've been wondering if I could use this type of water bottle. Anybody know any reason not to?
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:01 AM   #10
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there are some threads about it -- if the plastic type is 7 (and it probably is) you risk the plastic breaking down into the beer, which can contribute off flavors and possibly lethal compounds into your beer.

Check the bottom of the jug for the number.

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