The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > primary in a bucket - no airlock?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-20-2009, 05:19 AM   #1
TacoGuthrie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: P.R., B.C.
Posts: 429
Default primary in a bucket - no airlock?

Just came back from a friend's place after making our first batch.

He told me he had carboys and airlocks but when I got there they were tiny plastic carboys - 19L I think and we were brewing a 23 L batch. So he decided to use his bucket as his primary.

Only thing is that his bucket is just bucket with lid. No airlock. There is lots of headspace in the bucket but I am wondering if a lack of airlock will have an effect?

thanks
-Taco

__________________
TacoGuthrie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 05:26 AM   #2
WBC
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
WBC's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: La Puente, CA, California
Posts: 2,175
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

For now just put the lid on loose and the CO2 produced will keep the air out. You can rig a blow off hose tomorrow. Make sure that everything that touches the beer is sanitized. If it has a hole in the lid just cover it with something that will not move. The beer will turn out fine.

__________________

Cheers,
WBC

Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
Tap 1: Bill's House Ale II, Tap 2: German Hefewizen, Tap 3: Nut Brown Ale
Future Brews: Stone IPA Clone, Blonde Ale, Budvar Clone, Newcastle Clone
New toy: Blichmann 27 gallon fermentor


“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment”

WBC is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 05:30 AM   #3
TacoGuthrie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: P.R., B.C.
Posts: 429
Default

thanks for the answer but to get it straight is he required to hook up a blow off hose or can he just ride it out?

Would another option be to cut a hole in the lid and put in a stopper and airlock? He has a number of stoppers and airlocks for some reason.

__________________
TacoGuthrie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 05:39 AM   #4
GroosBrewz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: West Richland, WA, WA
Posts: 835
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoGuthrie View Post
thanks for the answer but to get it straight is he required to hook up a blow off hose or can he just ride it out?

Would another option be to cut a hole in the lid and put in a stopper and airlock? He has a number of stoppers and airlocks for some reason.
I dont know if required is the right word as I have no idea what your krausen will be like or how much headspace you have but I can tell that I have never heard of anyone brewing in a bucket without a blow off or airlock.. I would think it would be necessary just to blow some of those nasty smelling gasses and what not during an active ferm... Defnitely install an airlock.. It only takes a second and better safe than sorry
__________________

Tap 1- JubelAle Clone
Tap 2- Evening Bite Pale Ale
Tap 3- Twilight Clone
Tap 4- Dicks Danger Ale Clone

"Today I felt like burning some calories....So I found a fat kid and set him on fire"

GroosBrewz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 05:40 AM   #5
WBC
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
WBC's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: La Puente, CA, California
Posts: 2,175
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

I would put on an air lock then because after the first few days the CO2 will slow down and so it should be properly sealed to prevent any drafts of air from blowing particles under the loose lid. If you were to seal the lid without any air lock it would blow off the bucket during middle of the night and scare you.

__________________

Cheers,
WBC

Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
Tap 1: Bill's House Ale II, Tap 2: German Hefewizen, Tap 3: Nut Brown Ale
Future Brews: Stone IPA Clone, Blonde Ale, Budvar Clone, Newcastle Clone
New toy: Blichmann 27 gallon fermentor


“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment”

WBC is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 05:44 AM   #6
TacoGuthrie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: P.R., B.C.
Posts: 429
Default

thanks for the help you two.

He seems to think the lid was 'loose enough' that gases could get out but I doubted that.

I will tell him to cut a hole in the lid and put in one of his stoppers and airlock.

__________________
TacoGuthrie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 06:41 AM   #7
sirsloop
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South River, NJ
Posts: 2,592
Liked 16 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Beer has only been made in closed vessels for a short time span... old school beer was all open fermented. Some Belgian and German beers are still open fermented today (and spontaneously fermented). I would just leave the lid on loosely until an airlock of some sorts can be rigged up. Granted, beer can be made open, you'll have a more controlled fermentation closed.

__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
sirsloop is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 11:45 AM   #8
Bob
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Christiansted, St Croix, USVI, US Virgin Islands
Posts: 3,916
Liked 123 Times on 92 Posts
Likes Given: 36

Default

I have fermented like this, both professionally and at home, since about 1994/5. Sealing buckets is a PITA - in the first place, they don't seal very well at all. In the second, getting the ^#$!! lid off again is frustrating.

I call what I do "open fermentation" though it really isn't. My setup uses squares of 1/4" clear Plexiglas to cover the mouth of the bucket. The bucket is totally covered, positive pressure can escape, and I can see what's going on. You can mimic this by simply placing a piece of clear packing tape over the hole & grommet in your LHBS-supplied bucket lid.

Drafts carrying particles in...what a hoot. That's the most amusing piece of homebrewer worrying-over-something-remarkably-silly I've ever heard. Nothing can get under that lid, unless a strong enough "draft" comes along to lift the lid and deposit something into your ferment. If your fermenter is in an inside room, don't worry about it. If you've been so n00by or boneheaded to place your fermenter on your front porch in a gale, or in a wind tunnel, put it someplace cool and dark and quiet like you're supposed to do. Tell you what - do an experiment. Lay a lid loosely on a bucket, get on the floor, and blow upwards. Or try a hair dryer on 'high'. If the lid doesn't move, don't worry about it.

Even if something does get inside, the contaminant has to be able to live in an extremely hostile environment - the layers of carbon dioxide gas and kraeusen on the beer serve as a pretty effective protective shield. You just need a cover to keep dust and critters from falling onto the shield.

The advice about not sealing the bucket if the lid doesn't have an airlock is good, though!

No need to cut anything, Guthrie. Just tell him to keep a close eye on the ferment. When the krauesen falls after the primary vigorous ferment is over, it might make him feel better to rack it to a closed vessel like a carboy, but even that's not necessary. Like I said, I've been fermenting this way for a long, long time, and I haven't had an infection since I learned how to chemically sanitize my stuff. Of course, it does presuppose that once you get the lid on you don't muck about in the fermenter.

The only difference between my semi-open method and a carboy is the size of the opening in the top of the vessel. A bucket's is larger than a carboy's. That's it! There's no more or less control inherent in either method. Gas can devolve, nothing extraneous can get in. Pretty simple.

Cheers, all!

Bob

Edit: I wish to apologize for the tone of the above. I was trying to be funny, taking the mickey about the whole 'breeze in the bucket' thing. Epic fail.

__________________

Brewmaster
Fort Christian Brewpub
St Croix, US Virgin Islands


Last edited by Bob; 01-20-2009 at 04:52 PM.
Bob is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 11:49 AM   #9
TJ-Bill
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 214
Default

I just made an IPA that I left in the Primary bucket with the Lid just laying on top.. I normally rack to a Secondary abit earlier then normal. I wait until the krausen starts to settle back down from it's highest point.
This way the beer is still protected from the air, and there's still abit of fermenting going on. So when you rack to the Secondary the CO2 will push out the remaining air. I still haven't tasted the beer yet it's been in the Secondary for about 1 month now and I'll probably Keg it within a couple weeks.

__________________
www.massivegraphics.ca

Primary: Double Oatmeal Stout
Primary: Red Ale
Primary: German Ale
Primary: Empty

Kegged: Smoked Ale
Kegged: Spring Pilsner
Kegged: Apfelwein
Kegged: Swamp

Bottled: Irish Maple Cream

On deck: IPA
TJ-Bill is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2009, 12:39 PM   #10
Jun
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 50
Default

If you leave the lid sealed without an airlock you can cause excess acidity (a too-low pH reading) and the gas-producing bacteria will not be able to digest the acids quickly enough. Decomposition will stop until balance is re- stored by the growth of more bacteria. If the pH grows too high (not enough acid), fermentation will slow until the digestive process forms enough acidic carbon dioxide to restore balance.

It can also blow of the lid, depending on how active the fermentation is, I also have heard that the beer will not clear properly

__________________
Jun is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Airlock seal fell into the bucket, what to do slheinlein Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 11-12-2012 02:04 PM
Primary Bucket - Ok for extended primary fermentation? GonzoIllini Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 10-26-2011 02:08 AM
Noob: To airlock or not to airlock the primary? Gabrew Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 03-29-2011 06:28 PM
Adding a airlock to fermentation bucket bfbf DIY Projects 4 08-20-2009 08:55 PM
Bucket Primary VS Carboy Primary? underwaterdan Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 01-30-2009 01:46 AM