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Old 11-23-2012, 05:29 AM   #1
mattymc
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Default Primary / Secondary Gear

Hey guys,

I am just getting back into brewing and I have a question about my gear.

In my old kit I have a primary and secondary. It seems like people here mostly only use a primary and the arguements are pretty compelling. My issue is that my primary does have have an airlock.

Should I continue to use the secondary carboy with the airlock (and risk the contamination in the racking process) until I get a primary with an airlock or can I still just use the one I have?

Thanks for the help! This place rocks!

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Old 11-23-2012, 06:05 AM   #2
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What are you using for a primary and secondary? And when you say it doesn't have an airlock, do you mean it has no hole for an airlock?

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Old 11-23-2012, 06:27 AM   #3
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This is my Primary. It just has a normal lid. When I got it years ago the instructions provided with the kit only had a process that required moving to the secondary at around 5-7 days (when OG settled). Am I stuck with this process until I get a Primary with a lid has a hole for an airlock?

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Old 11-23-2012, 06:44 AM   #4
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You could modify that with some steady drilling and a trip to the LHBS. You can buy grommets that are a perfect fit for an airlock at either your LHBS or I think Home Depot might have some that will work too.

I'm not familiar with a process that would accommodate doing a primary fermentation in a vessel that doesn't have some sort of airlock or release for the gasses produced (though I know you can ferment under pressure, I don't think your bucket would handle it.) I would go for the fix; drill a hole, add the grommet, and you're set.

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Old 11-23-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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I haven't had any major problems, for many batches, by just covering the top of my fermenter buckets with saran wrap and puncturing a few, very small, holes to let gas escape then placing the lid, loosely, on top.

I spray the side of the saran wrap that will face the krausen with starsan and then spray the sharp, pointy, Swiss army knife, thing I use to puncture the saran wrap, with starsan also.

Bubbles coming out of airlocks are entertaining and all, but not an absolute necessity, for me.

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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I've seen those garbage pale like fermenters on midwests' site & are 20 gallon. Looks like you've got 10 gallons of head space,so an airlock likely isn't needed. You can use it without an airlock & just leave the beer in primary till it reaches FG & settles out clear or slightly misty before packaging.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Thanks a lot for the help guys. What is the science behind the airlock?

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
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It's a one way check valve that lets excess co2 out,while keeping o2 from getting in.
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