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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > question about airlocks... bubbler and 3 piece
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
CROM
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Default question about airlocks... bubbler and 3 piece

Ive been using the 3 piece for my last 3 brews. But for this stout Im using a bubbler (2 chamber only) and Im not seeing any activity (I know it can take a while though)

with the 3 piece if I pushed down on the lid it would bubble up... but the bubbler does not...

so basicly, does a bubbler not bubble as much as a 3 piece air lock?
(also, do I keep the little red lid on the bubbler or leave it off while fermenting?)

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Old 12-18-2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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my advice make sure the bucket is 100% sealed. take a rubber mallet and whack the lid on. buckets can be difficult to get all the way shut.

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Old 12-18-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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Sounds like there's a bad seal somewhere else. If you're using a bucket and pushing down on the lid, it should bubble. If it's not, I would check to make sure that you're getting a good seal everywhere else that air could get in/CO2 out. The lid should have a rubber gasket all the way around that seals onto the lip of the bucket. The gasket for your airlock hole might also not be making a good seal. I usually put a little keg lube around that gasket to get a good seal.

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Old 12-18-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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a bubbler will bubble unless the air is escaping somewhere else.

What I like about them is that I can put my Carboy in the fridge to cold crash and the bubbler won't suck the liquid into the beer. With a 3-piece, that is possible.

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Old 12-18-2009, 07:45 PM   #5
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I don't know that I agree with the above advice - I usually get good action from a 3-piece bubbler, but with the two-chamber one, it takes some real power to get it started. I have a fermenter filled with my Alt that I brewed last Saturday, and it had not bubbled once. I was growing concerned, and ready to take the lid off of the bucket to take a reading, when I thought I'd just give it a swirl, thinking that perhaps the yeast hadn't gotten a good start.

Lo and behold, that was enough to get the bubbler going, and it bubbled fiercely all through the night. This is totally different than the 3-piece, which I guess just takes less pressure to start going.

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Old 12-18-2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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Can't really answer your question about how one bubbles differently than another, but...

Does it really matter?

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Old 12-18-2009, 08:09 PM   #7
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I'm probably not the most qualified person to answer this but I'm going with dpittard on this one... does it really matter? I would be more concerned about whether or not your yeast is reaching attenuation rather then if you are seeing your airlock bubble. But if there is an air leak you want to identify that.

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Old 12-18-2009, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CROM View Post
(also, do I keep the little red lid on the bubbler or leave it off while fermenting?)
I'd like to know the answer to this. I tossed the cap of my two-piece on my first brew day because I set up the bubbler without it and didn't know what the cap was (thought it was some random plastic laying around my brewing space).

I've seen fermentation pictures and videos with the cap on. What I don't get is how does the CO2 escape the bubbler with the cap on?
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
I'd like to know the answer to this. I tossed the cap of my two-piece on my first brew day because I set up the bubbler without it and didn't know what the cap was (thought it was some random plastic laying around my brewing space).

I've seen fermentation pictures and videos with the cap on. What I don't get is how does the CO2 escape the bubbler with the cap on?
The lid has little holes in it.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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The lid keeps bugs from flying down into the airlock solution. In summer particularly, fruit flies will congregate around your fermenters, because they smell the sweet smell of fermentation and want to get near it.

Star-san makes a particularly effective bug killer, btw.

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