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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > For those who say an air tight seal on your fermenter is unnecesary, is it ok to peek
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tackett View Post
Wait a minute stop...
fascinating! thanks for that!

back on topic, by all means take a peek. but, the waiting time will seem shorter if you just set it aside and go about your life for two weeks.
two british sayings; a watched pot never boils / out of sight out of mind.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #12
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The liquid oxygenation explanation above is awesome. I knew that exposure to oxygen alone never ruined my beer, but never really thought about it until now.

All I can share are me experiences. I've done 30+ 5-gallon batches in buckets, and about half of those were semi open fermentations. If you haven't heard of it, search for "open fermentation" or do a Google image search to see it.

I plug the airlock hole on the bucket lid and loosely place it on top of the fermenter without snapping it down, leaving it that way throughout the fermentation. I repeatedly pull the lid off to check if the krausen has dropped, harvest yeast by skimming the top, to take gravity readings, to add and remove dry hops, take taste samples, check for clarity, and add gelatin. When I don't add dry hops directly into the beer, I use a hop bag. Once I'm done dry hopping, I pull them out and squeeze all the beer and hop juice out, which causes a bit of splashing. I also take samples with a wine thief, which causes a bit of splashing as well. Even with all of this, I have never had oxidized beer or a single infection. As long as whatever touches the beer is clean and sanitized it will be fine. It's not like I spray StarSan on my hands when I squeeze the hop bags either. I just wash them well with hot water and soap, and I don't dry them with a kitchen towel for sure.

Like I said, I have no experience with oxidized beer, but I imagine it would require a lot of vigorous splashing for it to turn bad. And as long as nothing dirty is going into the beer, infections shouldn't be a high risk either.

And just so you know, I ferment this way often because I use a compact fridge for temperature control. It's easier than having to pull the bucket in and out of the fridge to pop the lid off. This way, I can leave the bucket alone and just pull the lid up to do whatever I need to do. When I ferment in my pantry, I do snap the lid on and use an airlock because our trash and recycle bin are in there as well. There's more of a chance for things like fruit flies that may be able to squeeze in under a loosely placed lid.

It's home brew and its your beer. Do what works for you.

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Old 02-24-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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Well I finally got a good seal on my fermenter and subsequently brewed my first beer with no acetydehyde. Coincidence? Maybe, but I'll keep doing what works. I also did a few other things differently such as using a stone and oxygen tank to aerate when I pitched. Possibly just got the yeast going better.

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Old 02-24-2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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There is absolutely no way you are going to oxygenate a liquid, simply by exposing it.
Well, maybe you won't "oxygenate" it, but you can certainly ruin it by oxidation, simply by exposing it to oxygen.

Try it. Take two bottles of wine. Open then. Leave it open overnight. Don't agitate it, or anything to "oxygenate it". Taste it the next day. Not too bad, but not too good. Taste the other one in a week. Boom- oxidized wine. I promise. (Cover with cheesecloth or something to prevent fruitflies and the like.) If you want really really oxidized wine, move the bottle around so it increased the oxygen uptake. It'll get worse, faster. But even without splashing or moving it, you will get oxidation. That's why winemakers (and brewers who age long term in a carboy) use a carboy and top up to the narrowest part of the carboy, and/or purge with inert gas.

It's not "oxygenation" that would do it, but instead, it's "oxidation".

Heat and movement will accelerate oxidation, but it's certainly not required. Oxidation can happen in a perfectly still environment whenever there is oxygen present.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:23 AM   #15
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I just don't see a point in opening it if you don't have to. What is stopping airborne bacteria or wild yeast from entering your wort if you open the lid? The more times you expose it to elements, the risks of infection grow. It won't ferment any faster if you open the lid.

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