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Old 10-15-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
loh777
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Default Ultra Noob Airlock Question

Yesterday I started my first batch ever and everything seemed to go well. It is in the fermenter now. My question is when I put the airlock into the lid of the bucket the water level in it went down. I filled it up halfway or to the fill line like it told me to and now the level is much lower.

Is that normal?


If its not and I need to fill it up some more will my beer get ruined by opening the lid of the airlock to add mor water?

Sorry for the dumb questions I am new to this and am probably worrying to much over nothing.

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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i think that top is just a dust cap so you should be able to take it off and add more water...i didnt fill mine up until the lid was on with the airlock in it (put the airlock in the lid before putting the lid on) so i dont know if that is normal or not

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:06 PM   #3
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I would suggest not filling it until it's already in your bucket. When you fill prior to this, it creates a vacuum and can suck your liquid into the bucket. Not a big deal if it's sanitized. I actually use vodka in my airlocks though. It's less of a hassle to just pour a little cheap vodka in instead of boiling water and letting it cool.

And yes, you'll want to top it off. Sometimes, it just evaporates a little over time. I normally primary for 3 weeks. Since I use vodka, it doesn't evaporate as quickly, but water you'll have to top off once or twice.

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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I use Vodka in my airlocks too. No worries that way.

You may need to "top off" the airlock from time to time as fermentation --> bubbes --> evaporation. I assume by "removing the lid" you mean just the little quarter-sized top piece. No worries there. If it's bubbling rapidly, try to keep an active airlock (don't let the middle piece rise up too much).

Regardless, if you are seeing a good fermentation, beer will follow shortly. Cheers!

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:19 PM   #5
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thanks for the comments I will fill it up when I get home today. Hopefully my cranberry maple christmas ale will be as good as I hope.

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
Since I use vodka, it doesn't evaporate as quickly, but water you'll have to top off once or twice.
I think Vodka will actually evaporate quicker than water since it is pretty much pure alcohol.

Anyway, the liquid does not have to be completely up to the line, but you probably want to top it up if it gets very far below it, just so there is enough liquid in there for the airlock to do its job.

People recommend using Vodka because if the pressure in the fermenter drops (usually because of a drop in temperature) there can actually be suckback from the airlock into the fermenter. When you use Vodka there won't be any harmful bacteria because the alcohol content is so high. If you use water, there is a risk of bacteria in the water getting sucked into the fermenter and infecting your beer.

Even if you used star-san water which is sanitized, it will lose effectiveness over time, so vodka really is a nice liquid to use in the airlock.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:36 PM   #7
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since you are all saying I should fill it with vodka would it be a problem to top it off with vodka now after it was filled with water the first time?

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:53 PM   #8
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since you are all saying I should fill it with vodka would it be a problem to top it off with vodka now after it was filled with water the first time?
It is not a problem. Also you said above that you filled it with water? I would be putting at least a sanitizer solution in there but not plain ole water.

I'm a vodka user myself.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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I used cleaned the airlock with a sanitizer solution, and then filed it with water. From now on I think I will be using vodka anyway.

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Old 10-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #10
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"People recommend using Vodka because if the pressure in the fermenter drops (usually because of a drop in temperature) there can actually be suckback from the airlock into the fermenter. When you use Vodka there won't be any harmful bacteria because the alcohol content is so high. If you use water, there is a risk of bacteria in the water getting sucked into the fermenter and infecting your beer."

....or, you can just put Star San solution in the airlock, like I do. NO, if some gets sucked back into the fermenter, it doesn't hurt the beer. NO, NO, NO.

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