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Old 03-01-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default vodka in airlock?

Has anybody used vodka instead of water for the airlock? Are there pros and cons to doing this, or nothing special?

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Old 03-01-2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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I've started using it, the way I understand it the main pro is that if you get suckback all it's gonna do is raise your ABV and not contaminate your booze with detergent or sanitiser.

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Old 03-01-2009, 08:08 PM   #3
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Yep, used it for years. 1/2 gallon of the cheap stuff will last a long time.

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Old 03-01-2009, 08:08 PM   #4
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Vodka is all I use now.

Pros:
I usually have vodka on hand anyway.
It's easy to find locally.
You can use it for things other than airlock filling.
If you get suckback you boost your ABV a tiny bit.

Cons:
It evaporates faster than water/starsan.
If you top up your airlocks just before work, and spill a little on yourself, people that smell you might think you're drunk.
You can't drink all your starsan and run out.

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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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Same principle with Whiskey and Tequila I would assume?

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Old 03-01-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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I know at least one rookie brewer around here uses tequila, but I sure won't. Vodka is a neutral spirit, so that little bit of suckback isn't going to impart off flavors on your beer. Whiskey and tequila might make the beer taste a bit funny if you get too much suckback.

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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:54 PM   #7
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I wouldn't think that there would be enough whiskey or tequilla in an air lock to hurt the flavor any, but just to be on the safe side, I would use the vodka.

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:05 PM   #8
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Boris is probably right here. Even if you dumped in 3 S-type airlocks worth of liquor, I doubt you'd notice the difference. If we're talking 3 piece airlocks, I think that would be enough to effect flavor.

Either way, if I'm given two options, and one is slightly safer, I'll take the safe route everytime where my beer is concerned.

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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:12 PM   #9
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Well I hate vodka and love whiskey. I'll use whiskey . We used whiskey on the Stout airlock we just brewed, and Tequila in the GF brew airlock (it was in the fridge, but I never drink the stuff).

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:37 PM   #10
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One of the reasons I use vodka is I don't fill my airlock until after I carry my fermenter into my beer closet. There is always vodka in there.

Something that always gets looks is when I'm in the liquor store buying nice beers and liquors and I ask the cashier for the cheapest vodka behind the counter. BTW, why do they keep the vodka behind the counter?

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