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Old 12-01-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
Mookie
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Default Who leaves the lid loose on the fermenter

I typically do 5.5 gallon batches in a 6.5 gallon plastic fermentation bucket. I have had several batches that the krausen gets up to the lid and blows off a little bit.

My last batch, I decided to just set the lid lose on the top of the bucket to avoid the possibility of a messy situation in the event my blowoff would get plugged. I had a little bit of juice push out of the top of the lid which I expected. Once the krausen settled, I snapped the lid tight and put airlock in place. I really liked the fact that I could leave the house and not be worried about coming home to a mess.

Does anyone else do this? It seems like a simple idea. Anyone know of any drawbacks to doing this?

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Mookie

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Old 12-01-2011, 12:36 AM   #2
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Get an airlock. If anything can get out, nasties can get in.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:00 AM   #3
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I routinely leave the lids loose on my fermentation buckets. I just set the lids on top to cover the entire opening but I don't snap them on. No issues so far and it's much easier to access the beer for dry hopping, etc.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
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A lot of people will sometimes ferment without a lid or anything else covering the beer (open fermentation). It just requires a lot more attention, skimming the krausen to get rid of nasties and such.

EDIT: I should note that open fermentation only lasts a few days at most. Once the production of co2 has stopped, the lid gets snapped on.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howabouttheiris View Post
Get an airlock. If anything can get out, nasties can get in.
Nope, if co2 is getting out, NOTHING can get it. Besides the "nasties" are not ninja acrobats, they really can't get in through crevices and such.

Mookie, A lot of folks don't snap the lid down at all at all. In fact many folks with arthitis and other issues don't anyway, and may folks just put tinfoil, plastic wrap, metal cookie sheets or even plexiglass sheets on top of the bucket instead. It's really not crucial to be tight.

Homercidal posted the other day that he was just at a commercial brewery in Traverse City where they FERMENT their beer with plastic wrap on top of the fermentation vessels. And one of our mods posted recently that he just uses loose fitting lids on his fermenters.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
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I brewed today and it's doing this as we speak. Done it before, never had an issue. In fact, the first kits I bought recommended that. Of course, it makes it way easier to be tempted to open it up and take a peek!

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:10 AM   #7
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Also some fermenter buckets don't even have grommet holes for airlocks and even say to leave the lid loose on the bucket.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:14 AM   #8
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I don't do it routinely, but I do it from time to time. Right now, I have two beers fermenting with tops merely sitting on the bucket.

I sanitize everything, but definitely don't go overboard with it. Unless your brewing environment is dirty or contaminated in some way, you'd be surprised what you can get away with and still be fine. I've NEVER had anything close to an infection in 5 years of brewing (unless I did it on purpose of course ).

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howabouttheiris
Get an airlock. If anything can get out, nasties can get in.
Not really. The nasties you speak of don't have legs. Bacteria and wild yeasts rely on airflow to move. As long as the lid covers the bucket, nothing is gonna get in.

Unless of course you have a cockroach problem. Then you're screwed.
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You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


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Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy

Nope, if co2 is getting out, NOTHING can get it. Besides the "nasties" are not ninja acrobats, they really can't get in through crevices and such.

Mookie, A lot of folks don't snap the lid down at all at all. In fact many folks with arthitis and other issues don't anyway, and may folks just put tinfoil, plastic wrap, metal cookie sheets or even plexiglass sheets on top of the bucket instead. It's really not crucial to be tight.

Homercidal posted the other day that he was just at a commercial brewery in Traverse City where they FERMENT their beer with plastic wrap on top of the fermentation vessels. And one of our mods posted recently that he just uses loose fitting lids on his fermenters.
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Right Brain uses plastic wrap to cover the fermentors? How weird. Then again, most of what they do is "weird" by most folk's standards! ;-)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuporMan View Post
You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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