Is an airlock really necessary? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:34 PM   #1
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Is an airlock really necessary or is a piece of plastic or foil over the carboy mouth sufficient? I mean after the blowoff period of course. After that, isn't their a layer of CO2 covering the beer to protect it anyway?


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Old 04-17-2009, 11:54 PM   #2
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try brewing without one and see what happens. i've never not used one, so i don't know.


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Old 04-17-2009, 11:57 PM   #3
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Assuming you don't have blowoff, tinfoil works just fine. I can attest to that 100%.

Plastic wrap, I don't trust. Tinfoil, on the other hand, works like a champ. I stopped using airlocks on everything but buckets a while ago.
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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 04-18-2009, 12:00 AM   #4
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Stand back, I'm going to try Science:

The bacteria we're all afraid of is not the well equipped army we all imagine them to be. They don't have aircraft, boats, choppers, troop transports, tanks, etc... They just float around on the breeze. If wind can get in, so can bacteria. They can't climb, fly, walk, swim, teleport, or otherwise move themselves. They must be carried along on air currents. Tinfoil blocks that. Airlocks also block that. Tinfoil costs maybe .2 cents per use, while airlocks can last almost forever if used properly.

It's your beer, do what you like with it. I will tell you from experience though, tinfoil works just fine.
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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 04-18-2009, 01:07 AM   #5
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Wait until you get fruitflies floating in your beer turning it into vinegar. It's not precisely true that bacteria can't move. They can hitch rides on other things. And acetobacter just LOVE living on the bodies of fruit flies. And fruitflies love alcohol. In fact, they can metabolize alcohol fumes.

So yea, I will always use an airlock, especially during the warmer months.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
Wait until you get fruitflies floating in your beer turning it into vinegar. It's not precisely true that bacteria can't move. They can hitch rides on other things. And acetobacter just LOVE living on the bodies of fruit flies. And fruitflies love alcohol. In fact, they can metabolize alcohol fumes.

So yea, I will always use an airlock, especially during the warmer months.
Yeah, I guess I should have mentioned fruit flies. Then again, I don't get them this far north, so I tend to forget about them.

Yes, if there are any curious critters (fruit flies, bugs, cats, dogs, etc...) they can bring bacteria into your fermenters. If you ferment in a closed area, and bugs aren't a concern, go for the tinfoil.


Edited: I wish I could metabloize alcohol fumes.
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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 04-18-2009, 01:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post
Stand back, I'm going to try Science:
You get bonus points for the XKCD reference. Nicely done.

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Old 04-18-2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad View Post
You get bonus points for the XKCD reference. Nicely done.

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And you get bonus points for catching it!
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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 04-18-2009, 01:24 AM   #9
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There is a layer of CO2 protecting your beer, but its not going to stay there without an airlock. If you only use foil, you're allowing the headspace to reach equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere, meaning CO2 out, room air in. And oxidized beer.

An airlock is like 2 bucks. Why not use one?
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBrewers View Post
There is a layer of CO2 protecting your beer, but its not going to stay there without an airlock. If you only use foil, you're allowing the headspace to reach equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere, meaning CO2 out, room air in. And oxidized beer.

An airlock is like 2 bucks. Why not use one?
CO2 is heavier than air. It will just sit on top of the beer unless there are currents to move it. There are several people here who use foil and have no issues with it.



 
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