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Old 04-18-2010, 10:02 PM   #1
brianh
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I started a mead 2 months ago. I brought it out to rack over when I noticed a little mold in the airlock. I took a taste and it has a sour taste to it. I had filled the airlock with my iodaphor solution left over from sanitizing the jug.

How often am I supposed to check on the airlock and replace the water in it?

 
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:11 AM   #2
CandleWineProject
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I usually fill mine with vodka so that nothing can grow in it, and if the air pressure forces some of it into my batch, no harm from vodka. I just have to keep topping it off because it evaporates faster than water.

 
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:11 AM   #3
Yan
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Just check on them once in a while to see if they need topping up. I can't help but check my brews somewhat regularly, just to see how they're going, especially when they're in secondary. I quickly notice if the level in the airlock goes down.

I use either vodka or a sulfite solution in them, and I've never had a problem with them going foul.

 
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #4
brianh
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It hadn't lost too much due to evaporation. There was still plenty of water in the airlock to prevent air passing through, it just had mold growing in it.

People leave their meads and wines for months to age, other than using vodka (which I may start doing), what do others do?

Also, on the vodka front. How often do you check on the airlock to see if it needs topping up? And how often when you check it does it actually need topping up?

BTW: It was the mead, not the water that when tasted had a strong sour taste. I didn't taste the moldy water.

 
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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I'm a bit OCD about my batches, so I'm looking in on them about everyday.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
goose1873
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sarstan works...I usually use that or vodka. I would use a sterile airlock each time you rack.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:09 PM   #7
jezter6
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I switch out the airlock at every racking, and I look to top up the starsan/vodka/whatever every 2-3 weeks or so. Sometimes I lapse and have some fairly dry airlocks...

Warmer temps tend to evap the water quickly, so beware the stuff in warmer fermentation rooms. My airlocks upstairs went dry after ~3 weeks in spring temps.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:20 PM   #8
CandleWineProject
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I have several batches in various stages, so when ever I futz with one, I check the airlocks on the others, about every 2 weeks or so. The 3-piece airlocks require refilling more often than the S locks. It sort of also depends on how vigorous the initial ferment went. The faster the bubbles were, the more evaporation that happened of the vodka. So maybe I refill one after about 3 months?

 
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:11 PM   #9
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Iodophor doesn't stay good for more than a day, so don't use it in your airlock. Once the colour is gone, it no longer works, and light breaks down the colour very quickly. Use cheap vodka... $10 buys 1.75L and it'll last you forever. I just check my airlocks every few days and top them off with vodka.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 View Post
Iodophor doesn't stay good for more than a day, so don't use it in your airlock. Once the colour is gone, it no longer works, and light breaks down the colour very quickly. Use cheap vodka... $10 buys 1.75L and it'll last you forever. I just check my airlocks every few days and top them off with vodka.
Best advice you can get on this!
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Primary: Apple Honey Cyser
Secondary:
Secondary: Apfelwein
Bottled: Broken Arrow Bitters (got a case and a 1/2 gal)
Drinking: Grolsch
Up Next: SMaSH ESB of my own creation

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