HBT 2015 Big Giveaway - Winners Drawn - 24 Hours to Claim!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Liquid in Airlock
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-30-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
Nic0
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Nic0's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bartlesville, OK
Posts: 182
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default Liquid in Airlock

Not that the airlock type used matters, but I happen to have the 3 peice type.

I've read either on here or somewhere to use sterilized water in the airlock. The brains of my beermaking posse always poured some vodka in ours (somewhere from 80-100 proof).

Other than the fact that a shot of vodka is more expensive than a shot of water, and it probably will evaporate faster, is there anything bad in terms of staying sanitary about using vodka vs. sterilized water? So far none of us have gotten sick after drinking our beers.

If sterilized water is the way of the beer gods, I am prepared to make the switch. It's not hard to boil some water and pour into an air lock.


Thanks!

Nic
Nic0 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
Ace_Club
Legendary Influential Brewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ace_Club's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 38,150
Liked 1715 Times on 1621 Posts
Likes Given: 52828

Default

The main reason people put vodka or sanitized water in the airlock is in case of suck back (where the pressure drops in the carboy/bucket to the point where some water gets sucked back in. However, this really only happens if you overfill the airlock. I've always just used tap water in my airlocks and have never had a problem.
__________________
Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics, even if you win you're still retarded.

My internet friends were making fun of my kegdolly and I took it out on Gary. - Ginger
Ace_Club is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
Nic0
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Nic0's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bartlesville, OK
Posts: 182
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Yeah, I had read about the liquid going back into the fermenter, which I had never thought about till I read it here. I just wondered if the vodka getting sucked in would cause any strange things to happen or if it was considered sanitary.
Nic0 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 01:45 PM   #4
cincybrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 676
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

Default

I just use Starsan. My liquid got sucked back in because the temps were too high. But I doubt even that much Starsan will have any effect on the beer.
cincybrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
jmferris
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Tan Valley, Arizona
Posts: 149
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincybrewer View Post
I just use Starsan. My liquid got sucked back in because the temps were too high. But I doubt even that much Starsan will have any effect on the beer.
I use a combination of StarSan and sterile water, in about a 1:10 ratio. I've been afraid to use straight StarSan, as I had heard some people do. However, since diluted StarSan is not harmful to fermentation in moderate doses, I get the best of both worlds.

Only time I have gotten reverse pressure in the airlock was when the power went out a few weeks ago and the heater wasn't kicking on. The contraction of the gases in the headspace of the carboy (and maybe the liquid, too?) created a vacuum that pulled about a third of the liquid of the airlock in. Once the heater was back on, refilled the airlock to the line.

I had thought about using vodka, as well. Unfortunately, I do not get along with any hard liquors anymore, and just the smell of a cheap vodka would have my hurling in the wort.
__________________
Coming off of a year long brewing hiatus.

Fermenting: Empty
Conditioning: Empty
Consuming: Water
On Deck: TBD

Brewing Blog: http://microbrewology.snaploop.com | Follow Me on Twitter @josephmferris
jmferris is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 02:05 PM   #6
Ace_Club
Legendary Influential Brewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ace_Club's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 38,150
Liked 1715 Times on 1621 Posts
Likes Given: 52828

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmferris View Post
I've been afraid to use straight StarSan, as I had heard some people do.
I honestly don't think you will find anyone using straight StarSan in the airlocks. Undoubtedly they are talking about first diluting the StarSan per the manufacturer's recommendations and then putting that in the airlock.
__________________
Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics, even if you win you're still retarded.

My internet friends were making fun of my kegdolly and I took it out on Gary. - Ginger
Ace_Club is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
Ace_Club
Legendary Influential Brewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ace_Club's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 38,150
Liked 1715 Times on 1621 Posts
Likes Given: 52828

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmferris View Post
I use a combination of StarSan and sterile water, in about a 1:10 ratio.
That ratio is probably too strong for the use and intended effect. Utilize the manufacturer's recommended dilution (i.e., 1 oz in 5 gal, or 1:640 Starsan to water).
__________________
Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics, even if you win you're still retarded.

My internet friends were making fun of my kegdolly and I took it out on Gary. - Ginger
Ace_Club is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 02:11 PM   #8
jmferris
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Tan Valley, Arizona
Posts: 149
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace_Club View Post
That ratio is probably too strong for the use and intended effect. Utilize the manufacturer's recommended dilution (i.e., 1 oz in 5 gal, or 1:640 Starsan to water).
Definitely sound advice. I probably don't need to use it in the sort of a ratio I do, but it is hard to measure out the correct ratio for such a small quantity. Probably a couple of drops in an eyedropper would be adequate (and I do have a few glass droppers en route, as we speak). Worst case scenario, though, the dilution would be considerable higher once it is sucked in to the carboy.

__________________
Coming off of a year long brewing hiatus.

Fermenting: Empty
Conditioning: Empty
Consuming: Water
On Deck: TBD

Brewing Blog: http://microbrewology.snaploop.com | Follow Me on Twitter @josephmferris
jmferris is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 02:13 PM   #9
Ace_Club
Legendary Influential Brewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ace_Club's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 38,150
Liked 1715 Times on 1621 Posts
Likes Given: 52828

Default

Your best bet is just to take some of the solution out of your bucket (or whatever you use to soak your brewing gear) on the brew day. Just fill your airlock up with that solution, which is already properly diluted, and you are good to go.
__________________
Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics, even if you win you're still retarded.

My internet friends were making fun of my kegdolly and I took it out on Gary. - Ginger
Ace_Club is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 02:14 PM   #10
IrregularPulse
Hobby Collector
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
IrregularPulse's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 45,299
Liked 2905 Times on 2834 Posts
Likes Given: 136

Default

I just keep a cheap bottle of Colonial Club next to where I ferment. It's just easy to twist the cap off and pour and not worry about mixing up starsan or anything.
__________________
Tap Room Hobo

I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas. :o - marubozo's mom
IrregularPulse is online now
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1/2 in. Liquid disconnects maxbing Equipment/Sanitation 1 07-19-2009 01:14 PM
Which chiller liquid? Yorg Equipment/Sanitation 37 07-09-2009 11:14 AM
Airlock fills up with liquid & foam kingoslo Equipment/Sanitation 8 02-23-2009 09:42 PM
Liquid for Air Lock tomman Equipment/Sanitation 8 03-22-2008 01:12 AM
liquid condensing in airlock? seven77 Equipment/Sanitation 15 02-16-2005 12:39 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS