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Old 03-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
unionrdr
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Well,if the FV is sealed well,& you had a healthy yeast pitch & vigorous ferment,then when the airlock slows or stops,you can tell when initial fermentation is done. but it'll still take a little time to slowly,unevetfully creep down to FG.


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Old 03-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #12
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"then when the airlock slows or stops,you can tell when initial fermentation is done."

With all due respect, this isn't true. There are plenty of examples of airlocks showing no activity, even though the ferment is still quite active otherwise. And I know you said "as long as it's well sealed", but the problem is that there's really no way to completely be assured that the vessel is, indeed, well sealed. Even a small leak can keep the pressure from affecting the airlock enough for it to bubble.


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Old 03-14-2013, 02:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleGoat View Post
"then when the airlock slows or stops,you can tell when initial fermentation is done."

With all due respect, this isn't true. There are plenty of examples of airlocks showing no activity, even though the ferment is still quite active otherwise. And I know you said "as long as it's well sealed", but the problem is that there's really no way to completely be assured that the vessel is, indeed, well sealed. Even a small leak can keep the pressure from affecting the airlock enough for it to bubble.
Yes it is,I've been observing this sort of behavior from my FV's since the beginning. but as I've stated several times on here,you have to have a healthy yeast pitch. Not to mention,not shocking it with wide temp differences between the yeast & wort. By being sealed,I simply meant that the lid is on all the way,airlock inserted far enough to not leak around the grommet,etc. Obviously,no seal is 100%,but we can get close enough by properly installing the lid,etc. I've also fixed small leaks due to molding flash in the lid seal area.
If there's no vigorous airlock activity,it simply means that if you're fermenting at the low range of the yeasts ideal temp range,it's fermenting more slowly,co2 isn't being produced in large quantities & you'll see less airlock action. Even though it is indeed fermenting.
Or if the rehydrated yeast is at,say 85F & the wort is at 65F the yeast can shock & you'll notice little airlock movement as it goes back into the reproductive phase before visible fermentation starts.
These are just a couple of examples to explain what is seen in regard to airlock activity,or lack thereof. After all,50% of all science is informed observation...
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:15 PM   #14
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I only paid $1 for my airlocks. That's probably cheaper than balloons.

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Old 03-14-2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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Could you imagine that balloon full of Krausen exploding after a super active fermantation kicks in. That is one mess I wouldn't want to clean up. JS

 
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:38 PM   #16
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Yeah,like the FV got the hershy squirts...
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:39 PM   #17
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I made come hobo wine as an experiment and used a ballon for an airlock. The fermentation got pretty crazy and filled the balloon but it didn't blow off. The finished product has a latex smell that makes it pretty unappealing. I have since bought a small stopper and extra airlock for the next time I do this. It cost me less than 2 bucks for both.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #18
Noz03
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Sorry for the late reply, wrote the question and then went off on a short holiday aha. Well theres a few reasons, first of all simply being that I literally couldnt think of any reason not to. Also it is because I do not have a proper brewing kit, I was planning to brew small batches in 5lt water bottles, so a single set would need 4 lots of air locks, which Im not even sure would be easy to fit to a water bottle. On top of that as my country only has about 1 month of spring weather I was planning to brew 2 or 3 kits at a time and stock up for the summer. So at least 8 locks and stoppers which wouldn't be used again before next autumn. pretty bad setup but its the best I can do where I am

As for the balloon, I heard using the pressure of the ferment to keep o2 out is quite dangerous but what is happening with mine is the balloon fills up to a certain point (never much bigger than in the picture) and when the pressure is enough it farts out a certain amount of air in one go, usually every 3-4 minutes. So to me I don't see how it could let any air in like that.

 
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:38 PM   #19
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In my opinion this is the only setup to use at the beginning of the ferment:



Afterward use a real airlock.

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Old 03-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #20
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I've used the balloon method in the past in a pinch.

I think the balloon method works fine. Are there better options? Yes. However, the balloons do keep the O2 out. It seems like yours are releasing the CO2 on their own. I think that the CO2 produced during fermentation will blanket the wine nicely and help avoid oxygenation.

I would be concerned only if the balloons were popping off the fermenters and needing replaced. I have heard that putting the slightest of pin holes in the balloons works nicely to ensure the CO2 has a way to diffuse.

So go ahead and use the balloons, getting a better airlock in the future would not be a bad idea since, as stated above, they are pretty inexpensive and reusable.



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