Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Purpose of airlock
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-29-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
joydivision
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
Posts: 44
Likes Given: 7

Default Purpose of airlock

I understand how it shows if the beer is fermenting but serve any other purpose ? The reason I ask is I couldn't find my middle piece when I finished brewing. I just placed the airlock and lid on. I trust it will ferment.


joydivision is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
forstmeister
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,211
Liked 181 Times on 137 Posts
Likes Given: 32

Default

The airlock allows CO2 to escape through a safe passage. Also does not allow oxygen into the fermentor.


__________________
I drink (homebrew), therefore I am (gassy)
forstmeister is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
BrewingGunner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Coronado, California
Posts: 239
Liked 23 Times on 18 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by joydivision View Post
I understand how it shows if the beer is fermenting but serve any other purpose ?
Not reliably. What it does do, is prevent contaminates from getting in to the fermenting beer for example fruit flies or micro organisms.
__________________
Primary: Mosaic IPA
Secondary: Calypso Pale Ale
Keg 1: MT :(
Keg 2: Thunderdome Red

My Brewstand Build
BrewingGunner is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 12:58 PM   #4
progmac
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cincy, OH
Posts: 1,969
Liked 277 Times on 221 Posts
Likes Given: 344

Default

to prevent any contamination, you may want to bottle soon after the primary has died down
__________________
на здравје!
progmac is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
unionrdr
struggling author
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 35,126
Liked 3024 Times on 2606 Posts
Likes Given: 2139

Default

I'd go looking for that missing centerpiece. That's the business end of the system. The part that acts as a valve to let co2 escape,but keep air out.
__________________
My sci-fi & home brewing books on amazon-kindle now! New additions coming!
NEW, REVISED EDITION of book one of Time Lords 2034 series now on Amazon Kindle! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NTA0L6G
My homebrewing book "Tippy Tippy Tappy" on Kindle! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PBAP6JO
unionrdr is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
Effingbeer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 246
Liked 24 Times on 19 Posts

Default

I usually let the first few days in primary go without an airlock. I just put on some starsan-soaked aluminum foil. Just after high krausen I add the airlock. All you have to do is keep anything from falling in. After the krausen drops, it's a different story. Less protection up top allows o2 diffusion. But you got a few days before you need to come up with a new airlock.
Effingbeer is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
Demus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,246
Liked 160 Times on 131 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

As an indicator of fermentation, it's unreliable. It's real purpose is preventing contamination. Without the middle piece you have a path air can take into your fermentor. That air could contain mold, wild yeast, bacteria, insects and who knows what else. Fermentation will still take place, but some of it might be by organisms other than your desired yeast. This could cause serious flavor issues. Or, you could get lucky and get a great tasting beer. If this happens thank the beer gods, but don't for a minute let yourself believe you don't need a properly filled airlock to prevent invaders!!
Demus is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
Demus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,246
Liked 160 Times on 131 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Effingbeer View Post
I usually let the first few days in primary go without an airlock. I just put on some starsan-soaked aluminum foil. Just after high krausen I add the airlock. All you have to do is keep anything from falling in. After the krausen drops, it's a different story. Less protection up top allows o2 diffusion. But you got a few days before you need to come up with a new airlock.
I'm not doubting this works, but I used to do my starters this way. Then one fine day I checked on a starter in a kitchen closet. To my horror I found a trail of ants climbing up the side of the flask, under the foil and down into the sweet treat below. Needless to say I chucked the culture of yeast ants rather than pitch it into brew. I invested in an 89 cent foam stopper and haven't had a problem since. Not every contaminant "falls" in; some "crawls" in!!!
Demus is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
unionrdr
struggling author
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 35,126
Liked 3024 Times on 2606 Posts
Likes Given: 2139

Default

Yeah,those lil ants or them pesky fruit flies!
__________________
My sci-fi & home brewing books on amazon-kindle now! New additions coming!
NEW, REVISED EDITION of book one of Time Lords 2034 series now on Amazon Kindle! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NTA0L6G
My homebrewing book "Tippy Tippy Tappy" on Kindle! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PBAP6JO
unionrdr is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 01:27 PM   #10
duffbeer71
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Hanover Park, IL
Posts: 72
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I have found ants crawling over my carboy this spring. The airlock definitely saved the beer from being infested. I believe there are some natural foods toucan place in proximity to the beer that will keep them at bay like garlic or coffee grounds.


duffbeer71 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is the purpose of... str8upbrad Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 11-20-2012 10:04 PM
Purpose of Secondary Screech Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 02-25-2012 02:45 AM
Acetaldehyde On Purpose maffewl General Techniques 5 12-02-2011 02:46 PM
Best All-Purpose Bittering Hop? JayPowHound General Beer Discussion 9 06-22-2010 11:13 AM
purpose of a starter? bringitonhome Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 10-01-2008 04:37 PM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS