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Old 12-19-2008, 02:00 AM   #1
Dec 2008
Posts: 1

I have a strong ale that has been fermenting for about 10 days, and just realized I hadn't added any fluid to the airlock... Should I be worried about it?

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Old 12-19-2008, 02:07 AM   #2
Oct 2006
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Probably not, Some beers are even fermented in open fermenters.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:07 AM   #3
EdWort's Avatar
Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
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I always keep my 3 piece airlocks at least 1/2 to 2/3 full with vodka.

I usually have to add vodka on the 3 day.

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Old 12-19-2008, 03:13 AM   #4
Oct 2008
Posts: 214

10 days is alot though.. only time will tell

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Old 12-19-2008, 03:17 AM   #5
Fingers's Avatar
Jan 2007
Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba
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Must be a climate thing. I never add to my airlock. I put the initial load of iodophor in and it can sit for a month or so until I keg it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:22 AM   #6
Nov 2008
Austin, TX
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Alcohol evaporates faster than water. I use a StarSan solution and I haven't had to add any either, after the initial filling.

To answer the OP's question, I think only time will tell. If the fermenter was tucked away somewhere, like in a closed closet, I bet it will be ok. I had an airlock pop off my secondary and it spilled everywhere. (I was an idiot and fermentation wasn't quite finished) I didn't know it happened for several days and it turned out fine.

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Old 12-19-2008, 04:03 AM   #7
Nov 2008
Lincoln, NE
Posts: 93

im just a noob to brewing but i dont think id use a starsan solution to fill my airlock, i use sterilized water or vodka because if somehow some of it gets sucked into the fermentor (ive had it happen) id rather have water or vodka get in my beer rather than sanitizing sure that small of an amount probably wouldnt make much difference but id still rather have vodka or water than starsan

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Old 12-19-2008, 04:11 AM   #8
devaspawn's Avatar
Feb 2008
Central VA
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I used vodka to begin with. Then I used sanitized water. Now, if I forget to save some of it for the airlock I just use water. You're fine. Without the bubbling airlock, what did you do to determine that it was still fermenting? Or did you just state the number of days since you pitched yeast and assumed that it had been fermenting everyone of those days?

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Old 12-19-2008, 05:25 AM   #9
Jaha35's Avatar
Dec 2008
Pawling, NY
Posts: 97

Getting some sanitizer like Star San in your beer isn't bad at all. I shouldn't hurt a thing. In fact Star Sans becomes food for yeast so it helps.

The benefit of fermenting is that CO2 is denser than O2 and this is why open fermentation is possible. Because of this not putting water in the airlock is not a big deal because it would be very hard for bacteria to climb upwards into it when CO2 is pushing out. It can happen but it seems rare.

Water just helps seal it and more importantly allows you to see bubbles.
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