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Airlock Idiocy

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GearBeer

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So I'm sitting at my desk at work and I just realized that I didn't put water in the airlock of my first brew (yeast pitched ~2:00 Saturday). Are there potential problems from this? Should I run home (love the flextime!) and put water in it? I looked last night (got home at 1 AM from doing taxes at my parent's) and there was condensation in the airlock but it didn't dawn on me until about 2 minutes ago that I'd messed up.
 

Evan!

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HA, no, no way, it's 100% fine. During fermentation, there's so much CO2 offgassing from the yeast doing their thang that there's constantly positive pressure---the chances of some kind of bacteria or wild yeast not only making its way through the airlock, but also somehow swimming upstream through the CO2 current, are essentially zero. Oh, and I suggest using cheap vodka, et al, instead of water. Just in case some of the airlock liquid gets sucked back in---which has been known to happen.
 

McKBrew

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I wouldn't worry about rushing home. If it's fermenting, it's fine and if not I wouldn't worry about it. The fact that there is a cover in place will protect it. There are a few members of this forum who don't even use airlocks and they seem to do just fine as well.
 

cglkaptc

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I am still new at this, but from what I understand, as long is there is somewhere the co2 can escape you will be fine. My first batch turned out fine and I didn't even have airlock activity because there was a leak in the fermenter cover. I think you will be fine, but if someone else answers otherwise they are probably more educated and you should listen to them.
 
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GearBeer

GearBeer

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Alright, thanks all.

Evan!,
Is there a reason you specifically suggest cheap vodka? Or would the cheap rum that I found among my sister's cast-off kitchenware work?

I get what you're saying with the water wouldn't want fowled water getting sucked in.
 

Revvy

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GearBeer said:
Alright, thanks all.

Evan!,
Is there a reason you specifically suggest cheap vodka? Or would the cheap rum that I found among my sister's cast-off kitchenware work?

I get what you're saying with the water wouldn't want fowled water getting sucked in.
Generally vodka is used because if any gets in it won't impart any flavor, now if you were doing a stout or porter a little rum or bourbon getting in would be mighty tasty!
 
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GearBeer

GearBeer

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Point taken, I'll see what Kroger has on my way home tonight.

That's an interesting thought on the Stout/Porter... I'm going to file that one away under the long list of interesting prospects that I'm not qualified to examine, yet. ;)
Probably want a good rum/bourbon, though...
 

Revvy

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GearBeer said:
Point taken, I'll see what Kroger has on my way home tonight.

That's an interesting thought on the Stout/Porter... I'm going to file that one away under the long list of interesting prospects that I'm not qualified to examine, yet. ;)
Probably want a good rum/bourbon, though...
You can even soak oak chips in rum/bourbon for that cask aged porter/stout taste.
 
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