AirLock Issues

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Shedbrewery

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Okay, so I made a brew with grape juice, put a condom over it for the airlock (it is lubricated D:), and poked a good bit, maybe 6-7 holes in the top. Now a couple of the holes are sort of big, a little bit larger than a pen poke, but no larger than a tiny crumb. Is that too much for the oxygen to get in and contaminate it? Please help me.

So I put it on a couple days ago, and the condom has NOT inflated yet. Should I give it time to work? The process is working, for I see and hear the Co2 bubble sizzling.

If this does not work, can I simply screw th cap back on the bottle, and unscrew it a turn to let the pressure out, would that work?

Please help me, I would really like my brew to be successful.
Answers are much appriciated.
 

unionrdr

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Go to your local home brew shop & get a proper airlock & stopper. That'll work better toward keeping air out.
 
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Shedbrewery

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unionrdr said:
Go to your local home brew shop & get a proper airlock & stopper. That'll work better toward keeping air out.
Um... That didn't answer my questions :|
 

brewkinger

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Shedbrewery said:
Um... That didn't answer my questions :|
I do not think that your condom setup sounds like it will work as well as a proper airlock setup.
Go to your LHBS and get a proper airlock or rig yourself a blowoff setup.
 

amandabab

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Um... That didn't answer my questions :|
yeah it did.
brewing cheap is one thing, intentionally using the worst equipment possible is another.
Get a $1.00 airlock, or a stopper with a hole, a hose and a jar or water/sanitizer.

juice wine CAN be good, but it needs a little bit of effort and care.
 

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I recommend using a blow off either way. I've had many problems with airlocks getting clogged. I'm probably not experienced enough to be giving my 2c on this, but you're probably fine with the amount of air getting in. I've read a lot about people brewing with open air fermenters without trouble. Many people swear by this technique claiming that it is less strenuous on the yeast.
 
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Shedbrewery

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brewkinger said:
I do not think that your condom setup sounds like it will work as well as a proper airlock setup.
Go to your LHBS and get a proper airlock or rig yourself a blowoff setup.
I don't think there are any local home brewing shops :/
 

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If there isn't a local brew shop use a giant balloon no holes... but it must be a large or giant for room to expand... then order an airlock online instead of making jailhouse booze.
 
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Shedbrewery

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scottab said:
If there isn't a local brew shop use a giant balloon no holes... but it must be a large or giant for room to expand... then order an airlock online instead of making jailhouse booze.
I have thought about ordering it online. I found one for $ .99

but do you think screwing the cap back on the bottle, then screwing it off about a turn to let air out would work?
 

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Take a piece of aluminum foil and sanitize it. Remove the condom and just wrap the foil around it. It won't seal but will keep stuff out and allow the CO2 to escape. Air will not get in as CO2 is being generated and expelling any O2. Then get on the internet and order a proper blow off tube and stopper. Bubblers are fine for a secondary fermentation but for the primary a blow off tube will save you any messes to clean up. DAMHIK!
 

BrutalBrew

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I have thought about ordering it online. I found one for $ .99

but do you think screwing the cap back on the bottle, then screwing it off about a turn to let air out would work?
It will at first , then the very small gap will clog and build pressure. I would go with the balloon idea stated above. Soak it in starsan for 60 secs. You can burp the balloon to lower how full it is every day , maybe few times a day. Put rubber bands around it to keep it on and tight. You also can put a small piece of masking tape on the balloon and poke 1 small hole with a sewing needle to allow it to vent. The tape will hold the balloon together to keep it from popping. By the time you get a airlock via mail your brew will be done fermenting. Above foil idea will work also.
 
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Shedbrewery

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BrutalBrew said:
It will at first , then the very small gap will clog and build pressure. I would go with the balloon idea stated above. Soak it in starsan for 60 secs. You can burp the balloon to lower how full it is every day , maybe few times a day. Put rubber bands around it to keep it on and tight. You also can put a small piece of masking tape on the balloon and poke 1 small hole with a sewing needle to allow it to vent. The tape will hold the balloon together to keep it from popping. By the time you get a airlock via mail your brew will be done fermenting. Above foil idea will work also.
So do you think the tin foil method would work better than the lid being on and unscrewed a little?
I really want this to work. I don't want it to have been sitting for 3 weeks to realize it didn't work.
 

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I don't think you'll get enough pressure for it to stand up looking like a rooster's comb, but hopefully enough to keep anything bad out. I agree that an airlock would be wise, but who knows... you may be able to add this to the 'ways I almost screwed up my beer but it turned out fine thread.'

Or who knows, you may even get a kid out of this.
 

BrutalBrew

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So do you think the tin foil method would work better than the lid being on and unscrewed a little?
I really want this to work. I don't want it to have been sitting for 3 weeks to realize it didn't work.
I would go with the tin foil over a loose cap. You take a chance of the loose cap clogging and then a possible LARGE bottle bomb. I personally would go with the sanitized balloon with rubber bands mentioned above. But the foil will work fine if you dont have alot of air flow in the area the fermenter is stored. If you do have a fan or air flow , it could cause the co2 to be sucked out just like how vents work on a house to keep the attic dry. The blowing wind causes the air to be sucked out of the attic.
 

scottab

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I have thought about ordering it online. I found one for $ .99

but do you think screwing the cap back on the bottle, then screwing it off about a turn to let air out would work?
It would work to a degree but you risk oxidation or souring, or worse still contamination... fruit flies are attracted to co2
 
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Shedbrewery

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scottab said:
It would work to a degree but you risk oxidation or souring, or worse still contamination... fruit flies are attracted to co2
Well, I ordered an airlock online for 1 dollar.
i used a welches grape juice. Do you think the airlick would work in the juic bottle?
 

BrutalBrew

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Your going to need a stopper. This is what I did one time. I had to much wort for the bucket so I took a gallon glass wine bottle and cleaned/sanitized it. I put some wort in there to have more room in my bucket.( It was a barleywine and I was concerned about it blowing out the airlock if to full) What I did was I set the airlock on top of the bottle mouth. Then took some saran wrap, Sanitized it. folded it. Wrapped it around the bottle and the lower half of the airlock as tight as I could. Do it while the wrap is still wet from starsan and it will seal better. Then wrap a rubber band around the wrap on the bottle half , then another around the airlock half. It worked great.
 

BrutalBrew

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Your brew will most likely be done fermenting by the time you get a airlock. How have you been keeping it?
 
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Shedbrewery

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BrutalBrew said:
Your brew will most likely be done fermenting by the time you get a airlock. How have you been keeping it?
I've had the lid on and screwed off a little bit fir pressure to escape. I did order an airlick, and it should be here in 2-3 days.

I did make a batch only 1 week ago, though I poured 3 packs of yeast instead of 1, and it was a small litter apple juice bottle, couple liters or so.
I had teplaced the airlock maybe 5 times, found it with the condom airlock dissapeared, so it had been sitting all night with no lid or anything. Ironically, it worked. I strained it 6 times yesterday and it tasted and smelt like straight up wine. It made in only 1 week, and it was pretty strong.

I'm just hoping the batch I'm brewing now works out just as good if not better, for I have the lid unscrewed a tiny bit, and waiting on an airlock in the mail. I expect it to work since the last batch did.

but, if I decided to use the tinfoil, how would I sanitize it? and do I just place it over the mouth of the bottle, press it down, and let it sit? Do I put the tinfoil in there tight or a bit loose?

I'm hoping my brew turns out as best as possible. Thanks
 

scottab

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I've had the lid on and screwed off a little bit fir pressure to escape. I did order an airlick, and it should be here in 2-3 days.

I did make a batch only 1 week ago, though I poured 3 packs of yeast instead of 1, and it was a small litter apple juice bottle, couple liters or so.
I had teplaced the airlock maybe 5 times, found it with the condom airlock dissapeared, so it had been sitting all night with no lid or anything. Ironically, it worked. I strained it 6 times yesterday and it tasted and smelt like straight up wine. It made in only 1 week, and it was pretty strong.

I'm just hoping the batch I'm brewing now works out just as good if not better, for I have the lid unscrewed a tiny bit, and waiting on an airlock in the mail. I expect it to work since the last batch did.

but, if I decided to use the tinfoil, how would I sanitize it? and do I just place it over the mouth of the bottle, press it down, and let it sit? Do I put the tinfoil in there tight or a bit loose?

I'm hoping my brew turns out as best as possible. Thanks
The foil should be placed over then pressed down. If you have starsan the use that to sanitize if not you can use diluted bleach solution. As to the yeast, depending on what you are using you don't need to pitch so much for such a small batch, you're just wasting money. You should probably age the wine in an airtight container for 1-6 months, maybe add brewing wood chips for a more complex flavor.
 
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Shedbrewery

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Okay, my airlock came in the mail. I have one qeustion? sorry about being a noob to brewing :|,
Is there supposed to be something the the bottom if the glass airlock goes in? cause' I watched a guy on youtube talking about airlocks, and he had one that looks just like mine, but the bottom (pointy end) Was in some sort of spongey thing, and that's what he put in the hole of his fermenter.
I've already tried, and it went in until the body or chamber of the lock went in the hole and stayed.
It feels pretty tight, but I'm not sure how tight. So I sealed around it with duct tape.

Any suggestions? Thanks guys.
 
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Shedbrewery

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I miss-spelled because I am typing fast on the iphone app, apologies.
 
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Shedbrewery

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Shedbrewery said:
Okay, my airlock came in the mail. I have one qeustion? sorry about being a noob to brewing :|,
Is there supposed to be something the the bottom if the glass airlock goes in? cause' I watched a guy on youtube talking about airlocks, and he had one that looks just like mine, but the bottom (pointy end) Was in some sort of spongey thing, and that's what he put in the hole of his fermenter.
I've already tried, and it went in until the body or chamber of the lock went in the hole and stayed.
It feels pretty tight, but I'm not sure how tight. So I sealed around it with duct tape.

Any suggestions? Thanks guys.
I am saying I did this without the material that I suggested the man had in his video.
 
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Shedbrewery

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Shedbrewery said:
Okay, my airlock came in the mail. I have one qeustion? sorry about being a noob to brewing :|,
Is there supposed to be something the the bottom if the glass airlock goes in? cause' I watched a guy on youtube talking about airlocks, and he had one that looks just like mine, but the bottom (pointy end) Was in some sort of spongey thing, and that's what he put in the hole of his fermenter.
I've already tried, and it went in until the body or chamber of the lock went in the hole and stayed.
It feels pretty tight, but I'm not sure how tight. So I sealed around it with duct tape.

Any suggestions? Thanks guys.
The "spongey thing" I was talking about I believe is a stopper..... sorry I am new to brewing. I started a couple weeks ago.
Is there any store other than online that I can get one from?
 

BrutalBrew

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yes , you need a stopper to use a airlock . Is there a LHBS around? serch online , maybe one is close.
 
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Shedbrewery

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BrutalBrew said:
yes , you need a stopper to use a airlock . Is there a LHBS around? serch online , maybe one is close.
I fit it in the mouth if the bottle, and it fit pretty tight, but idk.

I am planning on getting a stopper soon. I may even get some kind of stopper at wal mart and mend it for the airlock to fit.

Though, my last brew was very succesfull considering I had no stopper OR even an airlock.
I even replaced it a lot of times. I used condoms, a plastic bag, and then duct tape with holes in it. It sat over night for a few hours with absolutely no airlock whatsoever a few times, but it still turned out very nicely, in only 1 week may I add. Plus, it was a very stong drink.
So I am not worried about it not working this way, but I shall get a stopper before my next batch.
 
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Shedbrewery

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unionrdr said:
I don't think you ever mentioned what kind of container you're fermenting in,or what size it is?
It is a 64 fl ounce, 2 qt bottle. The mouth is a tiny bit larger than the circumfrance of the body (round, cylinder) part of the airlock. So the airlock fits pretty tight, but I wasn't sure if it was tight enough. That's why I taped it.
It's just a standar, glass, cylinder-shaped 3-piece airlock with a lif that has several holes.

I came to examine my brew just now, and tons of small bubbles are flying up from the bottom, and also in the surface. The water in the airlock bubbles every few seconds. It appears to be working.
 
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Shedbrewery

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unionrdr said:
Get a stopper that fits the mouth of the jug & the stem of the airlock. That'll make things easier.
Do you know of a store or anything like wal mart I can get one at? I mean like one I could put the hole in myself for the airlock. Thanks.
 

Roondy888

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Pretty sure everyone in this thread is either contributing to the delinquency of a minor or the victim of a troll. Plus shouldnt this be in the wine making forum considering its being made with grape juice?
 

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Do you know of a store or anything like wal mart I can get one at? I mean like one I could put the hole in myself for the airlock. Thanks.
Where do you live? Someone can probably point you toward your closest LHBS (local homebrew store). If you're interested in making drinkable homebrew, you should go to that store and they can show you everything you'll need. Ask about (or search online for) local brew clubs and ask to help with someone's next brewday. They can show you the ropes in person and hands-on. This site is also an incredible resource e for learning. I recommend reading the sticky threads at the top of each subforum, particularly the ones directly related to wine making. Have fun!
 

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Well since this thread seems to have taken a downward turn, I'm going to hi-jack it with another air-lock question for actual beer.

I'm using a 5gal Ale Pale, brewed a traditional IPA on Sunday, using a standard air-lock filled half way. By Tuesday-Wednesday, I noticed that all of the water from both halves of the lock were on one side. I couldn't see any actual activity, but there definitely seemed to be pressure pushing against the water. When I gently squeezed my Ale Pale, I almost pushed water out of the top of the airlock. But again, there's no actual visible activity like bubbling. Should I be concerned?
 

CraigKing

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Thanks Scott. Normally the airlock is either equally balanced on both sides, or I can actually see/hear bubbles going through it. I have never seen sustained, constant pressure for a 24 hour time span.

And after checking today, it appears that the pressure is equalizing today. I guess primary fermentation is nearing completion.
 

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