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Airlock needed for secondary?

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alexavery

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Another newb here. First - thanks to everyone for all the great advice.

I searched the site and found some conflicting opinions, so I'm throwing this question out there.

I'm planning to get a 2-stage equipment kit (from midwest). I believe it only comes with an airlock for the primary bucket, but it does not have an airlock for the secondary carboy.

Do I need an airlock for the secondary carboy? Some people have said fermentation is over by the time it gets to the carboy, so it's not needed. Others seem to think you need one.

And if I do need one, what kind is preferred? 3 piece? S-bubble? Other?

thanks!
 

lx302

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Before purchasing your equipment, you might want to look into not even doing a secondary, but that's another topic. You can search for more details on that.

But I always use a 3 piece airlock on my secondary carboy.
 

rsmith179

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I personally like the 3-piece airlock, but they all do the same thing pretty much. You don't really need to go out and get another one right now though. As long as one airlock comes with the kit, you can just use that for both the primary and secondary. Just make sure that you also sanitize the airlock when transferring it from the primary to the secondary.
 

culaslucas

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Just to clear up any confusion, an airlock is to keep outside wild yeast and bacteria out of your beer. You definitely want one on your secondary or your beer could possibly be infected. However, the high acidity and alcohol content after primary fermentation could potentially keep most of these issues at bay, why chance it when you can grab an airlock for $2?
 

llazy_llama

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Just to clear up any confusion, an airlock is to keep outside wild yeast and bacteria out of your beer. You definitely want one on your secondary or your beer could possibly be infected. However, the high acidity and alcohol content after primary fermentation could potentially keep most of these issues at bay, why chance it when you can grab an airlock for $2?
Because a piece of sanitized tinfoil does exactly the same thing, with exactly the same effectiveness, for a fraction of the price.

I got that same Midwest kit to start, and it comes with 1 Ale Pail, 2 Carboys, and only 2 airlocks. If you want to spend the $1.25 plus $5 for shipping, be my guest. Just know that tinfoil works just as well.
 

ericm

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Because a piece of sanitized tinfoil does exactly the same thing, with exactly the same effectiveness, for a fraction of the price.

I got that same Midwest kit to start, and it comes with 1 Ale Pail, 2 Carboys, and only 2 airlocks. If you want to spend the $1.25 plus $5 for shipping, be my guest. Just know that tinfoil works just as well.
the one thing foil doesn't do a great job of is keeping out oxygen, and if we're talking about doing a secondary, that's probably something to think about.
 

culaslucas

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the one thing foil doesn't do a great job of is keeping out oxygen, and if we're talking about doing a secondary, that's probably something to think about.
OH SNAP!.....

There is going to be a blanket of CO2 in there that will likely keep most oxygen out because it is more dense than O2
 
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