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Airlocks: Classic 3-piece or "triple ripple" style?

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deepfat

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I've used the old-school 3 piece airlocks but was curious about the triple ripple style (as it's called on morebeer.com). Has anyone had experience with these? Any advantages / disadvantages?
 

llazy_llama

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3 piece, S-type, triple ripple, sanitized tinfoil... they all do the same thing. Use whatever you want.

On a side note: the S-type airlocks make a lot more noise than the 3 piece, and tinfoil doesn't make any noise at all.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Most people call those S-type airlocks. I use only S-types because I think they look cooler.

They are more difficult to clean, but I always use a blowoff during primary.
 

balto charlie

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I like the 3 piece for the primary(cleaning) and the "s" to more easily observe the ferment. I find this important when fermenting a lager.
 

Revvy

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Actually you got it backwards..the "s" type are more oldschool (in fact they used to be made of glass) and the 3 piece are a more recent invention...

I've started to us s types...because they tend to actully bubble or show co2 (by pushing water into the furthest chamber) then 3 pieces..IMHO sometimes there's not enough of a buildup of co2 to actually lift the airlock..or the bubbler can become heavy with co2...and that's why so many new brewers think there's something wrong with their fermentation, because they don't see the airlock bubbling. And that's why we say not to rely on airlock bubbling or lack of it as a "sign" of fermentation. An airlock is not meant to be an accurate gauge..it's a valve to release excess co2, nothing more..the hydromter is the only true gauge...

But I've noticed that s types tend to bubble more...becasue there are no moving parts.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I second what Revvy said. I know it is taboo to say, but I do use my airlock as a fermentation gauge. If the beer is still fermenting and producing CO2, an S-type airlock WILL be bubbling. After bubbling stops, I wait a couple days, and am always at terminal gravity. Different systems for different people, but the S-types are definitely more sensitive.
 

donshizzles

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I was just given an old glass S type airlock from a brew buddy. I've always used the 3 piece airlock. How do you set up an S type airlock? Pre-fill each bubble with sanitized water/vodka?
 

ChuckO

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You can control suck back in either air lock. Just make certain that there isn't too much solution in the chamber to begin with.

Glass airlocks are neat, but be very careful when putting into rubber stoppers. If they break they can send a long, sharp tube of glass into your hand. Use glycerin to lubricate it.
 
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