Airlocks

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daveooph131

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I have read that you need to put vodka or water around the airlock when inserting it into the carboy. Is this true, and if so why do we need to do this?
 

llazy_llama

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After inserting the airlock, you do want to fill it with vodka or water and sanitizer. Otherwise, it's not really locking out air, which is the only reason to use one.

I emphasise adding the vodka or sanitizer after you put the airlock into place because if it's added before, the change in pressure will most likely cause suckback, dumping the contents into your fermenter.
 

llazy_llama

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You... umm... stick the airlock into the stopper or grommet...

Then you pour in some water and sanitizer or vodka?

I'm unclear on which part of this is causing you trouble.

Edited: If you really need me to, I can break this down into a military-style "by the numbers," approach, but I don't want to come off as an elitist jerk who's talking down to you in explaining what is essentialy putting the round peg into the round hole.
 
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daveooph131

daveooph131

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I think I was confused on termanology a bit...Also, I have not started brewing. I'll do it on Saturday so maybe that will help. I guess when I looked at the airlock earlier it didn't appear I could put anything in it? I need to go home and look at the setup closer.

Do you recommend vodka over water or does it matter?

Don't worry about being an elitist jerk...I've never done this before at all, and you have much more experiance so anything you say will be helpful.
 

llazy_llama

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Ah, yeah. I didn't really make the connection between this post and the post where you were asking for advice on starter equipment. Basically your airlock will have a small lid on the top that you can pop off and pour liquid into. If you can find a close up picture of an airlock somewhere, you'll see what I'm talking about.

As for using water+sanitizer Vs. using vodka, it's a personal preference thing. I like to use vodka, simply because if I run out of vodka, it's not the end of the world. If I use up all my sanitizer filling airlocks, come brew day I might be screwed. Vodka does tend to cost more (since you'll only need a few drops of sanitizer into an airlock full of water) and it does evaporate faster so you'll have to keep an eye on that and keep it filled.

Oh, almost forgot, your airlock should have a line on it that shows you exactly how much liquid needs to go inside. Overfilling isn't a huge problem, although a few drops might bubble out.
 
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daveooph131

daveooph131

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That was helpful...Thank you!

One last question - I assume the airlock must be sanatised completely before inserting into the stopper right?
 
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