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do I need an airlock? do I need to sterilise I new fermentation bin?

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Inspector-71

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I am confused a little making my first lager

I went to a local homebrew shop yesterday to buy a fermenting bing (5 gall) and was told it doesn't need an airlock. I was also told that sterilisation on a new container was unnecessary.

Everything else I have read seems to contradict this so I would appreciate some advice.

Thanks
 

stale

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When in doubt sanitize! anything that is new should be sanitized. You don't have any idea of where it has been stored. Opps, also, you should put an airlock that you are fermenting to keep out any oxygen
 
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Inspector-71

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Thanks for the reply.

If I don't have an airlock and am using a sealed bucket - how does oxygen get in?

Will the lid be forced of the bucket by the CO2? This is why I can't understand why I was specifically told i didn't need the airlock - just bad advice?

Also, (and this is probably covered in a sticky somewhere but while I'm typing I'll ask), have you got a recommendation for sterilising solution?
 

caver95

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Thanks for the reply.

If I don't have an airlock and am using a sealed bucket - how does oxygen get in?

Will the lid be forced of the bucket by the CO2? This is why I can't understand why I was specifically told i didn't need the airlock - just bad advice?

Also, (and this is probably covered in a sticky somewhere but while I'm typing I'll ask), have you got a recommendation for sterilising solution?
Yes the lid would blow off the bucket. The gas has to go somewhere. San star works great for sanitizing. Check out How to Brew - By John Palmer
you can read most of the book for free, but def worth the money.
 
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Inspector-71

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Thanks, I'll check that out and also use a different local shop from now on!
 

EvilTOJ

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Even when fermentation is done, you still need an airlock to allow CO2 to escape. There is still a lot of CO2 in suspension in the beer, and it doesn't take much temperature change for it to work its way out and pop the lid/bung off. And before you ask, NO don't shake it to get rid of the CO2, that's a great way to oxidize your beer (especially in a bucket where there's a lot of air contact)

Star-san is a good sanitizer, along with idophor. ALways sanitize everything post-boil!
 

Flyin' Lion

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Another good sanitizer that hasn't been mentioned yet is Onestep. It's basically similar to Oxyclean. But, I've gone to using Starsan because most people here do...and I want to fit in.
 

nakros

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I have a couple of primaries that do not need airlocks. The lids snap down, but don't make an air-tight seal. An airlock in this case would be pointless and would never bubble.

Perhaps your LHBS sold you a bucket without an air-tight lid?

I definitely wouldn't trust their advice on the sanitizing though.
 

malkore

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Yes, you have received bad advice from the store.
REALLY bad advice. It could be that the employee just doesn't know diddly. If it was the owner...stay clear of that store in the future.

If their advice is that poor, their ingredients are probably suspect (old, improperly stored, etc)
 

talenos

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Technically the guy is right. You don't need to sterilize, but you do need to sanitize. The wording is confusing though.


Not Exactly Sterile
Let's begin by defining some terms. Many brewers talk about sterilizing their brewing equipment when they really mean sanitizing. Unless you have an autoclave or can bake the item for an extended period of time you aren't really sterilizing. To sterilize means to eliminate all forms of life, especially microorganisms, either by chemical or physical means. None of the sanitizing agents used by homebrewers to kill microorganisms are capable of eliminating all bacterial spores and viruses. Instead of worrying about sterilization, homebrewers can be satisfied if they consistently reduce these contaminants to negligible levels.
 
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Inspector-71

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I went to an alternative store in the area and had a chat, got some sterilizer and an airlock and got everything set up last night.

The new shop is much more pro looking and after chatting for a bit it seems the original shop is somewhat renowned for going downhill and giving bad advice.

I am only thankful that I chose to question the initial advice and grateful for the advice received here and in the new shop. Hopefully brew no.1 will be successful now!
 

lemonsoju

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I bought an equipment kit from Tokyu Hands io Japan. It's made by youngsubrew and also doesn't have an airlock.

I also thought this strange but in the Japanese instructions it says something like "gas with escape through the seal between the lid and the bucket".

I'm doing my first brew at the moment. The lid bulges up - when I push down on it, I hear gas escaping from between the lid and bucket, so gas is coming out. I'm guessing that since the pressure is one way (gas going outward), oxygen isn't going to get in.

Anyone else have experience with kit like this?
 

kaiser423

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I bought an equipment kit from Tokyu Hands io Japan. It's made by youngsubrew and also doesn't have an airlock.

I also thought this strange but in the Japanese instructions it says something like "gas with escape through the seal between the lid and the bucket".

I'm doing my first brew at the moment. The lid bulges up - when I push down on it, I hear gas escaping from between the lid and bucket, so gas is coming out. I'm guessing that since the pressure is one way (gas going outward), oxygen isn't going to get in.

Anyone else have experience with kit like this?
No experience with a kit like that, but stop pressing down the lid! When you let go the lid will probably pop back up a little bit, and it will suck air in. I have a bucket with a slightly distended lid, and if I or my wife set something on top of it for a second (even something light), it pushes the lid down a bit. When we take it off it will suck all the air lock water into the brew plus a good chunk of oxygen.

Be patient, and just let it sit!
 
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