Tap water in the airlock?

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85 Haro Designs

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2008
Reaction score
Central PA
Do you use tapwater in your airlock or sanitzed water, or any other "specialty water".

Just curious, I've never heard any mention of what type.
I've heard plain tap water, bottled water, boiled water, and sanitized solution.
Plus vodka, whiskey, and other high alchohol liquids.

I personally use vodka. Its naturally sanitized, and if it gets sucked in, there is nothing to harm.

I use vodka. I think tap water runs the risk of contamination, espescially if temp fluctuations cause some of the water to be sucked into the wort. I dont know what the level of risk is however. I would err on the side of caution and use vodka. I worry about sanitizer-laced water negatively affecting the yeasties if some hits the wort, although I have read that this shouldnt be a problem.

Someone who has been doing this longer please chime in and correct where necessary.
Many times I use whatever is most convenient...starsan, vodka or tap water. If it's for a long secondary or whathaveya, I don't use tap water.
Since my brew consists of 3 gallons of tap water, I have never worried about tap water in the airlock. Never had any trouble.:rockin:
I use either vodka or Star San sanitizer, but if you use unboiled tap water for the brew, then tap water would probably be okay for the airlock. One thing I like about sanitizer is that if something somehow falls/floats into the airlock, if it gets sucked into the beer at least it has been sanitized.

I've always used sanitized water. But, it looks like I have good excuse to buy some vodka now.
+1 for vodka, if for no other reason than to get rid of the extra 5 o'clock vodka left over from our new year's party. :D