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Primary without an airlock

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Is it ok to not use an airlock or blow off tube for my primary? The reason I'm asking is because I may be using a swamp cooler (Igloo 70 quart) that fits a 6.5 gallon carboy with only mm to spare at the top with the lid on.
My other option is to use the ole' rubbermaid bucket. Thoughts? Thank you all.

The primary reason for an airlock or blow-off tube is to prevent contamination.  Not sure how you do that without using one or the other.

Jimmy K:
Shouldn't be a problem. I'd probably put foil over the top to keep anything airborne from landing in it - at least until fermentation takes off. But there are a few pictures of completely open fermenters around this forum too.

I put a piece of aluminum foil on my carboys until the kreusen drops, then switch to an air lock.

You also don't really need to keep the lid on the swamp cooler. I never did.

Just one note of caution (very very minor caution) if you are using those stick on Liquid crystal thermo strips they do not like to be submerged in water. they will freak out and never work again. Given that they cost all of 3 bucks this is not the end of the world but can be annoying. So if you use those and a swamp cooler the water should be far enough below the top level of the beer that you can put a strip on horizontally above the water level but below the beer level.


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