Author Topic: Do I need to fill the airlock ?  (Read 4103 times)

Offline JKL

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Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« on: May 09, 2011, 10:06:39 AM »
Good brew day yesterday.  We worked out most of the kinks in the new system.  Pumped 11 gallons of O'fest into the Freezementer.  That's right,  NO MORE CARBOY LIFTING!  I put on freezer on wheels....best brew gadget to date.  Anyway, I noticed last night that both airlocks got some water sucked back into the fermenters.  Not sure why?  Too cold? This never happened in my old fridge.    Should I just leave the airlocks (3 piece) dry until fermentation starts or until it's almost complete for that matter?
-J.K.L.

Offline gmac

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 10:11:07 AM »
What was the temp when you put it in the freezer?  I'm assuming as it cooled it shrunk in volume and sucked the water into the beer.  I use cheap vodka for that reason, at least it's clean.  I don't see why you wouldn't want to add more water now that the temperatures have stabilized. 

Offline denny

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 10:11:56 AM »
I don't see a need to have liquid in them, really.  It's not like anything can get in.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 10:16:30 AM »
Well, I'm certainly not gonna argue with Denny.

Offline denny

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 10:19:00 AM »
Well, I'm certainly not gonna argue with Denny.

Oh, c'mon...it's fun and easy!   ;D
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline gmac

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 10:20:42 AM »
Well, I'm certainly not gonna argue with Denny.

Oh, c'mon...it's fun and easy!   ;D
No it's not!

Offline weithman5

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 10:22:42 AM »
now that i am fermenting in 1 gallon plastic bottles, i have just started putting the cap on tight after the first few days of fermentation. then i just loosen it when the bottle feels hard and let it vent.  i usually have put vodka in the airlocks in the past but when i pick up a plastic bucket or the bottle it tends to suck the liquid in.  it is fun to hear the liquid bubble though ::)
Don AHA member

Offline denny

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 10:23:19 AM »
Well, I'm certainly not gonna argue with Denny.

Oh, c'mon...it's fun and easy!   ;D
No it's not!

THAT'S the response I was hoping for....cue Monty Python!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline JKL

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 10:38:35 AM »
I don't see a need to have liquid in them, really.  It's not like anything can get in.

That's what I was thinking, I just wanted an expert opinion. It looks like I got it ;)
-J.K.L.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 03:15:45 PM »
I don't see a need to have liquid in them, really.  It's not like anything can get in.
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana (and fermenting wort).

They carry lots of microbes with them that will get in your beer.  I don't have any fruit flies at my house, they're not common in our climate this time of year.  But they can easily contaminate a batch.  Fill your airlock if your concerned about them or other bugs.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Pinski

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2011, 04:16:42 PM »
I don't see a need to have liquid in them, really.  It's not like anything can get in.
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana (and fermenting wort).

They carry lots of microbes with them that will get in your beer.  I don't have any fruit flies at my house, they're not common in our climate this time of year.  But they can easily contaminate a batch.  Fill your airlock if your concerned about them or other bugs.

+1  Why leave the door open?  Plus, they make bubbles.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 07:30:50 PM »
Yes it shrank when it cooled and sucked the water in. Now refill with new water. Bubbles........ ;D
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2011, 08:18:40 PM »
Put a loose piece of saran wrap or aluminum foil over the top until the temperature of the beer and the surrounding environment equalize.  Then put the airlock on it.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2011, 08:27:19 PM »
Or use an s-type airlock and just fill it enough to form a seal.  It can't get sucked back in, it will bubble in either direction.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline JKL

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Re: Do I need to fill the airlock ?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 06:21:49 AM »
The beer was 73F when it went into the carboys.  It took about 8 hrs to get to pitching temp.  For ales it should be half that I'm guessing?  The freezer itself is probably less than 20F.  I don't think any bugs can live in that kind of environment?  I think next time I'll go dry for the initial cooling stage then put the water when everything equalizes.  Thanks for the suggestions and the reasoning, guys!

-J.K.L.