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No airlock! What to do?!


read 3974 times • 22 replies • posted 2/18/2012 6:33:19 PM

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drowland 6134:172
I panicked for a little bit earlier because I am out of airlocks and have to brew tomorrow. Iíve never brewed this much in my life before, and all 4 of my airlocks are being used.

I realized I can take the one off of my yeast starter and use that tomorrow, so problem is solved, but I wanted to propose the question anyway because I think itís interesting and maybe our new members can chime in on what they think.

So here is the potential situation:

I HAVE to brew tomorrow. Long story, but tomorrow is the only day, and it has to happen to be done in time for a trip.

I have no airlocks.

I HAVE to brew at 9am or earlier because of (school) required afternoon plans and the local homebrew store doesnít open until 10am.

What would you do?

1) Frantically call homebrewing friends to borrow one?
2) Have a friend go to the local store at 10am?
3) Finish brewing, cover the carboy with something (what?) and go pick one up yourself?
4) Something else?
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nathanjohnson
starsan + aluminum foil = problem solved.
2/18/2012 6:34:03 PM

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SourNut
Originally posted by nathanjohnson
starsan + aluminum foil = problem solved.


Yep. Should be fine with aluminum foil for a day or two.
2/18/2012 7:53:34 PM

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lithy 2996:156
Another plus one for foil, you could also, if you have a bung and some hose, just rig up a blow off tube into a pitcher of sanitized water.
2/18/2012 7:54:48 PM

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Swillbur 62:25
I always start my beers off with a blow off hose into starsan water
2/18/2012 7:57:44 PM

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502Che 999:47
its also compltetely fine to open ferment in a clean area. Your beer will be fine!
2/18/2012 8:06:22 PM

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bitbucket 2159:63
Originally posted by nathanjohnson
starsan + aluminum foil = problem solved.

Absolutely. People have made beer for centuries without an airlock. My grandparents used a RedWing crock, covered with boards that were tacked together, covered with a towel. Worked like a charm.
2/18/2012 8:08:16 PM

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SamGamgee 2452:182
I use foil on my starters because you want oxygen to be able to get in. Itís also fine for primary, but youíll want to let the beer mature in a sealed container once the yeast stops fermenting and producing CO2. So a few days until an airlock is freed up is fine, but I wouldnít keep foil on it for a couple weeks.
2/18/2012 9:04:30 PM

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jctribe25
Originally posted by SamGamgee
I use foil on my starters because you want oxygen to be able to get in. Itís also fine for primary, but youíll want to let the beer mature in a sealed container once the yeast stops fermenting and producing CO2. So a few days until an airlock is freed up is fine, but I wouldnít keep foil on it for a couple weeks.


Right, starters shouldnít have airlocks unless you are trying to build up something special.

Take the starters airlock or just let it open ferment.
2/18/2012 9:11:56 PM

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wnoble 1251:
If your rackin hose is 5/16" ID it will fit perfectly in your carboy bung or rubber stopper. Run it in to a glass of sanitizer and you have made your own airlock. If the yeast foams over the hose will be shot after this brew..obviously. And why use an airlock on the starter?
2/18/2012 10:25:00 PM

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drowland 6134:172
Also no extra bung in this hypothetical situation. In my personal instance, my quantity of bungs matches my quantity of airlocks.

As for airlocks on starters... no idea. Always did it that way because someone or something told me to... mostly likely a book because Iím like that, and itís always worked like a charm, so Iím not sure I see the issue? I suppose I would fear an infection? But apparently not! (I mean no sarcasm there, seriously)
2/18/2012 10:34:42 PM

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