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Using a check valve instead of an airlock


read 1733 times • 11 replies • posted 11/15/2012 5:07:26 PM

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MatSciGuy 907:
Has anyone ever thought about doing this? Would be nice to never have to worry about the airlock drying out. The only thing I wonder is that with the typically low pressure differential for longer term conditioning will there be an appreciable amount of oxygen able to diffuse or leak across the membrane into the fermenter...

Any thoughts?
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Strykzone 4931:101
An airlock will allow fermentation without pressure buildup. A check valve will not allow any kind of pressure to escape and the container could fail.
11/15/2012 6:06:43 PM

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chils
11/18/2012 4:53:09 AM

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CLevar 376:10
Originally posted by Strykzone
An airlock will allow fermentation without pressure buildup. A check valve will not allow any kind of pressure to escape and the container could fail.


Wait, what?

Pretty sure the point of a check valve is to release pressure once a certain threshold has been reached...similar to what happens when the pressure is able to overcome the water weight in a more traditional airlock.
11/18/2012 7:43:46 AM

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StefanSD 2131:45
A check valve could be made to work depending on the type. But, the cost of a check valve is significantly more than an airlock and it wont do a better job.
11/18/2012 8:10:57 AM

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SamGamgee 2452:182
Is this for long-term aging? if so, then itís a good idea and what most breweries use. Might be sketchy with a glass carboy though, as you need to be certain that the release threshold is very low so it goes off before glass breakage, which doesnít take much.

Both of those options from Midwest look good though.
11/18/2012 8:11:23 AM

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lithy 2996:156
For long term aging, after youíve reached terminal gravity, I donít see why a solid bung couldnít be used.
11/18/2012 8:14:28 AM

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StefanSD 2131:45
Originally posted by SamGamgee
Is this for long-term aging? if so, then itís a good idea and what most breweries use. Might be sketchy with a glass carboy though, as you need to be certain that the release threshold is very low so it goes off before glass breakage, which doesnít take much.

Both of those options from Midwest look good though.


Yep, most check valves have a spring that returns the stopper to the closed position. This spring is preset for a certain amount of water pressure, and would need adjustment or modification to pop at about 5 psi positive air pressure. (The 5 psi is kinda of best guess, but you get the idea)
11/18/2012 8:19:10 AM

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matt7215 2173:68
Originally posted by lithy
For long term aging, after youíve reached terminal gravity, I donít see why a solid bung couldnít be used.


this most certainly can be done but isnt necessary
11/18/2012 4:22:39 PM

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oteyj 2130:14
Wouldnít be good for primary fermentation. High levels of c02 are toxic to yeast.
11/23/2012 2:18:05 PM

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oteyj 2130:14
Wouldnít be good for primary fermentation. High levels of c02 are toxic to yeast.
11/23/2012 2:18:06 PM

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