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Using a check valve instead of an airlock

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MatSciGuy
premium
beers 907 º 17:07 Thu 11/15/2012

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?

 
Strykzone
premium
beers 5602 º places 111 º 18:06 Thu 11/15/2012

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.

 
chils
04:53 Sun 11/18/2012
 
CLevar
premium
places 16 º 07:43 Sun 11/18/2012

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.

 
StefanSD
beers 2218 º places 45 º 08:10 Sun 11/18/2012

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.

 
SamGamgee
premium
beers 2452 º places 182 º 08:11 Sun 11/18/2012

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.

 
lithy
beers 2996 º places 156 º 08:14 Sun 11/18/2012

For long term aging, after youíve reached terminal gravity, I donít see why a solid bung couldnít be used.

 
StefanSD
beers 2218 º places 45 º 08:19 Sun 11/18/2012

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)

 
matt7215
beers 2265 º places 71 º 16:22 Sun 11/18/2012

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

 
oteyj
beers 2139 º places 14 º 14:18 Fri 11/23/2012

Wouldnít be good for primary fermentation. High levels of c02 are toxic to yeast.

 
oteyj
beers 2139 º places 14 º 14:18 Fri 11/23/2012

Wouldnít be good for primary fermentation. High levels of c02 are toxic to yeast.

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