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12/04/07 10:45 AM  
Re: Preventing airlock suction from drop in air pr
"It's not a make or break technique regarding fermentation performance."

Agreed. I'm looking to try it as an incremental change. Chris White seems to have very strong feelings that an open fermentation (which I'll define as a fermentation in which the headspace is air rather than CO2, rather than based on the shape or type of fermenter) is better for Belgian and estery English yeasts. So based on his comments and on some thoughts about the potential effects, I want to try it.

Also, I think the effect of a tight foil closure during high fermentation would be very similar to an airlock, as little oxygen would be able to diffuse back against the torrent of CO2 exiting the small cracks.

BTW somebody switched over to true open fermentation in a big flat shallow stainless vessel a while back. Eric maybe? Any comments on how that turned out?

12/17/07 05:43 PM  
Re: Preventing airlock suction from drop in air pr
I read a post somewhere about a guy who puts a sanitized roller ball from a computer mouse on the top of his airlock body (the base minus the cap and inside insert).

He claimed that the co2 would still easily escape during heavy fermentation, but there is no solution to worry about.

I've never tried it myself. If anyone has or does, I'd love to hear your results.

12/17/07 09:03 PM  
Re: Preventing airlock suction from drop in air pr
Funny this topic popped up again 'cause I've got a solution that some of you may like. I'm fermenting a saison right now with this setup:

Grab one of the orange vinyl carboy caps. Buy a Better Bottle Dry Trap Airlock.

Force the Dry Trap Airlock into the larger opening of the carboy cap. Keep the little white cap on the smaller opening of the carboy cap. If you want, put a 1/4" hose on the Airlocks' outlet barbed fitting and into a glass of sanitzer/water. You don't have to worry about liquid suck back because the airlock acts as a check valve.

Another bonus is the airlock ball is so light, it's almost like not having an airlock on at all. If you do submerge the hose in sanitizer, insert it just below the water surface to minimize pressure on the yeast.


12/18/07 11:16 AM  
Re: Preventing airlock suction from drop in air pr
I tried the foil--it's nice because if you have an overflow (which I did, cause I got greedy with the volume) not much happens. Also it gives whatever benefits or drawbacks come with an atmosphere of air instead of CO2. I liked it and will do it from now on I think--but will go to an airlock once fermentation starts to slow.
12/18/07 11:35 AM  
Re: Preventing airlock suction from drop in air pr
One other thing I thought of this morning was something I heard from Star San. The gist of it is that Star San becomes ineffective if the stuff has turned white and milky.

The cause is using tap or spring water, and the Star San binding to the minerals in solution.

So, unless you are using R/O or distilled water in your airlock with the Star San, vodka may be a better approach.

According to the company, if you do use a distilled from of water, Star San should keep for a very long time in plastic or stainless steel, provided you periodically check the PH and top up with extra Star San if it rises above 3.

12/24/07 10:30 PM  
Re: Preventing airlock suction from drop in air pr
I use an older S type airlock. During initial active fermentation, there is no liquid in it (but it does have it's little top on so nothing will fall into it). After fermentation slows down, I add just enough starsan to complete the trap. When I move it to cold storage, the volume is not enough to be sucked into the carboy.
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