Airlock required?

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biffabear

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Hi i have just purchased a Mangrove jacks and a Gozdawa lager kits . The instructions say to use an airlock on the fermenting bin . I usually buy coopers kits and have never used an airlock .Would it be ok to ferment as i normally do?
 

Pete Mc

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Can only think there is some way the CO2 produced as part of the fermentation is escaping the bin already with the coopers kit. An airlock would allow the gas to escape easier.
 

foxy

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Hi i have just purchased a Mangrove jacks and a Gozdawa lager kits . The instructions say to use an airlock on the fermenting bin . I usually buy coopers kits and have never used an airlock .Would it be ok to ferment as i normally do?
I never used an airlock on my old fermenters just some cling wrap.
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Certainly not required, I wouldn't have thought. Some people just "crack" the lid. I must confess, I use one out of habit, but without being able to justify it.
 

scomet

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Lots just use cling wrap, you dont want a fruit fly in your beer + I like the bubble bubble its sounds like beer. Certainly not an indication fermentation is finished though...
 

An Ankoù

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I don't often use an airlock at the beginning of fermentation, but The lids of my FVs are all drilled ready to take one. I stick a bit of rolled up kitchen towel or cotton wool in there to keep the nasties out. If the hole looks like clogging I'll loosen the lid.
Many traditional breweries used open fermentation of some sort, but I think this really depends on the ability to get a thick head of yeast within a few hours of pitching. Moreover, not much else goes on in a brewery except brewing-unlike you kitchen, for example.
 

Galena

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Many traditional breweries used open fermentation of some sort, but I think this really depends on the ability to get a thick head of yeast within a few hours of pitching.
This I think is the critical bit, so far as I have read, people often say you don't need an airlock referring to Yorkshire squares, but the yeast they used gave a nice protective layer, and afaik they were more careful once it went into secondary. Having said that so long as you protect it as either @An Ankoù or @foxy suggested it will be fine, I always use an airlock on my FV because of habit and also why not seeing as I have them readily available? An airlock is rarely used on a yeast starter for example just a bit of baking foil, bacteria can't crawl in it has to fall in I believe.
 
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What fermenter do you use? IIRC the bucket in the Coopers starter kit set didn't use an airlock. It was a three piece unit, main bin, insert to bin, and lid. The lid was sealed to the insert, but the insert did not create a full seal when placed into the main body of the bin. CO2 could escape, but presumably they were happy that the design meant the gap was too small for anything to get in.
 

Sadfield

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An airlock is basically a one way valve that maintains a headspace of Co2 in the fermenter, so that when active primary fermentation ends there is no access for oxygen to your beer. Without it, once the yeast stops producing Co2, it will start disperse into the atmosphere. Admittedly, slowly if through a loose fitting lid. As most homebrewers secondary and condition in the same vessel, avoiding oxygen ingress is ideal, although many survive without one.


In the case of open fv's, they're only open during primary fermentation, when there's still some requirement for oxygen to promote yeast growth and ester formation, and for the dispersal of unwanted off flavours and co2, which restricts ester formation. That's my understanding and experience.

Personally, I use one if not racking to a secondary fv.
 
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