hist-brewing: Re: "Squeaky" plum wine!

ulfin at portup.com ulfin at portup.com
Mon Aug 26 16:48:05 PDT 2002

Jeff Renner writes:

>Air locks
>are greatly over-rated - you can just remove it and replace it with
>some plastic wrap or foil.  The only thing it does is let you know
>how fast it is fermenting.  This isn't critical.  The foil or plastic
>wrap will keep nasties from creeping back into the ferment.


However, I agree with you, Jeff.  If the airlock is giving the dog
fits, replace it (the airlock, not the terrier) with a piece of
plastic wrap and a rubber band.  Airlocks are pretty nifty devices;
I don't think they're overrated, but their necessity is certainly

Air locks do give you a better seal than just a crimped piece
of foil.  When your beverage is fermenting quickly, the escaping
CO2 will keep all the nasties away even if you have a 18" opening
at the top of your fermenter.  But, as it subsides, the opening
will need to be smaller to maintain an internal pressure that is
slighly higher than the room pressure to keep the outside air
outside.  To do this with foil, you would need a way of making
it tighter and tighter over time.  An airlock, on the other hand,
regulates the pressure without needing to be adjusted.

Dan Butler-Ehle

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