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

Robert Lowe pngwen at acm.org
Tue Aug 27 06:17:03 PDT 2002

ulfin at portup.com wrote:

>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.
Another thing you can do is use a bit of plastic tubing and a bucket of 
water.  They way you do this is you get a rubber cork with a hole in it 
and some plastic tubing like what you would use in a fish tank.  Then 
just stopper up your fermenter and run the hose into the bucket and 
secure it to the bottom with something like caulking putty and fill it 
with water.  Voila, it regulates pressure just like a 2 piece air lock! 
 (So long as you keep the end of the hose below water level).  Also, the 
neat thing about this is you can use 1 bucket for several fermenters. 
 It's very quiet this way, no ultrasonics to bug your dog, and it looks 
pretty neat.



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