substitute for airlock

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Am located in India and was looking to brew my own ale.

Acquired a taste for these during my stay in the west.

Now I am trying to setup my home brewing operation and will need to
improvise on a lot of things!

is there a good alternative for an airlock? I read about someone using
a sterilized plastic bag with rubber bands to seal the fermenting jar.

Please advise.


Re: substitute for airlock

Aluminum foil works well also.



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Re: substitute for airlock says...
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If you can't get your hands on a proper airlock (and they are cheap and
readily available online), you can "build your own"...

Drill a small hole in the top of your fermenter container.  Plug it with
a cork.  Drill out the center of the cork large enough for a piece of
flexible tubing of some sort.  Stick one end of the flexible tubing in
the "cork hole".  Put the other end of the tubing (immerse it) in a cup
of sanitized water (a little bleach added to water will do the trick).  
Airlock!  The idea is to give your fermenting brew an outlet for the CO2
that it will be generating during the fermentation process, while still
preventing exposure to outside air.

Re: substitute for airlock

cool! nice idea!

i was thinking along the same lines but could not figure why the
airlocks (plastic/glass) had these weird shapes etc! when all that was
needed was a way for CO2 to get out without air getting in!

thanks a ton!

jrprice wrote:
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Re: substitute for airlock

As Phil Miller already said, clear kitchen plastic wrap works very well.
You just
need to make a small hole into it with a pin so that the CO2 has a way
to get
out. All you need in addition to the plastic wrap is a long rubber band
to keep it
in place.

I once made a stout using this method, but didn't have a suitable
rubber band
available so I tried using regular string. This didn't work out very
well, since the
stout fermented very agressively. Here you can find a couple pictures:


* Hevimees - bad spelling since 2004 *
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Re: substitute for airlock

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I use clear plastic kitchen wrap for every brew. Have done for years. My airlock
and the screw on lid for the fermenter are in the bottom of the cupboard. The
rubber ring from the lid is ideal to secure the wrap in place. Never had a
problem. And you can see what's going on inside. Got some pictures if you're

You say your fermenter is a jar? How big is the opening?

To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.
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Re: substitute for airlock

not sure how big the jar will be! still planning on what all I would

pics would be nice


Phil Miller wrote:
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Re: substitute for airlock

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Have a look at; Basic setup. Fermenter, kitchen wrap and O-Ring from lid. Close up of same. One advantage of this method is that you can see what's going on inside. This is
a Ginger beer just after pitching the yeast. Stout just after pitching the yeast. Slightly different angle. Day 1. Fermentation is vigorous. I don't bother with the pin prick in the wrap anymore. This is showing how the
pressure has pushed the wrap up. No big deal. Day 2. Still bubbling away madly. Day 3. Bubbles, but less active. A stout is a bad example, cause you can't see
the bubbles as easily, but they are there. Day 4 etc. Less and less bubbles. When the beer starts to look clear (which is
hard to tell with a stout) it's time to check the gravity and maybe keg (I HATE
washing bottles!) the beer. These next couple were taken as the beer was running out into the keg, just to
show how strong the wrap is and how good the seal can be. Ditto. Ditto. The production line. Heat retention. Space blanket and working yeast = about 23C.

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Re: substitute for airlock

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You're welcome.

Jeez. I'm glad I went to the trouble to do that.

24 beers in a carton. 24 hours in a day. Hmmmm.......

Re: substitute for airlock

Rahul K. Vachher wrote:
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If you have a fermenter with a small opening and large volume, you can
put a rubber stopper in the neck with a hole for a small funnel, then
drop a small SOFT rubber ball in the funnel. You will get a good-enough
seal to incoming air, but as CO2 pressure builds the ball will lift
slightly and let the pressure out.

There are many things which will work, the idea is to have a one way
value to vent pressure and not let bacteria back in. The standard
bubbler is the most convenient way to do that but not the only one.

Be aware that temperature control is improtant, too cool means long
ferment and good beer, too hot means odd fruit flavors or even dead
yeast. Plan ahead and good luck.

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