airlock on primary fermenter?

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    HI,

IWe just started our first batch of wine, a Vintner reserve Merlot
kit, last night.  When we put the lid on the primary fermetner I put
the airlock in.  The directions didn't specifically say to do this,
put I figured it was part of "cover the fermenter".  After all,
there's a hole in the primary fermenter lid that the air lock seems to
fit perfectly.  Anyway, I'm now wondering if I should have left the
airlock off?  If so, should I put anything in the hole in the lid of
the primary, or leave it open to the air.  

Oh, BTW, the airlock did start bubbling about a day and a half after
we started.

Thanks,

Ken
  

Re: airlock on primary fermenter?



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You are OK doing it this way.  Some may say that you need air during the
primary but there is enough dissolved oxygen in the must.



Re: airlock on primary fermenter?


wrote:

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Most of people I know and talked to cover primary with a piece of
cheese cloth and use air lock only when must is transferred for
secondary fermentation in  a carboy.
Tee
--
Verba volant, scripta manent.

Re: airlock on primary fermenter?



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This is not necessary.  The must will have enough dissolved Oxygen for
ferment with an airlock attached.

I have done it both ways with the results the same.



Re: airlock on primary fermenter?


On Wed, 28 Dec 2005 21:12:31 -0500, "Paul E. Lehmann"

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Thanks for the feedback.  It's still bubbling away, I make my first SG
check Monday.

Ken

Re: airlock on primary fermenter?


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As you can tell, on of off it does not mater much.  I just lay a rag over
the hole.  But you should have checked the SG before you started the wine.

Ray



Re: airlock on primary fermenter?


On Thu, 29 Dec 2005 18:21:24 GMT, "Ray  Calvert"

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Oh yes, I did.  Guess I should have said "first check since
fermantation started".  My initial SG was 1.075.

Ken

Re: airlock on primary fermenter?



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Hmmmm.  That is odd, It should have been up around 1.090 to 1.100.
Especially with a kit.

Ray



Re: airlock on primary fermenter?


Ray Calvert wrote:
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Ken... u measuring in just juice?   or u got grapes buoying ur
hydrometer?  I'm with ray on the hmmmm.  did u spin the bubbles off the
hydrometer envelope?

Gene

Re: airlock on primary fermenter?



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Well, I thought I had the hydrometer working right.  definitely it was
just juice (well, concentrate and water mixed).  Actually, the range
they gave on the instructions was 1.070 - 1.085 so we were in spec.

After seven days in the primary we checked b3efore racking.
Instructions said to rack if below 1.010, we were at 1.002 so we went
ahead.  Biggest problem there was getting the syphon going.  I finally
submergede the whole tube, then put my fing on it to hold the prime.
That worked fine in the primary bucket, I'm a little worried about
getting it going from the secondary.

Ken

Re: airlock on primary fermenter?



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I really question the kit then.  A beginning SG of 1.070 would only yield
about 9.2%.   The 1.075 that you had would only yield about 9.9%.  these are
very low numbers as target values for Merlot.  If that is what the kit
instructions said, sounds like it was a poorly designed kit.

Ray



Re: airlock on primary fermenter?


Ken,

I always use an airlock on the primary.  Perhaps that's because I =
started by brewing beer.  But I'm a bit paranoid about having such a =
large surface area on the wine to pick up tastes, even through a cheese =
cloth.  The best place for me to find a stable 75 degrees, is believe it =
or not, in my furnace room.  I would worry that a cheesecloth would =
allow my wine to pick up a diesel fuel taste.  Another thing I'm =
paranoid about is fruit flies.  I would be afraid that they would have =
more opportunity to find a wrinkle in cheese cloth to crawl under.

Sometimes a cat will find its way into the room and jump up on top of =
the fermenter.  Imagine the mess that would make if she found that it =
was only a cheese cloth cover.

Consider also, that the carbon dioxide put off by fermentation will lay =
on the surface of the must, effectively cutting off contact with the =
oxygen in the air.  So any oxygen in the must used in fermentation is =
dissolved in it.  Each time I test sg, I stir the must, which will pull =
some air down in.  Never had a problem.  


John Price


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