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Lid and Airlock?

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Stevelaz

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Im just curious as to when others snap on the lid and airlock onto their primary fermentation bucket. I usually do it around sg of 1.000. Thinking of doing it a bit sooner. Right now my reds are at sg of about 1.002-4 and my white is at 1.004-6. Also when do you rack into carboys?
 

Johnd

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Im just curious as to when others snap on the lid and airlock onto their primary fermentation bucket. I usually do it around sg of 1.000. Thinking of doing it a bit sooner. Right now my reds are at sg of about 1.002-4 and my white is at 1.004-6. Also when do you rack into carboys?
Unless I have a time issue and can't rack, I don't snap and lock the lid, but go to glass around 1.000
 

Julie

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Between 1.010 and 1.000 is when I snap the lid down and add an airlock.
 

ceeaton

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I come from a beer brewing background where the alcohol levels are lower and the chance for infections is higher, I always lock down where I can (kits in my 7.9 gal fermenter). Some say you need oxygen during fermentation, I don't buy it, but to each his own (if it works for you, why change). I just picked up a few buckets of juice, one of them, a Syrah, I got a bucket of juice and have an 18 lb lug of grapes. I'll put the grapes in a paint strainer bag an put the bucket and bag in a brute trash can, which has air slots in the lid, so I can't put it under airlock, but have never had a problem to this point. I tend to rack (or press if the batch is predominately grapes) at 1.000 if it fits into my schedule (ie. I'm at home when it hits 1.000).

If it is an all grape batch, I wait a week until I rack after pressing to let the lees collect at the bottom of the carboy (and hopefully leave them behind when I rack).
 
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cmason1957

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I treat reds and white just a little different. With whites, I start out with on open fermenter, then after a day or two pop a lid and airlock on and chill it down to about 60, drag Geneva out as long as I can. With red, it's open air (well covered in my brute) down to about 1.010 or so, then into glass for 10 days - 3 weeks.
 

pip

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I only make fruit wine and i let it ferment to dry, or 1.000 before airlock and glass. Once the must gets under 1.020 or so, i figure there is enough alcohol present to prevent most infections so i begin to relax at that point and let the yeast finish what they started. I'm sure you could go to secondary sooner and let it finish in the carboy but that's just the way i always do it and seems to work ok for me.

Having said that, i recently made a blueberry that spent nearly 5 weeks in the primary, very problematic fermentation for various reasons. I did put that under glass and airlock at about 1.010 and it finished to dry a couple of weeks later. So i've just contradicted myself...hmmm...sometimes i play it by ear?
 

richmke

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Some say you need oxygen during fermentation, I don't buy it, but to each his own (if it works for you, why change).
"The partial oxidation [of sugar] that occurs during fermentation does not require free oxygen."

C6H12O6 → 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2

"The dissolved oxygen levels in wort drop from saturation to near zero very quickly after pitching yeast, usually within 30 minutes under ideal conditions, because yeast absorbs the oxygen for eventual membrane biosynthesis. "

https://www.morebeer.com/articles/how_yeast_use_oxygen
 

sour_grapes

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Yeast are capable of oxidizing sugar anaerobically, with the reaction Rich ( @richmke ) reports above. However, if they have access to oxygen, they are also capable of oxidizing sugar aerobically (which liberates much more energy for them), resulting in complete oxidation to CO2 and H2O. Note the lack of our favorite neurotoxin in this situation. I say suffocate the bastards and give me the ethanol!
 

Stevelaz

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Ok, last evening i decided to snap the lids on my reds. The 18 gallons of merlot thats in 30 gal barrel has been showing constant action in the airlock. The carmenere in a 7.9 bucket not so much. I figured the 18 gallons has more volume so maybe it putting off more co2 gas? The sg today is at 1.000 or maybe a bit below and there is more foam than before i snapped the lid and airlock. Im wondering if i should leave the lid off another day or 2 and keep covered with towel as before...What you guys think?
 

Quicksilver

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I only make country wines right now, and I just leave a loose cover/towel on the primary BC hey, it's one less lid and airlock to wash. But in my previous winemaking life when I made strictly grape wines from juice tetrapacks, I always airlocked from day 1 and never had a failed or stuck batch.

Different strokes etc
 

richmke

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The sg today is at 1.000 or maybe a bit below ... Im wondering if i should leave the lid off another day or 2 and keep covered with towel as before.
Put the lid on. It doesn't need any more O2.
 

pete1325

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I normally lid/air lock around 1.000.......I won't rack to glass (carboys) for a couple weeks after it reaches 1.000....letting it sit on lees for a while. Pitch to rack around three weeks.....if all goes well.....ferment wise. So far, all's well.
 

sour_grapes

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"The partial oxidation [of sugar] that occurs during fermentation does not require free oxygen."

C6H12O6 → 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2

"The dissolved oxygen levels in wort drop from saturation to near zero very quickly after pitching yeast, usually within 30 minutes under ideal conditions, because yeast absorbs the oxygen for eventual membrane biosynthesis. "

https://www.morebeer.com/articles/how_yeast_use_oxygen
I just finally got around to reading the article Rich linked to. An eye-opening excerpt:

Brewers’ yeast has a very strong tendency toward fermentation and will respire only when the concentration of fermentable sugars is very low and oxygen is available. In beer making, yeast will ferment rather than respire, regardless of the oxygen concentration, because the wort usually supplies an overwhelming abundance of fermentable sugar.

...

All fermentable sugars, including fructose, maltose, and sucrose (and galactose to a limited extent), induce the Crabtree effect, but glucose exhibits the strongest effect. Brewers’ yeast is often said to prefer fermentation only when glucose levels are high, but “high” is a relative term; glucose in excess of about 0.4% (w/v) will bring on the Crabtree effect; most worts (both all-malt and adjunct) contain an excess of 1% glucose, which is more than enough glucose to induce the Crabtree effect. The other fermentable sugars present in wort induce the Crabtree effect as well (for example, a wort with an O.G. of 1.040 [10 °P] is 10% sugar). This high concentration of sugar makes it virtually impossible for brewers’ yeast to respire in wort.
I did not know that! I always assumed they would employ aerobic metabolism if they could. Good to know that is not the case! Thanks, Rich.
 

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