Lids for bucket primaries

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BillTheSlink

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Well, I am confused. Every book and the kits I got, two World Vintners, say to use lids that overhang the bucket but not to use an airlock on the primary, or in the case of the books use a plastic sheet, but the 7.9 gal wine primary bucket I got from Mid-West came with a grommet lid for an air lock. Now I am a beer brewer, and I am only assuming their thinking the wine needs air, but I also know fermentation puts off a blanket of CO2 that is heaver than air so it isn't going to get any anyway. Wouldn't a better solution be to use my oxygen air stone and tank to give the must a shot or two on day one before fermentation begins and just close the whole thing up until the next day and adding the yeast and keeping an air lock on at all times? I use the three piece air lock for primary and the plumber's trap for secondary. I don't see any other concern as nothing can get past those airlocks if you fill with cheap vodka.
 

arcticsid

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I share you qustion. I have often wondered that if yeast likes oxegen to propegate than why do some methods ask for an airlock during the primary fermentation. IMO I always ferment with just a shirt, cheese cloth or even a loose bag over the primary.

I am also curious about these airstones. I mentioned in a nother post today that I just seen those airstones in a beer making catalog and for sure understand the purpose, but I have never sen them mentioned as far as wine making is concerned.

I hope we both hear an explanation, inquiring minds want to know!

Troy
 

summersolstice

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Airstones are a good way to oxygenate the must very early on in the primary process. While I used airlocks on my primaries when I first started making wine and mead, and quite a few people do as a matter of course, they aren't needed and, in fact, may hinder a healthy primary. I use a t-shirt stretched over the primary and secured with a bungee cord.

 

cpfan

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My understanding is that sufficient oxygen can be incorporated into the must by vigourous stirring prior to pitching the yeast. This stirring helps with rehydrating the bentonite that is added at the start of most kit brands, and ensuring that the water and kit juice/concentrate are thoroughly mixed. Sort of a triple benefit thing.

Once fermentation starts, CO2 is being generated, and comes out of solution, forming a layer on top of the must/wine. My understanding is that CO2 is heavier than O2, so the O2 in air is unlikely to reach the fermenting wine unless the wine is stirred or the CO2 layer is disturbed in some other way.

Steve
 

MN-winer

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I use exactly what Solstice uses. Keeps the bugs out and the oxygen in. There are people that go both ways on this issue. I think there is more danger of not having enough oxygen than getting some bacteria or something. Most won't survive in wine anyway. Midwest is selling lots of these kits and some kits tell you to do it so I'm sure thats why they included it.
 

Dugger

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..... fermentation puts off a blanket of CO2 that is heaver than air so it isn't going to get any anyway.
I think the rationale is that the yeast action is initially aerobic and needs oxygen either from a good initial stirring or from an air source and after fermentation gets started it goes anaerobic and oxygen is then the enemy. The CO2 blanket won't be there for awhile and , indeed, is not really needed until it actually forms - it seems it knows what it's doing!!
You can still use your cover with airlock and leave it sitting loose, if you prefer.
Good luck.
 

vvolf34

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I fit an airlock in the lid just to keep bugs out and leave the lid on loose. I am still very new, but so far I have not had any problems except one time a fruit fly slipped under my lid and died on the side of the bucket. I think the shirt is a better idea as it would keep the litte buggers out better.
 

BobF

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An important point is that most musts should be stirred at least once daily during the primary ferment. This incorporates more 02 into the must while stirring up sediment for better contact. With a must that forms a cap, most recommend top stirring, to keep the all of the cap wet without stirring up sediment, but 02 is still being incorporated.
 

cpfan

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An important point is that most musts should be stirred at least once daily during the primary ferment. This incorporates more 02 into the must while stirring up sediment for better contact. With a must that forms a cap, most recommend top stirring, to keep the all of the cap wet without stirring up sediment, but 02 is still being incorporated.
Bob:

daily stirring is not usually recommended for kits unless there is something serious floating on the surface (like loose grape skins).

Steve
 
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BobF

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Bob:

daily stirring is not usually receommended for kits unless there is something serious floting on the surface (like loose grape skins).

Steve
You are corect, of course. I didn't see kit mentioned anywhere :-|
 

cpfan

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You are corect, of course. I didn't see kit mentioned anywhere :-|
Well Bob, first line of the original post says "and the kits I got, two World Vintners", so I guess I jumped to conclusion.

Steve
 

BobF

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No problem. It's good you clarified. My speed reading isn't what it used to be :)
 

Luc

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As this is in the Beginners winemaking forum I presume Bill did not ask the question just only in the case of kit making. I presume he also wants to make other things.

So I will not comment on Kits as I think you should use the manufacturers instructions for these.

When making wine from scratch things are different.
I always use a cloth fastened with a rubber band. Why ????
Well for safety reasons.
If you have a lid on with an airlock in the3 early part of fermentation and the fermentation is vigorous nasty things can happen.
The must may foam and then the pulp will rise to the surface of the wine. This might clog up the hole in which the airlock is plugged.
Pressure will build up and your primary might be on the verge of an explosion.

I speak here from experience. I have several primaries with a screw-on lid. And several years ago I had a very vigorous fermentation in a primary that I filled up a bit too much. I was back at home just in time and the whole evening busy trying to release pressure without doing any damage........

Now if you use a clog, the foam can escape through that........

Now about earation and anaerobic fermentation.

I did an article (yet to be published) on this for my web-log.
I have made several wines in which the lid was on and several which started with a cloth and the lid was later put on.
So to make sure I recently did some real tests.
Conclusion (I am now spoiling part of the web-log entry): if you make a yeast starter there will be no difference.
The story I am writing does several tests on this subject, like alcohol, colour changes, acid measuring etc etc etc.

Luc
 
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