primary fermenter question

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Dec 20, 2008
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Hello, I just purchased a wine making kit. I have a question. With the primary fermenter, the directions say to after adding the ingredients, snap on the lid and attach the air lock. The kit that I received the lid has no space for an air lock. What can I do to get around this. I put all the ingredients in today and just put the lid on. Will this be okay? or do i need the airlock?
You need to take the lid off as onc fermentation begins it makes C02 and that gas needs to escape and the wine needs 02 during primary fermentation for the yeast to multiply. Kits have you snap the lid on with an airlock and that way does work fine as thats what I do and have never had a problem and Im on kit #200 or more, You will need to drill a 1" in the top using a forstner bit(drill Bit, do not use a spade bit as it will tear up your lid) and then buy a #2 drilled rubber bung and insert airlock in there, it works much better then the lids with a rubber gromet anyway so cosider this a blessing as all the primaries I bought had leaks where the grommets were installed so I had to redrill them an thats tough when there is already a hole there.
Here's the answer that I just provided at the RJ Spagnols forum.

There are two styles of primary fermenter. Personally I prefer a large fermenter with a loose cap and no air lock. Others prefer the tight cap with air lock.

It should make no difference to the results.

I didn't see the question at winepress yet. :p

Look at the lid it probably has some ribs that hold it away from the pail thus allowing the CO2 to escape. Thus you wouldn't need to drill the hole that Wade suggested.

Will it be okay

I just put all the ingredients in the fermenter today. If i do need to drill a hole. Will it be okay sealed for tonight? And then i can drill the hole tmw.
Air escape

How can i tell exactly. The lid looks like it is sealed on the pail pretty tight.

Should i drill the hole to be safe? And will the lid be safe for tonight sealed all up and i will drill the hole tmw?

I bought the kit from click a brew . Com
I would just rest the lid on there tonight, If it weere to start fermenting you ould have a bomb on your hands. I like to snap the lid on as I have a cat that sneaks into my wine making room and will sit on anything and I just dont trust the lid being loose as bugs could get in there but Id rather havea bug in there then a bomb explode in my basement.

If i purchased a wine making kit do you think this lid is one that i can snap on and it will let the air leak out.
I have never seen that before, mine snap on tightand have a rubber gasket that makes it air tight. I think Cp was just saying that you could rest the lid on there and that would prevent any bugs from getting in. I have 3 different kind of primaries so i guessing they are all the same and that youll just have to rest in on withou snapping it down, maybe you could even pull the rubber gasket out.
I'm a little frustrated here because the same discussion is going on here and at the rj spagnols site, and I'm not sure where to answer. Based on a quick review of the click a brew site, they do not sell the primary that I am talking about. Also, there is no picture or comment of what is included in the starter kit.

I would just put the lid on loose or cover with cheesecloth (or similar).

I just posted a reply in the equipment part of this forum.

Please do not cross-post.

dealer says

today i called the company and they told me that i can just lay the lid ontop of the primary fermenter. they told me that only the gases need to escape and by laying the lid on the fermenter will allow this and keep anything from fallin in. they told me all primary fermenters are starting to come with only a lid like this.\
so i have to leave the wine in the primarry fermenter for 14 days with just the lid covering it loosly and then transfer to a carboy..\

what you guys think

can anyone suggest some good wine kits to get. what is the best company? grand cru????

looking for some good red wines and possibly some ice wine or white wines. can someone give me a suggestions on some brands and names.
14 days with the lid just layed on there is too long, I would drill the lid and put it under airlock after 5- 7 days. Some of these kits will be done fermenting right around then and then they will be susceptible to 02. If you dont want to drill the hole then watch it carefully with hydrometer and once it stops fermenting close the lid and wait or rack it to a carboy with SG of around 1.020 and put bung and airlock on.
28 day kit

this kit i bought is a 28 day kit and the instructions say to leave the wine in the primary fermenter for 14 days and then transfer it to the carboy.

should i be taking it out of the fermenter earlier?
The problem is is that you dont want a wine that is done fermenting to have access to 02 and with the lid just resting there this is what is happening, you either should drill the lid to except an airlock or transfer it into a carboy once fermentation is complete or almost complete. RJS kits are the only kits that have you keep the wine in there for that long.
It helps the lees(sediment) settle out better and also makes the wine much easier to degas.

Day 3 after pitching your yeast should still have your wine actively fermenting. There is probably more then enough CO2 being produced to not have any effect on your wine.
At this stage of the game the 02 is actually good for your wine, after it hits about an sg of 1.030 is when you really want to start protecting it from 02.

so wade, then you think by taking the lid off today to drill and install the airlock wont affect the wine at all?

i like the airlock, u can see the bubbles going into the water before they escape.

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