When to add airlock?

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Mschooley53

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I'm making my first batch of Skeeter Pee and I'm getting ready to add my slurry in the next day or so. My question is do I leave a kitchen towel on my primary after fermentation starts or do I put my lid on and add an airlock? I assume add the airlock once fermentation begins but want to make sure.

Obviously once I rack to a secondary, I will add an airlock but I wasn't sure about primary fermentation.
 

bkisel

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My guess is that you'd find most of us not locking down until we go to secondary. However, with a really good stirring of the must before pitching your yeast and locking down you'd have enough O2 to go to dry in the primary.
 

NorCal

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I have found that Skeeter needs oxygen to help it through fermentation, so open bucket, towel, stir a few times a day. When you approach the end, tight lid an airlock. The CO2 produced during the vigorous activity phase of fermentation will protect the must, with the towel allowing the gas to escape.
 

BernardSmith

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Many others may disagree but in my opinion it is better (and easier) to simply cover your primary with a cloth or lid without sealing the wine from the air . You want to be able to stir the wine a couple of times a day and if you bang home a bung and an airlock it'll be more a burden than if you keep it loosely covered.
Not entirely sure why brewers tend to avoid providing their yeast with access to oxygen (although they have a legitimate fear of bacterial infections that in the presence of wort will produce lactic acid rather than alcohol) but wine makers tend to argue that providing the yeast with oxygen (and so allowing the yeast to focus as much on reproducing as on excreting alcohol) is beneficial during active fermentation. And during active fermentation the yeast will consume that oxygen faster than any bacteria will be able to make use of it to convert alcohol into vinegar .
 

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