If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.
A three-piece airlock is a simple and effective way to prevent contaminants from entering your fermenting vessel. The three pieces are a plug, a rubber grommet, and a screw. Understanding how to use a 3 piece airlock is important for any brewer since it’s one of the most basic tools.
- How to Use a 3 Piece Airlock
- Step by Step Process of Using the Airlock
- Why You Should Use an Airlock
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Use a 3 Piece Airlock
To use the three-piece airlock effectively, you must know all the components of the apparatus and how they work together. The three-piece airlock comprises a rubber gasket, a plastic or metal screw cap, and a plastic or metal base. The rubber gasket is placed over the mouth of the bottle, and the screw cap is screwed onto the threads of the bottle. Finally, the base is placed over the top of the screw cap.
To use the three-piece airlock, first wet the rubber gasket with clean water. This will create a seal between the rubber gasket and the mouth of the bottle. Next, screw the screw cap onto the threads of the bottle. Be sure to screw the cap on tightly, so there is no air leakage. Finally, place the base over the top of the screw cap.
The purpose of this device is to allow carbon dioxide to escape from the bottle while preventing oxygen from entering the bottle. Carbon dioxide is produced when yeast is fermenting sugar. Oxygen is present in the air and can cause fermentation to stop.
Step by Step Process of Using the Airlock
Using this equipment requires steps and procedures to be followed in order to work properly. If these are not adhered to, then the airlock will not work as intended and might cause problems during your brewing process. The following are the steps that you will need to take to get the best out of your airlock:
Add the Stopper and the Airlock With the Smaller Side Down
The first step is to add the airlock to the stopper. Do this by holding the airlock with the small side pointing downwards. Once you have a firm grip, insert it into the stopper. If you are having trouble getting it in, try using a little bit of force. The airlock should fit snugly into the stopper.
Most of the airlocks that you will encounter will have a small and a large side. It is important that you add the airlock to the stopper with the small side pointing downwards. This is because the small side is the one that will release the pressure that builds up inside the container.
Sanitize the Airlock
The second step is to sanitize the airlock. This is an important step because you do not want any contaminants getting into your brew. There are a few ways that you can sanitize the airlock. One way is to boil it for about 5 minutes. Another way is to use a sanitizer that is designed for brewing equipment.
Most brewers like using a non-rinse sanitizer because it is easy to use and does not require any additional steps. Whichever sanitizer you choose, make sure that you follow the instructions on the packaging.
Fill the Airlock With Water
The next thing is to fill the airlock with water. You can use any type of water for this purpose; however, it is recommended that you use distilled water. This is because it is less likely to contain impurities that can contaminate your brew.
When filling the water, ensure you leave at least an inch of space at the top. This allows for the water’s expansion when the pressure inside the container starts to build up. It also prevents the water from being forced out of the airlock when this happens.
Attach the Airlock to the Container
Once you have added the water, it is time to attach the airlock to the container. The airlock should fit snugly on the outside of the stopper. If it is not a tight fit, then you will need to get a new airlock, as this one will not work properly.
Once the airlock is in place, you will need to check that it is sealed correctly. This is to prevent any air or contaminants from getting into the container. The easiest way is to put your finger over the small hole on the airlock and try to suck the air out. If you can do this, then the airlock is not sealed correctly and will need to be replaced.
The final step is to check that the airlock is pointing in the right direction. This is important as it ensures the pressure is released through the small hole on the airlock and not through the stopper. If the airlock is pointing in the wrong direction, then you will need to remove it and start again.
Let the Airlock Do Its Job
Now that you have everything set up, all you need to do is let the airlock do its job. This means that you will need to leave your brew to ferment for the required amount of time. The yeast will eat the sugar and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide during this time.
The carbon dioxide will escape through the airlock, and the alcohol will stay in the container. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the type of brew that you are making.
When the fermentation process is complete, you will need to remove the airlock and stopper from the container. This prevents the build-up of pressure inside the container, which can cause the lid to blow off. Once you have removed the airlock, you can then bottle your brew or transfer it to a keg.
Why You Should Use an Airlock
A 3-piece airlock is an essential piece of equipment for any brewer, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro. You don’t want to gamble with your brew by not using one, and you certainly don’t want to risk contaminating it. The following are some of the reasons why you should use an airlock:
- It prevents contaminants from getting into your brew: One of the main reasons for using an airlock is to prevent any contaminants from getting into your beer. This is because the airlock creates a barrier between the outside world and your brew.
- It allows carbon dioxide to escape: Another reason for using an airlock is to allow the carbon dioxide to escape. This is a by-product of fermentation, and if it is not allowed to escape, then it can cause your brew to become over-carbonated.
- It prevents the build-up of pressure: The pressure inside the container can build up during fermentation, and if this is not released, then it can cause the lid to blow off. The airlock prevents this by releasing the pressure through the small hole.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need a Lid on Airlock?
Yes, you need a lid on the airlock to prevent contaminants from getting into your brew. The airlock creates a barrier between the outside world and your brew, so it is important to keep the lid on at all times.
Do You Need an Airlock for Homebrewing?
Yes, you need an airlock for homebrewing to prevent contaminants from getting into your brew and allow the carbon dioxide to escape. It also prevents the build-up of pressure inside the container, which can cause the lid to blow off.
An airlock is a vital piece of equipment for any brewer, and a 3-piece airlock is the most popular type. It is easy to use and very effective at preventing contaminants from getting into your brew. So, if you’re not using an airlock, then you should definitely consider using one.