View Full Version : 3 piece airlock...

10-02-2007, 05:13 PM
...How does it work?
I've never used one before. I had an "S" airlock, but after doing some research, a lot of people seem to like the 3 piece airlock better, so I thought I'd give it a shot. The problem? Well, like most unfamiliar products, I'm not sure what I'm doing.

I feel like a tard asking this. :tard:
I saw how it looked, and I assumed that the lid on it is supposed to be off while in use. Is it supposed to bubble like the "S" airlock? If it is, then I think I have a stuck fermentation.

10-02-2007, 05:35 PM
They're pretty simple really. Fill it with the liquid of your choice until it starts to run out the center. Give it a little shake to bring the level down a bit (to account for temp and pressure flucuations), add the little conical thing and put the lid on. The lid keeps the little conical thing from escaping so it is definitely required. It keeps the float in place. There should be a couple of small holes in the lid to let excess gas out.

As gas enters the airlock, it will push the little conical thing up until the gas can escape out the holes along the bottom of the conical thing, at which time it will fall back down to be lifted up again. So, no, it doesn't bubble like an S-lock. It bubbles in its own way.

10-02-2007, 05:41 PM
if you have bubbles with the S airlock and not the 3 piece, maybe it's just misassembled.
If you don't have bubbles with either, maybe the fermentation vessel/airlock assembly is not airtight (had that problem with the rubber ring on my plastic vats) It's easy to spot, just wet the joints witk watered soapdish, if you see bubbles there you'e not airtight and bubbles escape by another way than the airlock.

If all that is checked and you still have no bubbles, check out the SG - maybe fermentation is over yet, though it's early for your batch (about a week and a half unless I'm mistaken ? )

Now that you have an hydrometer, what's the SG ?

If it's anywhere over 1080, go for a good shake once again ;D

10-02-2007, 06:03 PM
OK, so put the lid back on. Got it.

I have an S-lock on the Natural Sack Mead, whitch is still making bubbles.
I had to make my Cyser early. Again, like a tard, I wasn't thinking about the fact the the cider I got was raw, no chemical processing. It started to ferment on it's own, so I made the cyser using bread yeast this morning, since the yeast I ordered for it hadn't come yet. Knowing my luck, it'll be here tomorrow. Anyway, the 3 piece airlock is on the Cyser.

I don't have the hydrometer yet either, I'll get it when I get the yeast. But I will take a reading from both as soon as I get it.

Got the lid back on the the air-lock. The inner peice is a little off center, so I am getting bubbles. :laughing7: It's one bubble per 30 seconds. But my problem seems to be fixed. Thanx!

04-10-2008, 01:50 PM
How often approximately should a 3 piece air lock bubble on a 2 gallon vat with one gallon must to indicate proper fermentation going on ?

04-10-2008, 02:06 PM
Welcome to GotMead?! Sideaxe!

Bubbles mean nothing. They are just an indicator of activity. If it's bubbling, it's fermenting! But then again, if you have leaks, it may be fermenting but not bubbling. Does that make sense?

If you put your ear up to your carboy, can you hear a hissing sound? That's fermentation. When you look inside your vat, do you see bubbles rising in the must and foam on top? That's fermentation.

With one gallon of must in a two gallon vat, you have a lot of head space that will take a while to fill with CO2 so you may see a long lag before your airlock bubbles. And again, that assumes you have tight seals. You should be fine during primary (active fermentation) but definitely think about racking into a smaller vessel for your secondary.

For best results, use a hydrometer to check your rate of fermentation. Hydrometers are cheap and are indispensable for making meads. It will be your best friend!

There's more info here in The NewBee Guide. (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14)