Do You Need an Airlock During Primary Fermentation?

Learning to homebrew

But, do you really have to have an airlock?

Most homebrewers take it as a given that they should have an airlock on their primary fermenter.

While it is certainly possible to brew beer without one, an airlock offers cheap insurance against infection, oxidation, and other potential problems. 

That's right - for the cost of a few bucks you'll increase the chances of brewing a delicious batch of beer.

That's because an airlock does TWO very important things for your beer during fermentation.

First - an airlock helps keep bacteria and wild yeast out of your beer.

Both of these outsiders can lead to infected beer, off-flavors, and potentially a totally ruined batch.

Second, it helps keep a layer of carbon dioxide inside the headspace of the fermenter.

This layer prevents oxygen from entering the beer after fermentation - reducing the chances of off-flavors from oxidation.

Plus, using an airlock prevents primary fermentation from being airtight - a recipe for blow outs!

For more tips, tricks, and practical advice about using an airlock during primary fermentation - check out the full article!