Lately, I’ve been too “busy” (a nice way of saying “lazy”) to keep up with the beers I have in primary fermentation. I also broke a plastic airlock trying to pry it free from a stubborn bung, leaving me short this key piece of equipment. This remarkable combination of laziness and manual inadequacy has led me down the path of possible experimentation with my home brew.
First, let’s talk fermentation. I have a Belgian Dubbel that’s been sitting in primary for about six weeks. The directions call for transferring the beer to secondary and keeping it there for four weeks after primary fermentation has completed. So basically, it’s ready to be bottled now. The question is do I send it to secondary for a while, or do I go right to bottling? I’ve had some folks tell me they NEVER bother using secondary fermentation, but I don’t want to wreck the batch by not following the instructions. Plus, I’ve never tasted their beer, so who knows, right? Any insights are appreciated here.
One reason I’ve been so lax with transferring this beer to secondary is because I’m short an airlock, because I snapped the one I had been using with my secondary fermenter when I bottled my last batch. Basically, I’ve had no way of safely capping the secondary, so I haven’t used it.
I broke the airlock weeks ago and have had time to get another one, but I don’t want to pay shipping for a single item, and my “local” home brew shop is pretty far away. So instead I’ve been kind of frozen. But then I remembered a comment made by our pal Evan Burck (who makes some crazy-good homebrew) who said he uses tinfoil as airlock – I think – it was a while ago, and I might have the wrong guy and wrong info. Anyway, does this sound crazy or doable? If I can use tinfoil and rubber bands on the secondary, then I have everything I need.
Please share any insights you have on this stuff. And remember, the reason I keep screwing up is so you guys can show how accomplished you are and that others can learn from your experience. It’s not because I suck. 🙂