Introduction: DIY Bottle Airlock

Picture of DIY Bottle Airlock

I'm in the process of learning to ferment things and want to share a few things I figured out as I go. I am just trying to make it easier for others to 'try' their hand at fermenting things.
In this 'ible, I'll be showing how I sealed a bottle so with a standard air lock. No fancy tools, no serious investment, and no need for fancy machines to do the work for me.

Disclaimer: I can not guarantee that this will seal your bottles, use your own discretion. Also, I have yet to try anything I have fermented, only for lack of time. I spent a year thinking about making something, and only finally started making mead. I am under the impression that fermentation should be something easy, and is rather dummy proof. I may be wrong, we will see in a few months when my stuff becomes ready. :p

Step 1: Answering Questions

I'm guessing some good questions will come up, and I'll try to address them here. But for now, ill answer a few questions I have for my self.

Why not use a plastic cork made for this?

I had bought a number of them at a garage sale (where most of my material actually comes). The corks I have dont fit into smaller necks and I don't feel like buying them from a shop. Also this way, you have a lid you know will fit on the bottle, and should make a good seal. I have thought about using a 2L pop bottle for the primary fermentation, but I will need to think it through more first.

Can I use any kind of lid for this?

Its up to your discretion. Could probably use a mason jar lid, and seal it up, but I have not tried that. Would be interested in results.

Step 2: Materials

A bottle
A lid to fit that bottle

Glue. I had wanted to use hot glue for this, but didn't have any. Not to be dismayed, I found some automotive glue, and made do.

Drill bit. Or something similar to make a hole in the lid.

Small scissors. I found i needed them, you might not, depending on the lid you use.

Step 3: Step 1: Sterilize

Something that can easily be overlooked, but if you do I doubt you will succeed. Every instruction I have seen always starts with this, so I wont skip it.

If you don't know how to, I would suggest looking that up elsewhere. Personally, I have just put a splash of bleach for about a gallon of water. Let that sit for a day, and replace the water (this time with only tap water), and let that sit another day. And then when I start, pour a cup or two of boiling water into the jar, and swish that around.

Hopefully overkill.

Step 4: Make a Hole

I ended up using router bits because that was what I had on hand, but I would suggest drill bits (with or without the drill), or even a nail and hammer. Just be gentile on it, you want to get it through, but not crush the lid. I am using wine bottle lids because I am fermenting stuff in 1.5L wine bottles right now.

I made the hole in maybe two minutes and only had to push and rotate the bit into the lid, and then push the air lock through the hole.

One thing to be aware of, there is a seal (gasket) in the lid. You will want to punch a hole through that, and keep that around. I ended using scissors to clean up the hole.

Step 5: Glue

Picture of Glue

I will suggest against wood glue, white glue, and the like. It needs to harden as a plastic, and not shrink. You should only need to spread the glue around the lid and neck of the air lock. Let this set, and you are ready to go.

If you don't have a air lock chamber, you can either buy them online for fairly cheap, or integrate this with. If you have a link, I can add it here to share. Otherwise, the air locks are maybe 70 cents a piece on amazon ( I recall).

Step 6: Seal

Picture of Seal

Now that the lid is prepared, you can culture your anaerobic Eukaryotas in a near ideal environment to collect the byproduct of sugar decomposition.

Sorry, I have also studied science and wanted a fun way to end this.

Comments

Waldemar Sha (author)2017-08-10

In Ukraine we have these things. They go onto standart Soviet type jars, that are still widely produced. I don't know, if you can purchase them anywhere else thou.

85mm in diametre.

slartty (author)2016-08-16

nice "ible" .... just to add to it a small impart... you can purchase corks make of rubber with a pre-made hole for an airlock ... i use such a device on a beer bottle to harvest yeast from certain beers that use a triple fermentation process ....instead of tossing out the yeast in the bottom of a bottle i save it and blend it with other yeasts to harvest unique yeasts for my own beers... adding soluble sugars ie dextrose, to the salvaged yeast to make more yeast...( i once added yeast to a cola .... not very good... but keep experimenting... that is how we learn..

Theocrat777 (author)2016-08-15

I like how one brewer I saw on a forum put it, "yeast eats sugar, farts CO2 and pisses alcohol."

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