Fermentation crock: water lock vs no water lock

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Fermentation crock: water lock vs no water lock

Postby patrice on Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:13 pm


The only crock I have been using is a crock with a water air lock. When reading the wild fermentation book, the author says that both crock with and without water lock have their advantages and inconvenient but he doesn't go further than that.

Could anyone tell me more about this? What would be the advantages and inconvenient of each? Would you use one kind for a specific kind of fermentation and the other for other kind? Thanks
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Re: Fermentation crock: water lock vs no water lock

Postby Christopher Weeks on Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:48 am

Water lock pros:
* Allows gasses to escape without letting pathogens in.
* Water lock is a fun indicator of progress as you observe bubble-passage
* You can be somewhat less attentive than with an open ferment.
* Much less likely to develop a bad case of Kahm or a pellicle
* Don't need to be quite as anal about getting every last bit of produce under the brine

Water lock cons:
* You have to keep the lock filled.
* The entire ferment relies on the fauna in the crock at the start -- if you want to introduce more organisms from the air, no joy.
* Negative pressure sometimes sucks the water into the ferment (depending on physical details of the lock).
* If you want to taste your produce day-after-day during the fermentation process to learn how it progresses, you ruin the CO2 buffer every time you open it and it's really just a hassle with no benefit at that point.

For my hobby-scale stuff, fermenting in a Fido gives me all the advantages of a water-lock and almost none of the disadvantages.

(I'll add more if I think of stuff.)
Christopher Weeks
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