Bubble airlock construction

My sons presented me with a Northerm Brewer deluxe kit for Christmas, and I’m just getting started with my first brew. In the kit there are two airlocks, both bubble style. They’re the same, except that one seems to be sealed at the point where it plugs into the bung. The other is open, …which seems to make sense. Was the sealed airlock a mistake in manufacturing, or am I supposed to break off that 1/4-inch end to open it?

I love the prospect of making my own beer. The only thing I resent is having to drink the store-bought stuff for the next 4 weeks until mine’s ready. :wink:


Yes, it should be open. Cut it off though so the stem doesn’t shatter. Or 6 weeks to fully condition. Sorry.

Call up NB they have great customer service.

Those airlocks suck. Next time you order something, get a few 3 piece airlocks. They have multiple uses, are easier to clean, and are just as cheap as that other kind.

I find them to be OK, but, OP, I would recommend you get in the habit of starting with the blow off tube and switching to the airlock once active fermentation is finished…blowouts bring a weird kind of pride, but you get the same thing from watching the kreusen crawl up the tube into the StarSan, and you don’t have to spend an hour cleaning up :wink:

Happy brewing :cheers:

Wow! Thanks all for the great replies. As a complete novice, I’m thrilled to know there’s such a knowledgeable and responsive community I can reach out to…

Thanks again.


Yeah, this place is great…the wealth of knowledge and the willingness to share it is fantastic and has served me exceedingly well over the past year.

+1 on this. I keep strange hours, and even then there’ timely responses. I recommend it to all of my homebrewer friends.

I actually ran into a guy at our LHBS who was considering starting to brew. Most of the info I was able to pass along was from what I’ve learned from here, and from Palmer.

He also got routed here for the questions he was bound to have. This place definitely has an excellent community.