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Old 12-11-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default airlock sucked dry - help

My basement was warmer than I had hoped - with the furnace kicking on regularly now, it was reaching 65-68 oF. So I moved my cyser into the garage to bulk age - it's somewhere in the 40s. However, it is not a consistent temp - warming up slightly in the day and cooling off some at night. The end result being that the vodka in my airlock keeps getting sucked into the cyser. I've refilled the airlock a couple of times already, but I don't want to have too much vodka added to the cyser and I'm concerned about the air getting in when the airlock is not filled.

Any suggestions? Fermentation is complete, so I could bottle it, but it is not yet clear and I had hoped to bulk age for a few months. Should I move it back into the basement? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-11-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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Why not put a solid bung on it? No airlock is needed at this point, so you could easily just put on the solid bung and not worry about temperature changes.

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Old 12-11-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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Why not put a solid bung on it? No airlock is needed at this point, so you could easily just put on the solid bung and not worry about temperature changes.
Ah yes - I meant to include that in my list of options/questions. I had assumed this could be done, but wasn't entirely sure. Is this standard practice post-fermentation?
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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Well, yes and no. I mean I could switch over, but as long as evaporation isn't an issue, I just as often use an airlock as not for bulk aging. No reason, really, I guess it's just out of habit. Once I stop racking and start aging, I just don't bother changing the bungs.

I did use those "carboy caps" a few times without an airlock. Apparently one of them didn't fit tightly enough around the mouth of the carboy and I got a batch of oxidized wine. So now I just use the bungs, and usually just keep the airlock on. But if I was moving it to the basement to cold crash, I'd definitely pull off the airlock/bung and replace with a sanitized solid bung.

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Old 12-11-2009, 09:24 PM   #5
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Three words:

Three Piece Airlock

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Old 12-12-2009, 03:52 AM   #6
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Three words:

Three Piece Airlock
That's what I've got on it
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:03 AM   #7
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then you must be overfilling. three piece airlocks have a fill line to where it will not suck back in.

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Old 12-12-2009, 10:44 AM   #8
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If the aim is bulk ageing now, then make sure it's de-gassed and then just use a solid bung.

You'll naturally get a little pressure variation inside but not enough to worry about.

All my meads and fruit wines are done like that - and they're in glass, and I've never had any problems with them or swings in temp (or internal pressure) that have been or caused an issue.......

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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then you must be overfilling. three piece airlocks have a fill line to where it will not suck back in.
Are you sure about this? I'm pretty sure the design is such that lowering the pressure inside the carboy (e.g. from decreasing temperature of the headspace) will still suck the liquid in.
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Last edited by JLem; 12-12-2009 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:31 PM   #10
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A three piece airlock is completely dry? Sounds more like it has a crack in the stem.

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