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Old 11-28-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
BradTheGeek
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Default Airlock / leakage question

First, happy thanksgiving!

I have 2 gallons of cider down right now for the SWMBO. It is in a 5 gallon carboy in my new wine fridge/ferm chamber. With a five gallon carboy there is not enough room for an airlock, so I put a 2-port cap on the carboy and ran a piece of tubing to an airlock sitting elsewhere.

The cider is fermenting away, lots of bubble of the trub (got an inch of trub in 1 day!. When I open the door, I can smell the fermentation clearly, so I know gas is escaping, however, I cannot detect any movement in the airlock (twin-chamber style). The tube connections are tight, so could gas be escaping from under the carboy cap? Maybe with the length of tubing, it is easier for the gas to escape elsewhere? I used this cap before in a blow off rig for a DIPA and it worked fine, but it does feel a bit loose (it rotates easily around the mouth of the carboy).

There are no signs of infection, and the cap and the chamber should keep most stuff out, so I am not overly concerned, but I wanted some input.

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Old 11-28-2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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You may be losing CO2 at the cap. On the other hand you may see some bubbling through the airlock later on. There is a lot of headspace in the carboy to fill with CO2 before pressure begins to develop.

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Old 11-28-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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I am thinking the cap. The headspace should be at or near atmospheric pressure with the air that was in there. So, in my logic, CO2 does not have to fill the entire headspace, just increase pressure enough to overcome the airlock, and gradually the co2/air ratio will change. I just don't want an infection.

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Old 11-28-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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I wouldn't worry too much. You may just have a small leak that is letting the co2 out. It's hard to tell on that setup. I probably wouldn't go the soapy water spray route incase your leak does allow stuff to get in.

If if were my house I would worry about fruit flies because we seem to have some sometimes. I've heard if you make a small dish of apple cider vinegar and dish soap that it will attract and kill them.

Besides that, RDWHAHB.

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Old 11-28-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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I do get gnats and fruit flies. But it is in a sealed fridge, and it is winter when they are less active so I think that part is okay.

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Old 11-28-2013, 02:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradTheGeek View Post
I do get gnats and fruit flies. But it is in a sealed fridge, and it is winter when they are less active so I think that part is okay.
I used a carboy cap on a batch of wine once. I had used it before, of course, but never for aging wine. Even though the cap seemed nice and snug, I ended up with an oxidized wine.

Now, it's fine for your cider! At least until fermentation ends, but of course you'd be moving it out of the big carboy anyway before you'd have to worry about the cap and oxidation. My point was just that indeed those carboy caps do leak around the carboy/cap area. I tried putting a snug rubber band around it after that, and now just don't bother and make sure to use it only for primary.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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I will relax and have homebrews with family when they arrive. And it is going into small 1 gal carboys as secondaries. Hopefully soon, I need the ferm chamber free for a brew day!

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