Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Barrels & Oaking > Airlocks on barrels

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
Rocky
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Default Airlocks on barrels

I was wondering what all you barrel owners/users do about the bung on your barrel. A few months back, I was in my family room and heard a bung hit the sheet metal duct of my HVAC system in the cellar. I immediately took that wine out of the barrel and put it back into a carboy. Today, I had just moved 12 gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon into the barrels and I was bottling another 6 gallons of that wine when the bung popped off. I got my boring tool and bored out both bungs from the barrels and installed airlocks.

Has anyone had this experience? I have seen barrels in commercial wineries with airlocks but we never used airlocks at home years ago when we made wine in 55 gallon barrels.

Thanks.

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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Alot of the commercial wineries I've seen use a bung with a flap on top to release pressure should it build up. You're lucky you were home when this went off!

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #3
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you can just buy a bung with a hole in it and fit a normal airlock or buy a fermrite vented bung.

any wineshop should have one or the other .

if your wine was dry when it went in the barrels its possible a wild mlf started and thats what produced the co2 and pressure
and your old 55 gallon barrels never went through mlf , so no pressure was created.

you should inoculate conduct full mlf , either before you barrel and only barrel stable wine or conduct mlf in the barrel under airlock .

if you did mlf , its possible it wasn't fully completed and came alive again when your free so2 levels dropped low enough.

once the wine is stable and sulfited a solid bung can go in.

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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They make a dry airlock (silicone) for the 23L barrels. I have one but never used it. I just use the solid silicone. Never had one pop yet!

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Old 09-06-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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I haven't had any pop from my two 23 liter barrels. I have solid silicon, silicon with the hole for the air lock and silicone with the flap. I use the latter when I fermented in the barrel in the past and it worked great..

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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I use silicone bungs with air locks on all barrels until I'm 100% sure mlf is completed. If a solid bung does pop I aways replace it with an air locked one.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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Yes, there were the silicone bungs that Vadai sells with the barrels. Odd thing is that they are two different shapes; one is mushroom shaped and the other is shaped/tapered like any stopper. I measured the bung hole and my guess is that an #8.5 stopper would fit. Anyone know for sure?

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Old 09-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #8
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hard to say , I have 3 vadias and they all use differnt sized airlocks.

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