Can You Recommend a Check Valve?

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RickD

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My first batch. I've got a 1 gallon glass jug and a 16oz glass bottle of blackberry wine on lees, about ready for third racking. One of the biggest lessons I've learned to date is that siphoning off lees is much harder than it looks. I really made messes during my first two attempts. Even at 1/2 depth it doesn't take much backflow at all to stir the sediment, and the suction can create a vortex with considerable reach. I believe I have the vortex issue solved. For the backflow, I'm thinking a check valve might help? Funds are very limited.

Quickun Inline Check Valve, 3/16" Hose ID One Way Return Inline Check Valve High Temperature and Corrosion Resistance Fish Tank Pump Medical Automotive (Pack of 2): Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
 

jgmillr1

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I'd say that it is unavoidable to draw out some lees when racking unless you are willing to leave a large amount of wine behind. If you are able to leave 90% of the lees behind then after 3 rackings you've removed 99.9% of the sediment.

A check valve inline will indeed prevent backflow but it is the suction that draws most of the lees during racking. Practice and technique will help prevent back flow from disturbing the lees. The check valve also will require some pressure to open (5psi say) and that alone will prevent gravity from siphoning the wine to a lower carboy that isn't 10ft lower.
 

Rice_Guy

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I have not tried a check valve in the tubing moving wine. My look was that I could never clean a spring loaded check valve out so it would have a short usable life.

I really like silicone tubing for connecting racking canes/ tubing. A simple spring clamp let’s me shut off the flow when i have to stop it. ,,, The low tech way to prevent back flow is to have the source carboy higher than the top of the destination carboy. ,,, Lees are light/ easy to disturb, I get improved separation by slowing down the flow rate. ,,, I recover additional “OK” wine by pouring the left over wine in a tall container (gallon might use a 500 ml plastic cylinder or six gallon might use a spaghetti jar). ,,, look for a 50 or 100cc syringe, a turkey baster is OK but drips/ can be improved by slipping 1/8 vinyl tubing on the end.
 

mikewatkins727

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Guess I"ll add my two pennies worth. Got tired of the disturbed lees upon racking so I set up a cane and hose with a check valve several weeks ago. I still use a regular set for racking. I use the check valve set up on the first racking only. Will be testing this arrangement for several months to see how things go.;)
 
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Rice_Guy

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Guess I"ll add my two pennies worth. Got tired of the disturbed lees upon racking so I set up a cane and hose with a check valve several weeks ago. I still use a regular set for racking. I use the check valve set up on the first racking only. Will be testing this arrangement for several moths to see how things go.;)
Howdy @mikewatkins727 , curious what a photo of the set up looks like, ,,, and what the regular set up looks like.
 

balatonwine

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You stated this is your third racking. What is your racking schedule? Normally by the third racking enough time has passed that the lees will tend to be compacted (but that depends a lot on yeast used, grapes versus fruit, or other factors). Also, what size racking pipe are you using? Are you gravity racking or using a pump?

I admit I have never gone as small as only a gallon when racking. Smallest I have gone is 10 L (about 2.5 gal). But that size is often only used for "extra" wine at the second racking onward that did not quite fit into one of my larger non-variable containers (from 30 to 200 L). And for small containers I use only a 7mm (1/4 in) pipe inside diameter. And typically do not have much problems with the lees at this time myself. I have a pump to move must, but after that, I tend to do only gravity racking (and yes, I still get some lees transfer at the end of the racking, but that is normal and to be expected).
 
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mikewatkins727

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@Rice_Guy , You asked for a photo of my set up. I direct your attention to the carboy in a box at the bottom of the photo. In the box is a racking cane with tubing attached. The black & white object coming off the cane is the check valve. The other end of the valve goes to the carboy on the table. I use Steve's AIO pump which is connected to the red/blue marked tube. I use this setup on the first racking to help eliminate lees being transferred. Subsequent racking set up is the same without the check valve. Also, on first few rackings I use the degassing tube that directs the wine against the carboy wall. (Pump_Guy Steve's invention) Hope this helps to understand how I do this

Racking Setup.jpg
 

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RickD

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@Rice_Guy , You asked for a photo of my set up. I direct your attention to the carboy in a box at the bottom of the photo. In the box is a racking cane with tubing attached. The black & white object coming off the cane is the check valve. The other end of the valve goes to the carboy on the table. I use Steve's AIO pump which is connected to the red/blue marked tube. I use this setup on the first racking to help eliminate lees being transferred. Subsequent racking set up is the same without the check valve. Also, on first few rackings I use the degassing tube that directs the wine against the carboy wall. (Pump_Guy Steve's invention) Hope this helps to understand how I do this
Oh this is good stuff. Tell me a little about the tweaks to your All-In-One pump (AIO): Is that the control valve that came with it? It looks different (better, higher quality, more robust) than the one pictured on the AIO website! I especially like the "filter mounting board"! Does it attach to the AIO? I see a large (2"+?) diameter hole behind the reservoir bottle, did you do that and if so, why? I see a tube end protruding out of a hole just to the right of the large hole in the AIO. Is that your mod and if so what is it for? Sorry to be so nosey!
 
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vacuumpumpman

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Oh this is good stuff. Tell me a little about the tweaks to your All-In-One pump (AIO): Is that the control valve that came with it? It looks different (better, higher quality, more robust) than the one pictured on the AIO website! I especially like the "filter mounting board"! Does it attach to the AIO? I see a large (2"+?) diameter hole behind the reservoir bottle, did you do that and if so, why? I see a tube end protruding out of a hole just to the right of the large hole in the AIO. Is that your mod and if so what is it for? Sorry to be so nosey!
I do not see what you are looking at ?
I don't even see the vacuum release valve in this picture ? Or are you referring to the precision vacuum valve which is mounted on top of the vacuum reservoir bottle ?

The large 2'' hole came standard from the beginning and we just recently (approx 2 years ago) Removed the hole and added a handle to it and hooks for the accessories on the backside.

The tube you are referring to is most likely attached to the filter board and those are the Guide up pins - keeping it in place

I do like the ide of the Filter cartridge -
 

RickD

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I do not see what you are looking at ?
I don't even see the vacuum release valve in this picture ? Or are you referring to the precision vacuum valve which is mounted on top of the vacuum reservoir bottle ?

Yes, sorry, the precision valve. I referred to it as "the control valve". Perhaps this will help...

Racking Setup Annotated.jpg

From the IO Website ("Precision Adjustable Vacuum Valve"):

valve-33.jpg

Also from the AIO website:

deluxe-front.jpg
 
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mikewatkins727

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@RickD : Following are three photos in which I will try to answer your questions. First is the back side. The brown board is my addition screwed to the front upright. I added the 5" filter for filtering wine and the vacuum gauge for troubleshooting/and fine tuning vacuum. The slot cut into board is sized for a handle. Also a cup hook (hidden) is added below handle slot to hook the power cord to. You might be able to see it looping through the handle slot.

Backside.jpg



@RickD: I'll address that tube sticking out the front. That is a vacuum hose holder, nothing more, just some place to stick that hose while I try to "hose up" the setup. One day I just decide to drill a hole and stuff a piece of polypropylene tubing in it that was sized to fit the quarter inch vac tubing. The vacuum hose is shown below with red/blue tape.

Hose Holder.jpg


Lastly, this is vacuumpumpman's vacuum bleed valve for the AIO.

Bleed Valve.jpg
 

vacuumpumpman

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@mikewatkins727 - Thanks for the clarifications !
Can you please let @RickD know when you purchased this pump as for the last 2 years we no longer drill the 2 1/4'' hole in the upright.

BTW = How do you like that filter set-up ? How many gallons (roughly) per cartridge ? I really like how you mounted it for space !
 
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mikewatkins727

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@mikewatkins727 - Thanks for the clarifications !
Can you please let @RickD know when you purchased this pump as for the last 2 years we no longer drill the 2 1/4'' hole in the upright.

BTW = How do you like that filter set-up ? How many gallons (roughly) per cartridge ? I really like how you mounted it for space !
@RickD: I bought my AIO unit sometime around 2015, I joined WMT in Dec 2013. Best I remember.

@vacuumpumpman: I"ve been using the 5" filter setup since I bought your AIO. In all this time I've replaced the filter about once a year. I make about 80? gal/yr of wine. After each use I reverse flush the heck out of it. Then keep using it to filter water for drinking, coffee and tea. The story behind filtering water: Back in '08 hurricane Ike wondered through the Ohio/Miami valley. A lot of people lost power for upwards of 2 weeks. Being in the country on a well without a means of pumping water, I made sure I have a reserve of drinking water since.
 
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