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Correct way to use variable capacity wine tanks...

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CarlD

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This is the first year of using variable tank .
When i inflate the blader the marble airlock is leaking and spilling wine . Is it normal or not ?

What ratio sulfites and citric acid for proper sanitizing of the tanks ?

Thanks
 

JohnT

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To clean, I simply use PBW. Stuff works like a charm.

How active is your wine? For the first 3 months or so, I like to position the lid to be 1/2 inch above the wine level in the front (where the airlock is located) and touching the wine in the rear. I have found that this little bit of headspace really helps.

Also: I do not use the "Marble" airlocks. These may be great if you are fermenting wine in the tank (where there is a positive pressure of co2 going through it), but I feel that they are not good for extended aging. Since I ferment in primaries, I simply remove them and toss them out.

In place of the marble lock, I use a #10.5 stopper and gooseneck fermentation trap filled with strong k-meta solution. Unlike the marble lock, if any air is sucked into the tank, the air will be forced through k-meta solution. A far more sanitary option in my mind.
 

GreginND

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I find this to be problematic in smaller tanks. Inflating the bladder causes a floating lid to push too much wine up and out. It happens in my 200L and 300L tanks. It's not a problem in my larger tanks. There is no easy solution if you want the lid all the way down. Try holding the lid just slightly higher than the wine - all you need is about 1/2 inch or so. The trick is to hold the lid with your third hand while pumping with your other two! Otherwise, I guess, clean up any overspills and leave it be.
 

JohnT

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I find this to be problematic in smaller tanks. Inflating the bladder causes a floating lid to push too much wine up and out. It happens in my 200L and 300L tanks. It's not a problem in my larger tanks. There is no easy solution if you want the lid all the way down. Try holding the lid just slightly higher than the wine - all you need is about 1/2 inch or so. The trick is to hold the lid with your third hand while pumping with your other two! Otherwise, I guess, clean up any overspills and leave it be.

This is exactly what I do, especially if the wine is young.

Young wines still can have a bit of activity. By raising the lid just a bit (works best with two people, one the hold the lid and one to pump it up) you avoid the exact problem you are experiencing.
 

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