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.
 

ASR

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Another question on variable stainless steel tanks. I can see how to use them for primary fermentation where you can readily access to check for SG levels. How would you use them for secondary/clearing when you cant see through them like you do glass carboys?
 
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Hokapsig

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we take a sample out of the VC tank to see if it clearing on its own or whether we have to dose it with sparkloid. For whites, you can actually see to the bottom of the tank after a good addition of sparkloid. For reds, you can take a sample and check it in your hydrometer tube.
 

JohnT

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We use them to age for at least 12 months. We just draw a sample every 3 weeks or less.
 
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