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Makeshift Airlock - Thoughts/Advice?

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Jessipickle

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Hola,

I'm fairly green to the world of home wine making (and to this forum!). I decided to try out some simple fruit wine recipes, however didn't clue in before beginning that you can't easily use a too-large carboy for secondary fermentation. I'm instead resorting to some smaller glass jugs however these don't easily hold a smaller bung & airlock.

I've been doing some research into what other people have done in this situation and thought I'd try my hand at a homemade airlock (pictured below). Basically I capped the bottle with a balloon, stuck some clear tubing THROUGH the balloon (the hole in the balloon makes and airtight seal - I just wrapped up some of the loose rubber with duct tape) and put the other end of the tube into a glass filled with water, to allow bubbles to escape without letting additional air in. There's another balloon over the top of the glass, however it doesn't have an airtight seal, it's there to keep dust/bugs out more than anything. It's not pretty, admittedly.

I guess my main worries are: 1) will this properly perform the functions of a regular airlock, and 2) will any of the components have an effect on the flavour of the wine?

Any thoughts are appreciated. Worst case scenario I may just try duct taping a regular airlock into the jugs, however it would mean buying a handful of airlocks that I likely won't need again for a while.

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wineforfun

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I will let others comment on your apparatus.

I will say that yes you can get bungs for almost any size container from 187ml up to very large (6 gal.) carboys. Bung and airlock are only a couple dollars.
 

Jessipickle

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Hi Wineforfun,

I found a universal airlock, however it keeps slipping up and popping out of the carboy - or at least popping out that it doesn't look like there is an airtight seal. I already resorted to duct taping one down however not sure if that is the best practice to be relying on.
 
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mennyg19

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Your contraption should work in theory, just not really sure how airtight the seals are with the duct tape.
I think a balloon with a pinhole in it works pretty well. And if one pinhole isn't enough, (hint, the balloon pops off) you can always pop another hole.
Your airlock should let you know soon if its working or not. If the bubbles are coming through the tube and water, then its pretty much working. If nothing comes through, it means there's another leak somewhere that the gasses are escaping through.
 
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Madhampster

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Here is a airlock I made when I had a foaming issue. A rubber bung, tubing in the hole of the bung and a wine bottle with water in it

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Johnd

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Hi Wineforfun,

I found a universal airlock, however it keeps slipping up and popping out of the carboy - or at least popping out that it doesn't look like there is an airtight seal. I already resorted to duct taping one down however not sure if that is the best practice to be relying on.
If your bung is sliding, try drying the bung off with a clean paper towel, and drying off the inside of the mouth of the carboy as well, when dry, the bung should stay in place without any other means. No one likes a wet, slippery bung.
 

JohnT

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If you can not make the stopper you have work, then try getting a stopper of a different size or try using a different bottle to hold your wine.

That home made job you have there looks VERY untrustworthy and I would be looking to swap it out the minute fermentation is complete.

I hope that I did not offend you with the above text. I just want to see you avoid any disappointments.
 

Jessipickle

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Hey all,

Thanks for the feedback. I decided to err on the side of caution, and pick up some smaller airlocks (scrounged around and managed to find smaller bungs - they do exist!).
 
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