Tricks for keeping oak chips out of wine thief?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by buttonsrtoys, Mar 17, 2017.

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  1. Mar 17, 2017 #1

    buttonsrtoys

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    Most of my kits have oak chips and it seems like every time I use my wine thief I get chips stuck in the valve portion and they're a pain to get out. Does this happen to anyone else? Are there techniques or tricks?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  2. Mar 17, 2017 #2

    sour_grapes

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    I primarily make wines with grape packs. Thus, I put my oak chips into the muslin bag that contains the grape skins.

    What kind of thief do you have? Mine has a hole in the top, and you put the thief in, then cover the hole with your thumb. To avoid getting anything into the thief, I cover the hole with my thumb before plunging it into the bucket. Only then do I uncover the hole, and let liquid into the thief. This keeps floating stuff out of the thief.
     
  3. Mar 17, 2017 #3

    buttonsrtoys

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  4. Mar 18, 2017 #4

    Hoxviii

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
  5. Mar 18, 2017 #5

    vacuumpumpman

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    A nylon stocking also works well for this same cause - just make sure you sanitize it and ask the wife prior to stealing one from her - LOL
     
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  6. Mar 18, 2017 #6

    Hoxviii

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    forgot to mention that about the paint strainer bags - sometimes them smell kind of oily out of the package. I rinse them with soapy water, then boil them with a little soap to get any process residue off before using them in wine making.
     
  7. Mar 20, 2017 #7

    Lurkmcgurk

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    I'm a newbie, and use a FastFerment. My solution is take make one or two chip "bobbers" using a new cork, and a coffee filter with a new rubber band to hold everything together. Keeps the chips contained, even thru de-gassing. I spray the bobber with sanitizer before dropping it in the fermenter.
     
  8. Mar 20, 2017 #8

    kevinlfifer

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    I use the chips in primary only. I never use the thief then. I just put the hydrometer directly in the bucket. When I get to 1.01sg or so I remove the chips during transfer.

    I line bucket #2 with a strainer bag, and transfer from #1 to #2 by pouring. Then gather the bag, squeeze it out. No more chips or solids.

    Then siphon or pump into the carboy for secondary. Here I use oak sticks.
     
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  9. Mar 22, 2017 #9

    JohnT

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    I use nothing. Eventually, the chips will become wine-logged and fall to the bottom.

    You are using a thief? To grab a taste? If so, you need to be sure that you top that carboy up afterwards.
     
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  10. Mar 22, 2017 #10

    Floandgary

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    Eventually every winemaker gets busy with "other things" and so the wine can settle in peace and do it's own thing!! :sl
     
  11. Mar 22, 2017 #11

    Brickhouse

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    Did my last batch with some loose wood chips in the primary...never again. I'll bag them in with the skins or a separate bag...it was a mess straining them out and keeping them out of the spout.
     
  12. Mar 22, 2017 #12

    Mismost

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    old paint strainer bag...cut a piece and rubber band it to the bottom of the thief or hose or tube or racking cane....dunk into StarSan and away you go.
    Never throw away those old strainer bags, they are handy!
     
  13. Mar 24, 2017 #13

    heatherd

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    I put anything with solids in a mesh bag, as that allows me to easily squeeze it when necessary.
     
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