Vacuum Pump over Additional Carboys?

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RylanJacobs

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My carboy collection is rapidly expanding, and I see no end in sight. I am physically running out of room in my garage to store them.


In lieu of purchasing more carboys, should I instead purchase an AIO pump and create a vacuum seal for empty headspace? I don't mind using marbles or wine for top-up, but I'm talking about putting 3 gallons in a 6-gallon carboy and creating a vacuum.

That would prevent me from spending $$$ on additional carboys, top-up wine, and marbles.

Good idea or crazy?
 
Not a horrible idea and better than nothing, but having a right-sized carboy is really the solution. I use the AIO pump and the Headspace Eliminators they sell, but only for short term storage and by that I mean under a month or two. and for maybe a half-gallon of missing liquid. I wouldn't use them for 3 gallons of missing liquid. It's why I have Many 6 gallon carboys, much less 5 gallon carboys, a few 3 gallon carboys, a few gallon sized, and one or two half-gallon carboys. Anything less than that goes into a bottle.
 
I agree with always topping up to minimize any exposure to O2 - even when storing under vacuum. In my cellar a collection of 3g, 5g, & 6g carboys can accommodate various capacities when starting with 12g total which has proved to be a good minimal batch size for me when using grapes/must. 8g, 9g, 10g, 11, and 12g are all options with five or so corked 750's for top-up storage.

Cheers,
johann
 
My carboy collection is rapidly expanding, and I see no end in sight. I am physically running out of room in my garage to store them.
The obvious solution is to build a bigger garage. All other solutions are a temporary stop-gap.

🤣

Ok, now for a serious answer -- I'm with the folks that have replied so far -- I top with wine, as it provides 100% certainty as to what is in the carboy. With marbles lead content is a serious concern, and with vacuum or inert gases, you cannot see what's in the space. Using containers appropriate for batch size is the safest choice.

Which still doesn't help you. Consider building racks to hold your carboys in more than 1 layer. By "rack" I mean a table with a shelf just above the floor that is tall enough to fit 23 liter carboys including an airlock, and a table top above it. You have double your storage capacity by doing so.
 
* one of the wine club members is doing long term storage in carboys with only check valves. When I have tried to use a head space eliminator, they leak as sold and haven’t been able to really make it gas tight.
* I have used vacuum on long term storage. My spin is that CO2 / gas is valuable / inert so I will pull to -22” Hg and let the CO2 bubble into the head space and use that as a preservative gas. New corks can seal with a check valve for half a year.

* for what you are describing I would buy some 10 liter wine bags and use them for storage/ eliminate head space and let ‘em sit.
 
* one of the wine club members is doing long term storage in carboys with only check valves. He pulls more vacuum every two weeks. This degasses in his storage period. * When I have tried to use a head space eliminator, they leak as sold and haven’t been able to really make it gas tight.
* I have used vacuum on long term storage. My spin is that CO2 / gas is valuable / inert,, so I will pull to -22” Hg and let the CO2 bubble into the head space and use that as a preservative gas. New corks can seal with a check valve for half a year. Five gear old corks are useless.
About a year ago we had a discussion about holding vacuum and vacuvin stoppers and check valves
so I killed a few days testing hardware. > results
View attachment 85669
Conclusions
* An effective vacuum set up needs to have the same seals as one would use with gas lines
* old corks get hard and are not effective at holding a vacuum
* a carboy with wine in it will release CO2 and not hold a vacuum as long as a dry system
(working definition of a good enough degassed wine was the carboy can hold a five inch Hg vacuum for 30 minutes)
* The rate of change decreases as the pressure differential decreases, There was still a slight difference on gage at thirteen months with the empty flask
* A new vacuvin check valve is effective at holding vacuum
* A new plastic check valve is effective at holding vacuum (polysulphone and nylon construction)
* To know how well a hardware setup is performing one needs to have a vacuum gage

photo setup 1
photo setup 2
* in the ideal you should have a vacuum gage and do all fittings as one would with natural gas or vacuum piping. Running without a gage that gives a number read out is running blind.
* for what you are describing I would buy some 10 liter wine bags and use them for storage/ push out the head space and let ‘em sit closed. Wine bag in box films will hold about 30% more than the rated size if you create your own box.
 
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I call it vessel management and it is a struggle, especially since glass carboys have nominal volumes. Like everyone above topping up practically guarantees a safe long term storage.

I too use the headspace eliminator on very rare occasions for this purpose but have to say it does wonders for initial degassing.

You will not regret investing in an AIO. It will allow you to take @winemaker81's advise and build a rack or shelf to store twice the carboys without lifting them.

With inert gas the set up is fairly expensive. I do believe there is a gauge that will allow you to know the volume of gas being released but unless you are able to keep a solid bung in the carboy it may defeat the purpose.

So in too many words I would recommend investing in an AIO, buy more carboys of different sizes and build a shelf.
 
Love my AIO!

I don't have any carboys larger than 5 gallon. For 6 gallon kits, I either split between two 3 gallon carboys or use a 5 gallon and smaller containers for the remainder.

I agree with the storage ideas mentioned above.
 

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