Author Topic: Airlock bubbling the wrong way  (Read 1224 times)

Offline spicyturnip

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Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« on: July 13, 2016, 04:14:18 AM »
My cider has been aging in the secondary fermentor for 3 months now, and I see now that recently all the water in the airlock is in the inner section, and from time to time it is bubbling in, sucking air into the cider. Is this a problem?


« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 04:17:40 AM by spicyturnip »

Offline kramerog

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 01:59:46 PM »
Air being sucked in is probably not good as it leads to oxidation, but no reason for panic.  If you are using metabisulfite, you may not experience any oxidation. 

There are silicone airlocks that reportedly let CO2 out, but won't allow air in.  Maybe others can comment on them.

Is there any reason why you haven't packaged the cider yet?

Offline spicyturnip

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2016, 02:55:17 PM »
I am moving in a short while and need to keep it in the bug carboi to make it easier to transport.  Also dont have that mamy bottles yet

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Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2016, 07:58:16 PM »
It's probably a bulk temperature change (cooling) that is causing the airlock to run backwards as the cider and gas in the fermenter are contracting.  After 3 months, probably not much C02 being generated after fermentation has essentially stopped.  That said, small amounts of oxygen sucked in should not touch the cider as the C02 already inside the fermenter is heavier than oxygen.

I also agree that packaging soon is best.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 08:37:03 PM »
That said, small amounts of oxygen sucked in should not touch the cider as the C02 already inside the fermenter is heavier than oxygen.
CO2 isn't some magic gas that is impermeable to other gases that have a lower molecular weight. At some point the gases will blend just as they do in our atmosphere. The "blanket" is really only useful when it is still be produced by the yeast and creating positive pressure.

Offline spicyturnip

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 08:38:04 PM »
So will everything spoil?

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Offline Stevie

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Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 08:40:25 PM »
So will everything spoil?

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For now I think your are fine. I would bottle before the move. Second choice would be purge the headspace and replace the airlock with a solid bung.

Offline spicyturnip

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2016, 08:41:02 PM »
How do you purge the headspace?

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Offline Stevie

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Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2016, 08:43:55 PM »
How much headspace is there? If the carboy is filled to the very top with only a small surface area open to air, you will be fine. Just get a solid stopper before moving it.

Offline spicyturnip

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2016, 09:09:29 PM »
A few inches. Can send a picture later if it helps

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2016, 09:20:53 PM »
If the cider to air interchange is the entire cross section of the carboy, I would bottle. I would absolutely rule out moving the carboy with that much headspace as it is only going to splash and oxidize.

When using a secondary for bulk aging/storage the liquid should fill the carboy to the very top of the bell leaving only a small amount of gas between the liquid and the stopper that is only as wide as the neck.

Offline spicyturnip

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2016, 09:23:55 PM »
Ok. Thanks for the info. Whats my time limit? Is this volatile and urgent? Or some time in the next few weeks?

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Airlock bubbling the wrong way
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2016, 09:26:38 PM »
As soon as reasonably possible.

Just don't move without bottling.