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THawk
05-25-2011, 03:41 AM
Are these marbles you can just buy in a toy store??

PitBull
05-25-2011, 06:57 AM
Are these marbles you can just buy in a toy store??
You mean you can actually find marbles in a toy store? Kids seldom play with marbles anymore and hence, are hard to find locally. Even if you can find toy store marbles, these could possibly have elements added (for coloring the glass) that you would not want in your mead.

It's best to get the aquarium "marbles" from the pet store. If they are safe for fish, they are safe for humans. But they are rather expensive. They usually cost around $2 for six ounces by weight. I measured the displacement of a package once before and, if I can recall correctly, I think it displaces around 4 to 5 fluid ounces. So to compensate for a loss of a quart at racking, you're looking at around $16. If you have several batches, it can get expensive. On the plus side, they last forever.

You might want to consider synthetic corks as an alternative. One of the their advantages is that they can be easily removed when you want to make space for adding stablizers or fining agents. Inert gas would be even more flexible.

kudapucat
05-25-2011, 05:48 PM
You mean you can actually find marbles in a toy store? Kids seldom play with marbles anymore and hence, are hard to find locally. Even if you can find toy store marbles, these could possibly have elements added (for coloring the glass) that you would not want in your mead.

It's best to get the aquarium "marbles" from the pet store. If they are safe for fish, they are safe for humans. But they are rather expensive. They usually cost around $2 for six ounces by weight. I measured the displacement of a package once before and, if I can recall correctly, I think it displaces around 4 to 5 fluid ounces. So to compensate for a loss of a quart at racking, you're looking at around $16. If you have several batches, it can get expensive. On the plus side, they last forever.

You might want to consider synthetic corks as an alternative. One of the their advantages is that they can be easily removed when you want to make space for adding stablizers or fining agents. Inert gas would be even more flexible.

Will they float?
I'm not fond of things floating, CO2 can build up below, push mead out on top... MEA!
I know this is for aging, so there should be nothing to form a cake, but still it makes me nervous.
Also do they absorb water like normal cork? if so, will you be introducing air to the mead when adding them? Or is the quantity inconsequential?
It's a nice idea, I just want to analyse it properly first...

I'd really like a 'balloon type thing' that can be inflated inside my carboy to reduce headspace... any ideas on what could be used to achieve this?
First thing that comes to mind is a balloon. Any reason why a balloon wouldn't work well?

Riverat
05-25-2011, 07:06 PM
Go to Wallyworld and head for the crafts section. In the area where the flower arrangement stuff is at they will have affordable clear marbles, just make sure you don't pick up the mirrored or colored ones. I think I paid 6 or 8 bucks for a two pound bag

JamesP
05-25-2011, 10:16 PM
Down under,
the marbles are often used as weights in the bottom of flower vases,
or used in arts & crafts,
and they are clear glass (hence impervious to your mead).

Being glass, they don't float (the CO2 isn't that strong).

Any house wares store, or arts & craft store will have them.

Balloon - try the inner bag from a wine-in-a-box. Remove from the box, remove the bung, turn inside out, sanitize, use fishing line to tie off the top and for extraction from the carboy, insert down the neck and inflate (maybe put something in to weight the bag down a bit).

wayneb
05-25-2011, 11:41 PM
Regular balloons are generally made of a latex rubber formulation that could supply an off-flavor to your mead. JamesP's idea, using an inert mylar bag such as that in boxed wine, would work much more reliably with far less chance of imparting anything undesirable in the must.

kudapucat
05-26-2011, 01:18 AM
hmmm I expected baloons would be bad.

Wine-in-a-box - we call it 'cask wine' or colloquially a 'goon-bag' which related to the kind of ppl who drink it regularly and by the carton load (cos it's cheap)

Interestingly, ours come with a formed bunghole, that wouldn't invert so well. Is there a reason the outside of a goon bag would be undesireable?

Now we're talking of bags, what about a plain old freezer bag? (these are the thin walled single-use plastic bags to put food in before freezing - just in case you call them something else ;) )

Loadnabox
05-26-2011, 09:00 AM
hmmm I expected baloons would be bad.

Wine-in-a-box - we call it 'cask wine' or colloquially a 'goon-bag' which related to the kind of ppl who drink it regularly and by the carton load (cos it's cheap)

Interestingly, ours come with a formed bunghole, that wouldn't invert so well. Is there a reason the outside of a goon bag would be undesireable?

Now we're talking of bags, what about a plain old freezer bag? (these are the thin walled single-use plastic bags to put food in before freezing - just in case you call them something else ;) )

Interesting idea. I don't know anyone close by that drinks that cheap stuff, they're all a couple thousand miles away :-D I've got a dollar store nearby that I can get big mylar balloons for a buck a piece. That may be cheaper than my CO2 method, plus it's reusable

akueck
05-26-2011, 02:56 PM
In defense of bag wine, you can find higher quality stuff now. The bag is a superior container when compared to a bottle (low weight, light impermeable when stored in a box, keeps air out even if you just drink a little). Historical prejudice dies hard (see can vs. bottle for beers, also cork vs. screwcap for wine). Encourage your local winery to explore these containers and take back the goon bag!

As far as inside vs. outside, it is possible that the two surfaces are not the same. Anyone know how these things are produced? Many food containers are layered with a distinct "inside", and each layer serves a purpose (structure, gas impermeability, inertness with food, etc).

havoc64
05-26-2011, 03:45 PM
I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bunch of Green Glass Beads, kinda like flattened marbles. Not coated, just green glass. They sit flatter than marbles and don't have so much "Honey Combed" space to trap lees.

It took a lot though and they are expensive.

PamW
05-26-2011, 05:36 PM
hmmm I expected baloons would be bad.

Wine-in-a-box - we call it 'cask wine' or colloquially a 'goon-bag' which related to the kind of ppl who drink it regularly and by the carton load (cos it's cheap)

Interestingly, ours come with a formed bunghole, that wouldn't invert so well. Is there a reason the outside of a goon bag would be undesireable?

Now we're talking of bags, what about a plain old freezer bag? (these are the thin walled single-use plastic bags to put food in before freezing - just in case you call them something else ;) )

All the talk of goon-bags and turning one inside out got me wondering. What about cleaning out and sanitizing a goon-bag and using it to bulk age? You could reduce the head space in it by squeezing the air out of the bag, and then you could possibly store it in another box in a cool place as usual?

wayneb
05-26-2011, 05:41 PM
I've actually tried this, for extended cold aging in our fridge at home for some of my smaller test batches. I can detect no bad effects from aging in a mylar "goon-bag" over aging in a similar sized glass container (kudapucat, you've given those of us up on the other end of this planet a new term to play with!), so in general I think they're fine to use, recycled in this way, for test batches.

kudapucat
05-26-2011, 08:14 PM
I've actually tried this, for extended cold aging in our fridge at home for some of my smaller test batches. I can detect no bad effects from aging in a mylar "goon-bag" over aging in a similar sized glass container (kudapucat, you've given those of us up on the other end of this planet a new term to play with!), so in general I think they're fine to use, recycled in this way, for test batches.

Hmm it's a pity they're so small :-(

Enjoy the new term, it's wonderful to see some Australian culture might permeate the defences of America. We're assulted with all your new terms, slang and culture every day, because our TV stations wont play anything decent! Most Americans who visit can't believe the crap from the US that is played over here... The least we could do is get some good stuff right? But no, instead, it's all the cheap stuff.
-Rant Over-

**Off to look for a 20 litre goon bag... man, that'd be one serious goon!

Chevette Girl
05-26-2011, 09:16 PM
Goon-bag, that's AWESOME... I'm gonna pass that on...

I've often wondered if there was anything I could do with the bags that my wine kit juices come in, it always seemed a shame to throw out something so sturdily-constructed... thanks for the ideas! Wouldn't need to dry them out either, just rinse well and then store some sanitizing solution in it and squeeze out the air!

Goon-bag... hee hee hee!!!

:laughing9: ... goon-bag...

Medsen Fey
05-31-2011, 02:24 PM
Goon-Bag! Ha! Lol!


Hmm it's a pity they're so small :-(

**Off to look for a 20 litre goon bag... man, that'd be one serious goon!

How about a 1000-liter Goon-Bag (http://www.grapeworks.net/pdfs/Cellabagbrochure.pdf) - enough for an army of goons (or a hockey team :) )

They do make some inflatable bladders to take up the air-space in a wine barrel which might be of a size to be more practical.


By the way, synthetic corks are effective for taking up headspace. They float which is useful - it means you can take them out if you want to add something else in (try that with marbles). Synthetic corks don't absorb liquid, but one problem is that they do absorb aromas/odors. That's the biggest complaint I have found when I've tried using them. They will continue to smell like whatever you've had them soaking in for a long, long time and soaking with PBW, soaking in sanitizer, running through the dishwasher, and boiling in a pot of water don't remove the smells (at least not completely).

kudapucat
05-31-2011, 06:57 PM
Goon-Bag! Ha! Lol!
<snip>
They do make some inflatable bladders to take up the air-space in a wine barrel which might be of a size to be more practical.
<snip>


As usual Medsen, somebody's already had the great idea I dreamt up. :-(
What is infinitely better, is that often times somebody has a better idea, like aging in a 1 gal goonbag. (is that in the glossary yet?) That I can develop upon.
So... as carboys are so expensive... I'm asking all my catering mates, if they can find a bag for juice, whey, vinegar etc that would hold 20L, as I could rack from my carboy into this, and leave it for years... they'd even be stackable to a point!
I think I'd be happy to buy them brand new if they're cheap enough.
Can anybody see an issue (other than accidental puncturing or splitting) that may cause me grief?

kudapucat
06-01-2011, 03:03 AM
So!
I have found a supplier in Aust of 15L goon bags.

Only $2.50 + tax and shipping.
Designed for wine.

ALAS... minimum order is 135 and will cost nigh on $400...
Still cheap... same as what 8 glass carboys will cost me.

However $400 is a bit much for me at the moment. Anybody want some goon bags? cut price?

PamW
06-01-2011, 05:37 PM
So!
I have found a supplier in Aust of 15L goon bags.

Only $2.50 + tax and shipping.
Designed for wine.

ALAS... minimum order is 135 and will cost nigh on $400...
Still cheap... same as what 8 glass carboys will cost me.

However $400 is a bit much for me at the moment. Anybody want some goon bags? cut price?

I can't afford the $$ to get in on that until October of this year, but those would sure solve several issues I'm running into. Such as how to bulk age higher alcohol meads in smaller spaces, reducing the head space and still being able to get at it when needed/wanted. Not sure how the conversion rate is, or shipping from there to here, but I'd be willing to explore the possibilities.

kudapucat
06-01-2011, 10:34 PM
Sure, but shipping will be close to $50 I'd expect...

kudapucat
06-03-2011, 02:26 AM
I got a datasheet from the manufacturers of 15 litre goon-bags. Then next smallest size up they have is 200 litre, and go right up to 5000 litre!!!
Could somebody please read the attached PDF and tell me what they think of the oxygen permeability in terms of long term aging of mead?

Medsen Fey
06-03-2011, 09:53 AM
hmmm....

If the dimensions are 545 mm X 470 mm and you assume 6 sides* (a box), you get 1.52 m2 as surface area. With 0.93 cc/m2/day of O2 transmission, you get 1.43 cc/day of O2. For 15 liters of liquid you're getting 0.095 cc/liter/day of O2 which means approximately 35 cc/liter/year of O2 during storage. That isn't too bad.

A carboy may allow about about 17 cc/liter/year, so you could probably age a mead (especially a traditional) in one of these bags without difficulty.

I'll be interested to see you do a comparison.

* If you want to get picky, technically there would be 4 sides with 545 X 470, and two sides that are 470 X470, but it would only change the final answer to about 33 cc/L/year. :p