View Full Version : Vacuum Racking!

07-04-2013, 07:20 PM
OK so I have been making mead now for 3 years or so.....I've graduated to 20 gallon batches using 32 gallon white brute trash can (food grade) and (3) 6.5 gallon carboys (plus a gallon or two for topping).

I've stuck with traditional so far and my process is usually as follows: I make 12% with FG of 1.020 (i like sweet) and after testing most moscatos out there the FG's are usually 1.020-1.025. I ferment in primary usualy takes 10 days, use staggered nutrient addition of dap/ferm k, add bentonite and cold crash for 30 days when I reach my FG, then rack onto sulfite/sorbate and age for a year then bottle.

This has given me very very good results so far!

Anyway to get to the point for those of you who havent heard about vacuum racking...(it took me untill very recently to hear about it myself)....it is the ONLY way to go lol. I did a lot of reseach and most sytems out there ran in the several hundred dollars (vacuum pumps etc). Me being mr fixit decided to put together one myself. I looked around a lot and put together a very nice little set up for just about 30 bucks. It uses standard syphoning and tubing equipment and a $25 shop vac from waly world. I racked 6.5 gal in 4 min 20 sec. Last thing I have left is to incorporate a whole house 1 micron filter in the system and I will be all set. I have been very hesitant about filtering my wine but after a lot of reading I've kinda understood that the genreal consensus is that filtering your wine to 1 micron will do a lot to improve it and will not affect the color or flavor. So I have decided to go ahead with filtering.

Anyway I know that this post isnt much of a question but I wish I had seen one on vacuum racking when I was first getting started!

Here are a couple pictures. Yes the orange cap is taped. LHBS did not have the 6.5 gal caps so having to order online.

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g109/nukemjk/IMG_0960.jpg (http://s54.photobucket.com/user/nukemjk/media/IMG_0960.jpg.html)

And a little wine making porn from my first big batch. I am doing 20 gal batches now.

Starting cold crash with Bentonite mixed in.
http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g109/nukemjk/IMG_0003.jpg (http://s54.photobucket.com/user/nukemjk/media/IMG_0003.jpg.html)

Bottled after a year from start date (no filter)
http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g109/nukemjk/IMG_0548.jpg (http://s54.photobucket.com/user/nukemjk/media/IMG_0548.jpg.html)

And finally the brains behind the operation
http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g109/nukemjk/IMG_0915.jpg (http://s54.photobucket.com/user/nukemjk/media/IMG_0915.jpg.html)

Sorry for the picture spam. I am just very proud of my progress since falling in love with mead.

Midnight Sun
07-04-2013, 08:22 PM
Looking good, especially that 1 year bottled mead. Nice little helper too, going to turn him into a brew master?

07-05-2013, 06:35 AM
Looks great.


07-05-2013, 08:21 AM
I picked up an aspirator and built a whole house filter setup. I love using it to rack from carboy to carboy and to degas a batch. I haven't done much with the filter, aside from running water through the 50 micron filter for a test run. I still may chicken out and filter a batch or two of beer before using it on wine or mead.

And I would love if I could figure out a way to vacuum rack into a corny keg.

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/6007/tbu3.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/849/tbu3.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

07-05-2013, 11:18 AM
Those are some sweet setups.

07-05-2013, 06:00 PM
I was wondering, what is the attachment from the vacuum to the racking tube?

07-05-2013, 06:31 PM
It is actually just a 3 piece bubbler with the floating portion removed. I also cut off the bottom part leaving about a half inch just enough for the tubing to seal. It fits perfectly over the vacuum hose.

That pump looks pretty good. If I had the money I would definately like to get a more profesional pump set up for for 30 bucks you cant beat it.