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oldhead
12-19-2014, 07:00 PM
Any one use glass marbles to take up the space after racking

joemirando
12-19-2014, 07:31 PM
Any one use glass marbles to take up the space after racking

I have done it. It takes a surprising number of marbles. I now normally make my gallon batches in 4 liter glass jugs (thank you Carlo and Ernest & Julio), and rack to another 4 L jug, adding some of the extra must I made (same SG as the original must), racking again, if necessary, to a 1 gallon jug (thank you, LHBS), which normally gets me up into the neck of the jug.

You need to be careful with marbles. I've always wondered about lead. Not so much in the clear glass, but in the colored part of them. In ancient Rome, 'doctors' used to give patients an elixir of either vinegar or strong wine which had been tainted with one sort of heavy metal or another... copper, lead, silver, etc.. It was supposed to be a healthful potion, lightening the spirit and strengthening the body. And heavy metal poisoning can indeed give those feelings, even a feeling of euphoria... at the beginning. So the acid in vinegar or the ethanol in wine can and will leech heavy metals such as lead. As Norm Crosby once said, A word to the wise is deficient. ;)

Good luck,
Joe

fatbloke
12-20-2014, 11:50 AM
Further, I don't worry about possible lead in the coloured bit, especially if you use the ones with the coloured part in the middle. I'm not sure I'd use the clear ones that have a coloured film coating on the outside.

Not only is it surprising how many you actually need to displace the air space, but there's also the hazard of getting them into the carboy/demi-john/jug/etc. These aren't known to be made from the toughest/strongest of types of glass. You could be a little rash in getting them in, to find that they've caused stressing on the fermenter glass and the additional weight causes enough stressing for the bottom of the ferment to crack/break off. A waste of good mead if you ask me......

I just make my batches a bit larger than target, in a plastic fermenter bucket, then once it's dropped a first sediment, rack to glass. Any left over goes into either a glass pint milk bottle (might be unavailable over your side) or a cleaned out pop/soda bottle. Any airspace in the pop/soda bottle can be removed by squeezing the bottle before capping. Then that goes into the fridge, so when I need some, I have a nice little reservoir of appropriate top up......

kudapucat
12-21-2014, 06:29 AM
Yes. I also have a few carboys now where the bottoms fell out.
I don't recommend it. One breakage was worth crying over. Nobody touched it, the bottom just fell out.
I'm seeing correlation and concluding causation. Dangerous, I know, but in the interest of full disclosure.

joemirando
12-21-2014, 01:38 PM
As far as the bottom falling off (which is better than the front falling off (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m5qxZm_JqM)), post hoc ergo propter hoc. I guess it IS possible that the constant plink plink plink of dropping marbles into the carboy could cause microfractures in the glass, but I think its more likely that the flaws were there to begin with and that it would have happened anyway.

Nonetheless, I had always tilted the carboy as much as I could, allowing the marbles to roll down the side rather than dropping them straight down. I've only used marbles with 1 gallon or 4 liter jugs. I can't afford enough marbles to adjust my 6 gallon carboy. ;)

The physics of a 1 gallon jug is quite different than a 6 gallon carboy, and things like wall thickness and structural reinforcement don't usually scale up well. I remember a story about Jerry Lewis having a huge 7-UP glass made to have on stage for the Labor Day telethon. The idea, IIRC, was to have him standing in it and have it filled with liquid. They made several and tried filling the first one with liquid (dont remember if it was 7-UP or water now), and it broke because of the stresses. They had engineered them to reproduce the relative dimensions of the original glasses, but no matter what they did/tried, the huge glasses broke under the stress of gravity and pressure one after another. Back to topic... I'd trust dropping marbles into a thin-walled gallon jug much more than dropping them into a 6 gallon carboy.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Joe

mannye
12-21-2014, 02:38 PM
This is silly. We need to make perfectly clear that most carboys out there are not designed to have the bottom fall out. Unlike fatbloke's.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

kudapucat
12-21-2014, 04:58 PM
I was refereeing to gallon jugs. Never broken a carboy or demijohn yet

kudapucat
12-21-2014, 04:59 PM
Only the jugs that had marbles once broke in this way. One did it after the marbles were taken out.

joemirando
12-21-2014, 06:47 PM
Only the jugs that had marbles once broke in this way. One did it after the marbles were taken out.

Hmmm... I've been lucky then. I've always tilted the jug and gently rolled them down the side.

mannye
12-22-2014, 12:14 AM
I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to lose a batch, even a one gallon batch, to something like this. And the mess! An entire gallon instantly everywhere. There would be zero time to react.

Maybe if you're using marbles a few strips of duct tape along the bottom and side would keep the jug at least roughly together if not intact and allow a few seconds to run to a sink before the whole batch flavors the floor?


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

kudapucat
12-22-2014, 12:22 AM
Nope. There's no rescuing it. It is under a fair head of pressure, and dumps ultra fast. My floorboards are stained with Shiraz, and my basement below smelt awesome for some time.

EJM3
12-22-2014, 01:47 AM
I use marbles to stir up the lees for my batches receiving sur lie/battonage. That way I do not have to open the carboy and do the battonage, it remains sealed away from oxygen and other contaminants. Now I did try to use them to fill up the space in a gallon one time and it cracked a piece the size of a half dollar, lucky me it did not pop out until I got it moved to another carboy. Lesson learned: Tilt and add delicately like Joe to them from then on.

Love the video Joe! Thought it was more of a Monty Python skit, then looked it up and WOW is he a politician or what. Double, triple and quad talking at a about 56K BPS (56,000 Backpedals Per Second) using evasion tactics like and Aussie Rambo taking down parliament with his rapid fire mouth! Or he's just a low grade moron like a certain "W" here in the states...

kudapucat
12-22-2014, 03:49 AM
For the record, that guy is a brilliant political comedian. So good it would seem he's able to scare our friends from over the pond!
Mind you, it wouldn't be so believable if our politicians weren't such utter useless twats.

mannye
12-22-2014, 12:44 PM
For the record, that guy is a brilliant political comedian. So good it would seem he's able to scare our friends from over the pond!
Mind you, it wouldn't be so believable if our politicians weren't such utter useless twats.

I think real politicians are getting so ridiculous it's getting much harder to parody them. How can you parody something that's already so ridiculous as to almost be unbelievable? Although this guy you linked to is a MASTER. Very funny.

I had the same issue when I tried to parody spanish language telenovelas. They are so over the top it's hard to make fun of. We ended up doing "novela style" remakes of very serious shows and movies. That did the trick. We also ripped off SNL's old skit concept "the announcer family" and did "the novela family" where everyone reacts to everything in an overly dramatic fashion. It was so much fun.

Got to dig those up.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

brentG
12-22-2014, 01:37 PM
Could corks be used to fill headspace? I was thinking synthetic corks; just ram a few in there (maybe attach two or three with a needle or something) until they're lodged below the neck. It seems to me like it could work, once the liquid is high enough up on the neck.
Haven't tried it, I just make more and store, but it's what I planned on trying next time I run into the problem.

mannye
12-22-2014, 02:36 PM
I guess they would work if you had a mouth that was large enough. Otherwise they will stay in there forever and render the jug useless.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

Medsen Fey
12-24-2014, 09:02 AM
Could corks be used to fill headspace? I was thinking synthetic corks; just ram a few in there (maybe attach two or three with a needle or something) until they're lodged below the neck...

I've done this with synthetic cork and it does work. Downsides are that a lot of sediment winds up settling on these floaters and when you start to take them out, you get cloudy mead. The other issue is the synthetic cork can pick up aroma (or odor). If you search for my Naughty Rosie meadlog I have some that still smell like heather honey despite being cleaned, soaked in PBW, bleached and run through a dish washer.

For marbles, if you use ones safe for fish tanks, you won't have problems with heavy metals. I don't like marbles because it increases racking losses.

brentG
12-24-2014, 02:26 PM
I've done this with synthetic cork and it does work. Downsides are that a lot of sediment winds up settling on these floaters and when you start to take them out, you get cloudy mead. The other issue is the synthetic cork can pick up aroma (or odor). If you search for my Naughty Rosie meadlog I have some that still smell like heather honey despite being cleaned, soaked in PBW, bleached and run through a dish washer.



Good to know. Thanks. It just goes to show that some things look better on paper.

mannye
12-24-2014, 02:36 PM
I think it's best to have a neutral wildflower traditional on hand to top up. But I know that often that isn't the case. I have a crazy idea. How about clean aquarium sand? It will sit at the bottom, easy to pour in without the danger of breaking anything, and it's practically a built in filter medium. Once you're done siphoning off the clear mead, you can swirl the whole jug, tie a cheesecloth to the mouth and invert the whole thing. The sand will hold (I'm convinced) 99% of the yeast and other particulates back while allowing clear mead to filter through.

Once it's all drip dried, fill the jug with water and pour out the whole mess...yeast and sand together. It's so cheap it doesn't matter if it all goes onto the lawn. No? What did I miss?

Medsen Fey
12-24-2014, 05:11 PM
Interesting idea. If anyone tries it, please let us know how it works.

joemirando
12-24-2014, 06:28 PM
A very interesting idea. I'm not sure about it filtering the yeast, but at least it wont break the carboy. <g>

mannye
12-24-2014, 06:34 PM
A very interesting idea. I'm not sure about it filtering the yeast, but at least it wont break the carboy. <g>

Well yeah, the filtering action if any would be gravy. I just figure that if marbles are glass/quartz then isn't sand kind of the same thing? Maybe there is a grain size bigger than sandbox or aquarium sand that would still be gentle to the carboy? I'll take a look after the holidays. I still have to finish the time-lapse project. Maybe do a two-fer.

joemirando
12-24-2014, 08:55 PM
Well yeah, the filtering action if any would be gravy. I just figure that if marbles are glass/quartz then isn't sand kind of the same thing? Maybe there is a grain size bigger than sandbox or aquarium sand that would still be gentle to the carboy? I'll take a look after the holidays. I still have to finish the time-lapse project. Maybe do a two-fer.

I love 2-fers! This could end up being a 3-fer:

taking up head space
filtering yeast
making an artistic statement <g>


Remember those sand paintings in a jar? ;)

Joe

kudapucat
12-25-2014, 02:40 AM
I know sand is a problem in fish tanks, because it can harbour bacteria that can't survive in the less cramped quarters.
I have no idea if that applies to mead though, as it's already anaerobic, and you're going to have sanitised it.

mannye
12-26-2014, 02:11 PM
I know sand is a problem in fish tanks, because it can harbour bacteria that can't survive in the less cramped quarters.
I have no idea if that applies to mead though, as it's already anaerobic, and you're going to have sanitised it.

Soon as I get back I have a one gallon BOMM to make in order to use up some spare OB honey. /If all goes to plan, I'll do the time lapse for primary and the sand for secondary.

pokerfacepablo
12-28-2014, 11:34 AM
Back to the lead reference at the beginning of the thread. If you're that worried, you could soak the marbles in 2 parts vinegar and 1 part hydrogen peroxide for 15 minutes.

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