View Full Version : Sealing Carboys

11-17-2011, 09:45 PM
This is something I have researched on this site, and a few others and have come up rather dry. I usually use undrilled rubber stoppers for bulk aging in carboys of size larger than one gallon. For one gallon jugs I use the screw caps and wrench them down. For some reason I get paranoid that there isn't enough of a seal. I know that certain carboys call for certain sized plugs, but I usually just fish one out of the bin that fits, and push it down as far as it goes. Does anybody do anything different to seal carboys for bulk ageing?

11-17-2011, 09:56 PM
I'd be worried that there's TOO MUCH of a seal! For real extended aging after the mead is fully degassed, and 100% for sure done fermenting a rubber stopper should be fine, you could wire it down and put a plastic bag over it with a rubber band around the neck - someone here does that sometimes.

But I always age under airlock, because I want it to degass properly and not explode. ;)

11-17-2011, 11:26 PM
+1 on AToE's thoughts. Putting an undrilled stopper/tightly screwed on cap on too early is probably not a good idea.

However, I also use undrilled stoppers for extended aging after my meads have degassed fully. I got tired of checking the level in and cleaning airlocks. I've found that it works well enough for my purposes, and it keeps my supply of airlocks free for active/degassing things.

I should also say that I prefer the silicone stoppers over the rubber ones. You just have to make sure to use the correct size, or else it could easily fall in or get pushed out.

11-18-2011, 12:15 AM
Good advice. I should have included in my original post that I only use the caps and undrilled stoppers after the meads have sat under airlock for a few months. Once I'm sure everything's OK i seal them up. I was just wondering if the seal with the stoppers is tight enough. I like the idea of using a plastic bag and a rubber band. I was also thinking about using wax, but I don't know how practical that would be.

11-18-2011, 04:41 AM
The issue with wax is that it doesn't stick to things all that well and it'll either crack or just shrink and leave a gap anyways.

I'd go with plastic bag and elastic band if you're worried about it - but I think a stopper should be fine - the advantage with an airlock is that if it has some degassing left to do (I've had meads take almost a year to degass, and even then those one only degassed at that point because I forced them to...also, forget degassing, even just if the mead warms up and expands it could easily pop the stopper right off) it'll just bubble out rather than pop off the stopper. I have no evidence for this, but I'll bet the stopper seals better than the screw cap for the 1 gallon jugs.

I've seen on this site something where it's a silicon stopper with a stiff valve that just lets out pressure, like an airlock without liquid basically - to me this seems like an ideal solution. Nothing to top up. :)

11-18-2011, 11:23 AM
I've seen on this site something where it's a silicon stopper with a stiff valve that just lets out pressure, like an airlock without liquid basically - to me this seems like an ideal solution. Nothing to top up. :)

I've thought about using these, but was never able to find one that wasn't for plugging up a full barrel. Then again, I probably just haven't looked around online for them very hard either. :rolleyes:

11-18-2011, 11:48 AM
I'm interested in the silicon stoppers, too. Anybody have a lead on them?

11-18-2011, 01:42 PM
So, of course, the first hit on Google when searching for "silicone bungs" came up with a few that look like they'd fit a carboy. One says "fermentation or solid" which leads me to believe it's the one with a flap to allow for escaping gas...the product description is kinda vague though.

Here's the link: http://www.thevintnervault.com/index.php?p=view_category&category_id=76

11-18-2011, 06:55 PM
I bought some of these and so far they seem like a lazy mans tool for bulk aging. I say so far as I have no long term ezperience myself. More Wine and Northern brewer also have them.


11-19-2011, 01:56 PM
I'd like something that fits a 3 gal or 5 gal better bottle and something that fits a 1 gal jug.

Y'all are engineers, aren't you? There's gotta be a brewer/inventor out there who spots a capital idea and gets to work on it...

Vance G
11-19-2011, 05:23 PM
If it is just to seal out beasties, why not use a ballon? Don't throw things people, I don't know!