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How do you keep the stopper from jumping out of the jug???

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Intheswamp

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 9, 2012
257
1
0
South Alabama
Ok, I know there's a trick here somehow. I see all these pictures of nice jugs and carboys sitting there with some sparkling mead inside with a nice stopper and air lock crowning the crystalline scene.

Hmm, my first adventure was with a batch of JAOM in a gallon jug...I sanitized the stopper and it was push it in, watch it jump out, push it end, watch it...well, you get the point. I ended up rubber-banding the stopper down by hooking the rubber band under the finger hole...not elegant, but it worked.

My next adventure was with my 3-gallon batch of traditional. I started out using a regular drilled stopper...then one of the hollow-looking deals with a hole in it...I felt like I was watching a re-run of putting the stopper on the gallon of JAOM but in three times the size!!!:rolleyes: I finally dug out one of those orange cover deals with the two holes in it...I'm not sure how tight it fit but it didn't jump off the mouth of the carboy! I ended up wrapping it with food wrapper. <sigh>

So...what's the trick? If you sanitize the stoppers they turn into a stump of a slippery eel and do the "watch me jump out and thoroughly hack you off" routine. So, what do you do? Do you sanitize it and let it dry off?...but, doesn't that give some wild yeast or bacteria a chance to infect the stopper? Do you put the stopper in and set a couple of cement blocks on top of it to hold it in? Or...does no one but me have this problem? :p

I've been meaning to post this for a while but kept procrastinating (something I'm good at). But, I'm getting ready to do a gallon of Joe's Quick Grape Mead and would like to have an idea of how to keep the stopper in the jug...without rubber bands.

Anybody got a tip on how to keep the stopper in? ???

Ed
 

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
What you don't do, is in frustration push so hard that your stopper goes inside the jug.
That's REALLY hard to get out.

I've never had this issue with 1 gal jugs, but carboys are a nightmare.
I find silicon bungs are a bastard, whilst rubber bungs hold tighter.
Mind you, I've used the cage from a champagne bottle (you need to replace the bottom wire with a longer one (wire tie from the kitchen) to make it fit a carboy) just to keep it from escaping.

Tips to reduce this risk.

Ensure your stopper has dried.
Ensure your carboy neck is dry.
Use a good funnel to avoid wetting the carboy glass.
In primary it can be without a stopper for a while, so let both stopper and carboy air dry for a period.
 

veritas

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 7, 2007
294
2
0
Wisconsin BEER Capitol USA
Just make sure you have a good fitting stopper before you start. Sanitize it let it dry put it in. I for one would not worry to much about the stopper picking up bacteria or wild yeast. But again I do like mass bio pitches!

To put it in perspective I start almost all of my meads open air buckets with simply mesh over the top to keep out an occasional gnat!
 

Intheswamp

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 9, 2012
257
1
0
South Alabama
I've got some #4 copper ground wire I might try, or maybe that piece of logging chain I've been saving...they might be too weak, though. :D

Thanks for the replies, ya'll. I'll keep working on it.

Yeah, try matching them up when they are both dry and empty to see how well they work together. 1/2 size too big and it will refuse to stay in....
skunkboy, regardless of the possible heighty aroma lingering around your user name ;D you are a gentleman, a scholar, and a GENIUS!!! I'll try tinkering with them dry...I've got some extras of both. Thanks, that's a good idea!!

Oh a side note... That double holed "carboy cap" that I ended using was one of two that I had ordered. The first one I grabbed I happen to notice a slight "poke" mark on the outside...kinda like a nail or something had poked it and left an impression. When I flipped it over there was a hole on the inside. The best I can tell it was an air-bubble in the rubber(?) and the "poke" mark was simply where the rubber is really thin. I need to look back at it and see if it goes all the way through as I simply reached for the other one and put it on. I just thought I'd mention this in case some of you are using them...look out for pin holes.

Ed
 

Intheswamp

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 9, 2012
257
1
0
South Alabama
What you don't do, is in frustration push so hard that your stopper goes inside the jug.
That's REALLY hard to get out.

I've never had this issue with 1 gal jugs, but carboys are a nightmare.
I find silicon bungs are a bastard, whilst rubber bungs hold tighter.
Mind you, I've used the cage from a champagne bottle (you need to replace the bottom wire with a longer one (wire tie from the kitchen) to make it fit a carboy) just to keep it from escaping.
<snip>
Yelp, I've been *real* careful to not push too hard. The way these rubber stoppers smell I don't want them floating around in my mead! I'm thinking of going ahead and rigging up some wiring harnesses as I foresee issues in the future.

I think my experiences are mostly in line with yours...the gallon jugs were "too" bad but the carboy was a Laurel and Hardy comedy...kinda.

Ed
 

icedmetal

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 16, 2009
794
1
0
Everett WA
As someone who has had to fish the wrong-sized stopper out of the carboy more than once now, I can say with authority: don't do that &#55357;&#56841;

I had nothing but trouble with my stoppers until I started drying them, as well as the inside neck of the carboy. No problems since, spoilage or otherwise.
 

akueck

Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
4,958
10
0
Ithaca, NY
I'll echo the consensus: make sure it's dry. Sometimes I'll set it in there if I can't get the stopper to be quite dry enough to seal, and come back in a few hours. By then it usually will go in.
 

Intheswamp

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 9, 2012
257
1
0
South Alabama
NEVER NEVER NEVER wire a stopper on - not even one with an airlock. If it gets clogged you could have a carboy bomb instead of just a ceiling-staining MEA
CHANNEL 8 BREAKING NEWS!!!!!
In south Alabama today an apparent terrorist bomb making lab blew to smithereens. Not much was left from the explosion...a little glass, what looked like soggy oranges, and a strange liquid sprayed everywhere. A man was found with a slightly glazed look in his eyes and is believed to be a local wino...he keeps repeating over and over "Medsen told me not to...Medsen told me not to...". Hazmat teams were on site after the report of a peculiar orange aroma permeating the surrounding area. Citizens were evacuated for a two mile radius but authorities urge people not to panic. President Obama is to make some remarks on national television as soon as he is through with his Saturday Night Live appearance and the United Nations has called a special session. Stay tuned for more developments. <END>
 

Intheswamp

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 9, 2012
257
1
0
South Alabama
Ok, so wiring down the stoppers has it's pros and cons. I'm wondering if rubber bands would work ok. That's what I've been using on my 1-gallon batch.

It sounds like I need to sanitize and then let them dry in a sanitary way. Maybe wrap them in paper towels wet with sanitizer, set them somewhere clean to dry. Once dry you could unwrap and use then or place them in something like a sanitized plastic food container for later use. Ok, I've got some ideas...the big one being to use them DRY!!!!

Thanks for the help!
Ed
 

JayH

NewBee
Registered Member
May 9, 2006
355
3
0
Corrales, NM
I simply take a strip of aluminum foil about 4 inches wide and the width of the roll, double it over for a bit of extra thickness (so now it it is something like 2" x 11") and wrap it around the cork and top of the bottle. It does a good job of holding in the air lock, yet is loose enough that if they got clogged they can still pop out.

Jay
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
0
Ottawa, ON
I second that a #6 stopper shouldn't give you a problem for the 1-gal carboys... I always have the airlock attached when I fit them in so I've never managed to push one all the way in.

I think the elastic bands would be safer than wiring it. You'd think the elastic would stretch or snap if there were enough pressure... and I usually dunk my stoppers in sanitizing solution rihgt before putting 'em in, so they're always nice and wet ;D

I've had some pop off of my bigger carboys from time to time because I was out of the right size and tried to make something bigger work... And as much as my husband insists that "Push harder!" is the solution to most problems... correct sizing is an even better option.

Or plastic wrap, it's my old standby when I've run out of stoppers and airlocks...
 
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