Vacuum Pumps and Winemaking. Let’s Set the Record Straight A www.WinemakingTalk.com Fact Check
Many of us use Vacuum pumps to transfer wine. As a method it has certain advantages. The two most important the pumping is very gentle on the wine and the wine is moved in a much reduced environment of oxygen. It also helps in degassing kit wines. All this makes for a very good way to move wine safely.
For a very long time winemakers have been using the Enolmatic Bottler not only to fill bottles but also to make use of the system to move wine between carboys and barrels. Using this system saves the Winemaker making small amounts the cost of needing an additional pump. Various 2 hole bungs are available or can be fabricated for various size openings be it carboys, demijohns or barrels.
In addition to the Enolmatic System, which is essentially a vacuum pump system , Winemakers have been using Air Conditioning Evacuation Vacuum Pumps to accomplish the same job as the Enolmatic. A few concerns arise when using them . Some are groundless yet the Myths continue on Winemakingtalk all the time. The first is the strength of the vacuum produced. For safety reasons not exceeding 30 hg when evacuating a car boy is a safe thing to do. A reasonable level is about 25hg. When evacuating Demijohns a little less vacuum might be prudent as these are made with very thin glass. An easy way to regulate the amount of vacuum available is a simple one. A small gas ball valve will do the trick when teeing off the vacuum source at the pump. It will hold its adjustment perfectly despite claims to the opposite by the Gurus at Winemaking talk .com. Additionally another tee in the line will give you the opportunity to install a gauge. Despite claims to the otherwise no expensive regulator is needed.
The other nonsense perpetrated by these same experts is you should use only an oil less vacuum pump. Hogwash! Some who advocate this have a commercial interest in selling an inferior bottling system to the Enolmatic. In any case the claim is the oil model pumps spew out a fog of oil in the room when you are using them. I have used 3 different oil model pumps and have never had that problem. I have heard that the Harbor Freight Model does this. I cannot confirm this but only to say one of our club members just purchased one and it will be very easy not only to find out but simply put some cheese cloth over the exhaust of the pump to catch any fumes. This notwithstanding the Valley Vintner ( this link is to the single stage model) oil less models are a better choice if you care to spend a few more dollars.
Since I crafted the Poor man’s Enolmaster using 3 heads from an Enolmatic it appears that this has caught on. There are quite a few Winemakers and some commercial enterprises that have followed what only can be considered my lead. Now even Valley Vintner sells single and multiple head Enolmatic type bottle filler heads on stands. All of this makes owning and using a vacuum pump a desired winemakers tool.
Just in case you need to read more lunacy this beats the band…Here is another one for you on Winemakingtalk.com The guy asks what temperature is safe to keep wine one of the regular geniuses says well you can dig a cellar below the frost line and it should be 55 degrees. The fellow responds that he lives in North Carolina and he doesn’t have a frost line. And the conversation devolves from there. Yes you do no I don’t yes you do etc etc. But even though there is a frost line where he lives it doesn’t mean that you reach it every year. In other words that is the maximum depth of frost ever attainable in that climate. But that is not even the point. The suggestion that if you dig below the frost line your cellar would be 55 degrees is plain and simply wrong, You have to dig to about 48 inches deep anywhere on earth to get to a temperature of 55 degrees. It has nothing to do with the frost line. But don’t worry the Julie Super Bitch Moderator is now trying to handle the heated discussion. ROFLMAO
Here you go Dan
2 hole bungs for different barrels. The orange bung is a proprietary bung from Enolmatic. It comes with their Carboy Racking Kit. It fits gallons and carboys. They also make a Demijohn Cap for racking as well.