Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:28 pm

Doc posted a little about his ping pong ball airlock. For those of that don't know. Doc is from another forum. But I thought I should share this info with this forum too. And it inspired me to make one for my drum fermenters. And it turned out to be a lot easier then I thought. My drum lids have 2" NPT bungs in them. As most do. So I wanted something easy to slap on them. So I went and picked up a package of 6 ping pong balls. $3 at K Mart. Then headed to Lowes armed with a ping pong ball. Was rummaging through the PVC fitting isle. Grabbed a male 2" NPT adapter. And looked for something to fit the ping pong ball. And I found it. A 2" X 1 1/4" reducer bushing. The ping pong ball fits in the 1 1/4" female section with air space on the sides. And a lip to hold it up and seal against it. I think both fittings were $3. So $3.50 for each airlock.

Parts list. Ping pong ball. 2" male NPT adapter PVC. 2" X 1 1/4" reducer bushing PVC.

Glue the two together. Or press fit would work. Screw it into the drum bung. And drop the ping pong ball into place. And you got a cheapo Doc's ping pong ball airlock.

I'm going to find some sort of protector screen to go over it. But they will work for now.

Thanks for the inspiration Doc.
IMAG1840-picsay.jpg
IMAG1838-picsay.jpg
IMAG1839-picsay.jpg
And here is a pic of my new rum fermenter setup. I placed a spigot at about the 8 gallon mark. This should leave enough room to take off clear wash. While leaving back the yeast bed. I will be reusing the yeast bed and what little wash is left to start the next batches. Just adding in new wash to ferment. I have the first batch going. And its going strong. The airlock is doing a great job. And can handle the amount of CO2 being produced by the 35 gal wash.
IMAG1841-picsay.jpg
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

Theo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:43 pm
Location: Out West

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Theo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:34 pm

Great idea!

So if I have a 55 gal fermenter, a racquetball should work? :moresarcasm: Just kidding.
Still happy, Still learning, Still reading
Theo

New distiller reading lounge. http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=46

bellybuster
Master Distiller
Posts: 4490
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:00 pm

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by bellybuster » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:38 pm

for a 55 gal fermenter you need a basketball.

great idea with the PP ball

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:43 pm

That's a 53 gallon drum. Doc uses his on hundreds of gallons sized fermenters. So they can handle some volume. Yes he is a legal setup. Winery, brewery, and distillery.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

HolyBear
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1598
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:23 am
Location: Prolly diggin through Dnders posts

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by HolyBear » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:19 pm

So is there not a water trap? What's gonna keep the fruit flys out?
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

Richard7
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1858
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:13 pm
Location: Central Alabama, Heart of Dixie!

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Richard7 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:29 pm

wacabi1 wrote:So is there not a water trap? What's gonna keep the fruit flys out?
I bet they would love to hang out there but I don't see them getting around the ball.
"yeah? yeah? the maple flavored kind?" A dog on you tube.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:37 pm

wacabi1 wrote:So is there not a water trap? What's gonna keep the fruit flys out?
No water. The ping pong ball acts like a check valve. Lifts up to let co2 escape. While blocking anything from getting in. Basically a ball checkvalve.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

kentuckyboy
Novice
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:43 pm

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by kentuckyboy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:42 pm

I was thinking of just mounting 4 traditional airlocks on a 30 gallon drum. I don''t know if it would be sufficent enough. This looks like it would be great. Thanks so much for posting this. Every little thing I learn as a newbie makes me want to start building stills and sell them and inform others, some things make me want to distill. Some things just make me happy to tinker with this stuff. Just making my own airlock was fun. They aren't expensive but it was fun to build my own anyways.

User avatar
NineInchNails
Trainee
Posts: 879
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:12 am

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by NineInchNails » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:33 am

That is very cool! I like that design a lot. Makes perfect sense.

With the right combination of fittings I think you can make a completely encapsulated design that can be taken apart if needed. For instance the right adapter, short length of PVC pipe and a cap with a hole drilled in it to let co2 escape. I haven't given it much thought, but it should be possible.

on1wheel01

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by on1wheel01 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:51 pm

Pretty cool idea. I will be switching from my 5 gallon buckets to a 20 gallon barrel. I just use the standard air locks. Was figuring using 2-3 instead of one. But may try this.

rad14701
Master Distiller
Posts: 20866
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by rad14701 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:33 am

Very ingenious... :thumbup:

I've been pondering something very similar... Even a small rubber ball would also work even though the added weight would increase the fermenter pressure marginally... I was thinking about using a marble over a flared piece of copper line, kinda like a breather for a reflux columns reflux condenser section...

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Dnderhead » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:06 pm

a 1 oz ball on a 1 1/8 in tube will be 1 /16 (.0625)psi....

Stainless
Swill Maker
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:19 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Stainless » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:23 pm

Hi
Dunder does it again well done ,, so 1/16psi=nearly 0.7 bar? 1 bar = about 14.5 psi
thanks man
Stainless
Luceo Non Uro

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Dnderhead » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:39 pm

i just threw that in to show that there would be little presser build up.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:05 pm

Where do you come up with this stuff Dnderhead? :shock:

I've actually been thinking about weighting the ping pong balls down a little. Was thinking about drilling a small hole and using a syringe to inject some epoxy or something like it. To give it a little more weight. I also had the thought of using an O-ring placed down against the lip. Don't know that it would give much more of a seal. It was just a thought I had. I haven't had a chance to dig the O-ring kits out to find a good size to fit it. And try it out. Maybe later.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

Richard7
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1858
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:13 pm
Location: Central Alabama, Heart of Dixie!

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Richard7 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:17 pm

I know this is not what this thread is about, but the math was bothering me. Sorry just my nature.
This is what I came up with....

1.25" reducer has a surface area of 1.227 Square " (radius of .625 x .625 x PI or 3.141)

Ball weight of 1oz = .0625 of a pound.

.0625 over 1.227 = 0.0509 PSI = .0035 bar :crazy: I haven't done the math but I would bet that is less than a water air lock!
"yeah? yeah? the maple flavored kind?" A dog on you tube.

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Dnderhead » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:06 pm

head of water is .434 psi per foot. so 1 in of water is .434<12= .036 psi

Richard7
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1858
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:13 pm
Location: Central Alabama, Heart of Dixie!

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Richard7 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:14 pm

Looks like I lost that bet! Thanks Dnder. :clap:

Edited again to say I still like the air lock and to fix a typo, my calculations were with a 1oz ball. Anyone know how much a ping pong ball weighs (without google!)? Very good solution to sealing a fermenter!
"yeah? yeah? the maple flavored kind?" A dog on you tube.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Richard7 wrote: Anyone know how much a ping pong ball weighs (without google!)? Very good solution to sealing a fermenter!
1/8 oz or 3 gr.

Out of three different O-ring kits. Not one fits good. I have one more kit out in my van. I will try it tomorrow. Not really needed. But thought I would try it.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

Bayou-Ruler
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1704
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: SW Louisiana

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Bayou-Ruler » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:15 pm

Little off topic but, how good does that stick on thermometer work on the barrel?
Bayou Ethanol
Ethanol Fuel Producer

AFP-LA-15027
http://www.BayouEthanol.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:44 pm

Bayou-Ruler wrote:Little off topic but, how good does that stick on thermometer work on the barrel?
Not sure. Never really tested it. I have always treated them as an indicator not really a true temp reading. Just a Guesstaments.

I built another fermenter and updated my UJSSM fermenter. To the new spigot setup I will ne using. It's a 3/4 NPT tank bulkhead they sell at Lowes. And a simple 3/4" NPT spigot. Actually they are drum spigots. The seal surface on these bulkheads are nice and wide. They are actually sold for rain barrels. And I like them.
IMAG1862-picsay.jpg
IMAG1861-picsay.jpg
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Dnderhead » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:24 pm

a mouses balls mite be good???? HA HA ,,I mean the ball from a computer mouse..

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:42 pm

Dnderhead wrote:a mouses balls mite be good???? HA HA ,,I mean the ball from a computer mouse..
:lol: :lol: :lol:
They are nice and heavy with a rubbery coating. A computer mouse ball that is. :mrgreen:
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

F6Hawk
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 803
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:43 am

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by F6Hawk » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:03 am

Wow, this thread is getting out of control! We went from fermenting to having to shave a poor mouse's balls to prevent nasties getting in... Ewwwwww

PP, how about a hypodermic needle, about 22-28 ga, fill the ping pong ball partially with cooking oil, put a drop of superglue over the hole, and now it weighs significantly more.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16355
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Heatland Prairie USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:40 am

Thought about it. But they work as is. And I'm lazy. :lol:
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

Theo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:43 pm
Location: Out West

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Theo » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:26 pm

I used a 2" NPT to 2" slip joint PVC connector. A racquet ball sits nicely on the shoulder. Considering the weight of the ball & the area of the shoulder, it takes .04 PSI for burps to happen. I had the ball on hand & the connector was $1.05. :thumbup:
Still happy, Still learning, Still reading
Theo

New distiller reading lounge. http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=46

varocketry
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:15 pm
Location: somewhere not near Detroit

Try a Squash ball

Post by varocketry » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:31 pm

Reading this I thought of a Squash Ball as it's roughly the same size as a ping-pong ball. Heavier but not too heavy. Smaller and lighter than a Racquet ball.
-Just need something else to build. -

User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
Posts: 15086
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Bushman » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:47 pm

And when we were talking mouse balls I was wo during about rockie mountain oysters :moresarcasm:

RonH3154
Novice
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:17 am
Location: Southeast USA

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by RonH3154 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:26 am

Prairiepiss wrote:
Bayou-Ruler wrote:Little off topic but, how good does that stick on thermometer work on the barrel?
Not sure. Never really tested it. I have always treated them as an indicator not really a true temp reading. Just a Guesstaments.

I built another fermenter and updated my UJSSM fermenter. To the new spigot setup I will ne using. It's a 3/4 NPT tank bulkhead they sell at Lowes. And a simple 3/4" NPT spigot. Actually they are drum spigots. The seal surface on these bulkheads are nice and wide. They are actually sold for rain barrels. And I like them.
IMAG1862-picsay.jpg
IMAG1861-picsay.jpg
Mr P I found some food grade barrels locally and want to build a similar fermenter. I was looking on the Lowe's website and couldn't find the bulkhead or spigot. Do you have a part number or a link for them?

Moose_755
Novice
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: On me rum ship

Re: Mr P's Doc inspired drum fermenter airlock.

Post by Moose_755 » Sun May 12, 2013 1:52 pm

Thanks for this, it will definitely help out once my 60g fermenter is done airing out.
How high gallon wise are you (PP) mounting your spigot to get it above sweet feed or wash materials?
"But why is the rum gone" Captain Jack Sparrow
"If guns cause crime, all of mine are defective." Ted Nugent
"He who makes no mistakes, makes nothing."

Post Reply