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#16 Hammered

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 01:51 PM

Mine is not a GAI, but the sleeve sliding over the o-rings to seal is similar. Get some food grade silicon grease to use when you install the o-rings. I know its seems weird, like it will run off into the wine. But it doesn't, you don't have flow there, its just helps with drips. With this siphon type design (I used to have a siphon type), you might also want to fit the priming tube onto a turkey baster or a burette bulb. Not that sucking some wine is bad smileytoast.gif . You might also spend some time checking out the filling mechanism and shutoff. On a siphon design, the level in the tank is related to the level in the bottle. So less fluctuation tightens up the fill level variance. Not sure how you plan to fill but a very slight gravity feed works best, even if you have to pump up to a tank that gravity feeds back down. I used to use a 100L tank for this.

I guess I get the relationship between fill level of the bottle and the level of wine in the reservoir, but what do you do at the end of the bottling run with the wine that is left in the reservoir and lower than the level of the wine you want in the bottles? Seems like there'd be a lot of un-bottlable wine left.

Steve, Garagiste

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#17 Tomer1

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 04:35 PM

Pump it from the tank stright into 2L bottles for the "limited edition" series.

If I were into tatoos... I would tatoo some grapes on my forarm. :P


#18 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 08:18 PM

I guess I get the relationship between fill level of the bottle and the level of wine in the reservoir, but what do you do at the end of the bottling run with the wine that is left in the reservoir and lower than the level of the wine you want in the bottles? Seems like there'd be a lot of un-bottlable wine left.



there is a drain with a screw type valve for the main tank & I already decided that I would fill a few extra bottles that way.

Alan Holtzheimer


Silver Bell Winery


#19 Crazy Run Ranch

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 08:37 PM

I guess I get the relationship between fill level of the bottle and the level of wine in the reservoir, but what do you do at the end of the bottling run with the wine that is left in the reservoir and lower than the level of the wine you want in the bottles? Seems like there'd be a lot of un-bottlable wine left.


With my old filler, I attached a plunger style filler to the drain. Once the filling wine was gone and the level dropped, I open the drain and manually filled the last case or so. Even my current filler that fills from the bottom of the tank still traps a couple bottles in the bottom.

#20 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 03:02 PM

I received two lengthy and extremely helpful PM's about the GAI filler. Not sure why the sender didn't want to post the comments publicly because they were just what the doctor ordered. I hope this does not offend them but I wanted to repost their comments minus, minus the name, for everyone's benefit.



I've been following your thread in respect of the bottle filler that you will be using shortly.

I have previously used the semi-automatic GAI 600 monobloc which combines a rotating carousel filler and corking machine in one unit all standing on a single wheeled base.

The filler, built around a central circular tank that rotates, has 12 spouts on it, all being exactly like those on your borrowed GAI filler.

FILL LEVEL IN BOTTLES

The fill level in the bottles is controlled by the level of the wine inside the tank. This is due to the fact that the spouts are actually siphons and they reach equilibrium when the tank level and the bottle level are the same. You adjust the fill level in the bottle by adjusting the height of the bottle relative to the spout or by adjusting the level of the wine inside the tank.

WHERE DOES THE AIR IN THE BOTTLE GO

There is no second hole or third tube in the spout assembly. Rather, if you look at the weight above the neoprene cap on each of the spouts, you will see a hex-bolt on one side and a breather hole opposite to that. This is where the air vents from the diminishing head space in the bottle as it fills.

To check this do the following. Grab the spout assembly and tilt it upwards as much as the swivel will allow. Look up inside the black neoprene cap and check for the presence of a little hole. If you see it, this hole will be connected to the breather hole on the side of the weight.

O-RINGS

Your decision to replace the o-rings is an excellent one. If the o-rings are deteriorated or damaged in any way, the spout will leak or drip as you swap out the full bottle for the next empty bottle.

STARTING THE SIPHONS

You can start the siphon on each of the 6 spouts by simply placing an empty bottle under the spout, allowing the weight to settle the neoprene cap down onto the top of bottle, turning the weight around until the little hole faces you, pull down on the weight with one hand to ensure a good seal and then putting your lips over the hole, suck the air out of the bottle by mouth. The vacuum in the bottle will draw the wine from the tank up into the inner tube, through the swivel and down into the bottle thereby starting the siphon.

I always did it this way but never in front of a winery tour group or paying customer.

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In the light of the discussions about how you might manage the GAI filler as you near the end of the bottling session, may I offer the following additional suggestions.

It is important to note that each of the 6 inner tube siphons entering the reservoir tank probably reach down to within about 1/4" or so of the bottom of the tank. As such you can siphon the tank almost empty using one or all of the spouts at a time.

Now what to do about the fill level in the bottles as the wine level in the tank drops?

As the tank empties towards the end of the session, and assuming that there is no more wine to pump into it, you can start reducing the number of spouts that are siphoning out of the tank.

To do this, simply remove the last bottle filled on any particular spout and then lift that spout upwards as far as it will go by rotating it around the swivel joint. The weight will slide backwards down the inner tube opening the valve and any wine trapped inside the spout will drain back into the tank as far as is possible.

Eventually, when you are using the last spout, this is what you do to maintain the correct fill level in the last few bottles:

Remembering that the fill level in the bottle will always be equal to the wine level in the tank, you swivel the spout slightly outwards towards yourself such that the bottle that is under it can be moved forwards and off the shelf. You support the bottle in your hand and then slowly lower the bottle slightly such that the wine level in the bottle drops lower than the wine level in the tank. Ensure that the top of the bottle is always supporting the weight by pushing up against the neoprene cap. This will ensure that the foot valve remains open. As you do this, the siphon will start flowing again and you simply eyeball the fill level in the bottle.

When the correct fill-level is almost achieved, quickly lower the bottle such that the weight will close the valve by pushing the outer tube down onto the o-ring on the inner tube. The wine siphon will stop and you remove the bottle.

If per chance the fill-level is too low, you simply raise the bottle again until the top of it contacts the neoprene cap and lifts the weight causing the valve to open. More wine siphons into the bottle. You can bounce the bottle up and down like this to get the fill-level correct almost perfect.

As such you should be able to siphon all but the very last of the wine out of the tank correctly filling (all be it some what more slowly) all but the very last bottle.

Alan Holtzheimer


Silver Bell Winery


#21 Reverend Drake

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:59 PM

No - for the same reasons inert gases don't layer or blanket the surface of your wine.

Yes and no. There's a density difference that might work a little bit in your favor if you have the bottle upside down, depending on the gas you're using. Nitrogen is lighter than air, so it's going to technically take longer to diffuse downward, plus if the opening is blocked, which it should be if it's resting on something and not floating around the room ;) , you're reducing the gas interface area.

If you're using argon or CO2, the exact opposite since it's heavier than air. When I worked QA, we found that if the line stopped, the nitrogen sparged, upright bottles, could sit for about 10 minutes before reaching unacceptable O2 levels. Can't tell you how many minutes if they're upside down, but you should be ok to do a case at a time, IMO.

As far as the last fill heights, use a straw/pipette to adjust them until they're right.

My buddy has a little piece of tubing that fits in that little air-hole to start the suction.

#22 Hammered

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 09:24 AM

As far as the last fill heights, use a straw/pipette to adjust them until they're right.

My buddy has a little piece of tubing that fits in that little air-hole to start the suction.

Here's a quick tip to get your fill levels the same every time:

Overfill the bottle. Then with a piece of hose slipped through a two hole stopper the depth of the bottle fill level, vacuum out the extra into an overflow container.

Steve, Garagiste

Manufacturer of IntelliTanks at
www.Catalyst-Manufacturing.com

Author of The Homebuilt Winery 

 

 

#23 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 10:59 AM

Did a trial run last night using water & oxyclean. (Two birds with one stone.) It was incredible easy to use. Once the tank was full I put a bottle under each spout and gave a quick pull on the vent hole and the siphon was on. Adjusting the fill height was as easy as finding the right spot for the bottle holding tray. When I simulated the end of the batch I was able to get most of the wine out of the tank by holding the bottle off & lower than the bottle tray is and manually choosing the fill height. What was left in the tank after that was insignificant and will probably become my volunteer's spoils. Over all I could not be happier. I have now disassembled the entire filler and found quite a few yuckys that I will clean and then reassemble. Now on the the corker issue.

Alan Holtzheimer


Silver Bell Winery


#24 Hammered

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 12:21 PM

I hope you'll post some photos or videos of your bottling day. We're all waiting with baited breath!

Steve, Garagiste

Manufacturer of IntelliTanks at
www.Catalyst-Manufacturing.com

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#25 West Seattle Winery

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:51 PM

I just picked up a Marchisio filler that looks similar. Does anyone have any experience with that one? It looks similar just wondering if basic functions are the same?

(one I have is the bench top model):
Posted Image


Alan want to come show me how to use this thing?!
-Charlie
Cairdeas Winery


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#26 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 08:31 PM

I just picked up a Marchisio filler that looks similar. Does anyone have any experience with that one? It looks similar just wondering if basic functions are the same?

(one I have is the bench top model):
Posted Image


Alan want to come show me how to use this thing?!


I would be happy to. Its not difficult.

Alan Holtzheimer


Silver Bell Winery


#27 Crazy Run Ranch

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:19 AM

I have a Marchisio and I love it. This isn't a siphon style filler, the nozzles fill from the bottom so there is no priming. Just add wine and stick a bottle in it. Its also nice that once you set the fill level, its the same for every bottle and regardless of the level of wine in the tank. You adjust the shelf for longer or shorter bottles. Does yours have a float or electronic switch for filling?

#28 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 02:17 PM


Alan want to come show me how to use this thing?!


I have a new and improved idea, why don't you bring that up to my place this spring and I will show you how to use it when we bottle syrah, pinot gris, riesling, and roussanne.

Alan Holtzheimer


Silver Bell Winery


#29 West Seattle Winery

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 02:22 PM

I have a Marchisio and I love it. This isn't a siphon style filler, the nozzles fill from the bottom so there is no priming. Just add wine and stick a bottle in it. Its also nice that once you set the fill level, its the same for every bottle and regardless of the level of wine in the tank. You adjust the shelf for longer or shorter bottles. Does yours have a float or electronic switch for filling?


Sweet! I am really stoked to try it out. It has a float but because I don't have a pump that will shut off at a desired pressure I think I will either pump wine in through the drain valve and just feed it really slow or I will look into adding an electronic float that will shut the pump on and off. With the sight level in the front I will be able to monitor the fill level and adjust fill speed if need be.


I have a new and improved idea, why don't you bring that up to my place this spring and I will show you how to use it when we bottle syrah, pinot gris, riesling, and roussanne.


I would love to let you borrow my filler, help you bottle your wine, and take some home with me too!
-Charlie
Cairdeas Winery


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#30 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 02:25 PM

When I bottled I put a tank on a big stack of barrel racks and filtered the wine up to that tank. Then I let gravity keep the bottle filler tank full using the float valve it has in the tank. Worked perfectly.

Alan Holtzheimer


Silver Bell Winery





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