How to: Balloon CO2 collection (Bruloonlock)

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JT_Brews

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I used a similar setup to @Buffers brewery on my last brew witha 5L collection vessel. I cold cold crashing from 26 to 2 degrees and it seemed to be enough, there wasn't any visible suck-back anyway. Beer was still cloud AF though :)
 

Buffers brewery

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Had a go at making a CO2 collection balloon yesterday. Managed to get gas IN to the balloon but it wouldn’t come OUT! After much fiddling and several more attempts I decided to dissect the balloon to look at the valve.
F659D6F1-5E01-4838-90D1-6A8468D7D65D.jpeg

I was surprised how long it was ashock1 ! The tubing I was using wasn’t long enough to reach the end of the valve! Needs at least 15 cm of tubing inside the balloon (from entry point to end of valve). Don’t know if this is the same for all balloons of this type.
 

CD

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Had a go at making a CO2 collection balloon yesterday. Managed to get gas IN to the balloon but it wouldn’t come OUT! After much fiddling and several more attempts I decided to dissect the balloon to look at the valve.
View attachment 35451
I was surprised how long it was ashock1 ! The tubing I was using wasn’t long enough to reach the end of the valve! Needs at least 15 cm of tubing inside the balloon (from entry point to end of valve). Don’t know if this is the same for all balloons of this type.
I fell for the same mistake years ago, but have mentioned that you need to poke about 8" of tubing in to clear the duck's bill one-way valve on numerous occasions on this forum. The balloons I use are anagram 18" diameter.
 

DocAnna

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Had a go at making a CO2 collection balloon yesterday. Managed to get gas IN to the balloon but it wouldn’t come OUT! After much fiddling and several more attempts I decided to dissect the balloon to look at the valve.
View attachment 35451
I was surprised how long it was ashock1 ! The tubing I was using wasn’t long enough to reach the end of the valve! Needs at least 15 cm of tubing inside the balloon (from entry point to end of valve). Don’t know if this is the same for all balloons of this type.
I tried to describe this in the instructions, once you have some tubing in about 5 cm within the ballon, you can force the end of the hard tube through the side of the valve tubing while not tearing the ballon itself.

Anna
 
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Adding ideas to the thread, here's something I had a go at earlier this year:

 
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So inspired by this thread and frustrated with adding a half a litre of sanitizer to my last brew via suck back while cold crashing I rigged something up. I keep forgetting a balloon from the store. This worked ok but the balloon would be better. Hydration pack and some spare tubing. The only negative is now I think I did something to the yeasties due to the high pressure in my wee heavy and the s-04 is spitting out like crazy. Never had a blow off with s-04 before.

20201122_134312.jpg

20201122_154301.jpg
 

DocAnna

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Bit of an update on the balloon CO2 collection. My latest tube for CO2 collection used a simple plastic siphon tap which fits nicely into the hole for the airlock, and has the added bonus that you can close it before disconnecting the pipe to put the airlock back.

Another use is as a ‘life support’ pack while carrying a fermenter - which tends to change it’s shape and suck air back through the air lock - attaching one of these before carrying ensures any gas pushed out or sucked back in remains CO2 😇.

Collecting CO2 from ongoing fermenters:
428B80B1-6CA9-49E9-BCC6-4AB7AD308D14.jpeg


Attached as life support for the two lagers in the shed:
642FCF20-A4CA-4F3C-AB1F-DBA8B8F49F4C.jpeg


Finally tucked up in their new home for a few weeks in the fermentation fridge, for an 18 deg diacetyl rest then cold chill and lager:
1482FA10-2D61-4EBE-BA04-9FD8A4364857.jpeg

Anna
 
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I'm looking at 2 options (yet to be tested). First, catch 500mls of CO2 from FV that can be sucked back during cold crashing.
View attachment 33589

The small jar is a liquid trap, the middle is filled with Starsan at the beginning but this is (should be) displaced to the last jar which, once filled, excess CO2 goes to the Starsan filled Keg. As I say, yet to be tested.

That looks fantastic! I’ve used a gas in post on my FV bucket in place of the airlock, with that and a silicon hose over the tap nozzle connected to a liquid out disconnect I managed a closed transfer of water to my keg. I had around 1 or 2 PSI that, luckily, didn’t blow the lid off! Was thinking of using a spunding valve set to 0.5 or 1 PSI during fermentation instead of an airlock.
What are you using for disconnects and tubing, looks more flexible than my ball lock posts which do put a bit of strain on the FV when connecting up.
cheers!
 

Buffers brewery

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That looks fantastic! I’ve used a gas in post on my FV bucket in place of the airlock, with that and a silicon hose over the tap nozzle connected to a liquid out disconnect I managed a closed transfer of water to my keg. I had around 1 or 2 PSI that, luckily, didn’t blow the lid off! Was thinking of using a spunding valve set to 0.5 or 1 PSI during fermentation instead of an airlock.
What are you using for disconnects and tubing, looks more flexible than my ball lock posts which do put a bit of strain on the FV when connecting up.
cheers!
I gave up on the rigid jar approach to CO2 collection and went back to balloons. I use 8mm polyurethane pneumatic hose from the FV lid using a push fit connector.
AC7333B7-AF81-442B-A64A-F266B457C8F0.jpeg

The hose passes through the fridge side to a gunk trap and then on to the balloon. I tried to displace water from a full sanitised PB but was inconsistent so don’t bother anymore and just use gas from a cylinder for that part of the process.
My FV is fitted with a tap at the bottom and a camlock connector. When I transfer it’s done at atmospheric pressure. The important thing to do is to bleed the beer out line from the FV to the keg to get rid of any air. With the keg below the FV this will create a syphon and suck the beer from the FV to the keg. Take a look at my brewday post for more info.
 
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I gave up on the rigid jar approach to CO2 collection and went back to balloons. I use 8mm polyurethane pneumatic hose from the FV lid using a push fit connector.
Thanks for that @Buffers brewery! What connection do you have on the FV lid that you push fit onto, looks like a threaded stainless steel post from the photos of your previous set up.

In my test I had the keg under the FV and just the slightest bit of CO2 pressure in the keg, I connected the liquid side first which was a mistake as then the CO2 bubbled up through the FV's tap, next time I'll try connecting the gas first so the pressure is equalling the keg and above the beer in the FV and then open the tap. Best to try all of this with water first! My other thought is to just leave the gas posts of the FV and keg connected during fermentation with a spunding valve on the liquid out of the keg set at 0.5PSI (or a bit of tube into a bottle of sanitiser) so I can purge the keg with the CO2 from fermentation.
 

Buffers brewery

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What connection do you have on the FV lid that you push fit onto
Used one of these (made a mistake in my previous post, it’s 10mm hose)
C0506CEF-8E98-44B0-8405-7491B2D41225.jpeg

Just taken a quick pic of my current set-up..
30998118-CBC9-47FC-8F0B-5E84D568D6EC.jpeg

You can see on the left the CO2 hose coming out of the fridge from the FV. That’s connected to a gunk pot using the same connector as in the FV. From there there are 2 outlets. The long line with the gas disconnect connects to my PB during transfer letting gas from the PB back into the FV. The other output goes to a 12 v.d.c 2-way valve. The normally open outlet from the valve goes to the balloon via 2 isolating taps. The normally closed output goes to a bubbler connected using a corny quick connect. The callipers on the balloon switch the valve when the balloon is full.
I bleed all the lines with gas from the FV during fermentation then during transfer a balloon of CO2 is already connected to the FV for cold crashing and the long gas line is connected to the CO2 filled PB. The beer transfer line (which has a camlock connection at one end and a corny beer out connector at the other) is connected to a priming funnel and the FV tap. The FV tap is opened to bleed the line with beer into the priming funnel to which primimg solution is added. By lifting the priming funnel the beer and priming solution run back into the FV. All through this process the FV, PB and balloon are connected to keep the pressure in all three approximately the same. The transfer line is disconnected from the priming funnel before any air enter the line. Connecting the transfer line to the PB starts the transfer with the difference in the heights between the FV and PB creating a syphon.
As I said, although I tried to purge the PB with fermentation gas, because it was inconsistent I just fill the PB with tap water after sanitizing and purge using a gas cylinder.
 

Didge

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My fingers are too fat to attempt the micro surgery required with the balloon, so I used a 10 litre camping water carrier and a tyre valve and quick release fitting. They're tough as boots, inflate lovely and keep their pressure for months.

Didges CO2 Collection.jpg
 

Buffers brewery

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Do you mean you got water into your FV because the CO2 was absorbed so much?
No, nothing like that. I increased the size of the containers thinking I might need more CO2 for cold crashing, and although I got a bit of water displacement at the beginning of fermentation it never actually emptied the container as it should’ve. Whether that was down to leaky lids or CO2 absorption as the fermentation calmed down or a combination of both I don’t know. What I do know is with my current set up I can fill 3 large balloons and still have plenty over to go through the bubbler and all the associated pipes to purge air. I still don’t fully understand why I’m unable to consistently purge my PB as it managed it once but has refused to do a repeat performance. I might return to it later and have another go. I have another couple of projects on the go at the moment (brewing related) so haven’t got the time! :laugh8:
 

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No, nothing like that. I increased the size of the containers thinking I might need more CO2 for cold crashing, and although I got a bit of water displacement at the beginning of fermentation it never actually emptied the container as it should’ve. Whether that was down to leaky lids or CO2 absorption as the fermentation calmed down or a combination of both I don’t know. What I do know is with my current set up I can fill 3 large balloons and still have plenty over to go through the bubbler and all the associated pipes to purge air. I still don’t fully understand why I’m unable to consistently purge my PB as it managed it once but has refused to do a repeat performance. I might return to it later and have another go. I have another couple of projects on the go at the moment (brewing related) so haven’t got the time! :laugh8:
I'm having difficulty grasping the issue you had with the solid. I used a 5 litre water container used as an expansion chamber, so a pipe in from the FV and one out to the blow off container full of starsan. It pulled water up into the expansion chamber and in fact collapsed it as it is not strong material but it did do the job perfectly well.
 

Buffers brewery

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I'm having difficulty grasping the issue you had with the solid. I used a 5 litre water container used as an expansion chamber, so a pipe in from the FV and one out to the blow off container full of starsan. It pulled water up into the expansion chamber and in fact collapsed it as it is not strong material but it did do the job perfectly well.
Take a look at my post on the subject, it might help...

 

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