Homemade vacuum chamber construction

In summary: decent bottle of wine to be savored over two days?The concept of allowing a good, decent bottle of wine to be savored over two days is outdated.
  • #1
I hope you folks can help.

I want to be able to pour a liquid from one container into two others in the absence of air. So I was thinking of making some sort of vacuum chamber out of 1/2" polycarbonate and some heavy duty plastic sleeving into which to place my hands and arms. Or am I being naive ?

TIA
 
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  • #2
Welcome to PF.

It depends on how much of a "vacuum" you want to be able to pull. Using flat polycarbonate sheets to construct a box with arm access implies that it will not be much of a vacuum.

Do you just need the "absence of air" or you really need low pressure? Can you just fill the container with an inert gas instead?

Can you say more about what the liquids are, and why you think you need a vacuum? There are probably better ways to do this... :smile:
 
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  • #4
Thank you both for your replies.

Both my wife and I enjoy a decent bottle of wine...emphasis on 'decent'. Ideally some days we would like to spread consumption over two days but not all wines survive that well enough. The vacuum devices are useless because by the time you use it, the damage has already been done and a lot more oyxgen introduced into contact with the wine.

So I thought...in an ideal world one wouldn't take out the cork but would take the wine from a hole in the bottom of the bottle. Not exactly easy. But that got me to thinking ....and these thoughts have moved on a little since the OP.

If I had a 'container' - glovebox ? - into which I'd put wine bottle, corkscrew and carafe then suck out the air ie oxygen, then with I'd stick my hands through the 'glove' holes, remove the cork, pour some wine into the carafe for drinking that night and then reseal the bottle. Minimal introduction of oxygen. Lots of practical issues came to mind and so the idea has been refined a bit to :-

temporarily sealing the glove ports to minimise stress on the gloves during the vacuum process, removing the air, feeding back in an inert gas eg nitrogen, removing the seal on the glove ports to get my hands in and do the business.

I do have a vacuum pump.

Yes, I know....it's overkill...just drink the lot in one go ! That's our problem...we do and then would quite like another glass but not the whole second bottle !
 
  • #5
If it is a matter of oxygen, box filled with nitrogen or argon will do the trick. These are both available commercially.
 
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  • #6
countryman said:
oyxgen ... wine
If it's like that then I think CO2 (byproduct of wine-making, as you sure know that) at room pressure would be lot more simple than any vacuum-filled fight.
Also, CO2 can just fill a barrel and won't harm your skin till you do your corkwork from above. No gloves needed.
And in such configuration it is far more safe than a vacuum chamber - comparing to an accidental implosion it would be quite a struggle to drown yourself into an empty barrel...
 
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  • #7
Thanks guys..some excellent suggestions there.

Borek...isn't nitrogen lighter than air ?

I'm a past-master at over-engineering:smile:
 
  • #8
N2 is very slightly lighter than dry air.

N2= 14. * 2 = 28.0 g/mole.
O2 = 16. * 2 = 32.0 g/mole.
CO2 = (12. + 16. * 2) = 44.0 g/mole.
Dry air = N2 + O2 + Ar = (14*2)*78% + (16*2)*21% + (40*1)*1% = 28.96 g/mole.
 
  • #9
Rive said:
If it's like that then I think CO2 (byproduct of wine-making, as you sure know that) at room pressure would be lot more simple than any vacuum-filled fight.

Wine is long freed of CO2, and saturating it again with the gas can make it slightly more acidic, modifying taste (which is why I suggested inert gases). But it is more or less the same idea.
 
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  • #10
Thanks again for all the input.

But if nitrogen is slightly lighter than air, then how do you get it to force the air out ?
 
  • #11
Argon, Ar, is the obvious choice at 40 g/mole. It makes up about 0.93% of the atmosphere, so it is a cheap side product of liquid oxygen production from the atmosphere. Pure Ar is widely available as a welding shield gas, including from some hardware stores. Gas flow regulators are also available for Ar at commodity prices. Avoid the Ar welding gas blends that include small amounts of CO2 or O2.

Ar, under pressure through a hollow needle, could be used to remove the cork from the bottle. Consider an adaptor that introduces Ar as the wine is poured from the original bottle into an Ar filled storage vessel.
 
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  • #12
This is a fabulous forum...I'm learning all the time.
 
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  • #13
What happened to the concept of allowing a good wine to breathe before serving?
 
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  • #14
Hyperfine said:
What happened to the concept of allowing a good wine to breathe before serving?
Do it in the glass?
 
  • #15
BillTre said:
Do it in the glass?
Too much temptation! :smile:
 
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  • #16
countryman said:
But if nitrogen is slightly lighter than air, then how do you get it to force the air out ?

Just flush the tank with the excess amount of gas.

You will need to do it with any other gas as well.

You will need an inlet and an outlet on the tank, so to be extra sure it works OK just put one valve in the upper part of the tank, the other in the lower part, and depending on the gas fill the tank in the better direction. That's probably over-engineered, so you will like it :wink:
 
  • #17
I'm clearly not deep enough into wines for this, but the topic just kept on naggin' me, so ...
... well, 'wine preservers' are actually a business out there, and yes, argon is absolutely involved:doh:
You can even get some directly bottled up for such use.
Guess that also confirms the line of thought?
 
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  • #18
Hyperfine said:
What happened to the concept of allowing a good wine to breathe before serving?
I don't know much about drinking wine, but I do know that young and old wines breathe differently. When an old wine breaths, it vents volatiles, then stabilises. Argon will prevent oxidation, and will not interfere with the venting process.

A young wine also vents volatiles, but it improves with some oxidation. 100% argon may prevent that oxidation. Young wines are cheap, so you should not be wasting good argon on them.
 
  • #20
countryman said:
I want to be able to pour a liquid from one container into two others in the absence of air.
Would there be any point in having a system with a large internal volume - glove box etc - which would have to be purged to avoid possible contamination from one bottle to the next and involve a lot of sealing problems.

In the context of pouring a limited amount of wine from a bottle then why not just pump the wine from the bottle into one glass at a time? This would leave an unsullied space over the wine and a high(ish) vacuum and two glasses at atmospheric pressure so you can drink them. I assume that the bottle could stand a reasonable negative pressure. (But wouldn't a low pressure mean taking the existing CO2 from the wine, which would affect the taste?)

If not then use an inert gas (nitrogen??) to displace the wine in the bottle and 'push it out' into glasses.This sort of solution would involve no demands for high vacuum seals and a very small volume for the transfer apparatus just the pump volume and the connecting pipe.
 
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