I've made three demijohns of elderflower wine, and after fermentation stopped and I racked the wine, then all three demijohns started sucking in the liquid which is in the airlock. We have had some unusually hot weather here in the UK, and I believe the reason for this negative pressure in the demijohn is due to the cooling down at night. Not sure.

The liquid I used in the airlock is last year's bad batch of elderflower wine, all freeze-distilled. It's a rather strong alcoholic thing. You wouldn't want to drink it, but it has worked well as cleaning fluid or insect-repellent airlock juice before.

Recipe said, to leave the wine in the demijohn for eight weeks after racking. After ten days, When I saw the airlock was getting sucked in, I panicked and then bottled the wine! Is my wine likely to be ruined? Is there a way to tell so soon?

  • As to freeze-distilling your wine, check your jurisdiction before doing this. As for me, it's legal so long as you claim you don't intend to drink it. Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 8:27
  • When I started I also had this problem, then I replaced the conventional, cheap homemade airlock by a 3-pieces airlock and the problem was solved.
    – rondonctba
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 23:42

3 Answers 3


I use vodka in my airlocks if sucking in starts to occur. Freeze distilled stuff should do the trick. To actually get on and answer your questions:

Is my wine likely to be ruined?

Probably not

Is there a way to tell so soon?

after 1 or more weeks pop one of the bottles and have a try

In my experience elderflower will get better with some ageing, but is usually very drinkable after 2 - 3 weeks after primary fermentation has finished. Sometimes I drink it earlier cut with lemonade.


Depending on how much head space, just a few degrees drop will pull air through the air lock into the fermentor.

Also that means that fermentation was no longer producing c02.

It sounds like you bottled slightly late but at the right time. IMO your wine should be fine.


I used to use K-meta in my airlocks without any problems, until I had it get sucked into and ruin a batch of beer. Now, nothing but vodka in my airlocks. If it gets sucked in it just raises my ABV a small bit.

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