Other 4.5L Demijohns or 23l Carboys? Is There a Difference

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Mexibob

Junior
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
I have yet to be disappointed by the results of any of the wine kits I have made, however reading through the forums it occurred to me that I may be jeopardizing the potential of my wines.

After fermentation and clearing, I rack my 30 bottle wine kits into four 4.5 litre demijohns and remaining wine in 75cl bottles. I then bottle the demijohn contents as required.

Is this practise okay or should I after clearing, rack to a 23 litre carboy and when appropriate bottle the entire carboy content into 75cl bottles?
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
7,057
Reaction score
18,075
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Wine goes through a lot of chemical changes in the first 3-12 months. Having the wine go through those changes as a single unit produces more consistent results.

Also, every racking produces a loss of volume. Having the wine in a single 23 l carboy helps to reduce losses.

In the past I filled 19 l carnitas and had the extra in smaller containers. For kits I now fill a 23 l and top up. It's less hassle. For grape wines I use as few containers as possible, but the variable nature of fresh fruit makes it harder.
 

vinny

Mildly Amused
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
1,675
Reaction score
3,843
Location
Central Alberta
At 5 months I split my kits into 2 3 gallon carboys and bottled half. I Wanted to taste it, but I also wanted to see the difference that bulk aging vs bottle aging made. I just bottled the second half, and after only 9 months there is no notable difference.

Bottle vs carboy doesn't seem to matter in the short term. Perhaps with years of aging one would see a difference. As long as you have very little headspace in each vessel, it doesn't matter what you keep your wine in.
 

Mexibob

Junior
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
Hi Guys thanks for responding. Winemaker81, I agree with Vinny you do make a very good point and when you think it through is the logical answer. However like Vinny I doubt my palette would notice a discernible difference but hey will go the carboy route if Santa’s listening and one or two appear Christmas Day.
 

Attachments

  • 1670101059496.png
    1670101059496.png
    6.4 KB · Views: 0

BigDaveK

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
1,870
Reaction score
3,351
Location
Hocking Hills, OH
I've actually wondered about this.
Some of my 3-gallon batches in primary actually turn into one 1-gallon and one 3-gallon in secondary. But that's my intention when I know there's going to be a boatload of gross lees. After 2 rackings I usually end up with one 3-gallon carboy. I noticed the gallon jug clears MUCH faster than the 3-gallon carboy. Plus, I think a smaller mass (the 1-gallon) would be more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. The SG's have always been the same, fortunately, but I wonder if there's a measurable but not necessarily noticeable difference?
 

vinny

Mildly Amused
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
1,675
Reaction score
3,843
Location
Central Alberta
I've actually wondered about this.
Some of my 3-gallon batches in primary actually turn into one 1-gallon and one 3-gallon in secondary. But that's my intention when I know there's going to be a boatload of gross lees. After 2 rackings I usually end up with one 3-gallon carboy. I noticed the gallon jug clears MUCH faster than the 3-gallon carboy. Plus, I think a smaller mass (the 1-gallon) would be more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. The SG's have always been the same, fortunately, but I wonder if there's a measurable but not necessarily noticeable difference?
The picture I just shared of my tomato wine with the raw vs roasted actually had me pondering this.. The 1 litre top up bottles appear to be pretty well cleared and the gallon jugs are still pretty murky. I was wondering if it was due to less wine to look through, or actually falling out of suspension faster. I guess we have our answer now.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
7,057
Reaction score
18,075
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
However like Vinny I doubt my palette would notice a discernible difference but hey will go the carboy route if Santa’s listening and one or two appear Christmas Day.
I didn't think it made any difference, but a few years back I bottled a batch early -- it was clear and remained clear, no sediment in the bottle. But I had a tremendous variation between bottles, ranging from very good to kit wine taste (KWT). That one instance made me a believer in ensuring the wine is homogenous and has sufficient bulk aging time.
 
Top