6g Batch in a 5g Carboy

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Wine Maker - Rookie Year
Jun 8, 2017
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I have been brewing beer for a few years and decided to try my hand at wine. I am starting with the Cabernet Sauvignon (Vintner's Reserve) from Winexpert. The question I have is around my 5 gallon carboy and the fact that my kit is for 6 gallons.

I have transferred as much wine as I could into the secondary fermenter (5g Carboy). I had a little left in the bucket so I transferred that to a gallon growler. I had one airlock so I plugged the carboy and I put a Muslin Mesh over the growler. My OG readings have been spot on but I am not sure how to proceed.

When it becomes time to rack the wine, am I able to combine the wine from the carboy and growler back into the 7g primary fermenting bucket. Do I keep them separate from this point on? Or do I discard whats in the growler and yield less in the end?
Feb 25, 2017
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Centerville, Northern Virginia
If you don't have a second 5 gal I would just rack to the primary and back again. You will lose some volume and have to top it with what's in the growler. You may need a 1/2 gal growler once you are done with the racking. but I wouldn't throw what's in the growler away.


Senior Member
Aug 18, 2015
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I would put the smaller amount in the fridge with a lid on it. Head for the LHBS and get another airlock....can't believe you only have one! Scour Craigslist and buy a six gallon carboy....you still need to bulk age too, you need that carboy.

Then I would pour the wine off the lees in the small jug and airlock it...or rack every thing into the larger carboy for the secondary. At any rate you need more airlocks and various size containers for racking.