Aging wine in corny kegs?

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Feb 5, 2011
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Hey all, my wife is interested in making wine together at home. I'm a professional brewer and I still have a lot of my old homebrewing equipment and I also do some yeast propagation for my brewery at home, so I have flasks, 6 and 5 gallon carboys, buckets for fermentation, etc. I've been looking at buying frozen grape must and thinking through some of the logistical challenges of aging wine when you are fermenting single buckets that yield an unknown quantity and wanting to minimize the potential to pick up oxygen and I started to wonder: why not just age in purged corny kegs? If a batch yields 2.8 gallons instead of 3 gallons for example, if you have a 3 gallon carboy you have the headspace issue and you have to top up right? So what would be wrong with just aging that in a properly purged 5 gallon keg instead? Then you'd also have the option to serve the wine on nitrogen rather than bottle if you wanted.

I was thinking that after pressing the wine, transfer to get it off the gross lees a couple days later and add malolactic bacteria and oak, then transfer again a few months later to another keg. What am I not realizing that would make this a bad idea?
I’ve got a bunch of corny kegs and thought I’d this too but you need to let the wine degass so you would have to mechanically degas first (e.g. whip) and I really don’t want to do that.
I think a normal part of the aging process depends on some oxidation of the wine. There are many here who use barrels to age their wines and the micro oxidation and concentration that happens while in the barrel is what makes their wine in many cases superior to carboy only aged products. I've got cornelius kegs as well (started homebrewing first in the early 90's) and would love to use them for winemaking (other than making a carbonated white wine for New Years Eve). If you find that it works well, just let us know!
Cornelius kegs can be made to work I think. I age at least 1/2 of my wine production in Sanke kegs which are great for this. I've had trouble (long ago) getting corny kegs to seal at the main seal without pressure, and an absolute air tight seal is the key requirement. But if you lubed up the main o-ring I'll bet it would work fine.

It would be easy to rack out of Corney kegs if you cut maybe 1/2 inch off the pick up tube to leave the sediment behind. Then you could pressurize it and just pump out the clean wine.

Do some experiments and report back.
I've been using Corny Kegs for years. I've always aged in Carboys for the 1st year then Kegs after that. I will say, I have done comparisons with wine I bottled Vs Kegged. I noticed little difference between wine aged in Kegs and the bottled wine. I one instance the Kegged wine was actually better. I was going to try using Kegs from most of the process to see If there is a difference in the end. Kegs WOULD be a lot easier, for sure

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