BLichmann WineEasy

Discussion in 'Equipment & Sanitation' started by justinb, Jul 1, 2019.

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  1. Jul 1, 2019 #1

    justinb

    justinb

    justinb

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    I lost everything to a house fire last year. I have house rebuilt, and now its time to buy fun stuff like wine equipment. Does anyone have experience with this unit? Prior to the fire, I was using a Brute trash can, glass carboys, old school press, and an all in one wine pump. I have only been making wine for a few years so I still have a lot to learn, but also want to buy quality equipment once and be done with it.

    Mostly I use frozen must, but do have a 50 vine vineyard that will be harvestable next year. While expensive, the Wineeasy unit looks interesting and streamlined.

    Things I don't know:
    -I don't know if I can bottle using this system (do I still need the all in one pump)?
    -It says you can bulk age as variable capaciy, which sounds great, but I don't know how this unit accomplishes this.
    -If I make a simple kit using this unit, how do I pump into a secondary and leave the lees behind?

    Justin
     
  2. Jul 2, 2019 #2

    NorCal

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    I have a 55 gallon WineEasy. It is a stainless steel tank with a mesh bottom part, with a fitting in the bottom. The fitting is blocked off with a valve and you can ferment away in the container. When it comes time to press, you leave the wine in it and insert the top, with a rubber seal, which acts like a piston to press the wine, by applying vacuum to the bottom fitting.

    Between 1,500 - 2,000 gallons of wine has been made with it, including Gold, Best of Class wine. If you are going to be making carboys worth of red wine,it is perfect. If you are going to be making 200 gallons of wine each year or a lot of whites, I would go with a bladder press.

    The reason I say this is that it provides a pretty gentle press compared to the bladder press and it is more cumbersome to clean out large batches of pumice when used solely as a press.

    To answer your questions:
    It comes with a vacuum pump, but not all the necessary items to bottle. I would also purchase the AIO. I would by their professional one, so you have a back up pump for the Wineasy

    I could see how you could use the floating lid (piston) as a variable capacity lid, but I wouldn’t trust it (or most other variable capacity lids) for long term aging; keep it in barrel, glass or HDPE.

    As I noted the benefit of the unit is that it can be used to ferment, then converts to a press, in a single unit.
     
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  3. Jul 3, 2019 #3

    justinb

    justinb

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    Thanks Norcal!!

    What are your thoughts on a white juice fermentation? I wont be pressing it, and I cant imagine the false bottom will catch the lees. Would you just rack through the lid, and hope you dont suck up too much lees?
     
  4. Jul 3, 2019 #4

    NorCal

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    My white ferment process is:

    Destem/crush
    Press, SO2
    Let juice settle for 24 hours
    Rack, inoculate, ferment cold
    Rack, inoculate MLB until completed under airlock
    Rack, SO2, put in container for 5 months for clearing
    Rack, degas, SO2 day or two before bottling
    Bottle

    I would rack through the lid clear and then capture the wine near the lees in a separate container. Put that in the fridge to help it separate, to get another 1/2 gallon of wine.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2019 #5

    justinb

    justinb

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    Your wisdom is much appreciated. I'm going to pull the trigger on a 30 gal WineEasy. It's expensive, but I'll be able to be more streamlined without so much equipment in my basement.
     
  6. Jul 4, 2019 #6

    NorCal

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    Yea, I agree It is on the expensive side, but for 5-15 gallon batch quantities (your size) it’s an excellent tool, you won’t be disappointed. I was fortunate to buy mine used, but they rarely come available in the secondary market.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2019 #7

    Randy Miramontez

    Randy Miramontez

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    Hey Norcal!

    I am now in Socal, just moved from Roseville to San Diego. I purchased the Wineeasy some time ago and have just now been able to use it. I rack off some of the wine, then put the top on with the gasket and it doesn't appear to be pressing the skins. Have you had any problems in the past? I racked it back into the wineeasy in hopes of getting it to work correctly, but I'm reluctant to do it again until I know it will work properly.

    When you use it to press, do you put the top on right away, or wait until the wine gets lower and then put to the top on?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Randy
     
  8. Oct 23, 2019 #8

    NorCal

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    I’ll message you my cell number, I can talk after 10am today
     
  9. Oct 23, 2019 #9

    NorCal

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    For anyone following along, I suggested that some seeds had slipped past the screen holding the must into the fitting where the wine is vacuumed out of. Randy was having vacuum at the pump, but it was not pulling the piston down to press the must. It's a pretty easy fix, but you have to know that it can occur. Hopefully that will resolve his issue.
     
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  10. Oct 26, 2019 #10

    Randy Miramontez

    Randy Miramontez

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    I checked the port at the valve as NorCal suggested and it wasn't clogged. So I started from scratch, made sure the sides were cleaned of any residue and saturated everything with SO2 for lubrication. It worked, but I was hoping for a bit drier pomace. I felt I left some juice behind. However, it did press and worked well enough for me.

    Randy
     

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