Bucket size and the weight of grapes

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artooks

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Hi,

Everyone, as I am just starting, I am trying to understand how much grapes is needed lets say for a 8 Gallon fermentation bucket ?
As far as I understand headspace is important should I only use 3/4 of the bucket to be on the safe side ? to this means I can top it up up to 6 gallons,
bu to fill 6 gallons how much grape do I need, I am trying to work out the weight per gallon ? Is the headspace of 3/4 sufficiant ? and finally from 6 gallons of must how much wine in gallons can be obtained ?
 
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Johnd

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Hi,

Everyone, as I am just starting, I am trying to understand how much grapes is needed lets say for a 8 Gallon fermentation bucket ?
As far as I understand headspace is important should I only use 3/4 of the bucket to be on the safe side ? to this means I can top it up up to 6 gallons,
bu to fill 6 gallons how much grape do I need, I am trying to work out the weight per gallon ? Is the headspace of 3/4 sufficiant ? and finally from 6 gallons of must how much wine in gallons can be obtained ?
Three lugs of grapes (36 pounds each) will give you 9 - 10 gallons of must, and yield 6 - 7 gallons of finished wine. It’s not an exact science, no grape is the same, and vary by varietal, region, seasonal conditions, etc., but this will keep you safe.
 
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Adding to @Johnd's reply, as a ballpark plan on two 36 lb lugs (72 lbs) grapes for a 7.9 gallon primary fermenter. Always err on the side of caution when planning primary fermentation space, so 3/4 full is the most you want to go. Nine batches may just puff up the cap just a bit as CO2 buoys the fruit solids, while #10 will go nuts and overflow the fermenter. [I'm sure there is a biological reason for this, but I just assume the worst and allow for space.]

If you're marking larger batches, consider purchasing Rubbermaid Brute trash cans, which are food grade plastic.

I have 32 gallon Brutes, which are plenty big enough for 6 or possibly 8 lugs. However, I limit batches to 4 or 5 lugs, as that's our limit to what can be safely moved.

BTW, if you're planning larger batches, get a pump. Your back will thank you!
 

Tim3

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Hi,

Everyone, as I am just starting, I am trying to understand how much grapes is needed lets say for a 8 Gallon fermentation bucket ?
As far as I understand headspace is important should I only use 3/4 of the bucket to be on the safe side ? to this means I can top it up up to 6 gallons,
bu to fill 6 gallons how much grape do I need, I am trying to work out the weight per gallon ? Is the headspace of 3/4 sufficiant ? and finally from 6 gallons of must how much wine in gallons can be obtained ?
You’re right in that an 8 gallon bucket should only be filled up to the 6 gallon mark. 6 gallons of must should weigh 60 lbs. The amount of wine you get from 6 gallons of must depends on the berry size, but varietals can generally be classified by size. So a very small berry like petite sirah will only yield 3.9 gallons after initial press, and 3.4 gallons when finished. While a medium sized berry like Merlot will yield 4.9G after press and 4.7G when finished. Small berry’s like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, etc will yield 4.6G after press and 4.3G when finished.
 

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