Chilean Juice Bucket

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pbacbell

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Hello Everyone!

Going to try my first juice bucket after making several kit wines. Only directions are the ones printed on the bucket. #1 says to take the lid off. Well, silly question, but can I put a lid on with an airlock? I’m worried about dog hair and dust getting into the wine. Is cheesecloth secure enough? Just let it be for 3 weeks??? That just seems too easy! Shouldn’t I stir it or something? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Bossbaby

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I use a metal wire around the bucket over the cloth to hold it tight.
 

Ajmassa

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nice! buckets are fun move past kits. what’s the instructions even say? regardless tho i’d disregard altogether.

do it as you would a kit. check SG with hydrometer. red buckets usually balanced around 1.090. sprinkle your yeast on top and leave lid on top resting loose. or cover with a clean towel. keep that dog hair out! lol

usually goes dry in about a week same as a kit. and once it starts fizzing away you can stir it every day when you check SG without concern. i like to rack into carboy when it’s 1.000 or lower

(and you can rig an airlock into the lid if you want won’t hurt anything. just makes removing when stirring and checking SG a pain)
 

AbruzziRed

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Check put my post on my Chilean juice buckets. Maybe this may help you.
 

Jovimaple

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I just got my first juice bucket ever yesterday and as I understand it, I don't need to add yeast. At least, that's what the video from Midwest Supplies/
Northern Brewer (where I got the bucket) showed:

Edit: I have mine on a heating pad set for 73F but it was still in the low 60s last night. If it doesn't start bubbling by tonight, I may add my own yeast.
 
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pbacbell

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I knew this group would help me out! Thank you so much! I’m really excited about this new adventure!!
 

JBP

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I just got my first juice bucket ever yesterday and as I understand it, I don't need to add yeast. At least, that's what the video from Midwest Supplies/
Northern Brewer (where I got the bucket) showed:

Edit: I have mine on a heating pad set for 73F but it was still in the low 60s last night. If it doesn't start bubbling by tonight, I may add my own yeast.
Same source - probably passed by you at pick-up day yesterday (were you the one with the truck getting a dozen buckets in front of me? Just kidding). These do have yeast already (something bullet-proof like EC1118) and usually start to show fermentation about 48h after I bring them home. I added my tweaks last night/this morning and expect to see activity by tomorrow night.
 

AbruzziRed

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I just got my first juice bucket ever yesterday and as I understand it, I don't need to add yeast. At least, that's what the video from Midwest Supplies/
Northern Brewer (where I got the bucket) showed:

Edit: I have mine on a heating pad set for 73F but it was still in the low 60s last night. If it doesn't start bubbling by tonight, I may add my own yeast.
Check out my post in the link earlier. There is a picture of a pink foam box I built with an old incandescent light bulb for heat. Surprisingly that bulb and the foam keeps my juice at 75 in my 55 degree basement.
 

Jovimaple

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Same source - probably passed by you at pick-up day yesterday (were you the one with the truck getting a dozen buckets in front of me? Just kidding). These do have yeast already (something bullet-proof like EC1118) and usually start to show fermentation about 48h after I bring them home. I added my tweaks last night/this morning and expect to see activity by tomorrow night.
Hubby and I were there around 5:30 last night and got just the one pail! This year anyway . . .

I warmed it up to low 70s and saw a few bubbles here and there, but decided to pitch a packet of D47 anyway. I don't have a PH meter so I'm flying a little blind as far as that's concerned. Hopefully it turns out!
 

JBP

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Hubby and I were there around 5:30 last night and got just the one pail! This year anyway . . .

I warmed it up to low 70s and saw a few bubbles here and there, but decided to pitch a packet of D47 anyway. I don't have a PH meter so I'm flying a little blind as far as that's concerned. Hopefully it turns out!
Sounds like we have some things in common! What did you pick up (I have zinfandel and syrah)? Have not had problems with pH on these buckets in the past (or this year).

Waiting for that lovely aroma to start....
 

Jovimaple

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Sounds like we have some things in common! What did you pick up (I have zinfandel and syrah)? Have not had problems with pH on these buckets in the past (or this year).

Waiting for that lovely aroma to start....
Gewurztraminer for me. I got a bottle from a kit that a friend had made and I liked it. I was planning to do a kit of my own when this opportunity came up and I realized it's about the same cost for a bucket of all juice as for a lower end kit.

I pitched the D47 about 9 hours ago and just took this picture now (and yes, the aroma is there):
BB9F6716-E47C-45F3-8C66-9ACFA81E3346.jpeg
 

Jovimaple

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S.G. was 1.020 this morning and 1.012 tonight. We are going to the cabin tomorrow night so I decided to rack tonight to get it under airlock since we will be gone for a couple of days. The bucket directions say let it sit for 3 weeks before racking!! I got antsy with a previous kit that said 2 weeks so there's no way I could wait for 3 weeks! The directions must be for people who don't have a hydrometer.

My current plan is to bulk age. I am expecting to end up with 5+ gallons so I broke down and ordered my first 5 gallon carboy for it so my 3 gallon carboys will be free for my next batches of SP and DB! Planning to start a key lime SP next week and maybe a strawberry DB at the same time or soon after.
 
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pbacbell

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Sounds like we have some things in common! What did you pick up (I have zinfandel and syrah)? Have not had problems with pH on these buckets in the past (or this year).

Waiting for that lovely aroma to start....
I'm making a Cab/Merlot Blend. Sounds like we have quite a variety going...PARTY! Mine is still bubbling away.
 

winemaker81

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S.G. was 1.020 this morning and 1.012 tonight. We are going to the cabin tomorrow night so I decided to rack tonight to get it under airlock since we will be gone for a couple of days. The bucket directions say let it sit for 3 weeks before racking!! I got antsy with a previous kit that said 2 weeks so there's no way I could wait for 3 weeks! The directions must be for people who don't have a hydrometer.
Patience, Grasshopper!

A lot of people rack too quickly and waste wine. Going into the carboy at 1.012, the wine may take another week to ferment dry. Once fermentation ceases, the gross lees will drop quickly.

Watch for the lees to settle. One idea is to mark the lees level on the carboy with a grease pencil or wipeable marker. You can see the lees compact with that mark as a reference point. Give it another 4 to 7 days, then rack. If you rack early, the lees will not have settled as much, and you'll be throwing out good wine. I've let reds set for a month, although for whites, roughly 2 weeks from first racking to second.

At the second racking, I take the loose sludge and pour it into a bottle (I keep clear 750 ml and 1.5 liter wine bottles handy) and put it in the fridge for a week. You may be amazed at how much wine you can recover this way. Although it varies -- one batch cleared only 1/2" on top so there was not enough wine to recover, while in another there was 1" of sludge in the bottom so I recovered almost 2 full bottles.
 

Jovimaple

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Patience, Grasshopper!

A lot of people rack too quickly and waste wine. Going into the carboy at 1.012, the wine may take another week to ferment dry. Once fermentation ceases, the gross lees will drop quickly.

Watch for the lees to settle. One idea is to mark the lees level on the carboy with a grease pencil or wipeable marker. You can see the lees compact with that mark as a reference point. Give it another 4 to 7 days, then rack. If you rack early, the lees will not have settled as much, and you'll be throwing out good wine. I've let reds set for a month, although for whites, roughly 2 weeks from first racking to second.

At the second racking, I take the loose sludge and pour it into a bottle (I keep clear 750 ml and 1.5 liter wine bottles handy) and put it in the fridge for a week. You may be amazed at how much wine you can recover this way. Although it varies -- one batch cleared only 1/2" on top so there was not enough wine to recover, while in another there was 1" of sludge in the bottom so I recovered almost 2 full bottles.
I usually wait for the S.G. to be under 1.000 for the first rack out of my fermenting bucket, but based on the rate it going, that would be about today and I am 120 miles away from it.

I am being super cautious to make sure it doesn't oxidize. I just had to dump a bottle of another wine I have going (the extra that didn't fit in the carboy) because I left too much headspace, although that was for a month. I had a 1.5 liter bottle ready when I racked and didn't change it to a smaller bottle when I saw the 1.5 liter wasn't full. I had intended to rack that one a second time after a couple weeks but time got away from me and it was a month with too much headspace in the bottle. Lesson learned!

I keep the carboys topped up and usually have a variety of smaller bottles ready for the rest. Patience may be a virtue but too much headspace can mess that up! 😂🤣😂

Andddd the carboy that I specifically waited to order until the delivery date range was listed from Monday to Wednesday is being delivered today. When I am gone. /sigh
 

Jal5

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abruzzired: I like your "box" idea with the light for a heat source. I too do all fermentations in my cool temp garage these days and used a light on the bucket for heat source, but did not think of creating a box. Next time I will definitely do this. Thanks.
 

Jovimaple

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My Gewurz was down to .992 last night so I racked it from the 2-3 gallon carboys into my new 5 gallon carboy, plus a little over 2 liters in other bottles. Within a few hours, it started to clear.

I added kmeta at racking. At this time, my plan is to rack again in a couple weeks, then only if I see a lot of lees, and add kmeta every 3 months. I am planning to bulk age for 6-9 months so besides racking under vacuum with my AIO, I am not planning to do anything specifically to degas or clear it besides using time.

I am heading to Midwest Supplies today so I will see if they have vented bungs there. Also getting another 5 gallon carboy because they are 20% off this weekend!

In the meantime, my 3 gallon skeeter pee is gone (y'all weren't kidding about that one being popular!) so I have 6 more gallons in primary. And some friends requested key lime so I started 3 gallons of that and will pitch the yeast tonight.

I started my first batch during Covid, so now that we are getting back to a little more normal, I have to plan a bit more to make sure I am home when things need to be stirred or racked from primary. And of course that I have empty carboys when needed!!

Picture taken about 15 hrs after racking:
1C92F35A-B1A4-428C-A844-5B0733C271E0.jpeg
 
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