Demijohns

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mainshipfred

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I know the use of demijohns has been brought up many times but from what I gather is they store larger quantities of wine. Otherwise they serve the same purpose as a carboy. The reason I'm asking is someone is giving me 2 of them with the baskets and a few carboys. I have no idea of the size and I understand they come in different sizes but they're free, well except for a few bottles of wine. So is there any additional benefit aside from the size?
 

Ajmassa

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Not sure if they’re “benefits” since everyone has different needs. But yea larger size glass is nice. The typical size is the 54L / 14.25gal. Although I’ve also got a 34L Demi. (Works perfect in conjunction with my 8gal barrel. As will the 54L with the 50L barrel [emoji1305])
Many demijohns also have a spigot attached. I have x4 larger ones and x3 have the spigot. (Just remember to pop the bung before using!). The wicker baskets are great just because they’re always protected. Or can leave the top half removed.
Essentially just a big ol’ glass ball.
And using with the AIO- I use same setup. Just need the longer canes get a universal #11.5 bung (so you have that lip on the top) and drill the second hole yourself. I sucked the other type down into the neck! Not fun. Lol.
 

mainshipfred

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Not sure if they’re “benefits” since everyone has different needs. But yea larger size glass is nice. The typical size is the 54L / 14.25gal. Although I’ve also got a 34L Demi. (Works perfect in conjunction with my 8gal barrel. As will the 54L with the 50L barrel [emoji1305])
Many demijohns also have a spigot attached. I have x4 larger ones and x3 have the spigot. (Just remember to pop the bung before using!). The wicker baskets are great just because they’re always protected. Or can leave the top half removed.
Essentially just a big ol’ glass ball.
And using with the AIO- I use same setup. Just need the longer canes get a universal #11.5 bung (so you have that lip on the top) and drill the second hole yourself. I sucked the other type down into the neck! Not fun. Lol.
I had a bung sucked through as well. Don't want to do that again.
 

CDrew

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I would look at them as a giant, fragile carboy. I'll bet they are great if you have space for them. I have found that carboys take up a lot of real estate for the amount of wine they hold, and Demijohns not only have a great name, but actually hold a lot of wine.
 

Ajmassa

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I would look at them as a giant, fragile carboy. I'll bet they are great if you have space for them. I have found that carboys take up a lot of real estate for the amount of wine they hold, and Demijohns not only have a great name, but actually hold a lot of wine.
Yeah. The name is kinda awesome. Lol

And the old timers spell it “Damigiane”. I assume it’s an Italian thing. Adjustments.JPG
 

sour_grapes

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Wow, the OED is not so clear on the origin, either!

demijohn, n.

Pronunciation:
Brit. /ˈdɛmɪdʒɒn/
,
U.S. /ˈdɛmiˌdʒɑn/
Forms: 17 demijan, 18 demijean, demi-john, demijohn.
Frequency (in current use):
Etymology: In French dame-jeanne (1694 Th. Corneille dame-jane, 1701 Furetière Dame Jeanne, lit. ‘Dame Jane’); so Spanish dama-juana(as if Dama Juana); modern Provençal, in different dialects, dama-jana, damajano, damojano, damejano, dabajano, debajano; Catalan damajana; Italian damigiana; modern Arabic damajānaħ, dāmajānaħ, etc. in 19th cent. lexicons.
The current English form is the result of popular perversion as in ‘sparrow-grass’; the earlier demijan, demijean, approach more closely to the French and Romanic, whence the word was adopted. The original nationality and etymology of the word are disputed: see Rev. A. L. Mayhew in Academy 14 Oct. 1893. Some have assumed the Arabic to be the source of the Romanic forms, and have sought to explain this as of Persian origin, and derived from the name of the town Damghān or Damaghān, a commercial emporium S.E. of the Caspian. But this is not supported by any historical evidence; moreover, the word does not occur in Persian dictionaries, nor in Arabic lexicons before the 19th cent., and the unfixedness of its form (dāmijānaħ, dāmajānaħ, damajānaħ, damanjānaħ) points, in the opinion of Arabic scholars, to its recent adoption from some foreign language, probably from Levantine use of Italian damigiana. Assuming the word to be Romanic, some have taken the Provençal and Catalan forms as the starting-point, and conjectured for these either a Latin type *dīmidiāna from dīmidium half (Alart in Rev. Lang. Rom. Jan. 1877), or the phrase dē mediāna of middle or mean (size) (in illustration of which Darmesteter cites from a 13th cent. tariff of Narbonne the phrase ‘ampolas de mieja megeira’ = Latin ampullās dē mediā mensūrā). But these suggestions fail to explain the initial da- prevalent in all the languages; on account of which M. Paul Meyer (like Littré) thinks that all the Romanic forms are simply adaptations or transliterations of the French, this being simply Dame Jeanne ‘Dame Jane’, as a popular appellation (compare Bellarmine, greybeard, etc.). This is also most in accordance with the historical evidence at present known, since the word occurs in French in the 17th cent., while no trace of it equally early has been found elsewhere.
 

Ajmassa

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Wow, the OED is not so clear on the origin, either!

demijohn, n.

Pronunciation:
Brit. /ˈdɛmɪdʒɒn/
,
U.S. /ˈdɛmiˌdʒɑn/
Forms: 17 demijan, 18 demijean, demi-john, demijohn.
Frequency (in current use):
Etymology: In French dame-jeanne (1694 Th. Corneille dame-jane, 1701 Furetière Dame Jeanne, lit. ‘Dame Jane’); so Spanish dama-juana(as if Dama Juana); modern Provençal, in different dialects, dama-jana, damajano, damojano, damejano, dabajano, debajano; Catalan damajana; Italian damigiana; modern Arabic damajānaħ, dāmajānaħ, etc. in 19th cent. lexicons.
The current English form is the result of popular perversion as in ‘sparrow-grass’; the earlier demijan, demijean, approach more closely to the French and Romanic, whence the word was adopted. The original nationality and etymology of the word are disputed: see Rev. A. L. Mayhew in Academy 14 Oct. 1893. Some have assumed the Arabic to be the source of the Romanic forms, and have sought to explain this as of Persian origin, and derived from the name of the town Damghān or Damaghān, a commercial emporium S.E. of the Caspian. But this is not supported by any historical evidence; moreover, the word does not occur in Persian dictionaries, nor in Arabic lexicons before the 19th cent., and the unfixedness of its form (dāmijānaħ, dāmajānaħ, damajānaħ, damanjānaħ) points, in the opinion of Arabic scholars, to its recent adoption from some foreign language, probably from Levantine use of Italian damigiana. Assuming the word to be Romanic, some have taken the Provençal and Catalan forms as the starting-point, and conjectured for these either a Latin type *dīmidiāna from dīmidium half (Alart in Rev. Lang. Rom. Jan. 1877), or the phrase dē mediāna of middle or mean (size) (in illustration of which Darmesteter cites from a 13th cent. tariff of Narbonne the phrase ‘ampolas de mieja megeira’ = Latin ampullās dē mediā mensūrā). But these suggestions fail to explain the initial da- prevalent in all the languages; on account of which M. Paul Meyer (like Littré) thinks that all the Romanic forms are simply adaptations or transliterations of the French, this being simply Dame Jeanne ‘Dame Jane’, as a popular appellation (compare Bellarmine, greybeard, etc.). This is also most in accordance with the historical evidence at present known, since the word occurs in French in the 17th cent., while no trace of it equally early has been found elsewhere.
Very Interesting. Good find.

The great name just got even cooler- shrouded in mystery!
 

CDrew

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Hmmm. Cool name and cool thing. But, in the 15 gallon range, Intillitanks and kegs are safer to handle and easier to clean. $40 for 15 gallon wine capacity is very good. But if you watch Craig's list, kegs (15.5 gallons) come up all the time for small$ too. I have a mix of Intellitanks and kegs myself. They also help to minimize floor space.

And in carboy land, I'm partial to the 6.5's, made in Italy. The 6's seem to all be made in China.

But no question, if I had a demijohn, I'd use it for something,
 

mainshipfred

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I'm hoping they're not 54 liter since my larger batches are around 12 gallons or I'll have to change my ways. If it wasn't that they are free I probably wouldn't have any.
 

Rocky

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Between my son-in-law, Geno, and me we have four demijohns and one large lab vessel which is also about 13-14 gallons. The main advantage of the larger capacity is that one can age the wine in one container and not have three carboys to contend with for on-going functions, e.g. sulfiting and racking.
The disadvantages of the demijohn are handling (Once the demijohn is full, its stays at one level, i.e. on the floor or on a strong bench. I have mine on furniture dollies to move them around the floor.) Cleaning is more difficult due to size and thinness of the glass. Lastly, my experience with the stopper is that a No. 11 is too small and a No. 11.5 is too large. I use the 11.5 and duct tape to keep it in place. The large lab vessel is much heavier with thicker glass and has the same advantage and disadvantages.

Bottom line is, to me, the advantages of carboys out weigh the single advantage of the larger containers. That stated, the price is right and if you don't use them for wine, they make great terraria.
 

Chuck E

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Hmmm. Cool name and cool thing. But, in the 15 gallon range, Intillitanks and kegs are safer to handle and easier to clean. $40 for 15 gallon wine capacity is very good. But if you watch Craig's list, kegs (15.5 gallons) come up all the time for small$ too. I have a mix of Intellitanks and kegs myself. They also help to minimize floor space.,
I have 4 little kegs (2 pcs. sixtels & 2 pcs. quarter bbl.) now, and I am really pleased with them.
 

porkchopmessiah

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I bought 2 54l and one approx nine gall last year... intend to keep a few single gals in conjunction for topping up purposes....
I did take a gamble last season and was able to degass the smaller with a vaccum pump at 20 in of vacuum, which was cool especially since wine loss is a problem I'd like to avoid
 
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