Fermentation vessel?

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Pc12556

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Been making wine the last 7 years from grapes and have been using sterilite storage totes to stomp and ferment on the skins. We started small and over the years add more grapes and the party has become bigger and bigger every year. Last year was a close call and the tote just made it to pressing so this year I was considering purchasing metal stock tanks from Home Depot. I know they are typically used to water farm animals but I’m not sure if During fermentation any chemicals from the metal will leach into the wine. Has anyone used these? A simpler solution would be to split the batches and just add more sterilite totes however space in my dining room is limited.
 
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IMO, unless it's stainless steel, don't use it. Most metals will react to acidic wine and leach undesirables into the wine.

A lot of folks use Rubbermaid Brutes. I have 32 gallon Brutes, which hold a LOT. They are oversized for the 4 to 5 lug batches I make, but on the plus side, I'll never overflow one. If I had it to do over, I'd buy 20 gallon Brutes for my needs. For stomping grapes? You may need the 32's to get enough diameter.

How big are the sterilites, and what size batches are you making?
 

Pc12556

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I figured that about the stock tanks but appreciate the added info, we use the largest sterilites not sure on the size and the issue isn’t so much over flowing but the tubs are thin and u can see the walls begin to bow out under the weight of the grapes, this year I ordered 12 lugs each of merlot and Pinot noir and I’m going to look into the Rubbermaid brutes and I appreciate your feedback, thank you
 
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I'm happy to help out!

If the walls are bowing out, you're temping fate.

Four lugs fills a 32 gallon Brute nearly 1/3 full, while 5 lugs fills it about halfway. I go with those amounts as I can move the Brute fairly easily. Currently I purchase 8 lug lots, so 4 lug batches works for my situation.

The following photo is a 5 lug batch in a 32 gallon Brute.

brute.jpg
 

Pc12556

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I’m guessing u r using a crusher destemmer and the problem I’m having with using the brutes is that they are high. This has become a big affair on our end and a nice size party. That’s we use the sterilite totes. I’ll set out the grapes next to the totes and the kids and everyone pick the grapes by hand as we bottle and “taste” last years wine and than the kids go I love Lucy on the new batch. Currently looking into other options otherwise we’re going to have to lift the kids out of knee deep must which could be fun but a little messier than my wife is used to. I’m considering using large chest coolers just trying to find the info on the plastic contents. Thanks again for your recommendation
 

BigDaveK

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@Pc12556, I'm a member of a group that makes a bulk grape purchase. Those that want to, use the coordinator's crusher/destemmer onsite, depositing the pulp into totes. From there we transfer into our own containers for transport home.

A 2-stage system (stomp in totes, move to Brutes) may work for you. From your POV it's probably not optimal, but it will keep the kids cleaner.

I looked up the Rubbermid foam stock tanks -- they're designated for water, but are not marketed as generally food safe. I would not use them for winemaking unless I can verify they won't react to wine.
 

VinesnBines

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The stock tanks will be fine for water for stock. I use similar bowls for dog water dishes. After they start to weather, a black coloring will rub off the bowls. It doesn't seem to leach into the water but if you start to clean the bowl with a towel, it will turn black.

In other words I would not use this with any acidic liquid such as grape juice. I would feel better with the totes. New is better than old. Galvanized tubs might leach with the acid from the juice.
 

Pc12556

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Appreciate all the input, I’ve pretty much settled on these 100 qt Coleman coolers. The info on the homedepot site is lacking but checking the Coleman site they say all coolers are made of bpa free plastic and are good contact safe. The coolers are ridged and sturdy and low enough for stomping plus the wheels will allow us to stomp the grapes outside and than move them inside which my wife is very happy about. Wish they were a little bit wider but this will do. Thanks again for your input
 

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mikewatkins727

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Been making wine the last 7 years from grapes and have been using sterilite storage totes to stomp and ferment on the skins. We started small and over the years add more grapes and the party has become bigger and bigger every year. Last year was a close call and the tote just made it to pressing so this year I was considering purchasing metal stock tanks from Home Depot. I know they are typically used to water farm animals but I’m not sure if During fermentation any chemicals from the metal will leach into the wine. Has anyone used these? A simpler solution would be to split the batches and just add more sterilite totes however space in my dining room is limited.
The tanks are galvanized which means zinc.

These rubber tubs have a plasticizer that smells to high heaven. Your choice.
 

ChuckD

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If your looking for a big “stomping tub” try one of those big shipping cubes in the metal cage. A lot are used for shipping food stuffs. You could cut one down and even modify the cage.

Or an enamel bath tub… but that would be very heavy.
 

Pc12556

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If your looking for a big “stomping tub” try one of those big shipping cubes in the metal cage. A lot are used for shipping food stuffs. You could cut one down and even modify the cage.

Or an enamel bath tub… but that would be very heavy.
I’ve considered the water totes and they are good grade, just a little too big for the volume we are doing but thanks for the input.
 

Jusatele

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most stock tanks I have seen are galvanized
wine is very acidic
not good in galvanized vessels
 

Nebbiolo020

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IMO, unless it's stainless steel, don't use it. Most metals will react to acidic wine and leach undesirables into the wine.

A lot of folks use Rubbermaid Brutes. I have 32 gallon Brutes, which hold a LOT. They are oversized for the 4 to 5 lug batches I make, but on the plus side, I'll never overflow one. If I had it to do over, I'd buy 20 gallon Brutes for my needs. For stomping grapes? You may need the 32's to get enough diameter.

How big are the sterilites, and what size batches are you making?
I use the 44 gallon ones I have 10 of them, never had an issue whether I put a full batch or just 10 gallons into them. I age in a 75 gallon stainless tank or a 60 gallon speidel plastic tank and use both for malolactic, I then put wine into barrels.
 

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