Quantcast

Fermenter and carboy requirements fot 200lb grapes?

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

v8rx7guy

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
76
Reaction score
21
Maybe I am over thinking this. Next year I plan to harvest about 200lb of grapes from my vineyard. What would you all recommend for equipment to handle this? I was thinking 2x 8gal plastic primary fermenters and 4x 6gal glass carboys. That way I'll have two spare clean carboys to rack into at all times.

Or is it smarter to get 2x 6gal and 2x 5gal for less headspace after racking off gross lees? That's assuming I lose about a gallon throughout the process.

Any inut would be great!
 

Johny99

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
969
Reaction score
639
For reds I'd use a 35 gallon Brute or other food safe waste can. Whites I use a Spiedel plastic fermenter. 200lbs should yield you around 40-60l of pressed juice/wine. So you could do 3 5 or 6 gallon Carboys, one to rack to, and a 3 or just 4-5 one gallon.

Exciting to get your own grapes. What type?
 

v8rx7guy

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
76
Reaction score
21
For reds I'd use a 35 gallon Brute or other food safe waste can. Whites I use a Spiedel plastic fermenter. 200lbs should yield you around 40-60l of pressed juice/wine. So you could do 3 5 or 6 gallon Carboys, one to rack to, and a 3 or just 4-5 one gallon.

Exciting to get your own grapes. What type?
Thanks for the info. I am surfing craigslist and cant believe all of the deals to be had for carboys!

My parents in law planted 50 vines of Regent here in NW Wa this spring. Its a pretty popular grape for our climate. We are trellising bi-lateral cordon VSP so are expecting about 4-5lbs per vine for just one cordon in 2017.
 

Johny99

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
969
Reaction score
639
You might go one more year to let the vines develop. Old Jewish law is not to make wine before the third leaf. One text I have says if the cordon is woody, go ahead and let it grow some grapes. Of course, it all depends on how fast they grew this year. Did you form cordons already?

Craigslist is great. You can never have enough carboys
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
2,856
Reaction score
1,153
Location
Kansas
I would go with a larger Brute I believe they have a 42 gallon. 200lbs of grapes should yield 13-17 gallons of wine. 3 - 6 gallon carboys should hold the wine. You will only need one more to rack. just rack and clean previous carboys. If you can get a good deal buy more carboys. be prepared they will call to you to have them filled and you will be back to the dilemma of more wine and no carboys.
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,187
Reaction score
3,321
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
Home Depot sells 44 gallon, food safe brute garbage pails for cheap. I would look for used 5 gallon carboys; 6.5 gallon just weighs too much @ 8 pounds per gallon. It takes me between 15-16 lbs of grapes to make one finished gallon of wine.
 

v8rx7guy

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
76
Reaction score
21
I like the idea of food safe Brutes, but I have one hang-up on that. How do you transfer the juice and skins to your press when you have such a massive quantity/weight of product in the Brute?
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,606
Reaction score
6,492
Location
South Louisiana
Number of ways to do it, assuming that like most of us home winemakers you have no mechanical means to hoist your fermenter into the air.

One is to use smaller buckets and simply scoop and transfer, skins stay in the press and the free run flows out into your receiving vessel.

You can vacuum rack the wine out of the fermenter using your racking cane inside of a tube with perforations to allow the juice into the cane, but not the skins, which quickly clog it up. This allows you to move the liquid and leave mostly skins behind, which can be scooped or dumped into your press.
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
2,856
Reaction score
1,153
Location
Kansas
A small cooking sauce pan with handle works great.
to get out the free run I usually place a colander into the must. this filters the skins and only the juice is in the colander. use your normal siphon to rack the juice. once you get to the bottom use the small sauce pan to place must into the press.
 

whackfol

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
143
Reaction score
44
Simple rule of thumb for most vinifera: 200 pounds of grapes: 20 gallons of must : 13 gallons wine after settling.

Allowing for some cap space and fudge factor, you will need at least a 35 gallon fermenter. Carboys depend on the size. Just make sure to top them up.

Scooping is my preferred method of moving small quantities. I pressed and cleaned up three - 30 gallon batches of fermented must in a size 40 ratchet press in less than an hour and a half. I prefer not to press the seeds and the skins act as a filter bed for the juice. Loading the press takes less than ten minutes. For me, it's not worth dirtying anything else for such a simple process..
 

Treeman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
175
Reaction score
35
I would suggest getting 2 brutes so you can use different yeast or fermentation additives in each ferment. Keep these separate until bottling and then you can decide if you want to blend. I would also recommend getting some 1gal and 1.5 L glass jugs for topping.
 

Latest posts

Top