Fermenter size for kits

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Kreigle

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
16
Reaction score
15
Location
Pennsylvania
I have a 7.9 gallon fermenter since I heard it was supposed to have sufficient room for 6 gallon kits. Actually 3 now since I picked up a couple used equipment kits.

I have done 3 red kits so far (LE21 Marselan, FWK Syrah Forte, and now Vinters Best Sommelier Select Carmenere) and all three overflowed the fermenter. I am laying the lid loosely on the bucket due to dogs on house and not wanting them to knock towels off but the foam pushes the lid up and flows out from under.

These pics are from the Carmenere, just pitched the yeast last night and already had to wipe 3 puddles off floor.

Wondering if I need to invest in 12 gal bucket and find another use for the 7.9s?
 

Attachments

  • 20230809_232035.jpg
    20230809_232035.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
  • 20230809_232201.jpg
    20230809_232201.jpg
    965.6 KB · Views: 0
  • 20230809_232122.jpg
    20230809_232122.jpg
    866.7 KB · Views: 0
I bought a 10-gallon food-safe storage container (white trash can) with lid that’s meant for bakery supplies. I also have various sized brute trash cans (meant for trash) which are also food safe plastic. The lids do not seal tight but that is not an issue during a standard primary fermentation.
 
I am going to guess that all of those kits had grape skins of some sort that got added to the fermentation bucket. With kits that add something like that, a 7.9 gallon bucket just isn't big enough, you need to have about 9 gallon bucket, or split the fermentation between two buckets, or do what I believe many of us do, use a 10 gallon trash can for the primary fermentation.
 
I've never overflowed a kit in a 7.9 gallon primary. You must have seriously overactive yeast!

I agree with @ChuckD, Rubbermaid Brutes are fine, and are available in 10 gallon size. I use 32 gallon Brutes for large batches.
Possible, I suppose. First two kits used BMX and the third has BM 4x4. Yeasts were done in 24hr starters with Go-Ferm, with some of the must added in a couple hours before inoculation. Usually going full steam by next day.
One other possibility is using a food-grade surfactant (antifoaming agent) to control the foaming. I did this early in my "career" in kit winemaking, but generally found it unnecessary. Here is one from MoreWine. CellarScience® Foam Axe | Anti-Foaming Agent | MoreWine
I was actually thinking about something like that, but what came to mind for me was FermCap, which looks to be the same thing you linked but under a different name for homebrewers. Foam Control (FermCap S) | MoreBeer
I am going to guess that all of those kits had grape skins of some sort that got added to the fermentation bucket. With kits that add something like that, a 7.9 gallon bucket just isn't big enough, you need to have about 9 gallon bucket, or split the fermentation between two buckets, or do what I believe many of us do, use a 10 gallon trash can for the primary fermentation.
Actually only the FWK kit had skins, two packs. I did add FT Rouge to them though, not sure if that had anything to do with it.

The first red kit I did was a FWK Tavola Zinfandel with one pack skins and no additions, and I did that one in a 6.5 gal carboy with no issues. The two FWK whites I did after that blew out of the top of the carboy and prompted the 7.9 gal bucket purchase.

I guess I should just start saving up for something bigger, so thanks for all the suggestions.
 
@Kreigle, I'm leaning towards Craig's (@cmason1957) thought on this -- solids may make a huge difference.

A while back I purchased a case of apples, which I juiced and made wine from the juice. I had a bucket of apple pulp leftover, and being me, there was NO way that was going to waste. So I made a second run wine from the pulp, in an 11 gallon fermenter.

The fermenter was about 2/3 full and it still overflowed -- twice. CO2 gets under that pomace and PUSHES.
 
These pics are from the Carmenere, just pitched the yeast last night and already had to wipe 3 puddles off floor.
This is confounding. I've done dozens, if not a hundred or more, kits and have only had one overflow. Even then, it didn't happen within hours of dropping my yeast.

In the brewer's best fermenters, the fill line for 6 gal. is just below the first lip (that first crease above the 20-liter mark in the below pic). If your liquid is up to this point, and then you drop two skin packs, it will raise the level about an inch above the first lip. Foam will touch the lid, but won't typically blow through the airlock and on the floor.

1692366029013.png

I'm interested to know what else is going on. Can you walk us through your process from the point you pour the juice into the bucket?
 

Latest posts

Back
Top