Fermenter size?

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Bliorg

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Hi all -

I'm planning a batch of rosé this spring with Chilean grapes. This will be my first go with grapes, and I can't get my head around sizing equipment. For 100-115 pounds of grapes, how much primary fermenter space will I need? Is there a rule of thumb for sizing these things?

Thanks!
 

CDrew

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That will be about 10-12 gallons of must after crushing and maybe 7-8 gallons after the juice is pressed off the skins, so a 20 gallon Brute would work fine.

I like the white Brutes the best as it's easier to tell when they are perfectly clean, but the more common gray ones work well too.
 

hounddawg

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That will be about 10-12 gallons of must after crushing and maybe 7-8 gallons after the juice is pressed off the skins, so a 20 gallon Brute would work fine.

I like the white Brutes the best as it's easier to tell when they are perfectly clean, but the more common gray ones work well too.
@CDrew , on the OP question, is that 10 to 12 gallons plus another 7 or 8 gallons? or was you stating that the must will reduce to 7/8 gallons? Thanks
Dawg
 

Bliorg

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That will be about 10-12 gallons of must after crushing and maybe 7-8 gallons after the juice is pressed off the skins, so a 20 gallon Brute would work fine.

I like the white Brutes the best as it's easier to tell when they are perfectly clean, but the more common gray ones work well too.
Very helpful, thanks. Time to start trolling Prime.
 

winemaker81

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Very helpful, thanks. Time to start trolling Prime.
Most hardware stores in the USA sell Rubbermaid Brutes. Get a lid, even if you think you don't need it.


@CDrew , on the OP question, is that 10 to 12 gallons plus another 7 or 8 gallons? or was you stating that the must will reduce to 7/8 gallons?
The starting volume will be 11 or 12 gallons, and after pressing it will reduce to 7 or 8 gallons. The old rule of thumb is to plan 75 lbs of grapes to fill a 5 gallon carboy, and if this holds true the result of 115 lbs of grapes is 7.6 gallons.

However, nature does her own thing, so I plan for more like 90 lbs of grapes to fill a carboy, so I've got topup. If I have too much wine? 😂 There's no such thing!
 

hounddawg

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Most hardware stores in the USA sell Rubbermaid Brutes. Get a lid, even if you think you don't need it.



The starting volume will be 11 or 12 gallons, and after pressing it will reduce to 7 or 8 gallons. The old rule of thumb is to plan 75 lbs of grapes to fill a 5 gallon carboy, and if this holds true the result of 115 lbs of grapes is 7.6 gallons.

However, nature does her own thing, so I plan for more like 90 lbs of grapes to fill a carboy, so I've got topup. If I have too much wine? 😂 There's no such thing!
Amen, i was wondering since I've never done a grape, 😁
Dawg
 

Bliorg

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Most hardware stores in the USA sell Rubbermaid Brutes. Get a lid, even if you think you don't need it.



The starting volume will be 11 or 12 gallons, and after pressing it will reduce to 7 or 8 gallons. The old rule of thumb is to plan 75 lbs of grapes to fill a 5 gallon carboy, and if this holds true the result of 115 lbs of grapes is 7.6 gallons.

However, nature does her own thing, so I plan for more like 90 lbs of grapes to fill a carboy, so I've got topup. If I have too much wine? 😂 There's no such thing!
FWIW, no one around here (that I can find, anyway) carries the gray or white Brutes. Prime is probably my go-to on this, though the lids are as expensive as the Brute! I'm having the LHBS do the crushing/destemming, so no lid isn't really an option for getting the must back home.
 

hounddawg

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FWIW, no one around here (that I can find, anyway) carries the gray or white Brutes. Prime is probably my go-to on this, though the lids are as expensive as the Brute! I'm having the LHBS do the crushing/destemming, so no lid isn't really an option for getting the must back home.
do you have a home depot or Lowes,, if you get one make sure you get the round dolly and lid, the bottom of the brute is threaded and you just screw the dolly on. the lid if for fermenting,,,
Dawg
 

Bliorg

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Yeah, they don't have the gray ones at our Lowe's. Only the non-food grade ones.

Other option is to use my two 10 gallon ones and split the batch, but I'm doing limited skin time for this rose, and I think it should all be in one container for the maceration.
 

Old Corker

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I have thought about buying one of the brute cans with the dolly but when looking at the shape of the bottom I wondered how difficult they are to clean.
 

bsc_so_cal

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If you're making a Rose' (just juice to ferment)- you might think about breaking the volume up and putting it in a mix of large carboys - this will minimize the exposure to air during ferment as most white/off-white wines are usually fermented is temperature stabilized stainless expansion tanks. I've used carboys successfully for my white and rose' ferments. Just need to remember to allow a decent amount of head space as the ferment starts - as the bubbling can be pretty significant on the front end. For example - leave about 1.5-2 gals of headspace in a 5 gal carboy. As the ferment pace settles - you can combine the ferments to further reduce the total headspace. Also a good idea to put a tray under the carboys to catch any possible spillage. (plastic washing machine tray works well!)
 

Booty Juice

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I get a pretty low yield with pressed, unfermented berries vs pressed fermented must.

100 to 115lbs of fruit for Rose' would only yield 5 ish finished gallons of wine:

The pressed juice - approximately 7 gallons - would be fermented in a 7.9 gal fermenter bucket, but you could also ferment in 2 cheap 5 gal buckets.


From the fermenter, the juice would go into 6 to 7 gallons of glass storage (a 5 and two 1's, a 5 and one 1, a 6, etc.).

After rackings, when it's all said and done, I'd bottle two cases - maybe a little more.
 

Booty Juice

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These are pictures of juice from 125lbs of either CS or Merlot (can't remember) fermenting in a 30L bucket, native yeast. Destemmed, crushed and pressed same day. Since there's no cap to rise, you can fill the fermenter fairly close to the top.


thumbnail-88.jpegthumbnail-89.jpegthumbnail-90.jpeg
 

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