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First frozen must attempt -- Fermenter/carboy size issue

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Americanhooch

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I'm planning out how to embark on my first Brehm pail (red). From what I've read, one pail will give you apx 3 gallons of juice, post-skins. That would mean one pail would fit nicely in my 6 (6.5?) gallon primary fermenter (plus there'd be plenty of CO2 production to push out the oxygen), but when you get down to 3 gallons, that's a lot of headspace even in my 5 gallon carboy and when aging, there's really not going to be much (any) CO2 being pumped out.

Is this too much headspace/oxygen exposure in the carboy? If I double up and use 2 pails to get a 6 gallon result, then I've got to get another primary (plus the extra expense of another pail for what's meant to be largely an experiment).

Thoughts?
 

Johnd

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I'm planning out how to embark on my first Brehm pail (red). From what I've read, one pail will give you apx 3 gallons of juice, post-skins. That would mean one pail would fit nicely in my 6 (6.5?) gallon primary fermenter (plus there'd be plenty of CO2 production to push out the oxygen), but when you get down to 3 gallons, that's a lot of headspace even in my 5 gallon carboy and when aging, there's really not going to be much (any) CO2 being pumped out.

Is this too much headspace/oxygen exposure in the carboy? If I double up and use 2 pails to get a 6 gallon result, then I've got to get another primary (plus the extra expense of another pail for what's meant to be largely an experiment).

Thoughts?
One pail will fit in a 6.5 gallon fermenter, but it’ll get really tight when the cap starts forming, the 7.9’s are more comfy. Once fermented, go to a 3 gallon carboy and have a 1 gallon and 1/2 gallon jug handy.

My preference has been to do two pails in a small Brute ($25) and end up with a 6 gallon carboy and some change.

I struggled with the same choices that you are, and evolved, now have 6gallon carboys, 3 gallon carboys, gallon jugs, and 1/2 gallon jugs, and can make most any volume work with that array.
 

Ajmassa

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Gear up! No way around it.
Those must buckets are 5gal correct? And with the grapes skins also in there you won’t be able to use the bucket in comes in to ferment (like you can with fresh juice buckets) because of the “cap” that forms an extra few inches on top.
Whatever volume of must you should always account for a few more gal of volume for fermenters. Even if fits but is close that’s just a mess waiting to happen since you’ll be ‘punching’ the cap of skins multiple x daily.
If you do 1 bucket of must then 6.5gal bucket might still be too close for comfort. And a 3 gal carboy 100% needed.
If 2 buckets of must then a 6gal carboy or your 5 and a 1gal jug. And something bigger than 10gal to ferment in.
You can’t really have too big a fermentor since headspace is a non issue. A 20gal brute and 6gal carboy are great sizes. 6gal carboy could fit exactly 2 buckets of must, 3 lugs of grapes, 1 standard size kit, or most standard sized juice pails. And all can ferment in a 20gal brute.
You don’t want ANY headspace when aging. You can get away with it on kits since their timeline is so short- but Brehm ain’t cheap. I wouldn’t play games and get the right stuff.
If just an ‘experiment’ then you could get away with only spending $ on a 3 gal carboy and a cheap 8gal bucket.
 

Americanhooch

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Thanks all! Sounds like I just got to pony up for a new primary.
 

dralarms

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Good advice above. I use a 20 gallon brute from tractor supply. It’s marked “feed and seed” but it’s food grade.

Oh btw. Welcome and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Hats what we are all here for, to learn from each other.
 

jburtner

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If you’re using five gallon buckets as primaries how many do you need to spread out your five gallon must bucket with safe headroom? Two?

If two provide adequate headroom for the cap then OP just needs another five gallon bucket which he may already have.

I love the three gallon carboys but three one gallon jugs with air locks and a half gallon with airlock can also work if you want to keep batch sizes small and uncomplicated.

Cheers,
Jb
 

Americanhooch

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Opened up a bottle from the frozen must attemp last night, over a year since I started it. It was pretty good! Thank you guys for the advice and guidance!
 

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