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how do you see the lees?

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zeppelin9899

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I am wanting to start a 5 gallon batch (as opposed to the four 1 gallon batches I usually do at a time), but I don't want to buy a 6 gallon and 5 gallon glass carboys due to the cost of like $25 each along with some stupidly high shipping cost.

I am thinking about using a 5 gallon plastic bucket, (would the ones from Home Depot work?) but I am trying to figure out how I would know how high the lees have stacked (for racking) if I can't see through the bucket. anyone have a technique for this? I guess if I use the bucket for primary and a glass carboy for secondary or a better bottle or something else that's see through.. that may work, but again I really dont want to have to spend massive amounts of money on 5 gallon carboys right now. If anyone has some cheap suggestions, any advice is much appreciated!

Also.. I will not be storing or aging this wine for more than 2-3 months. Please take that into consideration :)
 

openwheel

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What about one of the Better Bottles. It would be a lot cheaper on the shipping end, but I don't know about the cost of the bottle. Also you can use the spout to drain the lees of. I am thinking of getting one for my next run.
 

Sacalait

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It isn't necessary to be able to see the lees in the primary if you use a straining bag for the fruit. When it is time to move to the secondary just remove the bag, squeeze lightly and discard after which you can pour from primary to secondary. I use 5gal plastic water bottles for the secondary and haven't had any problems with these.

If you feel inclined to "see" the lees cut the top out of a 5gal water jug and use that for the primary.

In both these cases the cost is minimal.
 

zeppelin9899

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so the idea is that you dont need to really get the lees out when going from primary to secondary/first rack, just the main pulp or sediment from the fruit or fruit juice. makes sense. thanks for the responses. i think i will try for a 5 gallon water jug for both primary and secondary. thanks :)
 

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