I have 500 lbs of blueberries to experiment with

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Rice_Guy

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Secondary needs to be able to exclude air!
the link appears to be a HDPE tank which is good for 30 days to few months, HDPE will slowly leak oxygen which can change the flavors to be like sherry if you try a year. From the link I can’t tell if the lid is lose fitting or can hold an inch of water column (ie the air lock holds about an inch of difference then bubbles out). You want some seal to keep air out so it is worth checking your tank for sealability. (example set it up with the air lock and blow in the bottom with a vacuum cleaner/ watch for normal bubbles) (do you have any gauges?) One small winery I have seen modified the tanks by applying a few inches of nitrogen over pressure (fraction of a psig). I have seen a lot of HDPE fermentation tankage since it is cost effective for starting out. With time a lot of folks will buy used stainless but that can be years out.
IF it doesn’t hold an inch of water column I would still use it, but would expect to jury rig a seal as two inch wide silicone fusion tape (Shark bite pipe wrap). Vendors usually have someone called tech service which will be able to offer suggestions which other folks have done to fix problems, ,, and tech service likes to see the customers once in a while.
YES,, you can do batching to fill the conical. One of the wineries near the state line has used milk tanks as their primary, ie you have lots of choices that fill the function.
The legs are a convenience, by this I mean I might go to the shop and say give me different legs, here is a drawing of what I want.
On a hundred gallon scale I don’t know anyone who doesn’t pump beverages, however as a first trial a fork lift can lift a pallet mounted tank to create pressure head.
I'm pretty sure this is the fermenter I'm working with if that helps. It looks like the same tank shape, although our stand is little different. So if I'm understanding, it's better suited for secondary fermentation. Is it permissible to mix different primary batches into one secondary vessel, at least since they're made from the same fruit batch?
 
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I don't love conical fermenters for winemaking, because of all the solids involved. It seems to me that conical fermenters are better suited for beermaking where the liquid goes directly into kegs. What happens if the top adjustable nozzle gets clogged with skins?
Isn't this problem largely avoided by using berries mashed in mesh bags and removed after primary?
 

Johnd

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Personally, I like my blueberry wine to be blueberry wine, not blueberry flavored wine. I prefer it straight up, no water, crushed blueberries, fermented on their skins and seeds, and pressed out as the wine gets down to 1.000. I make it just like wine from grapes. Watch the starting pH, use.nutrients and a good red wine yeast like BM 4x4, D254, D80, or a good fruit yeast like K1-V1116. Ferment it dry, clear it, and make some dry, some semi-sweet, some sweet, maybe even try some port style by fortifying with brandy or the like.
If I were the winemaker, I’d be looking for 30-35 gallons of really solid blueberry wine from 500# of blueberries. But that’s me. Good luck!!
 
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