Left over from primary

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Wine Maker & Home Brewer
Jan 2, 2010
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I am in the process of making my first wine kit. It is a Wine Expert Vintners Reserve White Zin. I followed the instructions explicitly for the amount of liquid and also walked through the complete process with many of on line forums.

I filled my primary fermenting bucket to the 6 US gallon line--exactly. My specific gravity indicated it was time to rack and upon racking, I filled my Better Bottle carboy to the neck where it really begins the transition to almost the same size as the bung hole. To my surprise, I still had what appears to be a large amount of left over wine. I racked the remaining wine into some clean & sanitized 750 ml bottles, completely filling one and filling half of the other.

Is it normal to have this much wine left over? If so, what is the best thing to do with it? In the future, should I make less liquid to prevent having so much wine with no room in the carboy?

Any wisdom would be appreciated as I just started my second kit, using a Niagara Mist Strawberry Fraise White Zinfandel... for the wife. She loves the "liquid candy" like Oliver Soft Red & I want to make sure it is as good as possible!

Actually you are in the opposite boat of what most people encounter as they are usually short from filling their carboy up. You are in a good position as you will need this left over wine to top yours up later after a couple rackings off the sediment. The problem lies in all the vessels we use to either make our wine in or store them in. Buckets are a little more reliable in accuracy then the carboys we use, the galls carboys can vary by almost a 1/2 gallon but Ive heard the better bottles (plastic carboys) are pretty accurate. How did you go about measuring tye amount of water added to your primary bucket when making the kit?
Is it possible the Better Bottle is on a five gallon model?
Exactly what I was thinking!!

Another suggestion would be measuring 6 Imperial gallons rather than 6 US gallons. But Rick specifically said 6 US gallons, so that should be OK.

Why can't the whole industry just go to metric? lol Then no more issues.

If you have extra wine, leave it in those smaller bottles, but you'll still need to cap it and airlock it somehow. A small balloon secured with an elastic to the neck of the bottle will do. Just punch a hole in it with a pin to allow the CO2 to escape. (Sanitize everyting, bottles, balloons inside and out of course)
Why can't the whole industry just go to metric? lol Then no more issues.
In Canada, the kits are sold as making 23 litres, the carboys are 19 and 23 litres. Bottles are already 750ml and 1.5 litres. The major brands label the kits as containing 7.5 litres, 10 litres, etc.

It's the users who are resisting.

Save that extra for topping off when racking, you are in good position. In the future you should buy some bungs that fit wine bottles, then you can put an air lock on them......Just like th carboy....
The description: Item #5115KIT From Home Brew It.com (Quality Wine & Ale Supply in Elkhart, IN) Primary Fermenting Deluxe food grade 7.9 gallon (when filled to top rim) beer and wine fermenting kit. Kit includes bucket, a drilled gasketed (airtight) snap-on lid with grommet and one airlock. Fermenter is printed with a beer stein & wine glass design in burgundy, green & yellow with child safety warning & gallon markings in black. Printed in English & French. Recommended for use with ALL 6 gallon wine kits and any beer kit or your favorite 5 or 6 gallon recipe. US gallons when filled to inside rim making it easy to make wine kits, Barons and Brew House beer kits.

And I filled it to the 6 gallon mark where there is a clearly defined lip or ridge around the inside of the bucket. I am going to measure the capacity again to see if there is a discrepancy.

I drilled a couple of corks and placed airlocks on the extra bottles for now. I am learning and thanks for all of the responses!
And the carboy: Better Bottle PET Carboys Better Bottle PET Carboys - Assorted Sizes - Plain Item #BB05 (the 5 indicates it is non ported)
Better-Bottle® PET carboys are: 1) Tough and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure: Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Easy to wash. Better-Bottle carboys are not at all like other plastic carboys. The special PET from which these carboys are made is non-absorbing, non-porous, and non-wetting (hydrophobic), so it will not carry over flavors from one batch of wine or beer to the next and it is easier to clean and sanitize than glass or other plastics. Better-Bottle carboys are ideal for home winemaking and home brewing.
My 5 gal glass carboys are not the same size. Sometimes going from one 5 to another, I either have some left over, or not enough. Weird! :b

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