Looking for info on using VC stainless tanks for the first time

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DaveMcC

Escaping the prison of past and future with wine.
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Howdy winemaking community. Looking for some good advice here,

I have about a 100 gallons of must (in 4 varieties) nearing completion of AF in plastic primary barrels.
I recently bought 3 Speidel 110L stainless tanks and have them set up to receive the wine but have never used these types of tanks (only carboys up to now).
I've determined that I need to press out my wine as usual, and transfer to the tanks but this raises a couple of questions.

My first question has to do with 1st racking off the gross lees.
I use a pump and tubing and used to watch the tubing end in the carboy to keep above the lees to when transferring out. How does this work in a tank? These tanks have the bottom ball valve, but I wouldn't use that for racking, would I? Should I use a racking cane of some sort? What works for you all when doing the 1st racking? What do you rack into (and then back out of)? Trying to figure out the whole transition from carboys to tanks.

Second question is about MLF. I will inoculate with MLB and nutrient (Opti-malo plus) when I transfer to tanks after pressing. What can I expect? I won't be able to see my "tiny bubbles" this time, so will keep my temps around 74 degrees F and will need to put an air lock on the top of the tank lid.

If there are some general good instructions or videos on how to use these tanks (beyond the company demos), sure would appreciate any links or information.
Thanks,
Dave
 

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Tberns

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I have three 110 liter vc tanks and am into my first year of winemaking from grapes. I love the vc tanks and found it easy to rack using a standard racking cane and pump. I am doing my bulk aging in the tanks, so I have two filled and one empty which allows me to rack directly from one vc tank to the other. For the first (gross lees) racking it was easy to see when to stop as you approached the bottom of the tank. It was a bit more difficult for the second racking since the lees were tougher to see, but really no problem. Only caution I would add is be sure to check your gauges for the tank tops frequently. Mine hold pressure pretty well, but especially with any temp change, I need to top up the pressure every week or so.
 

sjjan

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I take the wine off the gross lees from the top of the VC tank and move it to another tank filling from the bottom. But the 110 liter Speidel tanks have a simpler valve than the larger tanks, so I would just move it into another empty tank from the top as well. There is lots you can do to limit the oxidation while transferring the wine, but that is another topic. Once the wine is transferred, lower the lid on top of the wine and pump up the tubes. Then, indeed you have to watch the pressure in the tubes regularly. Taking the wine off its fine lees with the 110 liter tanks probably goes the same way. In the larger tanks you have 2 valves at the bottom and you could take it from the higher of the 2 lower valves and transfer it to another tank.

I love these VC tanks from Speidel :). On the picture you see some VC tanks from Speidel on the right. The red hose on theground is connected to the bottom valve of one of the tanks. In this case I am cleaning out the tank and moving the water out.

Wine-Cellar-02 - 1.jpeg


To limit oxidation while transferring the wine, you could purge the receiving tank with CO2 or Argon slowly from the bottom and add an open lid to the top (e.g. the orange cap off) and then slowly move the wine into the tank from the bottom up. You can also just transfer and compensatie with sulfur dioxide in the form of PBMS added to the receiving tank just before the transfer so it mixes in well with the wine and do that based on the pH of the wine.
 
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