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Norton

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Up until now I have made wine using kits or buying juice from the local winery in batches of 6 gallons or so at a time. So all my equipment is geared towards that size of wine making.

Someone has offered to give to me about 1200 pounds of Chambourcin grapes this harvest which I am guessing would be mid to late September.He has also offered to buy the equipment necessary to handle that load. He has access to a destemmer at the vineyard that we can use but other than that I need to figure out what to do to handle that amount of grapes for the first time at my house. I have an all in one wine pump, a 5 gallon press, and carboys but that is about it.
I am thinking that I would probably want to get at least:
1. A Speidel 80 gallon tank.
2. 2 44 gallon food grade primary fermenters
3. Yeast in bulk

My biggest concern is that I don’t know what I don’t know. I’d hate to screw up potentially 100 gallons or so of wine out of ignorance of what I would need.
I have a MoreWine catalog that I am looking at trying to figure out what I would need. Does anybody here have any suggestions, such as a larger wine pump to move the must from primary to secondary, or anything else I should order now?
 

mainshipfred

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Up until now I have made wine using kits or buying juice from the local winery in batches of 6 gallons or so at a time. So all my equipment is geared towards that size of wine making.

Someone has offered to give to me about 1200 pounds of Chambourcin grapes this harvest which I am guessing would be mid to late September.He has also offered to buy the equipment necessary to handle that load. He has access to a destemmer at the vineyard that we can use but other than that I need to figure out what to do to handle that amount of grapes for the first time at my house. I have an all in one wine pump, a 5 gallon press, and carboys but that is about it.
I am thinking that I would probably want to get at least:
1. A Speidel 80 gallon tank.
2. 2 44 gallon food grade primary fermenters
3. Yeast in bulk

My biggest concern is that I don’t know what I don’t know. I’d hate to screw up potentially 100 gallons or so of wine out of ignorance of what I would need.
I have a MoreWine catalog that I am looking at trying to figure out what I would need. Does anybody here have any suggestions, such as a larger wine pump to move the must from primary to secondary, or anything else I should order now?
I wish I had your problem, 1200 lbs of free grapes WOW! I don't think you will need bulk yeast. One pack does 6-8 gallons. I think the smallest bulk package is around $200.00. You will need 2 packs of MLF bacteria and larger quantities of other additives, Go Ferm, Ferm K and O, some fermenting tannins, color enhancing additives, etc. Plus you may want to think about a barrel. A barrel and a few carboys should handle the storage. I love the AIO but I think even Steve will tell you this is too much wine to transfer with it, at least without letting it cool down.
 

salcoco

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I would get another fermenter, also a larger press preferably bladder. you will need at least 125 grams of yeast, should be able to get 80 grams at a time from More Wine.
 

Boatboy24

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I second the suggestion for a larger press. By my math, you'll be emptying that 5 gallon press about ten times - pain in the buttocks.
 

Ajmassa

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If your gonna be head winemaker you might as well do it up proper. Set a precedent right away and go for broke! List of demands :
1. Budget increase
2. Larger press (renting also an option) 3. Proper fermentation tub(s) (anticipate ~120gal must)
4. VC ss tank 100L (80gal likely filled with leftover needing more equipment)
5. Must pump
6. Proper lab. Vinmetrica sc300 and all necessary reagents- covers all bases
7. All the nutrients and chems and all that fun stuff
8. Extra 10% Personal budget for incidentals/misc. you know how this goes. There’s ALWAYS costs that ya never think of beforehand. Or just save your receipts. In the end your doing him a favor it sounds like. And I guess he couldn’t sell his 1,200lbs of chamboricin to local wineries— (probably because it’s chamboricin— ask for Cab Sav next year ! Lmfao)
The small items easily overlooked—-Large wooden/ss paddle for stirring, punchdown tool, cleaning products etc... How bout some hired help too!

You can always just get a fermentation tub that has a spigot and filter screen too. Get as much free run as possible And then load rest in the press by scooping out with a bucket. And just press into buckets so it’s not too heavy and to lift and pour.
Doing it this way just adds a little more lees but not a big deal. I set up a wire mesh strainer over the bucket when pressing. Or what my family did was put cheesecloth inside the funnel when filling the demijohns.
Good luck with your new full time job! This sounds like it could be the first part of story explaining how your new winery came to be in existence in a few years.
 

jgmillr1

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No need for a must pump. Just crush/destem into a macro bin and ferment in there. I've been doing that for years. A wine pump though is necessary to move the liquid later. You won't be popping that on your counter for a gravity feed.

A ratchet press works but you'll be loading it several times. If this is going to be something you'll do every year then definitely consider a bladder press. I put 3 tons of grapes through a ratchet press the first year and then got a bladder press for the next season.

At 1200lbs you're looking at 100 gallons or so. Be sure you have temporary and aging containers for it. Also be aware you may need to move the containers. Put the barrels on a furniture dolly and you can roll them around.

Chambourcin is light in flavor but good for color and can take a lot of oak. I think of it as the Pinot noir of the Midwest.
 

jgmillr1

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And I guess he couldn’t sell his 1,200lbs of chamboricin to local wineries— (probably because it’s chamboricin— ask for Cab Sav
I'd buy 1200 more lbs of chambourcin. It's a solid grape for either a rose or a dry barrel aged wine. Let's be honest though, they are growing chambourcin because they live in an area that can't grow can sauv due to short growing season or weather.
 

Ajmassa

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I'd buy 1200 more lbs of chambourcin. It's a solid grape for either a rose or a dry barrel aged wine. Let's be honest though, they are growing chambourcin because they live in an area that can't grow can sauv due to short growing season or weather.
Of course. I ageee 100%. Ya work with what ya can. Was just taking a friendly jab is all. And honestly - here in PA and Jersey , I’ve had local wines from local grapes, and rarely do any try for vinifera. The few I’ve had I realized right away why most don’t attempt it. Not to say they were horrible, but they certainly were not cabs. A cab simply In name only.
The chamboricin can be quite good, if made into what it wants to be, and not forcing it to be something it’s not.
 

pkm925

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This sounds like an adventure. I've made wine from Chambourcin a couple of times and was happy with the results.

I think Salcoco was right about the fermenter and the yeast. I can only get about 350 lbs. of grapes in a 44 gal. Rubbermaid Brute without having to worry about the cap overflowing. I think you may want to get 3 of the 55 gal. Brutes for your volume. BTW, you can order Brutes in red from Amazon or Walmart - I think it's a good look for a fermenter and not too many places stock 55 gal. Brutes. On the yeast, yes you can get 80 g. packets ($17) from MoreWine, 2 or 3 should do you depending on how you work the fermenter/s. I used D254 when I did Chambourcin and I was happy. You might want to try a combo of yeasts if you use multiple fermenters, D254 and D80 are supposed to work well together. It might make things more interesting

Salcoco, Boatboy and the other guys are right about the press. Your baby press won't cut it. The 2 questions that come to mind, can you rent one and do you expect to do this kind of volume every year going forward? Bladder presses are expensive. If you think this volume is a one time shot get a ratchet press and save yourself a couple of bucks, otherwise go for the bladder press (they are way cooler) but remember you're probably only going to use once or twice a year.

Finally I think Jgmillr1 is right, your finished volume might exceed your expectations of 80 gal. I'm not sure at all on this (and you won't be either until you're finished pressing) as it's a function of the grapes you're getting as well as how you press them (higher yield with that bladder press). You might want to think about getting 2 200L (52 gal. +/-) variable SS tanks. This will give you a lot more flexibility in the future than one 80 gal. tank and the nice thing is they are close to barrel size so once your wine is clean you can easily migrate to barrels for aging. Just thinking it's nice to have that option. Also you might want to check out other tanks besides Speidel. I think you might be able to get tanks from another manufacturers cheaper. I have 2 Marchisio tanks and I'm very happy with them.

Hope this helps.
 

mainshipfred

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I think all the recommendations are valid. My only take away on the equipment is would this a one time venture will he be doing it every year. Might just have to struggle through the complications of small equipment if it is a trail effort.
 

Norton

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This sounds like an adventure. I've made wine from Chambourcin a couple of times and was happy with the results.

I think Salcoco was right about the fermenter and the yeast. I can only get about 350 lbs. of grapes in a 44 gal. Rubbermaid Brute without having to worry about the cap overflowing. I think you may want to get 3 of the 55 gal. Brutes for your volume. BTW, you can order Brutes in red from Amazon or Walmart - I think it's a good look for a fermenter and not too many places stock 55 gal. Brutes.
.....


Hope this helps.
 

Norton

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Thanks for all the suggestions from everyone! It has been interesting doing all the research and thinking about how I can scale up. I don’t know if this will be a one shot deal or an ongoing relationship so I am trying to not too caught up on buying a lot of new toys.

Pkm925, I did look up Brutes. I didn’t see anything food grade. I had assumed that food grade is necessary.. am I misinformed on that?

Also in my research I am now inclined to go Flex tank over Speidel fwiw.
 

mainshipfred

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I agree with your assement on buying new toys until you know it is something you want to keep doing. Most people use brutes and for the short amount of time the wine is in there not to mention all that is going on during fermentation there is nothing wrong with them. For flex tank and speidel I would call them fermentation vessels. I'm not sure how you control the air exposure unless you used an inert gas or unless these are variable capicity which I don't think they are. The one expense I do think you should invest in is a barrel and/or a tank of argon.
 

Ajmassa

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No worries on the cans. All standard Brutes are NSF food safe. And for wine many people go the extra mile and use the white cans, ensuring no dyes in the plastic.
Also the big red tubs are made specifically for wine and are large enough to need just 1.
And agreed with the tanks. (x2) 200L tanks give the most options- or (x1) 400L. IMG_5198.jpg
 

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