Open fermentation

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oleg

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Hello everyone,

Firstly thank you for all the tips and advice on this forum. I have been an avid reader of all postings since I first started my wine making hobby 6 months ago. I am on my 3rd kit and I picked the Lodi Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon with grape skins.

I used my standard primary fermentor that according to the instructions had plenty of headroom for the fermentation, however since day 2 the fermentation is so powerful it burst open the lid twice. On reading here I tried to follow advice and I placed a cheese cloth. The fermentation foamed it up so badly I decided to remove it. Now Ive just left it open to ferment and keep monitoring it so as soon as the power decreases I can put the lid and airlock back on.

My question is, do you believe there is a serious risk of oxidation or contamination at this stage? The fermentor is in a cabinet that is small so I am not worried about anything "getting in" or too much air flowing around it. However I was hoping to get your expert opinion if I should look into something else or if there are any serious risks and therefore making this batch might be possible.

Thank you for all the help!!!
 

3274mike

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You should not be putting a lid on the primary fermintation cheese cloth is a good idea I use a towel keeps things out easy to check and stir and if doing kits I'm guessing it's 5 gallon go to your supply store and buy a bigger bucket so even when foaming it shouldn't foam over.

A primary fermenter is usually open to alow stirring and oxygen that the yeast needs. Secondary fermintation is after your fermintation is down to your projected reading for 3 to 4 days. Then it becomes a secondary this is when you put in carboy with airlock or bucket with lid and airlock

Sorry for the ramble and good luck
 

drainsurgeon

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Most kits are for 6 gallons of wine. My primary is 7 1/2 gallon and has always been plenty deep for primary fermentation. When you say it popped the lid off, you do have an opening or an air lock on the lid, don't you? I've had air lock caps pop off a couple of times but never had a lid blow off. Sound like EC 1118 on steroids! :sh

What size is your primary? (sounds like you need a slightly bigger one)
 
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StBlGT

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During the first few days in the primary, the yeast needs oxygen and there is so much co2 being released that oxygen is the least of your worries. However, after that time, once the fermentation slows, you will want a lid and airlock. The cheesecloth will help aid in stopping fruit flies and other non-wanted items from getting into the bucket.
 

3274mike

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All that and I forgot to type no at this stage probably is not a huge risk of contamination
 

Scooter68

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Biggest risk is bugs invading and dying in the foam - leaving you with possible vinegar producing source as well as undesirable bacterial. Split into smaller containers or at least cover with cloth.

DON'T leave uncovered there is a risk off contamination from anything that falls or flies into the container. CO2 and Alcohol are NOT guaranteed to protect your wine. That's why we cover and later use airlocks.
 
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JohnT

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Biggest risk is bugs invading and dying in the foam - leaving you with possible vinegar producing source as well as undesirable bacterial. Split into smaller containers or at least cover with cloth.

DON'T leave uncovered there is a risk off contamination from anything that falls or flies into the container. CO2 and Alcohol are guaranteed to protect your wine. That's why we cover and later use airlocks.

+1 - I am a big fan of open fermentation. A secured cloth goes a long way in blocking out those !%#@$ acetobacter carrying fruit flies.
 

bkisel

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Welcome to the forum!

I've never had any over foam issues using a 7.5 gallon primary bucket for my 23L kits. Even so I'll often use a 10 gallon RubberMaid Brute bucket (covered with a towel) for primer fermentation and my primary bucket locked down for secondary. For less than $20.00 you can get bucket from Amazon or order shipped free to Lowes or HD.

 

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