Primary Fermentation Head.

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Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Feb 23, 2009
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Hi, I've just made my must in a 30 liter fermentation bucket. I followed the recipe and have ended up with about 28 liters of must. The amount of space between the top of the must and the bucket lid (which has a bung hole in it but which I was only going to cover with a teatowel) is only 2 inches (5 cm). I am waiting for the must to cool before adding pectin enzyme and conducting the SG and Acid tests. Probably tomorrow morning before it cools enough for that.

I am worried that once I add the yeast the volume of the must will increase and overflow the bucket.

Is there enough room in the bucket to contain the primary fermentation for 5-6 days or should I split or move the must to a larger container once I've taken the readings and added yeast?

No turning back now! :eek:
Tough question to answer. IMO, it dependes on the specific yeast, the temperature, and some other stuff.

Most wine yeast are low foaming.

If you're doing a full pulp fermentation, you're going to have a wonderful mess on your hands. :p

If there's no pulp or very little, you'll probably be OK. The usual rule of thumb is 10% minimum headroom for juice only fermentations, and I've never had it come close to overflowing following this rule.
Thanks guys, I'm working on a fruit pulp so I guess I will have to buy another bucket! The question is what to put in it, a mop or half the must? :)

But seriously, if I check the must, adjust the acid (if required), adjust the SG (if required), add the pectolase and then split the must in to two halves would it be better to add one sachet of yeast to each batch or just use one and halve it? I've got a feeling that this batch is going to produce more than the intended 5 Imp. Gallons so I'm inclined to use two sachets.

As this is the primary fermentation I believe that a large head above the must (6-8 inches / 15-20 cm) is not a problem (one extreme to the other!)

Thanks, as always, for the advice.


If you will get a 1 quart/one litre starter going with one pack of yeast then when your must is divided and ready for the yeast just dump half in each container

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