Racking From Large Fermenter

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crushday

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Many of us use the “Gajillion Hole Pipe”, I made this one from a piece of 4” water pipe. It has a cap on the bottom and a gajillion holes drilled in it, you can see my auto siphon next to it. Push the tube down into the must, insert the siphon / racking cane, and remove the wine. I typically vacuum rack to avoid lifting the fermenters, which are 40 - 50 gallons. A bit labor intensive to make, but it works like a charm. As the wine level decreases, there are fewer holes for wine to flow into, so you may need to slow a bit and spin the tube in the must to keep the holes free. Once you’ve gotten the wine out, head to the press.
View attachment 56419
Can you recommend the size of the holes? I have the materials and will drill tomorrow. Thanks, @Johnd
 

Johnd

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Can you recommend the size of the holes? I have the materials and will drill tomorrow. Thanks, @Johnd
Certainly. My GHP is drilled at 7/64”, wine comes out pretty clean, flows well, no complaints. Just FYI, I used a piece of perforated vinyl soffit as my hole drilling guide, worked great for uniformity, but also to keep the bit from slipping around at the start of every hole. I highly recommend it.

One thing I wish I hadn’t done is attaching the plug to the pipe, it makes it much harder to clean.
 

crushday

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I drilled the holes last night using a 1/8th” into a 24” long 4” PVC pipe. I’ll get it cleaned up today and post a picture.

For the hole guide, I used graph paper taped to the PVC. I have 60 minutes into the project so far and carpal tunnel in my right wrist...lol.
 

sour_grapes

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For the hole guide, I used graph paper taped to the PVC. I have 60 minutes into the project so far and carpal tunnel in my right wrist...lol.
I was impressed you could find graph paper at all. Now I am doubly impressed that you could find (I assume?) hexagonal graph paper on short notice!

Looks great, BTW.
 

crushday

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I was impressed you could find graph paper at all. Now I am doubly impressed that you could find (I assume?) hexagonal graph paper on short notice!

Looks great, BTW.
Actually, I googled it and printed. It was squares and I followed John’s lead on the hole pattern. I have to admit my cordless drill got pretty heavy after a bit boring all those holes. The devise is aptly named.

My next opportunity to use this will be mid to late September. I’m confident it will work great!
 
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sour_grapes

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AI have to admit my cordless drill got pretty heavy after a bit boring all those hole. The device is aptly named.
Cordless drill? Yeah, that is a good name for it! 🤣

But seriously, it looks nice Good going. You need to nurse those sore muscles with a general anesthetic, preferably one that may be taken orally. :)
 

Ajmassa

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Got it done. I won’t glue the cap, heeding the suggestion of @Johnd

View attachment 61534
Looks perfect!

Finding material for a proper base was a hassle. Looks like you found a solid black cap I see. I coulda used that!
I ended up adding a thick coupling that’s female threaded on one side and fit on snug w/ no need for adhesive. Drilled larger holes on it for wine to access some 1/8” holes the coupling covered. And a threaded flat piece to close off the bottom which can unscrew for cleaning. I do wrap it in a mesh bag also and never even have to adjust the pipe once while using. A39D95DE-2DB9-4939-A692-1D8B7AE76586.jpeg

Your gonna be very satisfied you made this!
 

Johnd

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I drilled the holes last night using a 1/8th” into a 24” long 4” PVC pipe. I’ll get it cleaned up today and post a picture.

For the hole guide, I used graph paper taped to the PVC. I have 60 minutes into the project so far and carpal tunnel in my right wrist...lol.
Too late now, but I drilled my holes with my Dremel, using the flexible cable / cord, super fast and easy on the hands.
 
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crushday

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Too late now, but I drilled my holes with my Dreme, using the flexible cable / cord, super fast and easy on the hands.
That’s funny. Mrs. B asked me, why aren’t you using your Dremel?
 

crushday

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I do wrap it in a mesh bag...
Your GHP looks great. I’m going to try a mesh bag and see what happens. I did drill 1/8” holes so I might not need the bag. I’ll experiment some. For sure, it’s going to be better than my present system which is a 100 micron hops filter. It clogs something fierce...
 

Ajmassa

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Your GHP looks great. I’m going to try a mesh bag and see what happens. I did drill 1/8” holes so I might not need the bag. I’ll experiment some. For sure, it’s going to be better than my present system which is a 100 micron hops filter. It clogs something fierce...
Awkwardly struggling to separate skins almost seems like a winemaking rite of passage. Here’s the thread that culminated in my own ‘GHP‘ awakening! Tons of people chimed in with great skins separation tips offered throughout. Plus a whole lot of discussion about safe plastics & metal for winemaking.
Separating skins for transfer
 
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Johnd

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Your GHP looks great. I’m going to try a mesh bag and see what happens. I did drill 1/8” holes so I might not need the bag. I’ll experiment some. For sure, it’s going to be better than my present system which is a 100 micron hops filter. It clogs something fierce...
You‘ll most likely find that the flow of wine is very good while the level is high. As the liquid level drops, there are fewer available holes to flow through and the flow into the tube decreases. When you‘re at that point, spinning the GHP in the must will help keep the holes clear.
 

Rocky

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I don't mean to beat a dead horse and I have mentioned this in the past, but have any of you tried adding a spigot to your fermenters? I am impressed with the ingenuity and the labor that goes into your tubes. I have all of my fermenters fitted with spigot, which are removed, cleaned and sanitized after every use and cleaned and sanitized before every use. I have them mounted about 2-3 inches above the bottom of the fermenter which is where the heavy sediment lies. I run the wine directly into carboy (usually attach a short length of tubing to the spigot) on the floor. I highly recommend this method. See pix below with a 20 and 32 gallon fermenter so fitted.

100_1509.JPG
 

Johnd

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I don't mean to beat a dead horse and I have mentioned this in the past, but have any of you tried adding a spigot to your fermenters? I am impressed with the ingenuity and the labor that goes into your tubes. I have all of my fermenters fitted with spigot, which are removed, cleaned and sanitized after every use and cleaned and sanitized before every use. I have them mounted about 2-3 inches above the bottom of the fermenter which is where the heavy sediment lies. I run the wine directly into carboy (usually attach a short length of tubing to the spigot) on the floor. I highly recommend this method. See pix below with a 20 and 32 gallon fermenter so fitted.

100_1509.JPG
Well, guess the horse just has a little life left in him, LOL. Yes, we’ve had those discussions and many of us have traveled that road, plenty folks use side valves.
In my winemaking situation, if I had a large steel fermentation tank, that would make plenty of sense. Unless you ferment on tables, a logistic I cannot accommodate with 7+ fifty gallon fermenters every year, they’re floor bound. So by the time the first carboy‘s wine level rises up to the dropping level of the wine, the gravity flow stops and the AIO has to finish the job. Then there’s the valve assembly. I know, yours hasn’t leaked in 47 years, when I used the side valve assembly, they get bumped, kicked, and there were leaks unless you went out and got the high $ stuff, and they’d still clog when the cap got down to the valve with plenty wine left. Then I began searching for the right filter to put on the valves, the high $ stainless steel ones rock, if you only need 1. Then you can’t stack your fermenters for storage without removing all of the valves, that’s yet another step to start and stop every season.

The beauty of our hobby is the freedom we all get to choose, after trying lotsa stuff, I chose to add a $5 piece of pipe and a few hours labor to my toolbox, and it‘s been a welcome addition.
 

Rocky

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Well, guess the horse just has a little life left in him, LOL. Yes, we’ve had those discussions and many of us have traveled that road, plenty folks use side valves.
In my winemaking situation, if I had a large steel fermentation tank, that would make plenty of sense. Unless you ferment on tables, a logistic I cannot accommodate with 7+ fifty gallon fermenters every year, they’re floor bound. So by the time the first carboy‘s wine level rises up to the dropping level of the wine, the gravity flow stops and the AIO has to finish the job. Then there’s the valve assembly. I know, yours hasn’t leaked in 47 years, when I used the side valve assembly, they get bumped, kicked, and there were leaks unless you went out and got the high $ stuff, and they’d still clog when the cap got down to the valve with plenty wine left. Then I began searching for the right filter to put on the valves, the high $ stainless steel ones rock, if you only need 1. Then you can’t stack your fermenters for storage without removing all of the valves, that’s yet another step to start and stop every season.

The beauty of our hobby is the freedom we all get to choose, after trying lotsa stuff, I chose to add a $5 piece of pipe and a few hours labor to my toolbox, and it‘s been a welcome addition.
I should have looked back through this thread because I see that I had replied earlier. I was addressing the general case of wine making that is represented on this forum, where a large majority of individuals makes wine in 7 tp 32 gallon fermenters, almost exclusively on a raised surface such as a table or bench. The plastic spigots I use cost between $2 and $3 and I have not had a "leak" problem because I install and test with water before filling with wine.
 

Johnd

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I should have looked back through this thread because I see that I had replied earlier. I was addressing the general case of wine making that is represented on this forum, where a large majority of individuals makes wine in 7 tp 32 gallon fermenters, almost exclusively on a raised surface such as a table or bench. The plastic spigots I use cost between $2 and $3 and I have not had a "leak" problem because I install and test with water before filling with wine.
It‘s all good, we all have different situations / area constraints that we have to deal with. I’d love to be able to ferment on a tabletop and simply drain the wine out with a $3 spigot, just don’t know how I’d get them onto a table if I had one, guess a must pump would be in order. Currently, I crush/destem straight into my fermenters and roll them inside where I have A/C (hot where I live) to ferment, pump the wine out into carboys, and roll the fermenters back outside for pressing. It works well.
There are lots of great ideas and techniques that have been utilized and shared, none are wrong, and one solution doesn’t generally fit everybody’s situation. For me, it’s just about finding the ones that fit my dysfunction........
 
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