Racking tank. What do you use?

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havlikn

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I am looking into purchasing a racking tank for my wine. I hate spending a large amount of money on a vct stainless steel tank that sits empty most of the year. Has anyone found a better solution? I have seen ace rotomold and flextanks products but I am leary of plastic. I will be needing capacity for at maximum 60 gallons.
 

Johny99

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I got lucky and found an nsf plastic 52 gal barrel. I rack and return so I don't need variable volume. I plan on using it for a fermenter this fall if I need it. It is open top with a gasketed lid similar to a Spidel tank. It had only been used for water. If that works I might even add an airlock hole.

Surplus juice totes are common around here. Might be an option.
 

balatonwine

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I am leary of plastic

Why?

Tanks specifically made for wine and beer making are usually made from HDPE which is completely safe (i.e. no Bisphenol A).

I use Speidel tanks, up to 200 L (52 gals), myself for all steps in the wine making process. When full, the 60 L (16 gal) tanks can be easily moved with a dolly, and if one has the back for it, moved short distances by lifting (but needs two people or a hoist to get any height). Best part is the cleaning -- Even the 200 L tank I can pick up alone and slosh around a bit of disinfectant for complete coverage.
 
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havlikn

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I always thought there was a chance of leeching from plastic. Could a guy get away with using a blue barrel that is food safe? The wine would only sit in the tank a couple hours max.
 

Johnd

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I always thought there was a chance of leeching from plastic. Could a guy get away with using a blue barrel that is food safe? The wine would only sit in the tank a couple hours max.
As long as it is food safe, you'll be just fine.
 

stickman

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I use flex tanks for storage and racking etc., I don't perceive any problems or off flavors due to the plastic construction. I have a blue barrel that I previously used for primary fermentations without issues. For short duration racking, the blue barrel should be fine.
 

NorCal

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I have a couple white "Brute" hpde, food safe trash cans that I ordered and had delivered to my local Home Depot. $45 for a 44 gallon unit. They nest and get out of the way nicely.
 

balatonwine

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I always thought there was a chance of leeching from plastic.
Leeching chemicals is possible from some forms of non-ridged PVC or PET plastics over time. HDPE is a much safer plastic.

Could a guy get away with using a blue barrel that is food safe? The wine would only sit in the tank a couple hours max.
Blue barrels are usually HDPE, and if so (they will always be stamped with the plastic type usually on the bottom), this should be fine.
 
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balatonwine

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I have a couple white "Brute" hpde, food safe trash cans
I like the way Flex or Speidel tanks, or blue barrels seal air tight. Transfer the wine to the barrel, get a tank of CO2 and play it over the wine to push off the air above the wine, seal the barrel, then you can take your time until ready to move the wine out of the barrel.

Just my 2 cents (which due to inflation means it may not be worth 2 cents).
 

NorCal

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I like the way Flex or Speidel tanks, or blue barrels seal air tight. Transfer the wine to the barrel, get a tank of CO2 and play it over the wine to push off the air above the wine, seal the barrel, then you can take your time until ready to move the wine out of the barrel.

Just my 2 cents (which due to inflation means it may not be worth 2 cents).
I use to worry about O2 exposure at racking. The first racking post press, the fresh wine is so full of CO2 and I open to ferment, I don't foresee any damage. When I rack my barrel I look at the exposed surface area, times the length of time it is exposed (filling from the bottom) and it ends up being a real small number in the overall scheme of things. I suppose if there was a real delicate wine, Pinot perhaps, I would be more concerned.
 
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