Winemaking containers

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Gerry Congleton, Oct 14, 2019.

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  1. Oct 14, 2019 #1

    Gerry Congleton

    Gerry Congleton

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    just finished my first 5 gallon kit of Cabernet. Questioning whether or not I should have additional containers. The primary fermentation was done in a 6 gal. Plastic container. This worked okay for adding ingredients, stirring and so on. The next step is where I have a question. I used a 5 gal. Glass carboy which made it difficult to stir in any ingredient and to degas (?). Trying to shake that container to get rid of the carbonation. Should I have used another plastic container and made it easier to work with? And then used the glass carboy for the final step?
    I can also use some help in the siphoning skills.

    Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. Oct 14, 2019 #2

    jsbeckton

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    Once active fermentation completed (bucket) it should be moved to a class carboy and topped up with similar wine if necessary to eliminate O2 exposure.

    If you have a racking cane the siphon is easy as long as the bucket is at a higher point than the carboy the wine will flow after 1-2 pumps.
     
  3. Oct 14, 2019 #3

    Gerry Congleton

    Gerry Congleton

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    I appreciate your information.
     
  4. Oct 14, 2019 #4

    sour_grapes

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    If you are dead-set on degassing by stirring, you can transfer to the bucket, stir, and transfer back. But, you would probably be better off just letting it sit in the carboy and letting it degas over time (many months).
     
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  5. Oct 14, 2019 #5

    Intheswamp

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    Gerry, I'm an over-self-educated newbie... Here's my thoughts. :)

    When transferring from primary to secondary or racking to a new vessel and the need for adding additives is present first maybe pour a cup of the must into a container and mix your ingredients in this small amount. Next pour this mixture into the receiving container. Then siphon the large volume of must into the container. As it flows into the receiving container (and on top of the must/addtive mixture) the additives will get dispersed pretty well throughout the must. I've seen this referred to as "racking onto" the addItive(s).

    Shaking a 5-gallon glass carboy sends chills over me. There have been some bad incidents with broken carboys cutting people. Be careful!!!

    As for siphoning... Be sure you have the full container a foot or two above the empty container and that you have sufficient tubing to hold enough wine in the lower part of it to create a siphon/vacuum action. I sit mine on a kitchen counter and the receiving vessel on the floor. The "weight" of the wine in the tube will pull other wine behind it. If that makes sense.<grin>

    I would highly recommend getting an auto-siphon. They are simple contraptions but oh so handy! Not expensive, either. Also, a bottling wand is handy, too. Naturally the wand is really good for bottling, but you can take the tip off of it and use it as a straight cane for putting the tip where the wine will be coming out directly at the bottom of the receiving vessel...and you don't have to fight with a curving, un-cooperative plastic siphon tube to get it to stay at the bottom.

    Do you have or will you be getting another carboy to rack into later or will you be racking back into the bucket, clean the carboy, and then rack back into the same carboy? Another carboy makes things much easier. Later, if you do get another carboy, if you decide you want to make even more wine then you'll only need one more carboy to do two batches at a time...a total of three carboys. One carboy to rack into, wash the dirty one and then rack the other carboy into it...a rotation pattern.

    Anyhow, that's my take on things...right, wrong, or in between. :)
    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  6. Oct 14, 2019 #6

    CDrew

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    I'm going to recommend you not stir to remove CO2. It will whip a ton of oxygen into the wine and you don't want that. The 2 best methods are:

    1-Time. After a year or so, most CO2 will have dissipated naturally.

    2-Vacuum. Buy yourself a small vacuum pump. They are invaluable in garage level wine making. Harbor freight is a good source, or if you want a well thought out small system, check out the "All in One" vacuum pump. Plus the owner, Steve, is a member here and can walk you through things. I have the Allinone and a hospital surplus suction pump that is faster for larger volumes. I can rack 15 gallons in about 5 minutes, so super handy and easy on the wine. And during racking, the vacuum gently degasses at the same time.

    And get at least 1 more carboy. Glass is best, despite the risk of breakage.
     
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  7. Oct 14, 2019 #7

    Scooter68

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    Get at least one more carboy. In fact if you are really serious about making wine as a hobby you will need a number of them. At least one more carboy than the number of wine batches you intend to have aging at one time. I currently have 7 - 3 gallon carboys and I have 5 - 3gallon batches aging when I start one more batch in another month or so, I will have one carboy to use each time I do the racking pocess. So what I do is rack a batch, clean and sanitize the carboy it came out of, then rack the next batch and repeat until finished.

    You can't have too many carboys..... unless the spouse says NO and gives you "The Look" (Sometimes The Look can be replaced with smile with a proper offering of a wine tribute.)
     
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  8. Oct 14, 2019 #8

    mainshipfred

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    When stirring just buy a turkey baster and remove some of the wine, stir then replace the wine. Use a racking cane to stir as it takes up less volume than the backside of the spoon.
     
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  9. Oct 15, 2019 #9

    Rice_Guy

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    You have two different ways to treat CO2.
    * In general kits are designed to be made fast and drunk right away, 90 days or so. As a result the vendor has instructions on how to remove CO2 and the bitter carbonic flavor notes that come with it.
    * Fruit and grape juice users are closer to what a winery would do. Age is OK, just part of the yearly process and CO2 gives a reductive atmosphere so it is a preservative that reduces oxidation issues, , , and besides will come out with time.

    There is a tool called a wine whip (a shallow z) which some folks put on a drill to help stir the gas out. If ready to bottle I would siphon to a bucket and mix sugar etc in. I have a few sizes of square flexible camping water jugs (cubitainer) which get used at bottle time. Otherwise the carboy is as good as it gets for holding wine over time.
     
  10. Oct 15, 2019 #10

    Gerry Congleton

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    Wow! A lot of great information. Thanks to you all for your help. Just one more question about avoiding the sediment when siphoning. I have tried to measure the length of the tube I put into the wine, but it seems like I am wasting some wine in trying to avoid the sediment. Any suggestions?
    Thanks again,
    G
     
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  11. Oct 15, 2019 #11

    mainshipfred

    mainshipfred

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    You are going to waste some wine and getting some sediment when racking is going to happen. If you are concerned about losing too much wine get the cleanest you can then pour the remaining including the sediment in a smaller container and place it in the frig. After a day or 2 the sediment will settle to the bottom and you can just pour the clear wine into another container. In making small batches every little bit helps.
     
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  12. Oct 15, 2019 #12

    Intheswamp

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    Rank newbie comment here, it's worth what you're paying for it. ;)

    I had a discussion about this with some experienced folks a little while back. Sorry, I really can't remember who it was that convinced me how to transfer/rack, but I appreciate them being patient with me about it until I understood where they were coming from.

    Basically, my protocol for the next batch of wine will be to slightly (and carefully) tilt the carboy/jug, stick the racking cane all the way into the lees and at the lowest point, secure the cane in place disturbing the lees as little as possible and start siphoning. Sure, some lees will get sucked up but only the lees in the vicinity of the racking cane's tip so it won't amount to a great deal of them. The cane tip will siphon up some lees but will create a clear area around the tip to finish the transfer/racking.

    If you try moving the vessel or the cane around trying to get the last little bit of must out you will most likely disturb the settled lees and cause more lees to be taken up due to the disturbance than would be taken up by the tip being placed stationary into the lees. Some lees are firm and are not disturbed much by the racking cane but some lees are powdery and tend to create a cloud at the slightest disturbance. The BIG thing here, from what I can deduce, is to be sure your cane is secured in place and doesn't move around...use a racking cane holder of some style. Each succeeding time that you rack the wine you will have fewer and fewer lees to deal with.

    The first transfer from primary to secondary vessel won't be pristine cleared wine...but we shouldn't expect that anyhow. The first racking from carboy to carboy will be a lot more clear, but still...not pristine. It seems after the second racking that the lees should be few and the wine should definitely appear to be clearing.
     
  13. Oct 15, 2019 #13

    Intheswamp

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    I must add here that if you have fruit, seeds, solids of some kind in the bottom of the bucket that the above might not work due to the cane getting plugged by the debris. A good habit is to use a mesh/fermentation bag to contain the pulp, seeds, etc., so that the cane is not easily stopped up.
     
  14. Oct 16, 2019 #14

    Ajmassa

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    Yessir. Can confirm. Here’s a pic of some containers with the mixed up lees after a rack, after a few hours and after a full day at the bottom. Adjustments.JPG

    I did this once. Was great little trick if your doing small enough batches. Brew bag fit into a 7.9gal fermenter. At press time just lifted the bag right out and into my DIY butt press at the time. Worked like a charm. BA1E8955-AC05-4DE1-BC2B-A3E473227E4B.jpg
     
  15. Oct 16, 2019 #15

    Rice_Guy

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    69340CDB-2E65-42D8-9709-887C01255CD6.jpeg A setup:1) PEX tubing (available for connecting your sink) heated to bend a J on the end - mark the tube for the height of your bucket 2) flexible tubing with a shut off clamp 3) another piece of straight PEX tubing with a two hole cork 4) the cylinder on left used to start the siphon (this is where the two hole cork fits) 5) an angled board (blue) with stops to tilt the carboy/ primary 6) flash light to see through a murky ferment
    A racking cane does the same thing, the key is to have it marked for how deep you want to go on the cane
     
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  16. Oct 16, 2019 #16

    Wayne Freeman

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    Is that angled board a purchased item or DIY?
     
  17. Oct 16, 2019 #17

    mainshipfred

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    I did this once. Was great little trick if your doing small enough batches. Brew bag fit into a 7.9gal fermenter. At press time just lifted the bag right out and into my DIY butt press at the time. Worked like a charm. View attachment 57032 [/QUOTE]

    I still have my original bucket press and found it served another purpose. It is now what I put my small sump pumps in to prevent dirt and rocks getting sucked into the pump. Works like a charm.
     
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  18. Oct 17, 2019 #18

    Rice_Guy

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    DYI - what I really would like is a pivotal system that holds and tips a carboy as one pulls liquid. The QA lab in the ‘80s had one but I haven’t found it.
     
  19. Oct 23, 2019 #19

    Gerry Congleton

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    Not sure about the final racking and beginning aging. Wine was tasted and it seems VERY weak, maybe flat.
    The SG measured 0.990. I'm assuming this is too high?
    Any insights?
     
  20. Oct 23, 2019 #20

    Intheswamp

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    Final hydrometer reading is .0990? That means it is basically through fermenting, the yeast having consumed most all of the sugars. It's good if it's the final SG reading.

    What was your beginning hydrometer reading?

    By "weak, maybe flat" do mean there is little alcohol taste or that there is alcohol taste but not much flavor?

    I take it that you've already transferred from primary (bucket) to secondary (carboy)?
     

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