Which Primary Fermenter Should You Use?
Well... how many bottles do you want to make? Because that's what determines your primary and secondary fermenter sizes.
Figure out how much wine you want to make and add at least 25% more to it
when choosing a primary. This headspace allows some room for any foaming
or expansion without it coming through the airlock.
It also gives the yeast oxygen for energy to help expand the colony quickly.
When making wine from juice you'll be leaving some sediment behind when you rack it. That means if you start off with 5-gallons of juice/must then you will have slightly less than 5 when it's all done and ready to bottle.
So 1-gallon of finished wine = @5 -750ml bottles of wine...... start with a 2-gallon primary fermentation container
- 3-gallons = @15 bottles...... start with a 5-gallon primary
- 5-gallons = @25 bottles...... start with a 6.5-gallon primary
- 6-gallons = @30 bottles...... start with a 7.9-gallon primary
Consider using a carboy or demijohn as a primary fermenter for your
delicate white wines instead of a bucket. Oxidation and bacteria are
more easily controlled because of the small neck.
grade" buckets only if you're going with a plastic primary fermenter.
There's a reason the grocery stores and bakeries use only food grade
containers and bags. You don't want plastic toxins or off-tastes coming
out in your wine.
The most economical are food grade buckets. For a larger batch - food grade drums work excellent.
Both buckets and drums come in many sizes.
There are also stainless steel tanks and conical fermenters - these also come in food safe plastic too.
Determine your batch size - then choose a container
Size is the first thing to think about when looking for a fermentation
container. You should consult the recipe you're going to follow and
whether or not you decide to double it etc.
Keep in mind that
grapes and other fruits can benefit from a wide container. This gives
the skins and pulp a better chance to be in contact with more of the
must than what a narrow vessel would give you.
This way you get the maximum color and flavor extraction... which results in a vibrant, fruity and fragrant wine!
you start the racking process you will usually have to top up with
other wine you have on hand. Or stock up on some different size
This is where some of the smaller fermentation vessels can really come in handy.