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Old 02-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
bja
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Default Fermenting in an aquarium salt bucket.

Anyone see a problem with using a bucket that contained marine aquarium salt? I'm sure it's food grade (it's white and has the HDPE 2 symbol) considering that marine aquariums are pretty sensitive to any chemicals. I have several of these that I have been using to mix star san in.

I bought a wine kit that I was planning on fermenting in my 6.5 gallon carboy, but the kit has 2 liters of grape skins which needs to be put in a muslin bag and added to the fermenter. Obviously I can't put this in a carboy and I don't have an actual bucket fermenter.

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Old 02-22-2010, 03:24 PM   #2
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I would think you can use it after you clean and sanitize it.

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Old 02-22-2010, 03:37 PM   #3
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I have never done wine or grape skins, but people put leaf hops in a muslin bag and squeeze it through a carboy neck all the time in order to dry-hop certain beers. 2 litres of grape skins sounds like a lot though and carboy necks are more narrow than they look (to me).

I can't speak definitively towards using the marine aquarium salt buckets, or whether they are food grade or not (I doubt they are food grade). I would just buy a new bucket to be on the safe side. Also, I don't know if you could get that salt out of there entirely. Salty wine sounds gross to me.

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Old 02-22-2010, 05:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talloak View Post
I have never done wine or grape skins, but people put leaf hops in a muslin bag and squeeze it through a carboy neck all the time in order to dry-hop certain beers. 2 litres of grape skins sounds like a lot though and carboy necks are more narrow than they look (to me).

I can't speak definitively towards using the marine aquarium salt buckets, or whether they are food grade or not (I doubt they are food grade). I would just buy a new bucket to be on the safe side. Also, I don't know if you could get that salt out of there entirely. Salty wine sounds gross to me.
The grape skins are wet so it would be a huge mess trying to squeeze them in the carboy.

I keep going back and forth on the bucket. I guess the best thing to do is see if I can borrow a bucket from my brother. He has one he only uses for wine.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:03 PM   #5
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My first fermenter was a 6.5 gallon bucket that once had aquarium salt in it. It worked fine. Just make sure it is clean, and don't scrub it with anything that could scratch the walls of the bucket.

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Old 02-25-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Zooom101 View Post
My first fermenter was a 6.5 gallon bucket that once had aquarium salt in it. It worked fine. Just make sure it is clean, and don't scrub it with anything that could scratch the walls of the bucket.
I went ahead and used it yesterday. There hasn't been anything in this bucket except star san for years, so I'm sure it'll be fine. I needed to get this started. It's a Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel kit that I'm making for my daughters birthday.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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I went ahead and used it yesterday. There hasn't been anything in this bucket except star san for years, so I'm sure it'll be fine. I needed to get this started. It's a Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel kit that I'm making for my daughters birthday.
I do wine, as well as beer. You are probably ok with the bucket from a sanitation perspective. I hope you don't have a problem with the bucket being to small. The typical wine fermenter is 7.8 gal vs. the 6.5 gal one we use for beer. Your wine kit makes 6 gal (23 L); and with volume increase due to fermentation and the grape skins, you are testing the size limitations of that bucket (IMHO).

Don't forget to punch those skins down into the must EVERYDAY. The Lodi Old Vines Zin is a kick-ass kit! I'm jealous; mine is gone. It will really be nice after aging 6 - 12 months.

Salud!
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JimE View Post
I do wine, as well as beer. You are probably ok with the bucket from a sanitation perspective. I hope you don't have a problem with the bucket being to small. The typical wine fermenter is 7.8 gal vs. the 6.5 gal one we use for beer. Your wine kit makes 6 gal (23 L); and with volume increase due to fermentation and the grape skins, you are testing the size limitations of that bucket (IMHO).

Don't forget to punch those skins down into the must EVERYDAY. The Lodi Old Vines Zin is a kick-ass kit! I'm jealous; mine is gone. It will really be nice after aging 6 - 12 months.

Salud!
This bucket is just a little over 7 gal and yes it is testing the size limitations.

This is my 5th wine kit and 2nd Zin but the first with skins. I'm guessing the skins will start to float after fermentation begins? When I put them in there, they sunk like a rock.

I made a Cabernet that just passed the 1 year mark and it's awesome.
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