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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > I'll be making wine soon!
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Old 12-27-2006, 04:25 AM   #1
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Default I'll be making wine soon!

Whoo Hoo! I got my kit for Christmas. It's a Winexpert Selection Estate Series White Zinfandel.
Now I have some questions.

The directions say I need a 30 Liters/ 8 gallon fermenter. When I talked to the guy at the home brew shop he said I didn't need a special fermenter. I've got a 6 1/2 gallon carboy. Is this big enough or am I going to need to get a bigger primary?

The directions also say I need a 6 gallon carboy for the clarification stage and I need to fill the carboy with water or a similar wine to within 2" of the bung. Is this normal? Do I need to find a 6 gallon carboy?

Everyone told me that wine was easier than beer but the directions make me think that it is involved and I don't have all the equipment I need.
Any comments would be appreciated.!

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Old 12-27-2006, 08:08 AM   #2
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The 6.5 gal carboy is fine for all except the kits with skins. But you do need ether the 6 gallon for secondary or some kind of top off. You can top off with similar wine, sterilized marbles, or if you have it C02. If you keg beer the easy answer is purge your carboys with C02 before and after racking and degassing. The one thing I would highly recommend you get right off the bat is… http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=10408

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Old 12-27-2006, 03:23 PM   #3
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You can also primary in a bucket, if you have one. Then you don't have to worry about the primary being too small. The 6 1/2 gallon is going to be a very tight fit, although you don't get the huge krausen like you get with beer.

And, like Jsin said, you can used sanitized glass marbles in your secondary so you don't have too much headspace, or to top it off with a white wine. I wouldn't top off with water, because then you're watering down your wine!

You don't need more equipment, and it IS easier than beer. If you can brew beer, wine is a breeze!

Lorena

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Old 12-27-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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Thanks Jsin and lorenae! I think I will use the marbles. great idea! When someone says I've lost my marbles I'll just say "no I they are in the wine!"

By the way- I lied about the kit name. It is an Original Series not a Selection Estate Series. I have no idea how I came up with that. I looked at the box this morning and realized my mistake.

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Old 12-28-2006, 12:07 AM   #5
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It is recomened to use a bucket for primary so the yeast can get oxygen, also make sure it is made to 6 gallons otherwise the gravity will be off. dont top up until after the wine is degassed and the final clearing agents are added and the wine is clear and racked off the lees.

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Old 12-28-2006, 12:19 AM   #6
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Well I ended up going with the recommendation of the guy at my LHBS. He said to go with the 6 1/2 gallon carboy. We will see.
That was extremely easy! The only problem I had was I didn't shake the carboy enough and when I checked the SG I only got 1.068. After a much more vigorous shaking, my SG is 1.090.
When I rack for clarification I'm going to use a 6 gallon and top off with some commercial wine.
All in all that was very fun and easy to do. It's going to be easy for me to wait for the wine because I can brew beer between batches.
Thanks again for all the help!

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