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Old 04-06-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
nozzleman
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Default noob questions

Hello everyone and thanks in advance for the help. I want to try making 1 gallon batches of wine and have a few questions. I will start off with the basic welch's concentrate wine, want to try a hard lemonade, maybe a peach wine.

1. What size bung fits the typical 1 gal glass bottles like the Carlo Rossi wine bottles?

2. To start off with what do you recommend as a shopping list of what I will call ingredients, things like nutrient, energizer, sorbate etc?

3. The plan is to use the 1 gall bottles as primary and secondaries, buy bungs and airlocks, mini-auto siphon, hydrometer, yeast, and ingredients from question #2. Does it sound like I have the basics covered?

Once again thanks for your input.

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Old 04-07-2013, 02:13 AM   #2
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Go on your local used good website and but someone's kit. The used market is flooded with this stuff.

As for your questions the one gallon jugs I have take a #6.5 bung.

First forget the gallon, do 5 you won't regret it, it's just as much work.

Get a food grade pail to use as a primary then you can make slightly more than a gallon and fill your secondary right up to the brim. Otherwise you will have to top up more due to racking loss.

Hydrometer is key, as is sanitizer, I like starsan, make a big batch and fill up a spray bottle. Also order some Camden tabs to protect wine from oxidation. Yeast energize, yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme.

You could also get fining agents, ph test strips, acid blend, and sorbate if you want to sweeten...but they ain't necessary.

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Old 04-07-2013, 03:11 AM   #3
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Nothing wrong with doing 1 gallon batches - I do, and I don't regret it one bit. People will sometimes be dismissive of you about it, but don't worry about it. There ARE advantages to small batches especially when you're learning. If you decide to go up to 5 gallons that's fine too.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum! Many people start off making, or simply make, one gallon batches. You do what works for you. Then when you find something that is deemed a huge success you can then pump up the volume.

Do you have a local home brew store or any amateur groups in your area? Or will you be sourcing all online?

If you will be working with juice only then the all gallon jug theory is fine; but if you plan to incorporate fruit/fruit puree you should grab a food grade 2-3 gallon bucket with lid. Stop by local grocery store deli/bakery and ask if they happen to have an empty bucket/lid that their frosting/filling came in? They usually give them away for free. Sometimes the whole food stores sell/give away gallon glass jugs, or they sell fresh pressed juice in gallon glass jugs. Just avoid anything which contained a vinegar base.

Necessary components:
-Triple scale hydrometer and a back up
-wine thief (dedicated turkey baster)-just make sure it fits opening diameter of gallon jug(s)
-hydrometer sample tube
-Thermometer, cheap digital one is fine or the stick on ones
-If working with actual fruit, grab some cheap uncolored nylon panty hose/thigh highs/knee highs and/or a fine & medium nylon mesh straining bag (or paint strainers)
-potassium metabisulphite granules (do not waste $ on Campden tabs, they can tend to leave residual white specks in wine)
-potassium sorbate
-acid blend, citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid (acid blend is fine, but a variety is great, as you will learn)
-assorted yeasts like EC-1118 and K1V-1116 since they are killer strains and help out if you get stuck ferments; premier cuvee, cotes de blanc (visit here for yeast overviews and you can pick out what you want http://winemakermag.com/guide/yeast). If you want to make cider maybe grab Nottingham and Safale US-05.
-yeast energizer and yeast nutrient
-pectic enzyme
-wine tannin
-measuring utensils: 1/8-1/4-1/2-1 teaspoon, 1 cup
-digital kitchen/postal scale
-collect a few wine bottles so you can have excess for topping up: 750, 500, 375 ml & their coordinating bungs (heavy grade latex balloons work well in a pinch!)
-racking cane, tubing
-auto-siphon is nice(make sure you get the one for gallon jug)
-large funnel with built in strainer
-powdered brewers wash (optional, but works well for cleaning debris from bottles, soaking labels off)
-bottle & carboy brush
-bungs and *s-shaped airlocks* for all jugs
-corks (typically 9x1 3/4) but will depend on your bottles
-double level corker
-wine whip (manual vs drill powered)
-wine bottles (can find them for free usually)

Things to consider:
-pH meter (this is cheap $11, works fine, eBay: http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...d=380521533210)
- acid test kit (TA)
You will make better wine if you get a grasp on pH/TA from the start
-calcium carbonate (for acid reduction)
-* hand held wine bottle vacuum sealer system, like Vacuvin--you can put vacuum adapter on top of s-shaped airlock & use Vacuvin vacuum thing to degas your gallon batches (can also use the Vacuvin corks to preserve any left over wine)*
- dream about the All in One Vacuum Wine Pump ( just check it out)
-Floor corker, if you hate hand corker
-fining agents: review here- http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/...-fining-agents


I would literally individually price your necessary items and then check online for 1-gallon fruit wine equipment starter kits and then add on any other items to determine best price.

Have fun! Sara (going on year 4 and I still make a variety of 1 gallon batches, along with 3-5-6)

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Old 04-08-2013, 12:08 AM   #5
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I found you can get a lot of bottles/ jugs cheap from your local recycling center, my 1 gallon jugs are .50$ and I recently found some 1.25 gallon jugs for the same price, that way I can primary in a 1.25 gallon and secondary fits perfectly into a 1 gallon. I have great bottles in clear, sapphire blue, green and red, plus a variety of ice wine bottles, all at under 3$ a dozen.

The apple juice jugs I have needed a 7.5 bung, the rest a 6.5.

If you are going to be using fruit and/ or ale yeasts I recommend buying a 2-3 foot piece of food grade tubing to use as a blow off tube, unless you do primary in a bucket, the blow off tube prevents a lot of mess and cleaning out of airlocks.

I got started with a couple 1 gallon jugs, airlocks, good yeast, a racking cane/ siphon tube, nutrient , fliptop bottles and pectin enzyme. I have since learned that a straining bag, auto siphon, bottle filler( best thing ever) and Camden are awesome. Also a funnel, hydrometer, and floor corker.

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