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Old 12-08-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
smyrnaquince
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Default Open Fermentation Question

I am new to all of this. So far I have started a couple of simple ciders, but that's it.

I am thinking about starting some mead and some fruit wine (both in 1-gallon batches) over the Christmas holiday. For the primary fermentation, can I use a stainless steel cooking pot with lid? Or do I need to use a primary fermenter with a tight lid and fermentation lock? My idea would be to use the pot for a week or so until the major bubbling ceases, then rack off into glass gallon jugs.

If I can use the SS pot and lid as a primary, how much is too much air space above the wort? I.e., for a 1-gallon batch, would a 2- or 3-gallon pot be too big?

Would it be OK to pour/decant out of the pot, or should I syphon?

Thanks,
Dave

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Old 12-08-2010, 07:47 PM   #2
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Christmas is just over 2 weeks away. All of my wine takes at least 3 months to start to taste decent. You can try but I don't think that's near enough time.

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Old 12-08-2010, 08:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by smyrnaquince View Post
My idea would be to use the pot for a week or so until the major bubbling ceases, then rack off into glass gallon jugs.
I have always used the same principal as to allow off gases to escape and to ease the process of stirring during active fermentation (fast bubbling). I couldn't imagine doing it any other way.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:04 PM   #4
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Christmas is just over 2 weeks away. All of my wine takes at least 3 months to start to taste decent. You can try but I don't think that's near enough time.
No, I want to *start* the batches while I have time over Christmas. Not have them ready for Christmas. I am just inquiring about using a SS pot with lid for the primary fermentation.

Dave
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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Primary can be anything big enough to hold the liquid plus a couple of inches for any foam.

I just set the lids on mine during primary.

You do want to syphon, pouring is a risky proposition! Don't ask me how I know (grape colored flooring)!!!

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Old 12-10-2010, 03:25 AM   #6
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Mead takes longer than wine so you may need to leave it in Primary longer

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Old 12-10-2010, 03:28 AM   #7
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Mead takes longer than wine so you may need to leave it in Primary longer
I've had meads ferment to completion in less than three weeks with proper aeration and nutrient additions...
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by smyrnaquince View Post
No, I want to *start* the batches while I have time over Christmas. Not have them ready for Christmas. I am just inquiring about using a SS pot with lid for the primary fermentation.

Dave
Gotcha, that sounds much better. I've never used a cooking pot, obviously an airtight container would be preferable. It would be a risk, because if any fruit flies or insects got in the brew it could ruin the batch. Does the lid have any holes in it?

Syphoning is easier than pouring but they both will work. Just make sure that anything the wine touches is sanitized.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by warispeace View Post
Gotcha, that sounds much better. I've never used a cooking pot, obviously an airtight container would be preferable. It would be a risk, because if any fruit flies or insects got in the brew it could ruin the batch. Does the lid have any holes in it?

Syphoning is easier than pouring but they both will work. Just make sure that anything the wine touches is sanitized.
It is a normal pot lid without holes or gaps, but it is not air-tight. My impression was that I did not want an air-tight container for primary fermentation. I've often seen instructions about covering the fermentation bucket with muslin or the carboy opening with cotton balls. (I'm making wine, not beer, if that matters.)

For a 1-gallon pot, I actually thought that pouring through a funnel into a jug would be easier than siphoning. I think I'd have to get some help, though, to hold the funnel and jug at an angle so the liquid runs down the side instead of splashing in and incorporating a lot of oxygen.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smyrnaquince View Post
It is a normal pot lid without holes or gaps, but it is not air-tight. My impression was that I did not want an air-tight container for primary fermentation. I've often seen instructions about covering the fermentation bucket with muslin or the carboy opening with cotton balls. (I'm making wine, not beer, if that matters.)

For a 1-gallon pot, I actually thought that pouring through a funnel into a jug would be easier than siphoning. I think I'd have to get some help, though, to hold the funnel and jug at an angle so the liquid runs down the side instead of splashing in and incorporating a lot of oxygen.
I think you'll be OK. Avoid the temptation to keep checking it, and try to leave the lid on the whole time. Maybe leave a towel over the top.
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