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Old 09-23-2008, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Questions about 1 gallon batches of fruit wine

I'm about to get the ingredients for my first batch of wine. I am only going to make a gallon of blueberry wine so I have a few questions about the size of my primary and secondary carboys:

Is it okay to use a 7 gallon plastic bucket (food grade) for the primary and then rack into a 5 gallon glass carboy? Then, when I rack again (3rd time after many months), can it go into a gallon glass jug (with an airlock)?

Thanks!

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Old 09-23-2008, 06:02 PM   #2
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If you can, I would make 2 gallons of blueberry wine, because once the wine has time to settle out, you are going to lose some wine due to sediment and by making 2 gallons you will have extra wine to top up your 1 gallon jug.

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Old 09-23-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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If you are making a 5 gallon batch...sounds good, but you're going to need 4 or 5 1 gallon jugs.
If you are starting with 1 gallon, you're going to want to find something smaller, as that much head space (Air at the top) will cause some degree of oxidation.

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Old 09-23-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies.

So, if I brew 2 gallons of blueberry wine and put it in a 3 gallon plastic (food grade) bucket for the primary, I should be fine w/ little worries of oxidation.

That brings me to another question: When it goes to the secondary, which would I be better off with;

a. Another 3 gallon plastic bucket
b. 5 gallon glass carboy
c. 2 one gallon glass jugs (so I'd be splitting up the wine after the primary)

Thanks again!

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Old 09-23-2008, 06:26 PM   #5
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The big primary is fine- but you'll need to secondary in the one gallon jug. When I make a small batch, I use a one gallon jug, and then use a sanitized wine bottle with a stopper and airlock for the extra "top up" wine. Each time you rack, you'll lose a little wine to lees. Then, just use the smaller bottle to top up with. You can also top up with a similar commercial wine, so you don't water down your wine.

You really want to minimize the headspace once fermentation slows down, so it won't work to do secondary in a 5 gallon carboy for a small batch.

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Old 09-23-2008, 06:38 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for all the advice. I'm buying the ingredients tomorrow, and am going to start the process on Sunday while my coffee stout is in the mash tun.

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Old 09-23-2008, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
When I make a small batch, I use a one gallon jug, and then use a sanitized wine bottle with a stopper and airlock for the extra "top up" wine. Each time you rack, you'll lose a little wine to lees. Then, just use the smaller bottle to top up with.
Do you have to keep topping up the small bottle?
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms8miranda View Post
Do you have to keep topping up the small bottle?
I don't, but usually can go to a smaller bottle if it's 1/2 gone or so.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:43 PM   #9
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When I make small batches I usually go for about two gallons in the primary. That way I can rack into a single gallon jug and another half gallon growler from the local brewery. If it's a country (fruit) wine there's going to be a lot of sediment left in the primary and usually quite a bit of sediment in the secondary as well. Once I use the half gallon for topping I can rack the rest into a wine bottle with an air lock like Yooper does. It doesn't take that much more fruit, juice, sugar, or whatever and no extra yeast to make two gallons. I've been able to find plastic primaries of all sizes at the local bakery and deli either free or for a very minimal cost.

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Old 09-24-2008, 06:15 PM   #10
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(Hopefully) One last question: For the 2 gallons of blueberry wine, how much of the dry wine yeast packet should I use?

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