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Old 12-09-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default Thinking of making a wine...first time.

Long-time brewer and short-term mead maker, currently looking at trying my hand at a red wine. Question is this: I see that most kits are fairly large and are usually fermented in a bucket to begin with. I prefer to ferment in glass and was wondering if there is any reason why I can't just use a 6.5 gallon carboy for the primary and the 5 gallon carboy for secondary. Any thoughts, prior experience?

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Old 12-09-2009, 01:58 AM   #2
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you can use glass, no problem.

I've made one batch of wine and did it all in glass.

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Old 12-09-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
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Kits are 6 gallons and you wont have enough headroom as reds usually ferment with a good cap like a beer with Krausen. I wouldnt do it in anything less then a 7.9 gallon bucket!!!!!

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Old 12-09-2009, 02:24 AM   #4
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Okay, but could I reduce the batch size a little with the 6 gallon kit (with the result being a higher alcohol wine, i.e. more concentrated must) and then use the 6.5 gallon carboy?

OR, why not just use a good sized blow off tube for the primary?

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:06 AM   #5
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I would not play around with reducing the batch size of a kit because you will throw the balance off, High sg, ph, ta etc. creating a harsh environment for the yeast thus making them striggle which may cause off flavors and tastes. You can try the blow off tube like I suggested but I believe you are going to have a mess. Do you make 6 gallon batches of beer in a 6 1/2 gallon carboy? I know I wouldnt,

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:47 AM   #6
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The merlot I made basically got no head on it as it fermented. it bubbles, but nothing was there to catch the gas and create much foam. I remember how I could actually here the hissing of the bubbles popping on the surface of the the wine.

I actually wish I WOULD have used a 5 gallon carboy for my secondary. I had specifically bought a 6 gallon carboy for wine making. I used a 6.5 gallon fpor the primary (no issues) and then racked into the 6 gallon. There was way too much headspace in the 6 because of how much sediment was left behind in the primary that I ended having to add a couple bottles of store bought red wine to the secondary in order to top it off without diluting the stuff too much.

I would have not had to add anything if I would have racked into a 5 gallon.

BUT, i have SUPER limited experience here. I just made one batch of wine.

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Old 12-09-2009, 06:29 AM   #7
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Of course you can use a 6.5 gallon carboy for the primary and the 5 gallon carboy for secondary. Go ahead.

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Old 12-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon123 View Post
Of course you can use a 6.5 gallon carboy for the primary and the 5 gallon carboy for secondary. Go ahead.
Except that the wine kits make 6 gallons. That's the reason I use a 6 gallon carboy.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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It's always a good idea to have a nice supply of 1 gallon and 1/2 gallon carboys to catch any overflow and you can use any size primary or secondary you want. For that matter, the more glass the better - of all sizes.

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Old 12-09-2009, 08:09 PM   #10
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So then i'll be fine using a 6.5 primary with a blow-off. Can I try a 6.5 with just an airlock, or is that just asking for trouble? Are there any 5 gallon wine kits (and if not, why do you guys always have to cause trouble and be different than the beer kits? can't we all just get along?)

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