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Old 05-24-2011, 10:36 PM   #1
Vilewhale
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May 2011
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Hi everyone. Thanks for reading my posts and for hosting a forum for beginners.

Previously I have made beer in an Ale Pail (from a kit) and a dandelion wine (made in a big pot). Both turned out well.

Currently I am making wine from honeysuckle flowers that have overtaken the perimeter of my yard. I decided to make this in my Ale Pail, since it already has an airlock, etc.

Last night I added the activated yeast and today when I stirred the bucket a large fizzing activity began. However, when I reread the directions of the site (http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques81.asp), I noticed that I am supposed to transfer the wine to a secondary after 30 days, and then "top it up." My research showed that this means to add something to the wine to make the liquid as close to the lid as possible.

Since I am using the 5 gallon "ale pail" and my wine is less than two gallons, there is a lot of extra space. I don't want to add more wine or vodka or marbles or any of that stuff. How necessary is this step? Could I just rack the wine into a smaller container and put a towel over it? I don't have an airlock to fit anything other than my Ale Pail.

Tonight I am adding the yeast to my mulberry must and I think I may encounter a similar problem.

Thoughts, suggestions, insults?

Thanks again.

Vile Whale

 
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:15 AM   #2
Goblism
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Do you have any intent to order anything from like midwest any time soon? They have some 1 gallon jugs that I just ordered to use for my smaller batches of wine, $4.25 per bottle, $0.60 for a bung, and $1.25 for another airlock...cheap! I ordered a few ingrediants with a co-worker and the jugs only added like $1 to the total shipping cost (5 sets of jugs, airlocks, and bungs)

 
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:33 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums Vilewhale, for more replies you should really have posted this in the wine section, hopefully a mod will move it there.

Most beer brewers don't often brew wines. I agree with Goblism, you should really order a 1/2/3 gal fermenter. After you rack the first time, you will be losing some of your wine to lees which will mean that it will be even less than 2 gal in total. Oxidation is a very real issue when dealing with wine in a secondary fermenter and the headspace (the empty space between the wine and the top of the fermenter). I am thinking that it will be in secondary for a few months at the very least, which means it is extremely important to raise it as close as possible to the top of the demijohn (usually into the neck).

It is possible to add sanitised marbles, water, neutral white wine, sanitised ball bearings, etc. I doubt that you would want to add water or whine in the quantity that you're talking about.

 
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #4
Vilewhale
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May 2011
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Thanks, guys. I'll go check out Midwest right now. I'm really enjoying my beer and wine adventures and I'd like to have several things going at once in small batches.

In the meantime, tell me if this idea would work: I buy a couple of gallon glass wine jugs (Rossi or something), drink the contents, and then pour my own stuff in there. I drill a hole in the lid and add my own airlock to it. Would this improvisation work in the meantime?

Also, yes--please move my thread, dear mods, if you don't mind. I'd rather not start a duplicate in the wine forum if I can have this one moved.

 
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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Yes that would work, a lot of people do that to begin with. Make sure you sanitise it well and if you're going to secondary it, make sure the improvised seal is actually air-tight. I think over there in America they sell differently sized bungs to fit into those types of jugs.

 
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:39 AM   #6
Vilewhale
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May 2011
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I was thinking I'd just drill a hole in the lid to fit an airlock from the local brew shop, or maybe use plastic tubing that leads into some sanitized water. Can you just buy a bung for a jug?

 
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:49 AM   #7
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilewhale View Post
I was thinking I'd just drill a hole in the lid to fit an airlock from the local brew shop, or maybe use plastic tubing that leads into some sanitized water. Can you just buy a bung for a jug?
You bet! A size #6 fits a Carlo Rossi jug perfectly. And then use your regular airlock.

You'll want to keep it topped up after primary, to reduce the risk of oxidation, so that long neck is great for reducing headspace!
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
jcobbs
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I have a gallon of honeysuckle and a gallon of rose petal going at the moment myself, so I look forward to hearing more.

The Carlo Rossi and other large jugs work fine. I have a friend who buys wine in 3-liter and one gallon jugs. She keeps me supplied with those, and she gets homemade wines for birthdays and holidays.
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:40 PM   #9
Vilewhale
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Is this what I would need?

 
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:41 AM   #10
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Yep! Plus an airlock!

 
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