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Old 01-19-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
HeruRaHa
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Jan 2012
Houston, Texas
Posts: 44



Hey guys,

Quick question about the wine kits (concentrates/juices). I currently only have a setup for 1 gallon batches at a time, and I'm keeping my batches small until I feel I've got the hang of this.

But I'd really like to try some of the juices and concentrates that are available online and at the LHBS. Problem is, almost all of them are made for 5 gallon batches.

Can I just use 1/5th of the concentrate or juice, and rack the rest into a sanitized sealed container, and store it (closet/fridge/freezer?) until I'm ready to make another 1 gallon batch?

Thanks, sorry for newb question

 
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #2
cgenebrewer
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Nov 2011
boston, ma
Posts: 114
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Not sure about that, Im sure someone will have an answer though.

What I can say though, is that you will be wishing you mad a full 5gallons. The effort for five gallons is about the same for one gallon, and a plastic 5 gallon carboy is only about 25 bucks.

Just go for the five gallons, it is not all that hard.

I would suggest "testing" the waters by doing a Welch's grape wine one gallon batch. That will let you practice your hand at it. Yooper has a recipe here from The Winemaking Home Page

That site is all you need to get started. Any other information is right here on this forum.

 
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
scubasteve03
 
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Dec 2011
Sierra Vista, Arizona
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Those kits are designed to be made using all the ingredients. You could probably get away with splitting it up into fifths but it would just be easier to buy a 6 gal carboy or bucket and follow the directions the kit came with.

 
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
HeruRaHa
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Jan 2012
Houston, Texas
Posts: 44


Okay, follow-up question... (probably a stupid one, but we'll see)...

I notice, perusing LHBS' website, that plastic bucket primary fermenters are pretty cheap, regardless of size. Where it really hurts to upgrade the size of the rig is on the glass secondary fermenters... but I notice, I could actually buy 6 1-gallon glass jugs for about half of what a single 6-gallon glass carboy would run.

So, would there be a downside to racking into 5 separate 1-gallon jugs for secondary? (Sure, I'd need a bunch of airlocks and stoppers... but those are cheap). I guess my concern would be that each gallon would turn out with a different consistency in secondary as I rack each gallon from top to bottom of the primary bucket... the upside I could see to that is that I could tweak each gallon in secondary differently to find the right level of back-sweetening or acidity or whatever (spicing meads in secondary, etc).

I know, I know... I'm being an awful cheapskate. I should just plunk down the money for a 6 gallon rig and do it right. But this is as much (if not more) about satisfying my curiosity about the finer details of the process, equipment and materials; their limitations and requirements, as I stumble through being a newbie, as it is about saving $30 on equipment.

Thanks for humoring me.

 
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:07 PM   #5
cgenebrewer
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Nov 2011
boston, ma
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I doubt you would be saving much money.

5 gallon plastic carboys can be bought for 30 bucks. Add $3 for the airlock and stopper and you get a whopping $33 for the 5 gallon setup

one gallon glass jugs where I am cost 6 bucks. Lets assume you can get them cheap, 5 dollar holla type deals.

So 25 bucks for 5 of them. Add 15 for the airlock and stoppers, and you get 40 buckeroonies for the one gallon setup

If you want glass carboys for whatever reason(there are some good reasons for both), a glass carboy at my LHBS costs $50.

How much are they charging at yours?

Also throw in the added racking effort, sanitizing, and storing.

 
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:32 PM   #6
HeruRaHa
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Jan 2012
Houston, Texas
Posts: 44


  • $5.49 for 1 gallon glass jug ($20.00 for case of 4)
  • $29.99 for 5 gallon PET
  • $44.99 for 5 gallon glass carboy

(BTW, would you be so kind as to enlighten me, or point me towards a link, discussing pros and cons of glass versus PET?)

So yeah, really not saving a significant amount of money... but like I said, I'm kind of just curious if such a thing (racking into 5 separate secondaries) would be a horrible idea for any readily identifiable reasons, so I understand the mechanics of the process better.

Also I can see a benefit to having a crap-ton of 1 gallon glass containers sitting around, for small experimental batches, etc... on the other hand, if I have a 5 gallon carboy for secondary and I decide to rack a second time, I kind of need another 5 gallon carboy sitting empty. (Contrast to the difficulty of racking 5 separate gallons into tertiary, especially if I only have one extra -- I can imagine the hassle of clean, sanitize, rack, rotate, clean, sanitize, rack, rotate, etc, etc, etc... LOL)

Sorry, I realize I'm being a horrible PITA. I'm just trying to get my head around the various options. (I was the type of kid who couldn't just be told not to put my finger in the electrical socket. You had to explain conductivity of electricity and its affect at varying voltages on living tissues in high levels of detail, or else I was just going to stick my finger in there to see what would happen.)


 
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:03 AM   #7
WIMARIPA
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Feb 2011
Philadelphia, PA
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There is a this vs that sticky in the beginners beer brewing forum.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:17 AM   #8
bribo179
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May 2011
Midwest, Illinois
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The benefit of bulk aging in a secondary is the universal mellowing of flavor. if you have a batch what up in the 5 different carboys each 1 will taste different. You would be better getting a 5 gallon pet container for the glass carboy for your secondary. You will have it a long time and the price difference for something you can use indefinitely (our until you break it) is very slim.

Your wine will taste better and be more consistent bulk aged together.
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