My first stab at a strawberry wine ended up popping the airlock and puking strawberry puree all over the place.
Had some headspace in the bottle, but apparently it foamed up, plugged the airlock, and exploded. I had strawberry on the ceiling
A friend I spoke with had a similar experience, and got from an oldtimer that he used an open crock, covered with cheesecloth for primary.
That sound like something I should try, or just give the batch more headspace, and if more headspace, how can I determine how much is enough?
The old timer is 100% accurate. I would never attempt primary fermentation in a closed environment like that. Use a large crock or a 5 gallon bucket or anything that is food safe and can be covered Lightly. I use a clean dishtowel to cover mine. You just need to keep dirt and fruit flies out. Primary fermentation creates a staggering amount of co2. You really don’t need anything to keep the air out because the out-gassing does that. No air can get in with all the co2 coming out. I usually start mine in a five or six gallon food-safe bucket for the primary. After the foam settles down and fermentation slows transfer it to your bucket,add the airlock and give it another couple weeks before stabilizing with your KMETA and Sorbate. Also, don’t forget to push down the cap at least twice a day. Otherwise the whole thing can spoil and the yeast can’t get any O2. Hope this helps. PS: go get a good book on winemaking. I’d be lost without my charts etc. Even after many years of winemaking. The chemistry is nowhere as simple as beer(which I also do a LOT of). :cheers: