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Primary Fermentor & Winemaking Book

A) Just curious what most people do for their primary?
B) Any good recommendations on a wine making book that will help me with stepping beyond the instructions of a kit.

I’ve only made 3 batches of wine. Two batches were a manually picked from the vine all the way through the bottling batch. One was a red blend (6 gallons) of Foch, De Chaunac, Chambourcin and Chancellor. The other was a white blend (5 gallons) of Vidal, Viognier, and Pinot Grigio. My uncle basically walked me through the process on these.

The 3rd batch was a Cabernet kit from here, well technically two 6 gallon kits (buy one get one). For the kit I followed the instructions sent with it.

Anyway for my primary fermentation I have been using basically a 18 gallon tub (like a laundry basket), that is covered, but with lots of surface area open to the air. I’m wondering if I should be using something smaller with a bubbler, ie an 8 gallon bucket or something.

As for the book, I’m interested in trying to do some smaller batches of peach, pineapple, plum, pear wines this summer, and so I want to have a better feel for the process.

Jack Keller has an extensive web site. A few books are “advertised” on the right hand side.

I would use a smaller fermenter like you mentioned.

The standard “winemaking” primary is the 30-32l bucket. This is due to the fact that most wine kits are made in Canada and designed for a Canadian 5 gallon volume (6 US).

Sounds like it would work for what you are doing as well.

B. It goes well above and beyond kit winemaking but will give you all the facts you need to be a successful home winemaker in general. It is straightforward and will be a valuable book to use as a common resource in the future.

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Thanks for the tips! I just got home from my first trip to Napa last night and I’m rearing to go.

Everything you need to know (mostly) is in the Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook $3.99 in NB catalog.

They are all 1 gal batches, you just need to scale them up. I’ve made 3, 5, 6, 7, 15, 20, 30 gal batches. I’m up to 9 primary buckets, 6 @ 6 gal, 3 @ 7.5. Carboys, 3’s, 5’s 6’s oh and 1’s and .5’s … magnums, 1/5th’s and 1/10th’s too. Those IDK how many I have, some are at a friends house.

You don’t want to waste a drop. IMHO anyway.

good luck JLH

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