How Big Does A Secondary Fermenter Need To Be?

Homemade Wine EquipmentHelp,
I’m getting together some homemade wine equipment. Question: does the secondary fermenter have to be (6) gal. for making (5)gal.of wine???
James T.
Hello James T.,
The primary fermenter needs to be about 6 gallons for 5 gallons batch of wine. This is to allow room for the foaming, otherwise you have a potential for foam to come through the rubber stopper, out the air-lock and on to your floor.
But when it comes to the secondary fermenter, you would like it’s size to match the size of the batch. There should be very little foam at this stage of the fermentation to be concerned about. By eliminating the extra head-space you are reducing your chances for having your wine adversely effected by oxidation.
Headspace is not so much important when the fermentation is still releasing gases, there’s no oxygen in this space, but it does become a consideration once the fermenetation has stopped and the rubber stopper has been taken off for whatever reason.
Best Wishes,
Customer Service at Adventures in Homebrewing
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.