Hi, everybody! Leigh here!
I decided to hold off on starting my new batch of wine (the CellarCraft Carmenere wine kit) until after I got back from vacation, as due to the timing of everything listed in the wine kit instructions, I wasn’t going to be able to get to a “holding point” before leaving on my journey. Instead, I decided to take the time off to study the wine kit instructions more and figure out what I need to do and when, and if I have all the right equipment and ingredients to get this wine made.
Reading through the equipment requirements as well as the wine kit instructions for Day 1: Primary Fermentation, I do have a small concern. In the equipment list, it noted that I needed an 8 gallon (30L) primary fermenter for this batch. However, the only primary fermenter I have is a 6 gallon (23L) vessel. Do I need to purchase a larger primary fermenter to complete this stage of the process? I noticed that the final volume after adding the crushed grape pack is 24.5L, only 1.5L greater than the supposed capacity of my 6 gallon primary fermenter.
When I used my 6 gallon primary fermenter previous, I notice that the “full” line is actually a bit lower than the top of the fermenter. I’m not certain if it was 1.5L of space, but I would like to think that it was. From the line drawn on the 6 gallon point on the outside of the fermenter, it looks like there is plenty of space for 1.5 more liters of “stuff”. I’ll have to ask the friendly folks as ECKraus about this, but I wanted to express my concerns to you all first, in case one of you has had experience with this and might be able to give me some advice.
Why not just buy an 8 gallon fermenter? Well, in a perfect world, I would. However, due to the lack of space in my current abode and the fact that I will be moving into a larger home at some point this fall, I really didn’t want to start too much of a collection of winemaking equipment until I moved. The fewer items I have to move, the better! Then, as I mentioned in previous entries, I’ll upgrade to glass and start growing my collection more then. If I can get away with using the 6 gallon primary fermenter for this next batch of wine, I would rather do that for now.
After reading the wine kit instructions, the only other thing that “concerns” me (if I can even call it that), doesn’t really come into play until right before bottling. Last time, I did not bother filtering my Pinot Grigio wine, as 1) it looked extremely clear to me and 2) I don’t have a wine filter! This being a red wine with the potential for extra sediment, I think I may invest in a wine filtering system prior to bottling. Luckily for me, I have over a month to decide that at this point, so it’ll give me plenty of time to do some research to figure out which filter is right for me.
Thanks for reading, and certainly chime in if you have any experience with these wine kit instructions!
My name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.