I’m hoping you can help me. Do you know where I can get a stone crock? I just broke the one I was going to use. We have a lot of elderberries this year and I don’t want to see them go to waste. I need to get my wine brewing.
Thank You Very Much
I’m very sorry, but we do not have a source for stone crocks.
I would like to point out that a stone crock is not necessary for making wine. In fact, stone crocks are rarely used these days for making wine. Today, home winemakers use plastic fermenters and carboys (water jugs). These items are commonly available at any winemaking shop and are easier to use than a stone crock.
The main advantage with these fermenting containers over a stone crock is that they can be sealed with an air-lock or water trap to effectively protect the wine from any airborne contaminants. It’s hard to keep wine safe in a stone crock.
A second issue is the ability to sanitize the stone crock. With plastic fermenters and carboys you simply treat them with a solution of sodium metabisulfite.
This method works fine with stone crocks too, but only if the inside glazing is not cracked. Most stone crocks you find today have been used and have these aged cracks. The inner depths of these cracks are impossible sanitize completely and become breeding-grounds for various bacteria, particularly if the crock has been used for making sauerkraut or vinegar, previously.
Add all this up with the additional fact that stone crocks are fragile and cumbersome to move, and it starts to become apparent that using carboys and plastic fermenters is a much more convenient and safer way to make wine.
Happy Wine Making
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.