Essential Fermenting Equipment?


Made it to the Winery & Brew Shop. Purchased 3-gallon carboy, carboy handle, 6.5-gallon bucket with lid, hydrometer, vessel, thermometer, siphoning hose, 2 air locks of different types, stopper, C-Brite cleaner, yeast nutrient, champagne yeast and wine yeast. I was following the salesman advice on some of this. He did not have the StarSan or Campden tablets. Even though he told me, I still don’t know why I needed the bucket (primary?) with a hole in the lid and the yeast nutrient. Still probably need something else, I don’t know. I know I still need plenty of advice. Thanks.


Primary fermenter I just get as much air inside as I can
I cover with a clean bath towel

only in the primary for 5 days to 7
I stir in lots of air with a large spoon and he bottom of the bucket as well (in primary(


If the bucket is primary what is the carboy?


Edit secondary

Yeast are Aerobic at the beginning – next after you syphon they need little air (anerobic )anti oxygen

Yeast need oxygen in primary
some people like to have it covered
I understand beer makers have a low amount of acids, (makes it more vulnerable to bacteria)
but to protect the wine it has higher acids
like mentioned different acids affect the PH lower PH better wine is protected
(but different acids affect the acidity taste (like malic in apple is a sharp tatsing acid ) and do not protect like grape acids do Tartaric in grape lowers the PH more, and protects the wine more
(best I can explain There is total acidity TA, and PH so it is all about balance)
So A wine supper acidic with apple acids (like malic) C02 Champagne balances it and it is crisp
so it is all about balance.

you could do a experiment with beer bottles, and try to prime (make fizzy ) your cider or old champange bottles, but that I know only book knowledge about not personal much,


Not to confuse you much with the champagne

I think cider can be good still (as in still wine not fizzy) ( just trying to explain balance, and not mis lead you)

but the area does not ripen the grapes as well

If it was plain champagne grapes in wine not fizzy
the wine would be very sour so they came up with champagne .


Is a 6.5 gallon bucket too big as a primary?

I have 20 sealed quarts of concord juice that I put up in early August. The grape juice was extracted using a steam juicer. No water was added to this juice. If I so desired, would I be able to ferment wine out of this juice?


The primary cannot be to big could use a 100 gallon tank I suppose.

I do not know about your juice how does it taste is it like concentrate

A trick I learned is making a grape wine more concentrated at the beginning
after syphing, and topping up the jugs with water it dillutes the flavor , but since it is to potent it works.

I am making this a little harder then it should
Just make it taste like good juice
if it has a Sour pucker to it do not worry much
Just dilute after syphoning a little , and add some sugar back (take measurments )

Or even make it perfect, an have some juice set aside to add back.


The only thing I can say is that in years past, I have always preferred to smooth it out by adding a little water before drinking.

I think that I should have bought one of the fellows books on brewing.


7 essential ingredients of wine making:


You could ferment it, but Concord grape wine is not generally considered of good quality.

This is a good basic home winemaking text, the principles and processes of which are readily adaptable to cider-making. Echoing @Levers101 comments, I’d suggest trying to locate some Star-San (it will save you countless hours of cleaning and rinsing time, especially at bottling), acid (the correct acidity has a significant sensory impact and helps prevent microbial spoilage) and some way to measure it, either an acid test kit (more accurate but more complex) or the correct pH test strips (simple and ordinarily “accurate enough”). You can get all these shipped to you from many online sources.
Finally, don’t be discouraged about using the soft Gravensteins; for cider soft is usually better.


6.5 gallon is pretty standard for a home batch size, although 7 gallon is common for wine, as they sell 6 gallon kits and headspace is important. @Francis_Eric is correct, it’s hard to have too much headspace for the primary, where you run some risk of the ferment bubbling over. As for making wine from your grape juice, you definitely can, but it’s preferable to juice by a mechanical means rather than steam juicing. Your wine will taste “cooked.” Which you might find you like! Just not what most people aim for.


Tennesean there is something on C bright they advertise now as a Cleaner, but people used it as a sanitizer, and people use no rinse
(I decided not to post the link –
some of these Brew forums have a bunch of people that do not know what they are talking about
I used to go on it for wine , but not beer (which I like IPA) , but read up already before I even started.

I wouldn’t of bought the Campden tablets anyways K-Meta is same thing just in powdered forum
just not premeasured , but think you have to soak those tabs, or crush them up so more work.

Like 2 bucks for powder , and last you a long time

K -meta is no rinse can run your stuff through it in a gallon jug, and pour back in to reuse
some S02 could be bound, by oxygen after using , and not be as effective
Jack Keller explained it on his blog

I prefer that cleaner

Also just pour some inside the Jug Fumes sanitize it

I might be able to send you some if you give me your address (for free as a gift)
have not much time to go to the store, but I have to travel recently so should have time
(our wine stoire moved farther but could take a bike ride Motivate me it might be good for me(


What Brick-and-Mortars carry Star-San or K-Meta?


This is one of my most useful “ tools” for brewing .
It shoots water up.
Put a bottle , carboy,coffee cup .,etc. on top,
Push down. To activate the valve.
Makes so much more sense than pouring water down to rinse a bottle, etc .
Every kitchen should have one, at the side of the sink.
I have mine mounted under a stainless shelf. To catch over spray.
( so it won’t spray across the kitchen. )
Great for washing canning jars too…,…and everyday dishes .
Every sink should have one …
Not sure what brand I have but looks like this. Love it !,!


I conclude you’re in Tennessee and I, unfortunately, don’t know any stores in that area, but this outfit will take a phone order and can ship from PA (their brick-and-mortar stores are elsewhere) if that is a useful option for you.


Potassium Sorbate is a good post- fermentation addition to arrest the cider turning into vinegar.


My biggest problem is that I don’t know enough to ask good questions. I have been doing research though.

The brew shop that I visited in Memphis was very limited. Apparently there are no stores in my area that carry Star San. Think that I will order from the Austin homebrew company that @Levers101 linked to.


What makes this stuff most useful is its ability to be used in a “rinseless” way. When you are ready to bottle, you’re going to have scads of bottles that you’ll want to have sanitized sufficiently that microbial crud in the bottle does not spoil your cider. Unless you’re buying new bottles, this means you’re going to have to sanitize used bottles. Without a rinseless sanitizer this involves putting something that will kill microbes in the bottle, shaking or bottle brushing, then repeated rinsing for each bottle. With a rinseless sanitizer, you can just fill a tub with water+sanitizer, submerge the bottles, pull them out, dump and begin filling. Using the washer @Hillbillyhort recommended above and Star-san will save a lot of time versus other methods. Star-san is useful in sanitizing other things, but it earns its keep when bottling for cider-makers. All of this was background to say you can get started with the gear you’ve already acquired and clean your primary and secondary some other way and pick up Star-san later if you want.


potassium metabisulfite (K meta) is no rinse

Sulfur dioxide S02 is bound up by Oxygen (so goes away)

So just pour out back into sanitizing gallon of Sulfite sanitizer , and reuse
(you can make stronger as well in time or at the beginning – I keep it simple)

First batch I read all I could
I thought well since Yeast create So2 naturally If I add to much it will not matter
well I added way to much (I mean toxic amounts)

I got a hand blender , and blended in Oxygen the wine was able to ferment again
because the (sulfites) were bound by oxygen

I cannot copy/paste Jack Kellers blog,
if you Hold the botton you copy paste with
CTRL and F
a find box comes up
type in Sulfite
Talks about titerates tests as well I have not used.

Wine can be simple
Encouraging words

Another thing You might have a wine aged a year, and all messed up
to much acid or alcohol — doesn’t mean you cannot blend to fix it
(copied from jack Keller Basic wine making )

You can make this process as complicated and exacting as you please, but in fact it need not be. Recipes have been developed over the centuries which pretty much make this a simple process of measuring, squeezing and siphoning. Sure, there are ports and sherries and Madeiras which require a few extra steps and exactitude, but even these methods were developed hundreds of years ago by people far less sophisticated than you, so I’m wagering that you can master even those techniques if you decide to do so.

I also brought up sulfites on another topic
Someone asked to identify a Cider press

The old wood barrel , and vats
they would, and still do burn sulfur inside to get in the nooks, and crannies of the wood
to ward off bacteria ((((Like mentioned wine has been made for a long time)))

A barrel though can be used again to prevent that as well though
but for storage people burn sulfur (cheap)


Give some thought to temperature control. I’ve used a germination mat wrapped around the carboy on cold juice (to kickstart fermentation). I’ve also tried to cool post-boil wort by twisting the kettle in snow in the backyard. I don’t recommend the latter. A plate chiller was one of my better investments when I was brewing semi-regularly.