Technique

Fermenter Options for any Size Home Winery

When setting out to make wine from grapes, one of the first major decisions is what you will use as a fermentation container. For most winemaking, you will need a primary fermenter and an aging container. Vessels for both purposes are available in a variety of materials and in many sizes. Frequently used choices include plastic buckets and bins, carboys of glass or plastic, stainless steel tanks and kegs, and the traditional oak barrel. To match your fermenter choices to exactly your chosen winemaking regime, several factors come into play. First and foremost is simple: volume. How much wine will you make? Along with considering fermenter size, you will also need to think about whether you will make exclusively red wine (where fruit is included) or also white and rosé wines where juice is fermented without the fruit. While all of these fermenters are safe for wine production, different materials of construction have advantages or disadvantages in some situations. The containers also vary greatly in price, so your winemaking budget becomes a factor as well. Finally, no matter what container