Happy Easter everyone – I celebrated by taking care of a bunch of wine projects this morning. Five gallons of dry Apple wine and another five of semi-sweet Pear wine have been bottled, a batch of Cranberry has been transferred to a fresh carboy, and a second batch of Apple has also been shifted about. After all that, I’ve got some handy tips and notes for folks who might be looking to do the same sort of project.
First off, if you’re going to be siphoning wine, remember that you’re going to get some in your mouth, no matter how careful you are. This is not a bad thing – it lets you know if the wine has turned to vinegar and gives a general idea of how it will taste after it’s had a chance to age in the bottle. Just make sure you have a nice hearty breakfast before starting the project. A cup of coffee isn’t sufficient to keep you from getting buzzed while working. Just sayin’.
Second, six gallons of apple wine will not fit into a five gallon carboy. Visually, the difference between a six and a five gallon carboy isn’t terribly obvious. Fortunately, most carboys have the size embossed on them. Unfortunately, it’s usually on the bottom which doesn’t do you a heck of a lot of good when it’s filled with wine. It doesn’t hurt to have a spare one gallon jug on standby for when the five gallon carboy fills to the top.
Third, a standard five gallon carboy will fill between 23 and 25 standard-sized 750ml wine bottles. Again, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of spares on hand. If you don’t use them now, you’ll use them for the next batch.