What is a Primary Fermenter for Wine?
We would not have wine without primary fermentation. It generally refers to the stage of winemaking when your yeast is transforming the sugars into alcohol and CO2. This stage usually lasts from about 1 to 3 weeks. It is important to understand that what happens during the primary fermentation does not just stay at primary fermentation – the choices made during this period can have a big impact on the ending characteristics of the wine.
A primary fermenter does not need to be lavish or costly but does need to hold the style and the amount of wine that you will be fermenting. The most important characteristics of a primary fermenter are type, volume, height to diameter ratio, material, and ease of use. It is up to the winemaker to best decide what to use for this important and crucial stage of the winemaking
When to Replace
If you’re starting to develop scratches in your primary, then it’s time to think about replacing them. Scratched primaries are hard to sterilize, and poor sterilization compromises your wine.
Using an old ungraded primary or saving a few dollars by using suspect equipment is not worth it! The older and more reused plastics will leach more chemicals out over time.
Now, if you’re going to replace your primaries, consider this – findings show that even standard food-grade plastic primaries can leach chemicals. Here at THE HOME VINTNER, we don’t carry standard food grade – it’s just not acceptable. We carry the highest caliber plastic available on the market today, believing that top-notch equipment will bring you that one step closer to your goal – top-notch wine.
Our primaries come in the 30-litre size, and they’re a procrastinator’s dream! How so?
Because they have a snap-down lid, complete with a bung and airlock and a built-in thermometer. So, if you don’t have time to deal with the wine today – our primaries ensure that it’ll be fine for a couple of extra days. (Unlike some of those primaries with the ill-fitting lids or even a garbage bag pulled over the top!)
So, have a good look at your primaries, and if they’re scratched, then think about taking some “ primary care “.
Contact us at THE HOME VINTNER for all your winemaking supplies and advice. We are the EXPERTS when it comes to winemaking!