Variable Volume 100 liter stainless tank use.

Discussion of the hardware for creating wine.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Variable Volume 100 liter stainless tank use.

Postby mi_piace_rosso » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:20 pm

There is a lot of information out there about how to use carboys for storage and secondary fermentation. But what about the 100 liter variable volume stainless tanks. Has someone written how to use them? Things like how do you use the tank, and store the wine. I have a batch of Napa Cab I just put in the tank and would like to hear from others how they get rid of the Lees etc.

Thanks

Doug
mi_piace_rosso
Taster Glass (2 posts)
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:15 pm

Postby Jrock » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:23 pm

Hi Doug. I have a few ss tanks (3 200L, 1 100L, 2 80L). I do not use the tanks for primary fermentation the surface area is not large enough. Once my primary is done I transfer the wine to the ss tanks. After about a week I transfer the wine to a clean ss tank to rack off the gross lees. Followed by another racking 2 months later. The downside to ss tanks is that you can't tell how much gross lees is sitting on the bottom of the tank so I insert my siphon hose about half way down and carefully lower it as I go.

Morewinemaking.com sells plastic food grade fermentation vessels relatively inexpensive. I looked them up, a 20 gal runs $27 and a 32 gal runs $36. I would ferment in this and then transfer to the ss, then you can rack to the fermentation vessel, clean your ss tank and transfer the wine back. The extra step won't hurt the wine as long as you transfer the wine with minimal splashing and sulphite it to 50 ppm (assuming you are not going to do a MLF).
Jrock
Pint Glass (25 posts)
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:32 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby mi_piace_rosso » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:26 pm

OK, that's kind of what I was thinking to do. I have 2 ea 44 gal and 2 ea 32 gal food grade containers I used to ferment in. I have 90 liters to rack off the gross lees which would fit easily in the 32 gal fermenter. I was planning to siphon from the ss tank into the fermenter, but how do you get it from the fermenter back into the ss tank? I see that they sell pumps, do you pump it back in?

I have also heard there are issues with the marble valve that comes with the SS tanks, so I replaced it with a silicone one instead. Have you heard anything about the marble valve?

Any tips on the siphon job for the gross lees? I bought the clear tubing and racking cane with the red tip that is supposed to help to not suck up the lees. Can you see the lees, is it obvious when to stop?

After the initial racking, it sounds like you rack once again after about 2 months, which seems right.

How do you feel about the lid floating on the wine when you fill the ss tank, just let it float then pump up the seal?
mi_piace_rosso
Taster Glass (2 posts)
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:15 pm

Postby Jrock » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:59 pm

If I am only racking 5 gals I use a siphon because I can place the filled carboy high enough for gravity to work but when I have to rack and transfer from my tanks I use a mini pump. I do pump from one to the other and back again. I try to keep the splashing to a minimum but it?s kind of hard with a pump so I tend to sulfite the wine at 50-75 ppm instead of 30 ? 50 ppm.

I have heard others complain about the marble valve. I have not had any problems. I think where the problem happens is when the wine is transferred from the primary to the tanks before fermentation is completed.

For siphoning the gross lees that occur in the tanks after the primary, here is what I do. I have a stainless steel pipe that I cut the end off at a 45 degree angle at about an inch up (you could probably use some food grape plastic pipe). The pipe fits snuggly into my hose for pumping (I don?t need a clamp, however it you can't get a tight fit you will want to use one of those ring clamps). I then measure the pipe against the outside of my tank to about 4 inches above the bottom and put a piece of masking tape where the top of the tank measures against the pipe. This way when I pump the wine I know how far to lower the pipe before I start hitting the gross lees. Once I am down that low I slowly tilt the tank and continue. I do get some lees but that gets racked off the next time (in 2 months).

As for the floating lid, before the lid touches the wine I spray it with a sanitizing solution of potassium metabisulfite. Each time I remove the lid I wipe it off with a paper towel and before putting it on again I spray it with the sanitizing solution. I always keep the pressure within the green area. I check the pressure daily but rarely have to adjust it.
Jrock
Pint Glass (25 posts)
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:32 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Crazy Run Ranch » Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:34 pm

mi_piace_rosso wrote:I have also heard there are issues with the marble valve that comes with the SS tanks, so I replaced it with a silicone one instead. Have you heard anything about the marble valve?


The marble valve just covers the hole for dust and bugs. It will seal the hole and keep air from escaping or being sucked in (with temperature variation in the room). A silicon valve or regular bung with fermentation lock is an improvement. Still, I would not leave wine in a variable volume tank for more than a couple months w/o the gas connection valve sold at Morewine - WE399S. As the temperature changes, so the volume of wine and pulls air in and out of the tank.

mi_piace_rosso wrote:How do you feel about the lid floating on the wine when you fill the ss tank, just let it float then pump up the seal?

I usually find that you have to set the lid just off the top of the wine so that when the inflatable tube expands, it doesn't push wine thru the vent. Its much easier if you have a second person to pump while you hold the lid.
Crazy Run Ranch
Crazy Run Ranch
Pint Glass (25 posts)
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Windsor, CA

Darned marbles. Had to lose mine

Postby MountainWineGuy » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:07 am

Hi there -

I have two 400L S/S tanks - and that darned marble thing was completely unreliable - especially if my lid was a smidge cockeyed when I re-inflated above the wine level. So I hacksawed the top part off putting the hacksaw blade against the "exhaust". The large carboy stopper with a fermentation lock in place fits perfectly with a wonderful seal.

I simply remove the stopper to "batonnage" or stirr the lees during MLF and then sparge with CO2 before replacing the fermentation lock/stopper assembly.

Chris
Stuff in the works:
2007 Syrah - 20 Gallons in oak
2007 Lodi OldVine Zin - 90 Gallons
2007 Paso Robles Cabernet Franc - 70 Gallons
User avatar
MountainWineGuy
Taster Glass (2 posts)
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:10 pm
Location: Idyllwild, CA

Postby mi_piace_rosso » Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:23 pm

Thanks everyone for the tips. I guess I will run over to the more wine place in Concord and buy a pump. I am pressing Syrah tonight and will be racking 100l of cab tomorrow.

I would recommend that the More wine people write a little brochure on the use of the stainless steel tanks. They sell the tanks but no where are you able to research how to use them.

Doug
mi_piace_rosso
Taster Glass (2 posts)
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:15 pm


Return to Wine Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron