Bigger Batches

May 3, 2010

My husband asked me last week, “What equipment would it take to get you making bigger batches of wine and cider?”

He brews up 5 gallons of beer at a time. Due to the amount of boiling water, it doesn’t make much sense to do smaller batches since you end up going though the same amount of work. In the end, he ends up with nearly sixty 12 oz bottles, and it only cost about $50.

He watches me make batches of wine for $12 for a gallon, maybe even more money if I used honey instead of sugar. And my final yield is 5 wine bottles or a dozen 12 oz bottles. Granted, I have to let them age for awhile, but they sort of become like gold, where I’m more willing to pay $15 for a fruit wine in a 750 mL bottle than drink mine. I think he wants to start drinking my wine with an evening meal much like he does his beer.

He is also at a point to take his brewing to the next level. See, beer relies on sugar in grains to ferment. Now, there is a cheater method of buying these grain sugars already extracted out as malt, but any really serious home brewer and any brewery is going to do a process to get those grain sugars out themselves. My husband is looking to do this, which may require more equipment, but I think he is also wanting me to step up to the next level with him.

What would it take for me? Well, for starters, I currently have seven 1 gallon jugs, which allow me to experiment for a small price. I would need lots of carboys, and my batches would become much more expensive and harder to obtain all the materials I would need. Right now, my husband has all the carboys tied up. The one gallon glass jugs cost $5 each, and the carboys run about $30 and more (cost provided from link shown also requires shipping and handling).

The other thing that I should probably upgrade is from my $20 hand corker to an $70-150 floor corker. Right now, with my small batches where I’m doing 5 bottles at a time, the hand corker isn’t so bad, but I hear that for larger batches, the floor corker is what you need.

I’ll get there someday, but for now, to help with money, I’ll just stick to doing 1 gallon batches.

One Response to “Bigger Batches”

  1. Logan Says:

    I see I’m about a year and a half late to comment, but maybe you should check craigslist and other used online classifieds in your area for used carboys. Also, you should try asking the u-brew places in your area if they have any used equipment they are willing to sell. I got 2 used carboys, 1 glas 6 Gal and 1 plastic 6 gal for $20 total, no tax, because I just asked the guy running one of the local wine making places if he had used equipment he was looking to sell.

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