Primary Fermenter

When you start your wine, all ingredients go into your primary fermenter once it has be thoroughly sanitized.

This is a large plastic pail usually with the capacity to hold 6 gallons or 7 gallons of liquid.

It should include a lid that fits snugly and has a hole punched for your airlock to fit into.


Prior to first use, the primary fermenter needs to be rinsed to get rid of the plastic smell. You can use a light bleach and water solution. Let it stand about 10 minutes.

Be sure to rinse with plain water thoroughly and rinse again. NO smell of bleach left or your wine will pick up the taste. Rinse thoroughly.


You can use Easy Clean (dissolve 1 tablespoon in one gallon of water) which is a no-rinse bleaching compound for cleaning beer and winemaking equipment.

You will also need to make a fill line for 5 gallons and/or 6 gallons of liquid. (which ever size batch of wine you will be making).

So, when it is time to rinse your primary, go ahead and measure out 5 gallons and mark with marker on the outside.

Then use a solution of potassium metabisulfite and water to sanitize the pail.

After using your primary, wash completely with hot water sanitize. I always sanitize before and after I use my equipment just to be on the safe side.

When you become an avid wine maker, you will want to have a couple of sets of home winemaking supplies on hand. You will want to start a batch usually when you already have one working.

Now, let's go on to learn a little about your Secondary Fermenter or Carboy as it is called.

Proceed to Secondary Fermenter (Carboy)
Return from Primary Fermenter to Wine Making Equipment
Return to Homemade Wine Making Guide Home

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