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As a hobbyist who produces at least 5 gallons a week of wine, what filtering system do you recommend? I am also looking at transfer pumps as well.

I am getting older and have torn rotator cuffs and want to see if I can avoiding lifting full carboys to shoulder height from now on.

So I have never had a powered filtering system before and although I have read lots of reviews for several offerings, I would really like to hear about what people think of the various filtering tools you have used.

  • What kind of setup are you thinking about? I got a conical fermenter like this. With the empty fermenter up high, I lift only smaller amounts to get everything in. After the primary I can remove the lees by detaching the bulb at the valve with no effort. You can age in the fermenter, and bottle right from the valve. I haven't had it long and I'm still getting used to it, but it seems to work pretty well. Would that help? – Eiríkr Útlendi Sep 10 at 16:05
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    Well, I am specifically asking about filtering, not racking or fining. Thank you though. I have considered using conical fermentors. I know that over the long term they can reduce your equipment cost and footprint. I also know there are less expensive offerings such as fast ferment conical fermentor, but I have also heard of lots of bad experiences getting the connections to seal well and the ball vavles getting plugged. Catalyst seems the best of class, but it’s too expensive for my taste. Also, this may be religious but really try to avoid plastic for long term exposure. – Escoce Sep 10 at 17:21
  • Useful commentary, thank you. I've been leery myself of leaving things in the plastic for too long, but I wasn't sure if I was just being a worrywart. Helpful to hear I'm not alone in thinking that glass might be better for aging. Cheers! – Eiríkr Útlendi Sep 10 at 17:33
  • You know, I am going to take back my comment about the long term cost benefit of conical fermenters. Glass currently costs really no more than $50USD per carboys at worst. Once you have an inventory of glass to store let’s say 100 gallons of wine, that’s 20x$50 plus a few extra carboys for racking and new batches. Whereas conical fermentor s cost let’s say as low as $100 buck for the fast ferment (plus all the extras one tends to want). That’s 20x$100 plus a few extra for new batches. You still need to have the same number of containers no matter what, so yeah. Carboys for me. – Escoce Sep 10 at 17:41
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At 5 gallons a week, you're doing volumes that could justify a Buon Vino Super Jet, especially if you're batching your filtrations so you do four at a time or so.

I've got a long background in wine filtering. Check the following links for more info

General filtering discussion http://www.timvandergrift.com/?p=225

Using the Mini Jet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJcsoHPi0TM

For more winemaking stuff, check out this blog series that I did for a supplier https://www.midwestsupplies.com/blogs/wine-making

Bigger filters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEZ-E9OBSBg

  • Excellent video showing the Mini Jet, the best I have seen! – Philippe Nov 19 at 16:31
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I would seal the carboys temporarily by holding a stopper with two tubes onto them in place with one hand. One of the tubes would extend to the level just above the yeast and the other end just below the stopper. By applying pressure with an air pump or compressed air/co2/n2, you can then push the wine out of the container into an ageing vessel or filter etc. 1-2 psi should be enough for that. You can still use your old filtering method but without lifting the filled carboys.

Like this one here just on a bigger scale: rubber bung with tubes

I would only use pumps before fermentation. Or at least not with small batches of a few gallons. Pumps agitate liquid quite a bit, something I'd like to avoid after fermentation. The pumps I used before also created far too much waste.

For 5 gallons of wine, pumps and power filtration systems are just overkill with far too much maintenance.

  • Wouldn’t a vaccuum work better than pressure? I would think pressure would just push the bung up – Escoce Sep 14 at 23:30
  • Yes. A vacuum would work better but requires sealed vessels on both ends. If the output is above a filter you would have to contain that filter within the receiving vessel. Simply pushing the bung down with your hand may be a primitive solution but effective enough for small amounts. – life-on-mars Sep 14 at 23:40
  • Finding a vacuum pump with the right pressure is also not that simple. That is of course unless you're talking about siphoning the wine from one vessel to another. Then you would probably still have to life the vessel that's on the floor. – life-on-mars Sep 14 at 23:59
  • There are already these systems on the market for wine makers. I was just looking for a really of the options that are out there and which have been used, which appear best for someone who is going to produce a bit of wine. Not more than 200 gallons per year, but probably greater than 100 gallons. – Escoce Sep 16 at 0:24
  • The type of the filtering system will not be affected by how much you produce per year. The batch size is different. Larger batches require more powerful filters. But the same systems might cause waste or other issues with smaller batches. – life-on-mars Sep 19 at 0:24
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I have a Buon Vino Mini Jet filter, that I bought for about 100$.

I cannot compare it to any other since it is the only one I used so far.
It is for homewinemakers, you buy pad filters that come in 3 different grades (1-coarse, 2-medium, 3-fine).

I find it a bit slow to transfer the wine, but it works. See it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeohQosn34M

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