In the last wine-making entry, as you may have noticed, I spoke of putting a ten-gallon stoneware crock to use -- with a five-gallon glass carboy to hold the results when going on to the next step in the winemaking process.
While I am unsure how it works in other sorts of food preparation involving crocks, with winemaking it seems that a one-gallon crock yields liquid results of less than a gallon for the secondary fermentation. If we would fill the crock to the brim, near to spilling, maybe everything would match right down the line: one-gallon stoneware for primary -- to one-gallon jug for secondary -- to one gallon of bottled wine for aging.
Filling a crock so extremely full is not my method. Some wines call for stirring, during primary fermentation: so you need a bit of extra space, for agitating it without making a mess. More significantly for our current set-up, it almost always happens that I am moving crocks and fermenters around. Last fall the primaries were in my rear work room -- while the wine-making work took place in the kitchen, which is several rooms away. Now, you try moving a crock full to the brim without making the precious wine-makings quiver and slosh.
Wear rubber clothes, if you do.
With the ten-gallon crock, I figured I could prepare a batch to fill the five-gallon carboy to an ideal level. Not so. It fell short. Maybe I lost enough liquid through evaporation; maybe I misjudged in the first place.
That crock, by the way, stayed on the work bench. I am foolhardy, but not to the extent that I would attempt to lift a massive piece of stoneware full of none-too-light liquids, let alone carry it anywhere. The makings moved into their secondary from right where the crock sat -- although I did carry that five-gallon glass secondary out to the kitchen for bottling, somehow managing not to stir up the lees despite the distance.