How to – DIY Demijohn (Bottlejohn)

With the first ever NHC wine kit raffle started, I figured that this would be a good time to post this quick guide.

I use a lot of demijohns and I often need a temporary or disposable 1 gallon FV:

The solution? A 5 liter water bottle from aldi/lidl/tesco. I call it the Bottlejohn!

Here’s one in use to start a dandelion wine.

They generally cost about €1.30 and you also get a gallon of bottled spring water for your wine (Remember to boil it).

The only downside is that the ridges in the bottle act like shelves for sediment. A bit of care while racking and it’s fine.

Pros: light, cheap, easy, disposable, local, an extra 500ml headroom
Cons: sediment on ridges.

A few small modifications and you’re good to go.
I’ll start with the easiest version and work my way through.

Option 1 – Simply loosen the cap
The constant stream of carbon dioxide from the yeast keeps oxygen out.
This works great for primary fermentation, but once things calm down it’s a good time to rack the wine off the lees into a more airtight FV to chug away for the next few weeks/months.

Option 2 – Fit an airlock
Use a 10mm drill-bit to make a hole in the cap. I find that wood bits are the best as they make nice clean holes.
Generally the seal is good, but after a few used the hole can get a bit stretched (giggitty!)

Option 3 – Fit a bung, then an airlock
The rubber bung that you use on a 5 gallon bucket works great here. It’s always good to have a few spares. You can buy them here for 50cent.

Use a 14-15mm drill bit. Again wood works best (at least that’s what she says).
A tight bunghole makes a better seal (oh yeah!), and using a well fitting rubber protects you against infection (… must resist).

Otherwise, or the lazy folks, you can also buy them complete here for €3.25.

Follow the thread on the forum


Author: LordEoin