Hi. I am new to wine making and even newer to the website. I've read with great interest some of the posts in the forum, although none seem to reflect my situation (or stupidity).
I am in the process of making my first ever batch of wine. I'd been saying about it for years but never made the time. I noticed how many elderberries were out this year and thought what a waste it was that they would not be used. (I did the same with blackberries but they all went into pies, crumbles and jams
) I found what seemed like a simple recipe on the www and followed the method. The recipe is below (starting at point 6 because before that is just preparing the juice):
6.When the mixture is cool, transfer it to a pail and add the pectin destroying enzyme; cover the pail.
7.After 24 hours, add the yeast and nutrient.
8.Stand the pail in a warm place for three weeks, stirring daily.
9.At the end of this period, strain the juice into a fermentation vessel and fit an airlock.
10.When fermentation is complete, rack into a clean container with one crushed Campden tablet, and close the container with a bung or safety lock.
11.Rack every two months until clear before bottling.
12.Enjoy your elderberry wine at your leisure!
I got it all sorted until point 9. I fitted the airlock and this is where the error and confusion took over. Firstly I didn't realise a liquid was needed to put into the airlock to make it effective (pretty dumb hu?) and secondly I thought I needed to leave it like this for 2 months before racking.
What I'm asking is 1. By not correctly fitting the airlock is my 'wine' going to be any good? Have I left it too long exposed to oxygen? And is there anything I need to do (or can do) to make up for this school boy of errors?