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Old 02-24-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
dudaday
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Default How do I know if my wine is ready to bottle?

I'm new to winemaking--Just got a kit for Christmas and am attempting to make a Cabernet Sauvignon from a juice kit. I started the kit a few days after Christmas and have been following all the instructions pretty closely, except that I've been letting it sit a little longer between steps because my wine is sitting in my basement, which is about 55-60 degrees F. My hydrometer readings have seemed pretty spot on before proceeding to each step (although I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to read the hydrometer!). About three weeks ago I stirred it to degas it and then added the clearing agent. I just took a little wine out and it seems pretty clear--I could see through it in a glass when I held it up to the light. But my concern is that it's fully degassed. I tasted the wine that I had extracted and it tasted slightly carbonated. I'm also a little concerned that it's fully fermented, since it's so cold in my basement. I never really saw bubbles in the wine throughout this entire process.
So my questions are:
How do I know if the wine is fully degassed?
Can I stir it again to degas it further even though it's already cleared?
Is it possible that after two months my wine isn't fermented because it's been in a colder environment? Should I let it sit longer to make sure it's fermented? Is there any length of time that's TOO long to leave it sitting in the carboy before bottling?

Please help! Thank you!

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Old 02-24-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dudaday View Post
I'm new to winemaking--Just got a kit for Christmas and am attempting to make a Cabernet Sauvignon from a juice kit. I started the kit a few days after Christmas and have been following all the instructions pretty closely, except that I've been letting it sit a little longer between steps because my wine is sitting in my basement, which is about 55-60 degrees F. My hydrometer readings have seemed pretty spot on before proceeding to each step (although I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to read the hydrometer!). About three weeks ago I stirred it to degas it and then added the clearing agent. I just took a little wine out and it seems pretty clear--I could see through it in a glass when I held it up to the light. But my concern is that it's fully degassed. I tasted the wine that I had extracted and it tasted slightly carbonated. I'm also a little concerned that it's fully fermented, since it's so cold in my basement. I never really saw bubbles in the wine throughout this entire process.
So my questions are:
How do I know if the wine is fully degassed?
Can I stir it again to degas it further even though it's already cleared?
Is it possible that after two months my wine isn't fermented because it's been in a colder environment? Should I let it sit longer to make sure it's fermented? Is there any length of time that's TOO long to leave it sitting in the carboy before bottling?

Please help! Thank you!
It all depends on the SG reading from the hydrometer. It is the key. There are videos on YouTube about how to read SG.

Those are pretty cold temperatures. The wine may not have ever started fermenting. If the cab is still sweet, it is not fermented completely or maybe not at all.

If it tastes carbonated, it likely still has gas. You can degas again after clearing, provided you rack off the sediment first.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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You need to get it warm-ish to do degassing. Cool wine won't degass very well.

Rack out a half a bottles worth and tightly cover the opening with your palm. Shake the crap out of it and see if there are any bubbles and then if there is any gas escaping when you slowly lift your palm.

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Old 02-25-2012, 11:08 AM   #4
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You need to use hydrometer to determine if wine has finished fermenting.. My rule for bottling is is when I think it is ready, wait 6 months.
At those cold of temps you will not get wine to de gas completely. You need to warm it up. DO NOT BOTTLE COOL WINE THAT HAS NOT DE-GASSED COMPLETE!!!!!!!! You will have wine all over when weather changes.

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Old 02-25-2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. We all were you are at one time. If you go to the Home Page there are Tutorials to assist you among other things.

You should ferment at a temp. of 65-75 degrees. Once it's done clear and degas at those same temps. After its cleared you can move to a cooler area to age.

To help us we need a hydrometer reading and where it was when it began. See the how to read a hydrometer tutorial for help.

Let us know.

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Old 02-27-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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If you are saying that you started this batch after christmas, then I would say that you need to wait a while.

I would suggest that the wine needs to be racked at least twice and time spend in-between to allow the sediment to settle.

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Old 02-29-2012, 07:40 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone! Tonight I'm going to try racking the wine and moving it to a warmer spot so I can degas it more. I'll take a SG reading tonight share when I do. Thanks again!

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