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Old 10-12-2017, 11:41 AM   #1
Vinoish
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Oct 2017
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Hello, all!

I've just started making a batch of wine, and I have two quick questions:

1. Beginner that I am, I have of course managed to get wine in the airlock. It's bubbling just fine (it's been on the go for a week and will be fermenting for another two). I doubt the wine in it will go back into the wine. But let's say a drop or two would. Would that be anything to worry about (bacteria?)...? Or should I clean it out?

2. Would removing the airlock for a minute just to rinse it out (and then put it back) affect the fermentation in any way? Any risk of it stopping or slowing down in that short a time?

Thank you for your time! /V

 
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:55 AM   #2
cmason1957
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Not to worry. Yes, remove the airlock and clean it up. Don't worry about how long it takes, if you are pushing stuff up into the airlock, you are creating enough CO2 that you probably don't need an airlock. Many of us do our initial, in the bucket fermentation, with just a cloth over the top. You are fine.

 
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:14 PM   #3
Ajmassa5983
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Oxygen is actually encouraged during fermentation, helping the yeast do their thing. So there's No need to stress over too much air exposure, and if anything you should stress over 'not enough' oxygen.
So yes take it off and clean it. Stir the batch up daily. It's not until after fermentation when no more CO2 is being produced when you would need to be concerned with a good airlocked seal.
What kind of wine are you making , what do you have in your airlock, and what vessel is it in? 3 weeks is a little longer than a typical red grape or juice batch. You don't want to judge solely by bubbling airlock activity. It's all about the dropping sugar levels (Brix°) and visually seeing the activity.
Many home winemakers don't ferment using an airlock at all. If it's in a bucket then a towel can be placed over the top or use the lid just left loose on top.

Sidenote: I use water or vodka in my airlocks early on in the process when I've got things at play that would be affected by So2. I'll then fill em with the potassium metabisulfite sanitizer solution after the wine is stabilized.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:39 PM   #4
Ajmassa5983
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That happened to me as well. Having some headspace is beneficial. After racking into glass I needed a few bottles for the last gallon. The lees dropped and I guess separated, changing the volume a little. I ended up with wine flowing up and through the k-meta filled airlocks. This time around I'm just using water for now.
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:50 AM   #5
Vinoish
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Thank you for your replies.

Actually, I'm making a super strong white wine this time. I've made sure to add the amount of grape juice the law requires.

I did replace the airlock, and the fermentation appears to have stopped since.

I'm guessing the more likely explanation is I let out the last of the CO2.

 
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:59 AM   #6
Vinoish
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No more bubbles now. Natch, I blame the people who said I could change airlocks.

I am, of course, kidding. Will be adding yeast stopper and then clear it. Worst case scenario, I'm out twenty bucks.

Next batch will be a more serious project.

 
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Old 10-15-2017, 10:36 AM   #7
BernardSmith
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Hi Vinoish - and welcome.
If you had wine in the airlock the activity you saw COULD have been the liquid in the airlock fermenting... The only useful measure of activity of your wine is a change in the density of the wine as measured by an hydrometer using the specific gravity scale. If the wine is no longer dropping in gravity (as determined by say, three measures each taken a couple of days apart then either the fermentation has stalled or the fermentation has ceased. Fermentation can stall for all kinds of reasons - none have which have anything to do with the removal of the airlock. Fermentation ceases when the gravity drops to 1.000 or lower. There is simply no more sugar left for the yeast to ferment.

 
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #8
meadmaker1
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I am, of course, kidding. Will be adding yeast stopper and then clear it. Worst case scenario, I'm out twenty bucks. (Quoted from vinoish)



What do you mean.? Yeast must stop on its own. Then be prevented from restarting.
Unless you are fortifying with stronger alcohol.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:18 AM   #9
Vinoish
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I'm using something that came with the kit, to be used before the gelatin and all that.

As is apparent, I'm no pro... And English is not my first language, so maybe something got lost in translation, so to speak...

 
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:20 AM   #10
Vinoish
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Thank you all for the replies! I'll let you know how it turned out.

 
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