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1st Batch.... Should I top off Secondary?

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winemaker81

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@Riledup5, if you've got H2S, immediate treatment is required. While H2S is volatile and can dissipate on its own, its presence in wine can produce other chemicals that will ruin the wine.

As suggested, the initial treatment is vigorous stirring and the addition of more K-meta. Yeah, it sounds odd adding sulfur to treat sulfur, but the compounds are totally different.

If this solves your problem? Great!

I encountered H2S a few months back, and here is that discussion. In my case, I could smell a small amount of H2S after initial treatment, so I added a product called Reduless, which is specifically formulated to treat H2S. Then I added kieselsol/chitosan to precipitate the results (along with all other suspended particles).

The old way was to pour the wine over clean copper pennies or an usused copper scrubby. However, the amount of copper introduced cannot be measured, and too much copper is poisonous. Using a measured amount of a product designed for removing H2S is strongly recommended.

==

Regarding head space in the carboy, if you have active fermentation, the wine is throwing off enough CO2 to displace all lighter gases, including O2. As you apparently discovered, filling the carboy too much will give you your very own volcano! I typically rack kits, whites, and fruits between 1.010 and 1.000, and leave ~6" headspace in the carboy until fermentation completes.
 

winemaker81

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Thank you everyone. I love that there are so many techniques, methods and opinions on how to do things. It shows me that there is no "right way". Maybe it is an art?
Wine is a mixture of art and science. We often try to control the things we can, and wise wine makers understand that we can only control so much. Mother Nature is really in charge. Praying to Dionysus may help ...

There are few solid, "this is the way to do it" answers in wine making. Most answers fall within a range. Take first racking for instance. Most people rack between 1.010 and "done". Some rack earlier, and some leave the pomace in the wine for a period of time. All work.

My suggestion -- read all the answers and make the best informed decision for yourself.
 

hounddawg

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No, you didn't offend me, Dawg. Actually, I learn a lot from reading your posts. :h It's just that I really don't think the wine is self-degassing only 3 days after he started it. It's giving off gas, as all fermentations do, but I wouldn't refer to it as degassing.
sorry i was having a ruff day, as for giving off gas and degassing i see as the same thing except for one is the start of and the other is the ending, so you're probably right, i see it as the same just starting and ending, but as many will tell you i ain't right. 😁
Dawg
 

hounddawg

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Thank you everyone. I love that there are so many techniques, methods and opinions on how to do things. It shows me that there is no "right way". Maybe it is an art? Anyway.... I will just give it some time. I turned down the temp, gave it a good stir and continue to do so daily and see what transpires. @hounddawg I enjoy and learn from your posts. Much appreciated. Thanks to you and everyone else for the input.
but i still aint right in the head, hehe just ask them, 🤪
Dawg
 

Riledup5

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What are your thoughts on using Na Meta for sanitizing? I've read quite a bit about Kmeta and the need to add citric acid. I didn't find anything on Na Meta and the directions that came with it said nothing about it. Directions just said to use 2 oz/gal of H20 for sanitizing. Thanks!
 

cmason1957

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What are your thoughts on using Na Meta for sanitizing? I've read quite a bit about Kmeta and the need to add citric acid. I didn't find anything on Na Meta and the directions that came with it said nothing about it. Directions just said to use 2 oz/gal of H20 for sanitizing. Thanks!
Both kmeta and nameta benefit from lowering the ph (adding acid). If it's getting harder and harder to even find na-meta.
 

Rembee

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I've been using this simple formula for years now with no issues.

1 quart chlorine free water
1 tsp citric acid or tartaric acid or acid blend. What ever you have on hand.
1/2 tsp potassium metabisulfite

I make up a 1/2 gallon at a time and keep it in a 1 gallon jug with a screw cap or rubber stopper. It's good for about 1 month. I use it also in a spray bottle for a quick sanitizer for my hydrometer and cylinder.
Hope this helps!
 
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Rembee

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I also should have mentioned that once I empty out a vessel, plastic bucket or a glass carboy I rinse it out with hot tap water asap. Especially if there is lees in the bottom. It's much easier doing this... then allowing the sediment to dry out and then becoming a pain in the rear trying to clean it. After rinsing and swishing it with hot tap water I then pour in some of my mixed up sanitizer, swirl it around, dump it out and place a cap or rubber stopper on the carboy and stow it away. When it's needed again all that is needed to do is give it another rinse with sanitizer.
 

Riledup5

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I also should have mentioned that once I empty out a vessel, plastic bucket or a glass carboy I rinse it out with hot tap water asap. Especially if there is lees in the bottom. It's much easier doing this... then allowing the sediment to dry out and then becoming a pain in the rear trying to clean it. After rinsing and swishing it with hot tap water I then pour in some of my mixed up sanitizer, swirl it around, dump it out and place a cap or rubber stopper on the carboy and stow it away. When it's needed again all that is needed to do is give it another rinse with sanitizer.
Thank you Rembee. I would agree 100% with rinsing everything out after you use it. I imagine it would be a pain in the ass to try to scrub off dried lees and I don't want to find out. I will gladly spend 5 minutes rinsing everything after use.
 

hounddawg

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Thank you Rembee. I would agree 100% with rinsing everything out after you use it. I imagine it would be a pain in the ass to try to scrub off dried lees and I don't want to find out. I will gladly spend 5 minutes rinsing everything after use.
you don't ever want to find out,,,
Dawg
 

Riledup5

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So, my Chardonnay has been sitting in the secondary vessel (i.e. - carboy) since 1/26. It looks really clear. Since this is my first batch, for that I am really happy! I know, according to the instructions, it still has to sit for 4 more days until I rack again into another carboy. At this point I am following instructions. BUT, I just couldn't help myself and did a taste test (as well as on the Pinot Noir, my 2nd batch). The Chardonnay tasted pretty sweet. Not Fast Time at Ridgemont High "Sweet", but literally sweet, and I am not a fan of sweet wine, and not necessarily a fan of Chard, but it's what my wife likes so I made it my first batch. So the question is, is this to be expected at this point? Final SG was 0.996.

The Pinot which has been sitting in the secondary since 1/26 as well, was still tasting pretty rough. My palate is not very refined/experienced, so I don't know quite how to describe it. Would you think this is expected at this point as well?
 
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winemaker81

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@Riledup5, if the Chardonnay is at 0.996, you're not tasting sugar. It's almost certainly fruitiness.

Keep in mind that the taste now is nothing like it will be in a year. Your wines are 2 weeks old .... they are NOT going to impress you. Patience, Grasshopper. ;)

Every time you taste the wines, write down your impressions regarding aroma and taste. A year from now pull out all your notes and read them, first to last. You will be amazed, and in a good way.
 

Riledup5

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@Riledup5, if the Chardonnay is at 0.996, you're not tasting sugar. It's almost certainly fruitiness.

Keep in mind that the taste now is nothing like it will be in a year. Your wines are 2 weeks old .... they are NOT going to impress you. Patience, Grasshopper. ;)

Every time you taste the wines, write down your impressions regarding aroma and taste. A year from now pull out all your notes and read them, first to last. You will be amazed, and in a good way.
Thank you! I appreciate it, but you are CRAZY of you think my first batch is gonna last a year!😁
 

winemaker81

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Thank you! I appreciate it, but you are CRAZY of you think my first batch is gonna last a year!😁
I was being polite. Besides, I told you to pull the notes out a year after bottling. I did not state there'd be any wine left ...
;)

Seriously, do yourself a favor and stash 3 bottles of each batch, not to be opened.

And when these are in the bottle, start 2 more batches. You're gonna need it .....
 

Scooter68

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WInemaker81 Speaks the truth.

Save at least one bottle for at least 18-24 months and you will be shocked how much better it tastes.
My first batch of Blueberry wine was bottled at 4 1/2 months and first bottle consumed at 5 months. I was happy, or so I thought. When I opened the last bottle at about 12 months (It was just a 1 gallon/5 bottle batch). THEN I was embarrassed that I had shared that young IMMATURE wine with friends as a babe at 5 months.

Have never seen anyone post on here. "Ah I was so dissappointed when I opened that bottle of wine at 2 years." Unless it needed even more time aging.
 

Riledup5

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I was being polite. Besides, I told you to pull the notes out a year after bottling. I did not state there'd be any wine left ...
;)

Seriously, do yourself a favor and stash 3 bottles of each batch, not to be opened.

And when these are in the bottle, start 2 more batches. You're gonna need it .....
I was just kidding. I will save some, especially if it tastes like this for a while
 

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