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1st rack before 1.0?

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drainsurgeon

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I started a batch of apple wine 1 week ago from my daughters apple trees. Out of 110# of apples I ended up with 7 1/2 gallons of juice. This is the first wine I've made that wouldn't all fit into my 7 1/2 gallon primary so after adding nutrients and kmeta the day before, I moved 1 gallon into a separate jug for primary fermentation. Last night the 6 1/2 gallon portion measured .992 so I racked into a carboy this morning. The one gallon jug seemed to be bubbling more that the primary bucket so I checked the SG and it's still a 1.032.

Not sure why this happened because I mixed in nutrients and yeast before separating.

My question is should I wait till the one gallon gets below 1.0 before mixing with the portion that is at .992?
 

Boatboy24

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Flip a coin. Plenty of good arguments for leaving it alone and combining.

Do you have a lot of headspace in the larger container?
 

drainsurgeon

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Flip a coin. Plenty of good arguments for leaving it alone and combining.

Do you have a lot of headspace in the larger container?
The wine level is right at the shoulder of the carboy where it starts to taper. It's a 6 1/2 gallon carboy and could probably get about 1/2 of that gallon in there. It's still bubbling about every 8 seconds in the carboy compared to every 3 seconds in the gallon jug. 8 days since pitching yeast.
 

Scooter68

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Why not keep them separated until you rack and get rid of the gross lees? How high on the carboy is the level of Sediment ? You may be able to combine after the gross lees are gone.

In the past I have done my best to leave all the sediment loaded wine behind. Then I strained the sediment loaded leftover as best I could and chilled it in the fridge while I let the carboy(s) now full begin aging. Using a container in the fridge that the sediment loaded lees would fill limited oxygen exposure. Then as the lees settled out I had some topping-off for my carboy(s) when I racked them again. I repeated the filtering process once more. I don't like trying to do that too many times because the exposure to Oxygen is pretty long while I'm filtering.

That's just one of many ways to approach that issue. Once both containers are fully fermented out then they should be at the same SG.... should be.
 

drainsurgeon

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Why not keep them separated until you rack and get rid of the gross lees? How high on the carboy is the level of Sediment ? You may be able to combine after the gross lees are gone.

In the past I have done my best to leave all the sediment loaded wine behind. Then I strained the sediment loaded leftover as best I could and chilled it in the fridge while I let the carboy(s) now full begin aging. Using a container in the fridge that the sediment loaded lees would fill limited oxygen exposure. Then as the lees settled out I had some topping-off for my carboy(s) when I racked them again. I repeated the filtering process once more. I don't like trying to do that too many times because the exposure to Oxygen is pretty long while I'm filtering.

That's just one of many ways to approach that issue. Once both containers are fully fermented out then they should be at the same SG.... should be.
The carboy is already racked off the gross lees from the primary bucket. Because I had been stirring, up until two days ago, there was only about 1/2 inch of lees in the primary. I think what you are saying is to let the 1 gallon ferment out before adding to the carboy. I will probably have about a magnum of wine left that I can air lock with one of those tiny bungs.

I will then have plenty of top off wine as I rack of the lees that are to come. The wine is VERY cloudy so I know I will be loosing some to future racking on this batch. I did use 3 tsp of pectic enzyme with some nutrients so I hope that helps.

This is the first batch I intend on aging until clear "without clearing agents" up to a year if it takes that long. Do you think that's realistic with an Apple Wine? Should I consider some bentonite or additional pectic enzyme?
 

Scooter68

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How much pectic enzyme (PE) sis you use initially? Assuming you used the correct amount of PE it's still a slow clearing wine. 1 Year yes that's about right. As to Bentonite, yes. As to other clearing agents ... just be sure you know what they may do to your wine in terms of flavor or color. I've avoid everything but Bentonite because it seems to have the least impact on flavor or color. But as always there are plenty of differing opinions to go around here.
 

drainsurgeon

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How much pectic enzyme (PE) sis you use initially? Assuming you used the correct amount of PE it's still a slow clearing wine. 1 Year yes that's about right. As to Bentonite, yes. As to other clearing agents ... just be sure you know what they may do to your wine in terms of flavor or color. I've avoid everything but Bentonite because it seems to have the least impact on flavor or color. But as always there are plenty of differing opinions to go around here.
I added 3 1/2 tsp (PE) for the 7 1/2 gallon batch. I had a mango/peach/pineapple wine that would not clear this summer. Added 2 more tsp to a 6 gallon batch and it started to clear in about a week. I'm not sure how much is too much. Should I add the bentonite now and if so how much?
 

Scooter68

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I can see mango not clearing - looking at mango fruit the fine fiber nature of it. Peach - clears pretty well for me. Pineapple would not expect issues from it.

Follow directions for Bentonite. Beware it can turn into a thick sluge clay mess so I would add it slowly to your liquid. Timing - Some folks recommend during fermentation - To me that doesn't make a lot of sense pulling out material that could be giving more flavor and character to your wine. Since you are already past that I would add bentonite after one racking past the end of fermentation completion. (Rack at end of secondary fermentation then add bentonite after the next racking.) Let gravity pull out most of the lees before introducing bentonite. Just my thoughts. Since you aren't pressed for time hopefully. I've only been doing this for about 16-18 months now but I've learned that the number one element in making a great wine is time. You can't rush it and expect great results.
 

drainsurgeon

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I can see mango not clearing - looking at mango fruit the fine fiber nature of it. Peach - clears pretty well for me. Pineapple would not expect issues from it.

Follow directions for Bentonite. Beware it can turn into a thick sluge clay mess so I would add it slowly to your liquid. Timing - Some folks recommend during fermentation - To me that doesn't make a lot of sense pulling out material that could be giving more flavor and character to your wine. Since you are already past that I would add bentonite after one racking past the end of fermentation completion. (Rack at end of secondary fermentation then add bentonite after the next racking.) Let gravity pull out most of the lees before introducing bentonite. Just my thoughts. Since you aren't pressed for time hopefully. I've only been doing this for about 16-18 months now but I've learned that the number one element in making a great wine is time. You can't rush it and expect great results.
I know there are mixed reviews on bentonite. I've always used it in the primary per kit instructions and notice that there ARE more lees after one week. Sturring the homemade wines twice a day during primary ferment may be a factor however.

Not in a real big hurry with this one, but if you recall I head south for the winter right after Thanksgiving. I hope to get 2 more rackings in by then and my daughter is going to baby sit this batch for me. I've shown her how to sanitize the equipment, add kmeta and she will do one racking for me over the 5 months I'm gone. By the time the next racking is due I'll be back.

I won't have the ability to do any tweaking during my absence so I want to try everything possible to help it along in the next couple of weeks. If you have any suggestions, fire away!

And thanks for your help Scooter. You've given me and others here great advice!
 

Scooter68

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Sounds like you have just enough time to get the bentonite in and let it do it's thing. I've currently only got two batches in process. 3 1/2 gallons of peach (7lbs /gallon) and 1 gallon of blueberry (8lbs/gallon) both are now just marking time aging.

After thanksgiving I'm planning on doing 6 gallons from 3 different concentrate cans. The cans say 2 can for 5 gallons but I'm going to use 1 can for 2 gallons. Have one can each of Sun Country Reisling, Zinfandel, and Zinfandel Blush.

Anyone ever used these and have recomendations?
 

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