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blink23

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Hey Guys! I am days from starting my first wine in puerto rico (remembr?) So besides the Winexpert VR Shiraz Kit and the Wine Making Kit I got, I also received the whip for degassing, a long spoon, thermometer etc. What do you guys recommend before I begin? Any suggestions or anything. I will use this post for progress reports such as pics etc, if that is ok. So any suggestions before I begin are truly welcome.

ps. Thanks for all the useful info in these forums and the nice people.
Peace

Ohh forgot to mention the temp in the room i will be storing is at about 60 f. But, I think I will be able to bring it up to high 60's or even 70's, any suggestions about this? thanks!!

Jorge
 

WhineMaker

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I am very new to this myself, but I can say from previous beer making experience that sanitizing is very important.. Also, make sure you record your hydrometer readings accurately and stick to the recipe that came with your kit. 60F is too cold for the primary fermentation IMO, I would try to get the temp up to the recommended 65F. 60F is good for the aging portion though I believe. Take your time and enjoy the whole process!

Good luck!!
 

Wade E

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Fruit wines actually benefit from a long cool ferment. Get the temp up around 80* before adding the yeast then just let it go back down as this will let it start fermenting nice and fast and then the cool ferment will help keep in the fruity esters. Red grape wines benefit from warmer temps but most all others will benefit from cooler temps. I just fermented to dry a Chenin Blanc fresh juice at 52* and the taste is already awesome. Get it warmer again when the sg is around 1.010 so it finishes if you want it dry. Another note is to keep the starting sg to no more then 1.090 if it is a strong flavored juice like Elderberry or Black Currant and less like 1.080 if it is a weaker fruit like strawberry or Kiwi so that the flavors come through and dont get hidden by a high abv.
 
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cpfan

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The recommended range is 65-75F (just looked at the online instructions). I think that you would be better off at the higher end of that range, if possible.

Steve
 

blink23

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Hey! Thanks for all the advice, very cool. So basically in importance is Sanitation, hydrometer readings / organization, temperature (probably follow the instructions on this and most things, just to be sure).

So the higher the temperature fore grape wines, the better for the fermentation.? And lower for fruit. hmm. Im gonna have to modify the temp a bit for sure.

Ill let you know in a couple of days, or tommorow jeje ..

thanks
jorge
 

arcticsid

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Jorge, glad you didn't give up. At first this whole wine making thing can seem overwhelming, but i am sure by now you realize it isn't so. I am glad you have came this far, you and your PA, and I hope hes excited, have just started on a neat venture, even in Puerto Rico I assune you have access to fruits that would be unaffordable to most of us. There has been alot of talk in here about banana wine. I am mostly wondering about other fruits you have available to you. Keep us posted
Troy
 

Skyhawk

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Shiraz is made from Syrah, which is a very tough and sturdy grape variety. You should be able to ferment the heck out of it without any harm. I wouldn't go much above 80 degrees in the room to keep some margin of safety, because the yeast action will also add several more degrees temperature to the must when it's actively fermenting. Yeast can get so busy, they'll self-destruct from the heat they generate causing your fermentation to suddenly stick (stop).

For whites, blushes, and many fruit wines, I definitely agree with Wade. A slow cool fermentation is necessary for these early drinking wines to be their best. I have a Gewurztraminer I just finished at 60 degrees, and its varietal fruity distinctiveness is as obvious now as when it was still juice. Since I can't cool ferment in summer, I restrict myself to only make big reds and high-tannin fruit wines (elderberry) from late spring to early fall - and leave the white grapes and fruity-fruit wines for the cooler months.
 
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Wade E

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Good advice there. make sure when fermenting a wine to check your wine temp and not your room temp as a vigorous 6 gallon fermentation can raise the wine temp by as much as 8* and a bigger batch can get even higher.
 

blink23

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its good to know at least at a higher temp, it can still be done, tho im going to try and control it. As for the temp. when it is fermenting, I had NO IDEA it went up while fermenting, so it is definately good to know, although I will be attent to the temp every day.

I got the wine kit today WOOHOOO!!! I am very pumped. Maybe I will even start it tonight. If I do, I will put up pics ( I know everyone has probably put pics and it is the same), but its ok, Ill post em anyways. Maybe someone notices something weird going on and tells me about it? jaja hopefully not.

Ill see how this goes. Will be writing back here soon.
 

blink23

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1st Batch Starter woohoo! - Complete Disaster?!?! Maybe maybe not, who knows...

temp. almost 75 f
First SG 1.076

Putting the airlock into the small hole in the primary fermenter cover I dropped the rubber stopper thing from the hole inside of the must ALREADY with the YEAST. That sucked.. I may have ruined it you think?? My dad cleaned and sanitized his arm and stuck it in lightly and removed it gently, he wasnt to happy about that.

Then I put everything back together and left untouched. HOPEFULLY Everything will be fiineee.... I hope.... Im kind of nervous about the whole thing now...:eek:
 

arcticsid

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Sounds good so far. I was hoping you would be able to get your father involved, it appears you have!:D:D I hope he removed his watch before the rescue effort!:) I'm pretty sure your wine will be fine. By the way, how come he had to fish it out and not you?
Troy
 

blink23

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jaja He just got it b/c I was already saying, "just leave it in there" and he said no, to do things right speech. So he volunteered jeje.

I'm hoping it will turn out alright, i'll be posting soon the progress to see how its going.

Does it matter if the yeast was moved a little. I think we did it "carefully" but still, does it affect the process?
 

arcticsid

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Stirring the yeast around most likely not be a problem. The more experienced members will likely agree. Well, you're on your way, all thats left now is the wait. Remeber staring at your wine waiting for it to finish will make you crossed eyed and will probably make the wine angry. Let it be, it'll go.
Troy
 

PASherm

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I had this same thing happen on my first batch of wine, a Cab Franc. I retreived the gasket exactly the same way, and everything turned out just fine.

I labeled the bottles "Forearm Franc" :)
 
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