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A Couple Beginner Questions

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Rice_Guy

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You did not screw up, you just added a lot of meta all at once, and most folks won’t be able to taste it. Worst case, ,,, I occasionally do an “OH! sugar” as adding a slug of Kmeta to a pail of cherries or yesterday to gooseberry and finding that the pigment is NOT SO2 stable and my nice pink or red color is gone.(FYI SO2 is used to decolonize the artificially colored candy fruit you find in Christmas stollen) (a Campden tablet is about 0.5 grams)
Riceguy..................Did I understand you correctly that one Campden tab can treat 5 gallons? If that is so I have screwed up royally because I added five Campden tabs to a 5 gallon batch. Is there anyway I can reverse/treat that batch?...........................Dizzy
my SO2 goal is:
crush/ primary . . . . 50 ppm meta . . . 0.190 gm/gallon. . 0.050 gm/liter
rack #2,#3,etc. . . . . 25 ppm meta . . . 0.095 gm/gallon . . .0.025 gm/liter
bottle sweet white . 80 ppm meta . . . 0.303 gm/gallon . . .0.080 gm/liter
bottle dry white . . . 60 ppm meta . . . 0.227 gm/gallon . . .0.060 gm/liter
bottle dry red . . . . . 40 ppm meta . . . 0.152 gm/gallon . . .0.040 gm/ liter

*ref:Growing Grapes and Making Wine in Cold Climates, pg92
table ref: Jack Keller
*from experience 1 tsp meta powder = 5.9n grams or 1/4 tsp per 5 gallon carboy gives approx 50 ppm.
*you can cut a Campden tablet to approximate less chemical weight
*Younger folk keep mentioning a sulphite calculator on the web ex Winemaking Magazine. If I was lazy or did not own a Vinmetrica to make life simple I would assume zero SO2 at each transfer and add Kmeta as recommended which hopefully produces a bit above target. ,,,, acetaldehyde is the main risk and most folks taste it at a low concentration, 150 mg/liter
*As a fruit wine maker I control pH and run low, 3.2 to 3.3 target which means a higher percentage of the meta is available as SO2 the active chemical.

In being a wine judge I have observed a lot of home wine makers produce tastable acetaldehyde. . . SO! . . . you are better of with more rather than less!
 
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DizzyIzzy

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You did not screw up, you just added a lot of meta all at once, and most folks won’t be able to taste it. Worst case, ,,, I occasionally do an “OH! sugar” as adding a slug of Kmeta to a pail of cherries or yesterday to gooseberry and finding that the pigment is NOT SO2 stable and my nice pink or red color is gone.(FYI SO2 is used to decolonize the artificially colored candy fruit you find in Christmas stollen) (a Campden tablet is about 0.5 grams)
my SO2 goal is:
crush/ primary . . . . 50 ppm meta . . . 0.190 gm/gallon. . 0.050 gm/liter
rack #2,#3,etc. . . . . 25 ppm meta . . . 0.095 gm/gallon . . .0.025 gm/liter
bottle sweet white . 80 ppm meta . . . 0.303 gm/gallon . . .0.080 gm/liter
bottle dry white . . . 60 ppm meta . . . 0.227 gm/gallon . . .0.060 gm/liter
bottle dry red . . . . . 40 ppm meta . . . 0.152 gm/gallon . . .0.040 gm/ liter

*ref:Growing Grapes and Making Wine in Cold Climates, pg92
table ref: Jack Keller
*from experience 1 tsp meta powder = 5.9n grams or 1/4 tsp per 5 gallon carboy gives approx 50 ppm.
*you can cut a Campden tablet to approximate less chemical weight
*Younger folk keep mentioning a sulphite calculator on the web ex Winemaking Magazine. If I was lazy or did not own a Vinmetrica to make life simple I would assume zero SO2 at each transfer and add Kmeta as recommended which hopefully produces a bit above target. ,,,, acetaldehyde is the main risk and most folks taste it at a low concentration, 150 mg/liter
*As a fruit wine maker I control pH and run low, 3.2 to 3.3 target which means a higher percentage of the meta is available as SO2 the active chemical.

In being a wine judge I have observed a lot of home wine makers produce tastable acetaldehyde. . . SO! . . . you are better of with more rather than less!
Rice-guy, If I am reading this correctly, and to implant it in my VERY novice brain, when racking #2, #3, or #4 one would add 1/8 tsp. of K-meta (because that would = the 25 ppm meta)? I thought 1/4 tsp. was to be used at each racking?...................Dizzy
 

justsipn

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Ok....my rhubarb wine is at 6 months. About to bottle it and it’s amazingly clear. But, it still has a slight bitter taste.

can someone have an idea why?

will it go away with aging?

im about to bottle it and hoping it will go away with aging.
Thanks.
 

Rice_Guy

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Sugar should be able to fix/ balance it.
A guess is the bitter is residual CO2 in which case it will not go away. Can you pull a vacuum on a sample and then recheck the flavor?
Ok....my rhubarb wine is at 6 months. About to bottle it and it’s amazingly clear. But, it still has a slight bitter taste.

can someone have an idea why?

will it go away with aging?

im about to bottle it and hoping it will go away with aging.
Thanks.
 

justsipn

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I’m not sure what you mean by pulling a vacuum.

Can you explain?

And, how do I prevent residual CO2 with future wine?
 

Rice_Guy

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I’m not sure what you mean by pulling a vacuum. Can you explain?
And, how do I prevent residual CO2 with future wine?
* to create a vacuum usually is done with a vacuum pump, some of us have dedicated pumps, others have garage tools like a break bleeder or wine tools like a vacuvin (used to preserve wine, a small vacuum pump) From your answer I will guess you haven’t collected unusual tools.
* CO2 is your friend since it helps flush oxygen out. Yes it has a flavor similar to seltzer water and is in sodas with sweeteners so it can be a good as well as a bad. For your rhubarb I would pull a sample glass (or jelly jar),, microwave for 45 seconds,, then stir with a spoon to whip the gas out,, allow it to cool and then taste it again to see if the objectionable flavor is gone. (if flavor remains the issue isn’t CO2)
The process of removing CO2 is called degassing, kits will tell one to stir your carboy with a wine whip on a drill or a long spoon. At 6 months under an airlock it should be pretty good, just evaporating by itself,,,, if so, we need to get more feel for how much “slight” is. ex. cranberry juice has sweet notes first followed by acid followed by a longer lasting bitter, this is just the way God made that fruit.
Again sugar is used in fruit juices and sodas to balance flavor, have you tried this? The US beverage market is dominated by sweet flavors.
 

justsipn

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* to create a vacuum usually is done with a vacuum pump, some of us have dedicated pumps, others have garage tools like a break bleeder or wine tools like a vacuvin (used to preserve wine, a small vacuum pump) From your answer I will guess you haven’t collected unusual tools.
* CO2 is your friend since it helps flush oxygen out. Yes it has a flavor similar to seltzer water and is in sodas with sweeteners so it can be a good as well as a bad. For your rhubarb I would pull a sample glass (or jelly jar),, microwave for 45 seconds,, then stir with a spoon to whip the gas out,, allow it to cool and then taste it again to see if the objectionable flavor is gone. (if flavor remains the issue isn’t CO2)
The process of removing CO2 is called degassing, kits will tell one to stir your carboy with a wine whip on a drill or a long spoon. At 6 months under an airlock it should be pretty good, just evaporating by itself,,,, if so, we need to get more feel for how much “slight” is. ex. cranberry juice has sweet notes first followed by acid followed by a longer lasting bitter, this is just the way God made that fruit.
Again sugar is used in fruit juices and sodas to balance flavor, have you tried this? The US beverage market is dominated by sweet flavors.
Ok, no, I don’t have a vacuum pump. Are you saying that would suck the CO2 out of the wine?

that’s a really interesting experiment with the microwave. I’m going to have to try that. I’m assuming the heat dissipates the CO2 somehow?

I believe it is less bitter than the last time I tried it about 3 months ago. Should I have degassed it at some point? Can I still degas it?

it’s always interesting describing something like taste. It’s nowhere close to as bitter as cranberry juice.When I first taste it,I think...hmmm....this is good, but right at the end it has just enough bitterness that it’s what you’re left thinking about.
When I bottle it, I wish I could trade you bottles so I could taste a really good rhubarb wine and you could taste what I’m tasting.

I feel like I’m very close to having a pretty decent wine for my very first try. But, I can’t Reduce the bitterness, it might be a little disappointing.
 
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Rice_Guy

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Q? how many toys do you want?

Easy to try,,, A very inexpensive way to test is a vacuum cleaner with a bung on the suction pipe, it will pull about 5 inches which isn’t a lot but if you let it suck for a day will do the job, ,,, but is loud.
I use an inexpensive 12 volt pump which will pull 19 inches on basically all siphons and vacuum corking and testing samples.
The folks who do lots wind up with the all-in-one, which is a good place to start since Steve has videos on YouTube that show how to do it. This system will suck down to 24 inches mercury which will degas as fast as one can rack wine. Steve is a sponsor of WMT so he has lots of posts here if you search above menu bar.
,,, by the way, heat doesn’t dissipate the CO2 but gas is more soluble in water at lower temperature.

Bitter isn’t necessarily bad, at low levels it adds complexity to a food. A contest wine will score higher if it has ingredients which produce long flavor notes. The normal way to add this trait is to add 1/2 tsp tannin, however I am tending to natural sources as 5% crab apples or cranberry in a recipie. Again remember sugar is magic, ,, it will provide a front flavor note that balances the later bitter note, ,,,, and keeps you interested in consuming the food, as soda will.Q? do you enjoy drinking flat soda? try the microwave test on soda also. Do you like coffee? caffeine is the lab standard used to calibrate bitter tastes.
 
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Prairie Vino

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justsipn, I've been wanting to try a rhubarb wine, could you message me your recipe?
Prairie Vino
 

justsipn

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justsipn, I've been wanting to try a rhubarb wine, could you message me your recipe?
Prairie Vino
In the original post in this thread I described my original process.

however, I would suggest getting more info from others. I gather I’m pretty lucky this one is somewhat turning out.

One thing I will change next time is using more fruit. I used around 12 lbs of fruit this batch, I will at least double it next time.
 
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winemaker81

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Most non-grape wines benefit from a bit of sweetening. Doesn't have to be a lot, but it completely changes the perception of the wine.
If you backsweeten, you need to add potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to prevent a renewed fermentation in the bottle.
 

justsipn

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Most non-grape wines benefit from a bit of sweetening. Doesn't have to be a lot, but it completely changes the perception of the wine.
If you backsweeten, you need to add potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to prevent a renewed fermentation in the bottle.
Thanks, Someone in this thread went through the whole process of back sweetening in a post. I'll try to find that and follow his process.

Question though, if my SG is .998 and I want to get to 1.000, is there generally an idea of how much sugar in a 5 gallon carboy that would take? Since I have never done this before, I have no idea if it would be a tablespoon or 3 cups.



Edit: Haaa....found the post and it was from you. Thanks for the info.
 

sour_grapes

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Thanks, Someone in this thread went through the whole process of back sweetening in a post. I'll try to find that and follow his process.

Question though, if my SG is .998 and I want to get to 1.000, is there generally an idea of how much sugar in a 5 gallon carboy that would take? Since I have never done this before, I have no idea if it would be a tablespoon or 3 cups.
Fermcalc is your friend! FermCalc Winemaking Calculator
 

winemaker81

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Question though, if my SG is .998 and I want to get to 1.000, is there generally an idea of how much sugar in a 5 gallon carboy that would take? Since I have never done this before, I have no idea if it would be a tablespoon or 3 cups.
IMO that is the not the best approach. The SG is not important, it's the taste. I use this method:

Stabilize the wine with sorbate and sulfite to prevent a renewed fermentation. Pour a small glass of the base wine and reserve it. Add 1/4 cup sugar to the carboy and stir well (sugar syrup blends better). Taste the wine, and contrast against the base wine as you feel the need.

Repeat until you think the wine needs just a bit more -- then stop. [Remember that's it's much harder to take the sugar back out than to put more in.]

This can be done in 1/8 cup increments, or any measure you desire. IME 1/4 cup increments works for 5 US gallon carboys, but everyone has different tastes.

Some folks advocate bench testing, e.g., make up small samples in glasses and taste, choosing your favorite. This requires correctly figuring out how much sugar went into the chosen sample and then correctly extrapolating how much sugar to add to the carboy. I find that more difficult to get right. If you do this, add half the calculated amount of sugar and stir well. Add in increments, stirring and tasting. If you calculated wrong, this helps prevent making an overly sweet wine.

Either way, record your final SG so you'll know the residual sugar.
 

justsipn

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IMO that is the not the best approach. The SG is not important, it's the taste. I use this method:

Stabilize the wine with sorbate and sulfite to prevent a renewed fermentation. Pour a small glass of the base wine and reserve it. Add 1/4 cup sugar to the carboy and stir well (sugar syrup blends better). Taste the wine, and contrast against the base wine as you feel the need.

Repeat until you think the wine needs just a bit more -- then stop. [Remember that's it's much harder to take the sugar back out than to put more in.]

This can be done in 1/8 cup increments, or any measure you desire. IME 1/4 cup increments works for 5 US gallon carboys, but everyone has different tastes.

Some folks advocate bench testing, e.g., make up small samples in glasses and taste, choosing your favorite. This requires correctly figuring out how much sugar went into the chosen sample and then correctly extrapolating how much sugar to add to the carboy. I find that more difficult to get right. If you do this, add half the calculated amount of sugar and stir well. Add in increments, stirring and tasting. If you calculated wrong, this helps prevent making an overly sweet wine.

Either way, record your final SG so you'll know the residual sugar.
OK...thanks. That is what I would like to do. Calculating the amount of sugar for 5 gallons based off of a 4 oz sample seemed to me to be something that could be really off. In cooking, sometimes something like a seasoning can't easily be proportioned to large quantities from a normal recipe. I was thinking the same here.

I think I'm going to rack rack it, then do this process of sweetening, then bottle in about a week.
 

G259

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. . . and if you do over sweeten the wine a bit, add some acid blend to balance it. The sugar will still be there, but it won't taste as sweet. I found that out here, when I slipped with the sugar while back sweetening. '. . . just a little more, . . . a little more . . . ', then it gives way like an avalanche! Lol!
 

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