A couple of general questions...

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Kristi

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Hi guys, a couple of general questions. When you cover your primary ferment, is it ok to do that with a paper towel and a rubber band, or is it better to use, say, a clean cloth napkin?

Also, how do you activate yeast without adding to the final amount of water that is supposed to go into the primary ferment?

I am making a fig wine, and have started it all out the way it has instructed, all the way up to the point where I'm supposed to wait 12 hours before I add the "activated yeast". (The hydrometer read 1.085 when I measured it, so I left it there.)

My assumption is that whoever wrote this article/recipe, wrote it for the person with a basic understanding of what needs to be done when making wine. I have a *very* basic understanding, hence, my questions.

Thanks in advance for all your help! :)

This is the link to where I found the recipe I'm using for fig wine today: https://winemakermag.com/2-10-can-t-miss-country-wine-recipes

This is the specific recipe:

Fig Wine
This recipe is a “pure” fig wine (no raisins, dates, bananas, or grape juice). Thus, it will not really mature until a year in the bottle, but can certainly be enjoyed after 3 months. Use only the sweetest, most tasty, almost over-ripe figs. Makes one gallon (3.8 L).

Ingredients
4 1/2 lb. (2.0 kg) figs
6 1/2 pints (3.1 L) water
1 3/4 lbs. (0.79 kg) granulated sugar
3 tsp. acid blend
1 crushed Campden tablet
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 pkg Red Star Montrachet wine yeast
Cut off stems and chop figs. Place in large, fine mesh nylon straining bag, tie top, and put in primary fermentation vessel. Stir in all other ingredients except yeast. Check specific gravity (should be 1.085 to 1.095; if not, add up to 1/4 cup more sugar, stirring very well before re-checking gravity). Cover with sanitized cloth. Add activated yeast after 12 hours and stir twice daily, pressing pulp lightly to aid extraction of juices. When specific gravity reaches 1.040 (3 to 5 days), hang bag over bowl to drain, lightly pressing to aid extraction (do NOT force or you will cloud the liquid). While pulp drains, siphon liquid off sediments into secondary. Add drained liquid and discard pulp. Fit airlock to secondary. Ferment to dryness (specific gravity 1.000 or lower — in about 3 weeks). Rack into clean secondary, top up to 1 gallon and reattach airlock. Rack again in 2 months. Rack again and bottle when clear. This is a good dry wine. If you want it sweeter, stabilize after last racking (but before bottling), then add 1/4 lb. dissolved sugar per gallon. Wait three weeks and bottle. This wine can be consumed young (after 3 months in bottle), but will improve immensely with age.
 

pjd

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Kristi, don't worry about activating the yeast. I just sprinkle it on top of the must and leave it alone. After several hours you can then stir it. Its never failed to start.
 

Kristi

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Kristi, don't worry about activating the yeast. I just sprinkle it on top of the must and leave it alone. After several hours you can then stir it. Its never failed to start.

Awesome, thank you so much, PJD! :)
 

bsassy2

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Kristi,
I have used paper towels to cover the top of the primary fermenter. You cover it to keep unwanted bugs and pets out. I also just sprinkle the yeast on top.
 

Kristi

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Kristi,
I have used paper towels to cover the top of the primary fermenter. You cover it to keep unwanted bugs and pets out. I also just sprinkle the yeast on top.

Awesome, thank you bsassy2! I was thinking that was the reason, I actually do the same thing with my kombucha, but with a cloth napkin. I was thrown off because the recipe said to use a "sanitized cloth" or something like that to cover the fermenter. I figured a paper towel was more sanitary maybe than my reusable cloth napkins! And thank you for commenting on the yeast as well. Very happy I can do it that way. :r
 

Bartman

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I leave my fermenting bucket uncovered, but it is in an isolated bathroom, so not much to bother it. The main thing is to make sure it has oxygen available at this early stage.

I too sprinkle my yeast on top, never had an issue with it failing to get to work. Good luck!
 
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Hi Kristi, I ferment most all my wines in a 6 or 7 gallon pail and ferment with the lid on and an airlock. I have never had an issue. A Cheese cloth or a dish towel works fine and you can sanitize it with a sanitizing solution which you will need for any and all equipment that touches the must and later wine. I use a solution of Potassium Metabisulfite to sanitize everything including cloth material, except paper towels :)
 

wineforfun

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I ferment with my lid laying loose on the top of primary bucket.

I have rehydrated yeast and sprinkled it on top. Both ways usually work fine. And just for the record, you only use 2 oz. of water when rehydrating yeast so it won't affect your overall measurement.
 
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