A few beginners questions....

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Beta_Grumm

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Hi.

This is my first ever attempt at wine making. I purchased a small 1 gallon kit just to get the basic equipment. It even came with a cool little recipe book.

I'm making a concord table wine from juice.
I don't have the recipie in front of me but I belive it was something to teh effect of:
3 pts juice
5 pts water
3 1/2 sugar
nutrient
acid blend
pectin enzyme
maybe somehting else, I dont remeber.
I'm adding the yeast tonight at around 8pm. (24 hours later)

Anyways, the recipie doesnt say to put the air lock on the primary fermenter. It does say to put it on the secondary.
My question is, is that right? In my mind you would not want that left exposed for the 5 days to a week that its going to be in the primary. I brew beer with a friend and we always air lock when fermenting.
Also, I've never used a hydrometer before. To test it I just used the little plastic tube that it came it. Is there a better way / container to use or will that work. I got a reading of 1.082.

Anyhow, great forums. I'm sure I'll be asking many more questions. :)
Thanks.
 

BettyJ

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Welcome aboard! I am fairly new to winemaking, but will try to help....

The primary is usually a bucket with enough headspace to allow the fermenting wine to bubble up. This is where most of the fermentation will occur and there is little danger of oxygen (O2) getting into the wine when it is putting off this much CO2 gas. After the 5 days (or so - this is an estimate) you should transfer to a carboy (secondary) with an airlock and top up so that you have little headspace. The rationale here is that there is still a little fermentation activity, so you need a way for CO2 to be released without introducing O2 which will spoil the wine.

Sound like your SG reading is in line with what you should expect, so now you are able to track the fermentation though SG readings along the way.
 

Tom

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1st welcome to a great forum!
2nd Betty is right you just need to "cover the primary after that under airlock. Please post the recipe so \we can help you better aslo, GOTO "UserCP" and enter your location.
 

Wade E

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Welcome and glad you made it here. During the first few days of a fermentation its actually good to get plenty of 02 into your wine and you do not need to put the lid and an airlock on but you should have some kind of cover or cloth on there to make sure that no bugs can get at the must. Once you get to an sg of around 1.030 you will want to get it under airlock. As far as using the hydro, there are better options for testing it in, I use a Wine thief for doing that as It can extract the wine from a carboy without having to pour it.
 

smurfe

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You can insert the airlock if you wish. If you are fermenting in a one gallon jug though it will probably foam up through the airlock. I primary gallon batches in a 2 gallon food grade bucket I got from a local donut shop. I drilled a hole and installed a grommet for an airlock. I normally snap the lid on and ferment. Many ferment open with a cheese cloth over the top of the fermenter. Others, and I do this often, stick an airlock in the grommet but just sit the lid on top the bucket but don't snap it in place during primary fermentation.
 

Beta_Grumm

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Sweet. Good information.
Ok here is the full recipe.

Concord Table wine (from juice)
3 pts Pure Juice
5 pts water
3 1/2 cp sugar
2 tsp acid blend
1/2 tsp Pectic enzyme
1 tsp nutrient
1 campden crushed
1 pkg wine yeast (package says Cote des Blancs on the front. Not really sure if that's the type or what)

1. Stir in all ingredients except yeast. Cover primary.
2. After 24 hours add yeast. Cover primary.
3. Stir daily and check SG.
4. When ferment reaches SG 1030 (5-6 days) siphon wine off sediment into glass secondary. Attach air lock.
5. When ferment is complete (sg has dropped to 1.000 - about 3 weeks) siphon off sediment into clean secondary. Reattach lock.
6. To aid in clearing siphon again in 2 months and again if necessary before bottling.

can be left dry or back sweetened at bottling by adding 1/2 tsp stabilizer and stirring in 1/2 cup dissolved sugar per gallon.

Here's another question, what is this stabilizer they speak of?

EDIT: btw, SG is now 1.098.
 
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St Allie

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stabiliser is potassium sorbate..

you add it when all fermentation is finished and it prevents the yeast from fermenting the wine again when you backsweeten it.

Allie
 

ruggierm1

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stabiliser is potassium sorbate..

you add it when all fermentation is finished and it prevents the yeast from fermenting the wine again when you backsweeten it.

Allie
that leads me to ask, that if you don't plan on backsweetening a wine, do you still need to add potassium sorbate? Also, what is th eopinion of when to backsweeten? Should you do it after the wine has had some time to age?

:r
 

Tom

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Most fruit wines are not aged. So it is reccomended to use sorbate. If you plan on Not adding a f-pac or backsweetening AND you are gonna age for at least 6 months than its not needed.
Rather be safe then have sparkling fruit wine.
Backsweeten after the secondary AND after you added the k-meta and sorbate. After adding the f-pac then add clearing agent.
 

Madriver Wines

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that leads me to ask, that if you don't plan on backsweetening a wine, do you still need to add potassium sorbate? Also, what is th eopinion of when to backsweeten? Should you do it after the wine has had some time to age?

:r
Sorbate is to prevent fermentation from starting back up after adding sugar. I sweeten at the third racking and then let it sit for weeks or a month, rack again and then bottle.
 

St Allie

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that leads me to ask, that if you don't plan on backsweetening a wine, do you still need to add potassium sorbate? Also, what is th eopinion of when to backsweeten? Should you do it after the wine has had some time to age?

:r
Fruit wines generally need at least a year in the bottle before drinking, some take 2 or more years .. unless it is an early drinker recipe and they are usually sweetened.

If you ferment right out to dry and intend to keep it a year.. add your sulphites before bottling and you won't need the sorbate. If you are sweetening, ferment out to dry , sulphite and sorbate ( in that order), check SG is stable for three days in a row, sweeten to taste and then leave to clear on it's own or start the clearing process with finings a few days later. I prefer to leave my fruit wines to clear on their own.

Allie
 

Tom

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Allie,
What is Feijoa wine ?
I see it's in your primary.
 

St Allie

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Tom,

It's also known as the pineapple guava.. but it's not a true guava and they are much bigger.. They are really popular for hedges here, give a really heavy crop of fruit and a commercial fruit wine is available .. it makes a nice white wine. I also have a recipe here made from the flower petals.. but I've never made it.

here's a photo ..

http://www.freshplaza.com/2007/1213/feijoa.jpg

FEATURES: Fruit around the size of an egg remain green when ripe. Their fruity aroma may account for the common name pineapple guava. Perfumed pale cream flesh is high in vitamin C. The flavour a blend of pineapple and strawberry. Attractive plant in flower.

Allie
 
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BettyJ

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Beautiful fruit and flower - very exotic! Does it taste like pineapple, then?

I have a riesling (I used half recipe riesling concentrated juice) banana and mango. The strangest thing is that it taste just like pineapple, so I am gonna name it something like "pineapple riesling". I used banana peels also so it is really yellow in color (slow to clear, though). It's dry, so I will sweeten later.

Wonder why it would taste like pineapple?
 

Beta_Grumm

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Hmm... so if one doesn't sweeten, you bottle and age.
If one does sweeten you stabilize, bottle, and it can be drank without aging?
 

St Allie

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it's hard to describe Betty..


Nothing else smells like a feijoa, it's a very strong flavour.. there are different hybrids .. some are larger and some are stronger flavoured.

We have loquats growing wild here too.. flowering now.. am going to get some of those fermenting this year.

Allie
 

St Allie

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Hmm... so if one doesn't sweeten, you bottle and age.
If one does sweeten you stabilize, bottle, and it can be drank without aging?


depends on your wine, usually an early drinking wine is sweetened and bottled and you can start drinking that at about 3 months..It's generally a white wine.. they age faster.

Allie
 

Tom

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Hmm... so if one doesn't sweeten, you bottle and age.
If one does sweeten you stabilize, bottle, and it can be drank without aging?
Well...
Yes to a point. There are 6 things to remember in making wine.
They are the
3 "T's"
Taste
Taste
Taste
And
3 "P's"
Patience
Patience
Patience
W/ fruit wines you need to make sure fermentation is complete before bottling. By that you will still need to add k-meta and clarify your wine. This can take a few months. Unlike kits which can take 2-3 months before bottling.
Best thing for you to do is check here as you are making your next wine. This way we can give you ideas what to do when from our experience.
 

Wade E

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As far as that recipe goes, dont go by when the sg reaches 1.000 as some wines will go way below that like to .992 so just wait until you have a stable sg reading for a few days in a row and hats when its done fermenting. At that point I would degas, add sulfite and sorbate(i usre sorbate even when Im not going to sweeten as it has good preservative qualities to it also. Once I have added that I stir it very well and then you can sweeten if you like and then let it clear on its own or add a finingg agent and let it clear.
 

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