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Nojan

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Hello Wine Makers! Hope you are all well!

So I know very little about wine making (close to none) and needed some tips and guidance in my wine making journey and was hoping some of you here can help me.

I live in a Muslim majority country and therefore I don't have access to wine yeast and some equipment that you might use in your process. But based on the things I heard from friends I decided to make some wine at home.

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Here's what I did.
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Fairly simple. I crushed 60kg of wine grapes and put them into 3 plastic buckets and added 2 tablespoons of honey to each bucket, gave it a good stir and covered the top with the bucket lid wrapped in a clean cloth. Left it in a dark fairly cool place for 2 weeks before opening the buckets and stirring them again. After that I have opened and stirred them every 3 days or so. And as I'm writing this it's been almost a month since I crushed the grapes.

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Yesterday I really wanted to sample some of it, so I took out less than a litre of it and cleared it into a bottle. I know that for wine makers it could be an insult to drink the wine 1 month into the process :D but hey! it wasn't that bad. It had a very beautiful red/purple color, was strong and tasted ok. And a bit dry which I don't mind.

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And here are the questions I would like to ask.
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So right of the bat I assume that this is not the proper way to make wine and I have probably missed some necessary steps. but I would like to ask what can I do from here to get better results. I also have 2 questions to ask:

* How long do I need to wait before filtering this into another bucket or maybe bottles?!
* Do you have any recommendations for clearing the wine when the time comes? I imagine it would be easier to use cheesecloth but have also heard of egg white method.

Thanks for your responses in advance ;)

Best,
Nojan
 

sour_grapes

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My opinion is that what you have done so far is fine. However, at this point you want to get the wine off of the grapeskins, etc., and into a vessel or vessels that will limit the exposure of your wine to air.

You have some options for separating the liquid from the solids, depending on what is available to you. With the quantity of wine you have, I would probably strain it through a colander or something like that, or maybe a kitchen strainer. Then you should store it in some glass vessels, which should be nearly full. I hope you can find some ~4 l bottles to make this easier. Then let that sit; with time, more solids ("gross lees") will fall out. You can siphon the wine off of those solids.

I wouldn't worry about how to clear it as this point. Most of us just let it clear by itself over time. However, we also have the advantage of being able to add potassium metabisulfite to the wine to prevent it from spoiling and oxidizing, which I doubt you will be able to. I imagine you will have to drinking this wine youngish and maybe cloudy.

Bon chance!
 

Johnd

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First, welcome to WMT!! Now on to the questions.

In general, from 25,000 feet, you've made wine. Grapes want to be wine and nature helps it along, crushed wine grapes and natural yeast on the grapes do the job, just like in the old days. There are lots of other things to do, equipment you can use, precautions to be taken, etc. Given your location and access to supplies, consider the following options:

1. You say the wine tastes decent and dry, so let's assume fermentation is over, it's time to get rid of the grapes. A kitchen strainer, cheesecloth, or any other method you can devise to keep the liquid and get rid of the grape skins, seeds, etc. will do fine. Squeeze out all of the wine that you can.
2. Get your wine into a vessel with VERY LITTLE air space, sealing the container while still allowing CO2 gas (it's in the wine from fermenting) to escape. Oxygen is the wines enemy now.
3. If you can get potassium metabisulfite, which is an anti-oxidant and anti-microbial, you should use as an additive it to protect the wine and also use it in solution to sanitize anything that touches the wine.
4. If you can't get it, be as clean as you can (without using bleach).
5. Three days after removing the wine from the skins, you should have an accumulation of sediment on the bottom of the vessel called gross lees, remove the wine from the gross lees the best you can. Siphoning it off works best, pour it off if you have no siphon, but get rid of them. Again, limit the amount of airspace.
6. Don't worry about trying to use egg whites to fine the wine, it clears naturally in time.
7. Bottle it when it's clear. If you have found / used the potassium metabisulfite, your wine will last years in the bottle. If you've proceeded without it, the wine won't last as long, enjoy it much sooner.

Hope that helps.................

Edit: After posting my reply, I see you have gotten a reply from @sour_grapes while I was typing, both posts are pretty much in the same vein!!
 

Nojan

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@sour_grapes and @Johnd thank you so much for taking the time and responding! I feel much better about the rest of the process now. And since you mentioned "potassium metabisulfite" I did a search online and apparently it's legally sold here online :) which is a nice surprise in my country.

I will report results in this thread later on.

Cheers to you guys! :)
 

Johnd

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@sour_grapes and @Johnd thank you so much for taking the time and responding! I feel much better about the rest of the process now. And since you mentioned "potassium metabisulfite" I did a search online and apparently it's legally sold here online :) which is a nice surprise in my country.

I will report results in this thread later on.

Cheers to you guys! :)

Quite welcome!

Since you can get the KMeta, here's a little info you can use for its application.
Your doing 60 kg of grapes, or 132 lbs, so you could expect to get somewhere around 9 gallons of wine after removing the skins, much depends upon the grapes and how juicy they are, so that's a rough guess. Maybe around 8 gallons after leaving the gross lees behind.

The K-Meta should be applied at the rate of 1/4 teaspoon for every 6 gallons of wine. Pull a cup or two of the wine out of the vessel, thoroughly mix the powder into the wine you pulled out, pour back into your vessel, and stir it in. This will protect your wine for 3 months, so reapply after 3 months while it is sitting. After 6 months the wine should be free of CO2 and pretty clear, apply your K-meta, sanitize your bottles, and bottle the wine.

For sanitizing, mix 3 tablespoons into a gallon of water and use the solution to sanitize. If you can put it in a little spray bottle, it's really easy to spritz any of your tools, buckets, etc. to keep them sanitized.

Good luck!
 

Scooter68

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Congratulations on what sounds like a very successful Fermentation!! Not about to add to what others have said in guidance.

You just proved what used to be THE way to make wine.

Certainly the suggestions from Sourgrapes and Johnd will stand you in good stead.
 

Nojan

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Quite welcome!

Since you can get the KMeta, here's a little info you can use for its application.
Your doing 60 kg of grapes, or 132 lbs, so you could expect to get somewhere around 9 gallons of wine after removing the skins, much depends upon the grapes and how juicy they are, so that's a rough guess. Maybe around 8 gallons after leaving the gross lees behind.

The K-Meta should be applied at the rate of 1/4 teaspoon for every 6 gallons of wine. Pull a cup or two of the wine out of the vessel, thoroughly mix the powder into the wine you pulled out, pour back into your vessel, and stir it in. This will protect your wine for 3 months, so reapply after 3 months while it is sitting. After 6 months the wine should be free of CO2 and pretty clear, apply your K-meta, sanitize your bottles, and bottle the wine.

For sanitizing, mix 3 tablespoons into a gallon of water and use the solution to sanitize. If you can put it in a little spray bottle, it's really easy to spritz any of your tools, buckets, etc. to keep them sanitized.

Good luck!

Thanks for the information!

Now I'm facing another issue. I couldn't find the time to filter and move the wine into new vessels for the long fermentation phase in the past few days and one of my buckets has grown wine flowers (molds). So I did a little search online and apparently it's possible to use active charcoal to fight the taste of mold in my wine. Wanted to ask if you have any opinions about this? and if this is a proper method, how much active charcoal do you think I should user per gallon?
 

Johnd

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Thanks for the information!

Now I'm facing another issue. I couldn't find the time to filter and move the wine into new vessels for the long fermentation phase in the past few days and one of my buckets has grown wine flowers (molds). So I did a little search online and apparently it's possible to use active charcoal to fight the taste of mold in my wine. Wanted to ask if you have any opinions about this? and if this is a proper method, how much active charcoal do you think I should user per gallon?

I’ve never had to deal with that, so I have no guidance. I’m sure someone else with experience on the topic will jump in with advice.
 

Intheswamp

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I'm a newb, but below is a link I found (quoted text is the link). The quoted matter might be what you're interested, but if the mold has covered the surface of the wine the article says to dump it(?). If only a small amount of mold is present straining the wine and immediately adding K-meta and bottling is suggested.

It appears the advice quoted below is "per gallon"...

"Wine doesn't have to look moldy to taste and smell that way. Moldy and musty tastes for when you wait too long to siphon off the sediment, or lees. This type of moldiness has an easy fix. Add a crushed sodium metabisulfate tablet and 1/2 ounce of activated charcoal to the wine and stir. Stir the wine every four to six hours for 24 hours then let the wine sit for 24 hours. Filter the wine through several layers of cheesecloth or muslin and into a sterilized carboy."

Btw, if the government there has prying eyes and wants to know what you're doing with the K-meta tell them you are a germophobic and that you use it for sanitizing your dishes and whatever. ;)
 

stickman

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I wouldn't worry about the flowers or mold at this time, just move ahead with the suggestions from the earlier posts moving the wine into glass vessels of some type, make sure the wine is topped up and add the potassium metabisulfite as previously directed. Do your best to not bring over the surface growth into the wine, at this point limiting oxygen is the most important issue to limit further damage. Hold off on using activated carbon, it is an absolute last resort if the wine proves to be undrinkable. Carbon is not selective and will strip all flavors leaving the wine bland tasting.
 
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