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Adding leftover wine

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TerryB56

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Hi, I made some wine recently (2/3 gooseberry, 1/3 strawberry) using a simple sounding recipe from a book.
There was too much for the demijohn so I put the rest in a bottle, I made a hole in the lid and fitted a trap. A week later you can`t see through it and the trap is bubbling about once every 3 seconds. The wine in the bottle looks different, mush floating on top and no bubbles at all from the start. The bottle may have a higher proportion of sugar as I don`t think I dissolved the sugar completely when I added it. I`m assuming it might be a bad idea to add the wine from the bottle to the demijohn to top up after the next racking. No camden tablet has been used yet. Does it sound as if the wine is on track or have I spoiled it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Terry
 

Scooter68

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At this point I would NOT add that leftover wine.

You don't say anything about the progress of the fermentation before you put the leftover wine in that bottle. Was the wine previously in a bucket and completed fermenting?

Please describe the steps you did to prepare and ferment the wine.
While it is possible to have some remaining sugar If you just added sugar and didn't completely dissolve it in the wine must before starting fermentation - but not likely if the wine was stirred during the fermentation. Did you not stir the wine during fermentation?

Using leftover wine to top off is something to be done very carefully. It has to be treated exactly like the original wine in the carboy including the airlock and treatment with K-Meta. I normally place my leftover wine in the fridge to cold crash it and speed up the lees settling out. Normally I pour off the good wine off the top of the lees in the leftover wine in 3-4 days. After all those are the gross lees and can mess up your wine if not separated. It sounds like you may have either a re-ferment started or possibly contamination from bacteria. In any case I would not use it at this point especially if you have added K-Meta (Campden) to the Demijon and not the smaller bottle.
 

TerryB56

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Hi Scooter, thanks for your reply. Put 1.2 Kilos of gooseberries and 0.55 Kilos of strawberries into a bowl, mashed them and then added pectic enzyme and the yeast. I poured in 4.5 Litres of cold water and then left to stand for 3 days, stirring twice a day. Then I strained through a nylon net and then dissolved 1.5 Kilos of sugar in the juice. I then put the mixture into a demijohn and fitted a trap. The next instruction in the book says to leave until wine has cleared and fermented out before bottling. It didn`t mention a camden tablet so I haven`t put one in yet..

Terry
 

Scooter68

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1) How did you determine that the wine had finished fermenting before racking? Did you take an SG reading before starting the wine and then before racking it into the demijohn -
2) What were the readings?
3) When you racked the wine into the demijohn did you just put the remaining wine (excess wine including the lees) into the other bottle? If so it's likely that, even with your initial straining, the lees (dead yeast and debris and pulp bits) ended up in that extra bottle. You should test the SG of the demijohn and the extra bottle.
4) What about stirring the wine while it was fermenting? IF that wasn't done then it is possible that some sugar was left at the bottom of fermentation bucket and after putting it all into the extra container, the yeast began fermenting again on that sugar.

The mush at that top of the extra bottle isn't necessarily bad, it could just be some pulp that caught some gas and keeps floating at the top until it breaks down more or you pull it off the top.You can try siphoning off the wine from under that mush and then dumping that mush out.
 

TerryB56

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Hi Scooter, I didn`t know if the wine had stopped fermenting, I was just following the instructions which said after 3 days to strain the fruit,add sugar and then put into fermenting jar (demijohn?) and fit trap . Then it said I had to leave ituntil wine has cleared and fermented out. I did take an initial reading from the demijohn, it was 1.080. After reading your message I checked again and the hydrometer sunk to the bottom of the tube, I`m assuming that`s not good. I tested the wine in the bottle, the reading is1.030. I haven`t stirred the wine after the initial 3 days.

Terry
 

Scooter68

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You need to go do some reading on using a hydrometer and other wine making topics.

I fear you are getting worried over the wrong issues here.

Take the time read at least a short book or list of directions of wine making from an authoritative source. It will help you immensely.

USING A HYDROMETER https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/how-to-read-hydrometer.10346/

A Short but informative read on winemaking, https://www.amazon.com/BSG-HandCraft-Handcraft-Winemaking-Guide/dp/B071V6KZPS?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B071V6KZPS

(This is where I started - it came with my wine making starter kit)
 

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