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G259

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I hope you have potassium SORBATE and not Sulfate, because sulfate is poisonous.

The amount of sorbate to stabilize your wine is 1/2 tsp per US gallon.
 
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subseageorge

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Yes, but wait a while, it'll only get better with time. If you can't wait on the first one, I'll say that it's ok, but just remember that time helps. Maybe only open 1 bottle a month, depending on how much you made. I started with 1 gallon batches, or rather 4L ones, Carlo Rossi wine jugs. Not superior wine, (drinkable) but I got a glass carboy out of the deal (I have several)!

Sugar: Add potassium sorbate before you add sugar, sorbate blocks the yeast from reproducing, and will end fermentation when the yeast die off (soon).
You have to stop fermentation, otherwise you bottles will likely explode (ouch!)

That's why Champagne bottles are thick and have different corks, they add sugar at bottling time, producing the CO2 bubbles.
(and no sorbate)
Carlos rossi 4 litres we can buy in the city but it is $150 US a bottle. Wine is expensive here.
 

subseageorge

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Hope the potassium sorbate turns up today. Then i will add and take a final SG reading. Bottled 3 bottles to see if any increase in pressure 3 days ago. No fizz as of yet, I also ordered a PH meter and refratometer. which i will also take readings for interest. My wife and I drank a bottle last night and it was very nice. and no hangover today. lol ... Bought fruit and sugar for our next experiment which we will also start today. Has anyone used palm sugar ? From what i have read it is not advised to use it 100% for making wine. Do you guys agree? Just plentiful here but it may affect the taste. Not sure.
 

Rice_Guy

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Palm wine from coconut palms is traditional. It differs from European style grape wines in that at best it is 5% alcohol therefore not very stable.
There are several methods for producing Palm sugar concentrates. In general a method which uses high heat (over 160C) produces browning reactions which contribute flavor. Coconut palm sugar has contaminants as protein and mineral ie it may cloud a wine and will have some flavor. Locals find the flavor desirable. High temperature production with resulting browning will carry through into a finished wine.
You are combining palm sugar with a fruit that contributes part of the sugar. There will be some dilution factor of the palm flavor.

I do not see any reason for not trying palm sugar.

(a side note 160C ie the upper limit on operating instant rice driers, above this we produced toasted flavors)
 
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sour_grapes

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I also ordered a PH meter and refratometer. which i will also take readings for interest.
Just as a heads-up: Once fermentation commences, the reading of a refractometer will be skewed (because alcohol has a different index of refraction than water). There are ways to correct for this if you are determined.
 

subseageorge

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Update so far, there was no drop on the SG for a week, so i decided to bottle the wine with no sweetening. We actually tried 2 bottles . 1 with palm sugar and 1 with honey.. but was a bit too sweet. So we bottled the rest as is. The reading on the refractometer was 10% not sure what that is after correction. I have now started 2 more batches. 1 x 5 gallon orange, and 1 x 5 gallons apple. using recipes off the internet as before. both are primary stage now. orange is bubbling away nicely.


The apple has a skin about an inch deep on top which looks like it is preventing the escaping CO2 . Do you think i should remove some of it or just leave it be ?

This time i have taken accurate SG and PH levels before pitching yeast.
Thanks again for all the advise guys,

George
 

Rice_Guy

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CO2 will escape Through floating pulp.
Many of us will start fermentation’s with juice, the exceptions being where we want to extract something example color and tannin from red grape skins or flavor from a low moisture fruit.
 

subseageorge

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hhahha, Some things are cheap and others are crazy priced. Try 320,000 USD for a toyota landcruiser. , Crazy.
 

subseageorge

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Guys, my new batches, 5 gallons of orange is going great, just racked it 2 days ago into carboy. My apple wine however, when i racked it and fitted an air lock, there is no gas escaping now. The must SG was 1.120 at the start, Now it is 1.060 . Looks like the fermenting has stopped or nearly stopped. i also noted that the Acidity is PH 2.75. That seems low to me, But i dont know. Do you think i should adjust the acidity up to 3.4 ??? that being said. Can i use baking powder instead of Potassium Bicarbonate ???
 
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sour_grapes

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You say that is "looks like the fermentation has stopped." What are you basing this inference upon? Have you measured the SG with a hydrometer? What does it say now?
 

subseageorge

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You say that is "looks like the fermentation has stopped." What are you basing this inference upon? Have you measured the SG with a hydrometer? What does it say now?
The must SG was 1.120 at the start, Now it is 1.060 . Actually i based this on the fact that the air trap was not bubbling, However, i was going to put in a yeast starter and when i took the lid off the fermenting bucket i noted that it was still bubbling away. So i changed the air trap. It is now bubbling away like normal. The other air trap must be leaking somewhere.
 

subseageorge

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I am still concerned about the PH. Do you think that it is too acidic at PH 2.75 ??
 

Johnd

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@subseageorge Just taking accurate measurements is only the first part of your job as “Head Winemaker”. Next, you must decide what the measurements tell you, and take action. BEFORE pitching yeast, you should get your must right.

The musts you’re are creating look to me to be challenging due to very high sugar content, resulting in difficult fermentation and possibly unbalanced body/alcohol in your finished wine. Good fruit wine isn’t in the 15-18% ABV range. Try shooting for a starting SG of 1.090, a range where yeast will survive to dryness, and you’ve a chance at having enough body to balance the alcohol, which should be in the 12-13% range depending on where your final SG is. . When you get that balance right, your wine will improve by huge strides.

Yes, your pH is too low. That, coupled with a yeast producing high ABV% is enough to shut your ferment down. Shoot for a pH at least in the 3.1+ range if you wish to increase your chances of success.
 

subseageorge

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@subseageorge Just taking accurate measurements is only the first part of your job as “Head Winemaker”. Next, you must decide what the measurements tell you, and take action. BEFORE pitching yeast, you should get your must right.

The musts you’re are creating look to me to be challenging due to very high sugar content, resulting in difficult fermentation and possibly unbalanced body/alcohol in your finished wine. Good fruit wine isn’t in the 15-18% ABV range. Try shooting for a starting SG of 1.090, a range where yeast will survive to dryness, and you’ve a chance at having enough body to balance the alcohol, which should be in the 12-13% range depending on where your final SG is. . When you get that balance right, your wine will improve by huge strides.

Yes, your pH is too low. That, coupled with a yeast producing high ABV% is enough to shut your ferment down. Shoot for a pH at least in the 3.1+ range if you wish to increase your chances of success.
Thank you very much for you advise, still a learning game.
What would you suggest i use to lower the acidity ?
 

sour_grapes

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Note that CO2 will lower the pH a bit. Maybe before you take any actions, you would take a sample and drive the CO2 out (agitation, microwaving, whatever) and then measure your pH again.
 

DizzyIzzy

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@subseageorge Just taking accurate measurements is only the first part of your job as “Head Winemaker”. Next, you must decide what the measurements tell you, and take action. BEFORE pitching yeast, you should get your must right.

The musts you’re are creating look to me to be challenging due to very high sugar content, resulting in difficult fermentation and possibly unbalanced body/alcohol in your finished wine. Good fruit wine isn’t in the 15-18% ABV range. Try shooting for a starting SG of 1.090, a range where yeast will survive to dryness, and you’ve a chance at having enough body to balance the alcohol, which should be in the 12-13% range depending on where your final SG is. . When you get that balance right, your wine will improve by huge strides.

Yes, your pH is too low. That, coupled with a yeast producing high ABV% is enough to shut your ferment down. Shoot for a pH at least in the 3.1+ range if you wish to increase your chances of success.
John, I am making fruit wines and AM looking for a high alcohol content. What makes a 15-18% not "Good"? Note: fruit wines I have made thus far are aging so I have no idea what they are going to taste like when aging is done which is the reason for my question.
 
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