All of that being said, I had a batch of key lime skeeter pee that got stuck and would NOT finish. I tried stirring, adding more yeast (4 packs total), and even heating the must by putting the bucket on a heating pad. Finally, I figured I should get it under airlock and at first I left lots of headspace (about 4 gallons in a 5 gallon carboy), hoping that just the act of racking would jump start the yeast again. After another week or so, I ended up racking it to a 3 gallon carboy to eliminate the headspace. It eventually got down to 1.015 (starting sg was 1.090) so it was between 9 and 10% ABV. My friends asked for more, so I guess it turned out the way they liked it.Yes, that's about 1.002.
Since you are fermenting under airlock instead of in a towel-covered bucket, I would probably leave it for another week or so to see if it gets below .995.
I don't typically ferment under airlock, so maybe someone who does it that way has a better process.
I ferment in a towel-covered bucket and I don't put it under airlock until it's closer to done, usually .995 or lower. At that point, the purpose of my racking is twofold:
1) Get it off the gross lees (fruit solids)
2) Protect it from oxidation (although it's still offgassing CO2 at that point so it is somewhat protected)
Others like to get it under airlock sooner, such as when it hits 1.020 or so, and let it finish the fermentation under airlock.
So basically, you can do whatever you want.
If you rack it now, don't worry about getting the gross lees in the carboy. You need the yeast that's still in lees to help finish the fermentation process. Check the sg in another week or two, to see if it has gotten closer to .995 or lower, and think about racking again to get it off the gross lees at that point.
I agree, don't toss it.At this stage, if I use a wine thief to grab a sample for a gravity test, is it okay to put that sample back in (using santized equipment, of course) or do you typically discard that sample? Or consume it?
I’ve got a small orchard and have made a few batches of apple wine. I think the group provided all the advice you need, but I have one thing to add.
I found that the finished product while high in alcohol content lacked flavor and robustness. Our wine maker at the winery I work at suggested adding some frozen apple concentrate and then stabilizing it with potassium sorbate just before bottling. I just tried it to a batch I made last year and am happy with the results.
Sorbate does NOT kill yeast nor will it stop an active fermentation. Sorbate in conjunction with K-meta prevents a renewed fermentation, e.g., it's birth control for yeast. A common tactic for home winemakers is to ferment dry, stabilize with sorbate + K-meta, then backsweeten to taste.Do you happen to have any starting suggestions? Like a can per gallon or something like that? And I assume the potassium sorbate kills any yeast so fermentation doesn't start up again, or...? Thank you!
Follow the package directions for sorbate. The one available at my LHBS calls for 1/2 tsp per 1 US gallon. Do not overdose, e.g., add the indicated amount and never add more, as it can produce a geranium smell and flavor.For 6 gallons, can you tell me how much of each (Sorbate and K-meta) to stabilize? Do I want to do that now (before my first racking), or just before bottling?
I guess the same questions for back-sweetening...not now, but after racking and before bottling?
Testing my first wild ferment on oct 28 it started at 1.076 (garage ~50F); was at 1.047 on Nov 7 when the second Fermaid went in; and at 1.012 Nov 25 when it came inside and was put in glass with airlock. Today it has small bubbles rising on the neck of the carboy.Update on my batch--just completed day 8 of primary. At the peak, I was getting a bubble every 1-2 seconds. A few days ago, it slowed to 8-10 seconds, then 15, then 30, and so on. Today there is not noticeable movement in the airlock. I know that doesn’t necessarily mean primary fermentation is done, but is that a good indicator to test the gravity again? What am I looking for, and how many days do I leave it now before racking to secondary?
I usually go within a couple inches of the stopper. Wine will expand and contract as the temperature and barometric pressure change, so too close to the stopper may cause an overflow into the airlock.Attached pic below is how full I got it...is this acceptable?
Check the airlock weekly, adding more liquid as needed. If you see any evidence of growth, e.g., black specks or mold, remove the stopper and airlock, wash them well, sanitize, and replace. I'm in the habit of replacing airlocks monthly. I have a drawer full -- new stopper and airlock goes on the secondary, the old ones get washed and dried, and back in the drawer for next time.I added an airlock with fresh sanitizer. How often do I change the sanitizer or do I just keep it topped off?
Unless you're planning to bottle quickly, degassing is optional. Most of the time wines degas on their own over a 4 to 8 month period.Do I need to de-gas at certain intervals? Wait for clearing? What's next? Thank you, all!
Yes, I did a sample test on a quart until I liked it as I didn‘t what it too sweet. I ended up using 2 cans for 3g gallons. All depends on your taste as it does sweeten it up. Like everyone says, you have to taste it often!Do you happen to have any starting suggestions? Like a can per gallon or something like that? And I assume the potassium sorbate kills any yeast so fermentation doesn't start up again, or...? Thank you!
You have several options, one of which is to top the apple wine with a light tasting white wine. Keeping the wine in a 23 liter carboy has the advantage that you only have 1 container to mess with. After many years of messing with a plethora of small containers, I got lazy and just top up the carboy with a compatible wine.I have my apple wine in a 6-gallon carboy currently after racking it over from primary about 3 weeks ago. It’s starting to clear nicely, but I see about an inch of fine lees has now formed. Thinking about racking it into a 5 gallon. If I go that route, how can I store the excess for purpose of topping off the 5-gallon carboy? I assume I’ll have less than a gallon, so I don’t think an airlock on a 1-gallon carboy makes sense since it would have so much air on top…? Can I just put it in a screw cap wine bottle at room temp, or what is everyone’s process at this point?
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