Apple Wine -- First Ever Wine Attempt

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J-Dewey_1980

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HR1.JPG So as near as I can tell, my reading was about where the red line is. Is that to be read as 1.002? If so, what do you recommend? If it stays at this reading for a couple more days, okay to rack to carboy, or...?
 

Jovimaple

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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 if you get a lot of 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.
 
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Jovimaple

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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.
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. 😁
 

jackl

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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.
 
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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 agree, don't toss it.

However, keep in mind that you are responsible for quality control, so taste testing is a required duty.

If you notice the carboy is half empty, you may want to reduce the sample size. ;)
 

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