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Balloon airlock and CO²

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bigorange82

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Im making my first batch of wine ever, and it's the second day of fermentation, but my balloon airlock isn't inflating. I do see little bubbles rising in the water though, and theres also foam building up in the small space left of air..

Can anyone tell me if this is a bad sign that I only see bubbles and the balloon isnt inflating?
 

cpfan

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I am not a balloon user, but I believe that you need to exhibit some patience.

Steve
 

bigorange82

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Alright then, Ill just leave it be. I also forgot to mention I'm using bread yeast that was fairly old, if that makes a difference.
 

cpfan

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The fairly old might make a difference. I also don't know how quickly bread yeast will get going versus wine yeast. I guess I should ask a couple of other questions.

What is your recipe?

What is the temperature?

Steve
 

bigorange82

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Im using

3.5 cups sugar
14 cups sterilized water
1 packaged of activated yeast to make up for the possibly dead yeast

Temps around 75°F
 

cpfan

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I guess I'm confused. That's not a wine recipe. It's a fermented sugar recipe.

The yeast needs certain nutrients to ferment well. These are conveniently found in grapes but not necessarily other fruit, and definitely not sugar. That would appear to be missing.

Steve
 

bigorange82

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Well since this is my first try, I figured I wouldn't risk wasting a bunch of juice. I definitely plan on using grape juice concentrate next time.

The guide I followed said this will still produce alcohol.. Im planing on mixing it with perhaps Koolaid for some flavor.
 

bigorange82

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My balloon still hasnt inflated.. the guide I followed said this is bad.. I did however pokes 5-6 holes in the balloon, and left fairly little air space in the jug..

Bubble production has increased dramatically, and foam seems to be stay at the same level
 

petes

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Scratching thru my memory banks here - I seem to recall almost busting a gut to inflate party balloons long time back.
Seems a bit of a stretch to expect a big uprising with what you have. Think the bubbles indicate ferment is happening but it's a bit like watching grass grow.
Seeing as you're going the juice way next time, invest in an airlock or three, too. :D
 

Luc

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I do not see the location where you are living.

If you have it in stock add some nutrients if not
see if you can get some Marmite in the grocery
shop. Add a teaspoon of that.
Marmite is not the ideal substitute for
nutrient but by the lack of better it can be used.

I also do not see any acid in the recipe.
Without acid the yeast will produce a very nasty
drink. So add some lemon juice or real citric/malic or
tartaric acid.

Nevertheless I think it will ferment but produce
an undrinkable fluid.

I wonder why you did not use apple juice.
It costs next to nothing and produces good
results.

Luc
 
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bigorange82

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I do not see the location where you are living.

If you have it in stock add some nutrients if not
see if you can get some Marmite in the grocery
shop. Add a teaspoon of that.
Marmite is not the ideal substitute for
nutrient but by the lack of better it can be used.

I also do not see any acid in the recipe.
Without acid the yeast will produce a very nasty
drink. So add some lemon juice or real citric/malic or
tartaric acid.

Nevertheless I think it will ferment but produce
an undrinkable fluid.

I wonder why you did not use apple juice.
It costs next to nothing and produces good
results.

Luc
Good tips, I'l have to try those out with my next juice batch.

My location is Washington state in USA.

Flavor and taste aren't a huge goal of this first experiment of mine, but rather just the simple process of fermentation.

Scratching thru my memory banks here - I seem to recall almost busting a gut to inflate party balloons long time back.
Seems a bit of a stretch to expect a big uprising with what you have. Think the bubbles indicate ferment is happening but it's a bit like watching grass grow.
Seeing as you're going the juice way next time, invest in an airlock or three, too.
I plan on at least using tubing in to a glass of water for an airlock next time, and eventually purchasing a quality airlock down the road.
 

TheTooth

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Airlocks are what, a buck each?
http://morebeer.com/view_product/16598//Airlock_-_3_Piece
I wouldn't call that an investment. You'll probably spend more on the tubing. lol

From what you have described, you have fermented sugar water into alcohol. I wouldn't try drinking it, though, unless you just like bad tasting drinks. Kool-aid isn't going to save that. Just go pick up a bottle of apple juice, add yeast, and enjoy a hard cider. Cheap and easy.

P.S. Please don't read this post as insulting. It wasn't intended as such. Just wanted to let you know what to expect. :)
 

cpfan

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Folks looking for a simple first wine might like to check out the following thread...

http://www.winesathome.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=1562

I am an experienced kit wine maker but haven't done anything with fruits. I have my first gallon of these fermenting at the moment. Apple juice & grape juice from the grocery store.

Tooth: many people try to start out wine making "on the cheap". I used to run a store and people would spend more time and money trying to figure out a solution than the real item would cost, partly because they don't know what they need and how much it will cost.

Steve
 

bigorange82

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Airlocks are what, a buck each?
http://morebeer.com/view_product/16598//Airlock_-_3_Piece
I wouldn't call that an investment. You'll probably spend more on the tubing. lol

From what you have described, you have fermented sugar water into alcohol. I wouldn't try drinking it, though, unless you just like bad tasting drinks. Kool-aid isn't going to save that. Just go pick up a bottle of apple juice, add yeast, and enjoy a hard cider. Cheap and easy.

P.S. Please don't read this post as insulting. It wasn't intended as such. Just wanted to let you know what to expect. :)
No I didn't take that as insulting but rather insightful. As far as drinking bad tasting things go.. I would drink vanilla extract when I was a teen, so should I choose to drink it, it should be a breeze. I just want to be sure it won't cause bodily harm.

Folks looking for a simple first wine might like to check out the following thread...

http://www.winesathome.co.uk/forum/s...ead.php?t=1562

I am an experienced kit wine maker but haven't done anything with fruits. I have my first gallon of these fermenting at the moment. Apple juice & grape juice from the grocery store.

Tooth: many people try to start out wine making "on the cheap". I used to run a store and people would spend more time and money trying to figure out a solution than the real item would cost, partly because they don't know what they need and how much it will cost.

Steve
Good link. I may look in to a kit, because I don't know where exactly to get wine yeast, but from what I've read they're a little spendy.
 

cpfan

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Good link. I may look in to a kit, because I don't know where exactly to get wine yeast, but from what I've read they're a little spendy.
I just bought some different yeasts - $1 at one store, $1.25 at another. For Americans its the shipping on a couple of packages of yeast that is the killer. Just saw one on eBay that is $1 per package plus $5.50 shipping, and the expiry date isn't listed.

There are a number of home brew shops (HBS) in Wash state. The one in Spokane is more beer oriented but I'm sure they sell yeast and air locks. :p

Steve
 

petes

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For easy brewing, google up 'Edworts Apfelwein'. Be hard to surpass as a failsafe way to get a hit; you'd have to like cider tho.
For hardware you'll need a fermenter and airlock, software - applejuice, must contain no preservatives, dextrose (or corn sugar you may know it as) and a packet of yeast. ;)
 

TheTooth

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No I didn't take that as insulting but rather insightful. As far as drinking bad tasting things go.. I would drink vanilla extract when I was a teen, so should I choose to drink it, it should be a breeze. I just want to be sure it won't cause bodily harm.
Cool. Hard to know what context your posts will be taken in sometimes, so I wanted to make sure it didn't come out like I was flaming you. :)

Vanilla extract, huh? That's an interesting drink of choice. LOL

Your sugar-fire-water shouldn't cause any bodily harm. You pretty much have to get into distilling before you can really hurt yourself with an improperly made fermented beverage. That's a nice thing with this hobby. If you screw up and get an infection in your beverage, it will ruin the taste but not hurt you.
 

TheTooth

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Good link. I may look in to a kit, because I don't know where exactly to get wine yeast, but from what I've read they're a little spendy.
"Spendy" means different things to different people. I can't say what that is for you, so I'll just give you a rough price of an inexpensive kit:

I've seen a lot of wine kits offered in the $60-$70 range (http://www.austinhomebrew.com/index.php?cPath=178_453_592_594). Those will make 6 gallons... which is about 30 bottles... which means about $2/bottle. They include all of the "raw materials" you need to make the wine. Yeast, sorbates, instructions, etc...

Honestly, though, that $60 kit can likely cost you $160 when you take into account equipment you may not have (carboy, tubing, corker, corks, bottles, buckets, etc...) (equipment kit is about $100 online - http://morewinemaking.com/view_product/19378/102824/Personal_Winery_Equipment_Kit). Some of this stuff you may already have or can easily get (most people can find bottles, for instance), but some you may need to get. Then, once you have all that stuff, you don't have to buy that anymore. So worst case, it'll cost you $5-$6/bottle for your first kit if you need to buy a bunch of stuff. After that, it'll be ~$2/bottle for future batches from those kits.
 

TheTooth

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Tooth: many people try to start out wine making "on the cheap". I used to run a store and people would spend more time and money trying to figure out a solution than the real item would cost, partly because they don't know what they need and how much it will cost.
You are right about that. There isn't nearly as much info out there as there is for beer. I can go down to my local homebrew shop and sign up for beer-making classes. There is no such thing for wine... at least not locally for me. Winemaking has thus far been far more intimidating for me because of that, yet as I learn more about it I think it's actually easier to make than beer.
 

cpfan

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I was lucky starting out, in that I was livng near a shop run by an excellent & informative person with some great staff. I bought an equipment starter package and wine kit from this store, and picked their brains regularly.

Having such a great resource sure made my initial wine-making steps easier.

Steve

(BTW, this fall, I had the pleasure of being back in that store after a 7 year absence and once more had a great discussion with Don. One of his store's competitors is now run by my then partner in wine making. So in effect, he trained his competition.)
 
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