Beginner Question - Possible Mess Up - Day 4

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Oct 5, 2009
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Hi! I started a blush kit (Vintners' Reserve) Thursday night. The directions did not say to use the airlock, but I did anyway because my husband makes beer, and he uses an airlock. I should've did more reading. Anyway, I had the lid tight, airlock on and it was bubbling away. I did some reading, and alot of literature said the wine needs O2, so I took the airlock off. It's day 4, I tested the SP, and it only change from the initial 1.85 to 1.80, and the kit says by day 5-7 it should be 1.01. Does this seem normal? Is there anyway to tell if I've messed it up? Thanks! :)

The air-lock is not important.

What is the temperature of room and wine?

I'm not sure, but...VR kits aren't made anymore. The yeast in the kit could be too old. You might want to pick up a fresh yeast packet and try that.

With kit wines, you really don't need to stir them like fruit wines. I normally just pitch the yeast and let it go for a few days. After 4 or 5 days it's usually ready to transfer to the secondary.

Peace...and welcome,
The temperature of the room is anywhere from 65/night and 70/day, and I did purchase the kit on clearance. The yeast did seem to be active when I added it - I added it to a small amount of water and it was active.
How old is the kit?
Did you add anything before adding the yeast?
I would add another packet of yeast and make a starter. Try stirring the must 1st and lay the lid on top. Making wine is a little different that making beer. I make both.
I'm not sure how old the kit was. It was on clearance though. I only added the bentonite and yeast as per the directions. I did stir it yesterday and today, it fizzes, but there isn't alot of bubbly residue (like when the beer ferments). It seems like a weak selter.
most wine yeasts do not ferment like the beer yeast. Give it time and it should be OK.
Hiya Deanna and welcome to the forum,

the only other thing I can add to this thread.... would be to test your hydrometer, just in case the paper has moved inside the glass.

Vintners Reserve kits are still made, they up graded from 7.7 liter to 10 liter awhile so maybe you saw a sale saying that was the end of that line. Deanna, you probably bought one of that last of the 7.5 liter kits. I would try and get the temp up a bit like to around 74* using a light bulb in a box or something (I use a Brew Belt in the winter with my carboys and primaries) to do this. Wine doesnt usually ferment like beer does. As far as the airlock goes I ferment my wine down in the basement where a cat also resides sometimes that will sit on anything so Ive been snapping the lid shut with airlock for many years and never had a problem doing so. If you stir it up really good when you start the kit there will be plenty of 02 in the wine for this small amount of yeast to thrive and opening it up after a few days gives it all the 02 it needs. You are probably getting a false reading with the hydrometer as all the C02 in the wine will hold the hydrometer up. Try drawing a sample out and while dropping the hydrometer in give it a good spin as that dissipated the C02 in the vial letting the hydro perform correctly. In case you are wondering about the previous statement with the calibration, what you do is test your hydro in a glass of water that is the temp of what your hydro is set for most are 66* I believe and when its in there it should go right to 1.000

Thanks everyone. I guess I'll just wait a few days and see how it goes. Should I leave the top loose so O2 can get in? And, to test the hydrometer, just put it in some water to see what it reads? Thanks.
Starting to see some lower SP's - ANOTHER QUESTION....

After I moved to wine to a room and turned on some heat, the SP finally seemed to have changed. I'm at 1.015 so I think I'm going to transfer to carboy soon. Now, another question. I used the siphon to grab a sample, now can I just rinse it well with superhot water before I use it again, or do I need to disinfect with metabisulfite?

If its still in the primary rack now.
Make a solution of k-meta and put in a spray bottle. Spray it inside and out on what you are gonna put in the wine. Hot water does nothing. You need to sanitize everything going into your wine.
Thanks Tom. I was just reading some other posts on sanitizing versus cleaning and saw the recommendation on the spray bottle. Now, for a SANITIZING solution, I have some campden tablets that came with the kit, and i bought a bottle of k-meta. Can you provide a ratio for the sanitizing solution? also, would this solution be used when I go to bottling? Thanks.

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