Beginning a new batch

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Chuck E

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Checked SG last night...1.000 in one bucket and 1.002 in the other. The higher one is still bubbling slightly. Will continue to check it over the next few days and wait for it to stop bubbling. It has been 8 days today since I began this batch. I want a sweeter wine, so I assume back sweetening is the best way to do that closer to bottling time, correct?
Yes, That is the best way to do it.
 

Scooter68

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This the blackberry correct?
If so... Yes, you could actually rack the wines into a carboy now just go slow and watch for any sudden foaming activity. To be safe hold off on filling the carboys - leave about 3-4 inches at the top. Don't add any K-Meta yet, let the fermentation finish completely. At this point when the SG reading that holds steady for 3 days or longer consider the fermentation over.

From that first racking (From bucket to carboy) you can take the additional and put that in a smaller glass container chill that down to separate the lees out of it. That last amount, coming from the bottom of the bucket will have more lees so that's why I suggest a separate glass container and chilling it down. The chilling will also dramatically slow the fermentation or stall it. Then when it's been in the fridge a day or two - then you can top off that carboy and leave about 1" of space from your airlock.

At 8 days in things are winding down based on time and more importantly the SG reading - that's why I recommend racking now - to add protection via airlock now that the CO2 blanket is thinning out.

As far as back-sweetening, yes, blackberry needs a little to bring back the flavor, how much is up to you. Best to wait until just before bottling to do that. Let time take off the sharpness and allow all the excess CO2 to gas out of the wine. Blackberry should be aged at least 6-9 months. Even longer if you can be patient - You will see the difference. Also since you started with 8 gallons I think ?? you can also do a shorter bulk aging for part of if and longer bulk aging for the rest. That way you can enjoy some sooner and decide if you hit the right amount of back-sweetening.
 

Sunshine Wine

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This the blackberry correct?
If so... Yes, you could actually rack the wines into a carboy now just go slow and watch for any sudden foaming activity. To be safe hold off on filling the carboys - leave about 3-4 inches at the top. Don't add any K-Meta yet, let the fermentation finish completely. At this point when the SG reading that holds steady for 3 days or longer consider the fermentation over.

From that first racking (From bucket to carboy) you can take the additional and put that in a smaller glass container chill that down to separate the lees out of it. That last amount, coming from the bottom of the bucket will have more lees so that's why I suggest a separate glass container and chilling it down. The chilling will also dramatically slow the fermentation or stall it. Then when it's been in the fridge a day or two - then you can top off that carboy and leave about 1" of space from your airlock.

At 8 days in things are winding down based on time and more importantly the SG reading - that's why I recommend racking now - to add protection via airlock now that the CO2 blanket is thinning out.

As far as back-sweetening, yes, blackberry needs a little to bring back the flavor, how much is up to you. Best to wait until just before bottling to do that. Let time take off the sharpness and allow all the excess CO2 to gas out of the wine. Blackberry should be aged at least 6-9 months. Even longer if you can be patient - You will see the difference. Also since you started with 8 gallons I think ?? you can also do a shorter bulk aging for part of if and longer bulk aging for the rest. That way you can enjoy some sooner and decide if you hit the right amount of back-sweetening.
Awesome! Thanks so much for the advice and time to help me! And yes, this is the 8 gallons of blackberry.
 

Scooter68

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If you have a 5 gallon carboy and a couple of 1 gallon carboy sI imagine that will work out. That 8 will probably drop to at best 7 - 7-1/2 gallons with the initial sediment losses. Get some spare glass containers. I've found 12 and 16 oz used Kombucha (sp?) bottles that standard airlocks and drilled bungs work on so the little extra amounts can be airlocked and saved for topping off after the next racking.
Sounds like another successful start to wine making.
 

Sunshine Wine

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If you have a 5 gallon carboy and a couple of 1 gallon carboy sI imagine that will work out. That 8 will probably drop to at best 7 - 7-1/2 gallons with the initial sediment losses. Get some spare glass containers. I've found 12 and 16 oz used Kombucha (sp?) bottles that standard airlocks and drilled bungs work on so the little extra amounts can be airlocked and saved for topping off after the next racking.
Sounds like another successful start to wine making.
I have a 6 gallon carboy and 2 more 1 gallon demijohns, so I am sure I will be good to go. I have an extra refrigerator in the garage, so I can put the extra in there. I sealed the buckets with airlocks for now. Will check SG and rack to the carboy and demijohn in the next day or two. Thanks!
 

Sunshine Wine

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Finally got around to racking my new batch! As you can see, there are 7 and a half gallons. SG stands at exactly 1.000. I plan to put the gallon demijohns in the refrigerator for a couple weeks and re-rack and add k-meta then. One question...should I wrap the 6 gallon carboy to keep it "in the dark"?
 

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Scooter68

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Just avoid having it in direct sunlight. A closet or a cover over it should do fine - I'd be focused on keeping it at a constant temp for however long you intend to age it. Hint - Try to find some smaller containers for that partial container and if it won't all fit - perhaps a little taste testing might be in order. Just keep in mind at this point it will be a bit on the sharp/biting side.
 

Sunshine Wine

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Just avoid having it in direct sunlight. A closet or a cover over it should do fine - I'd be focused on keeping it at a constant temp for however long you intend to age it. Hint - Try to find some smaller containers for that partial container and if it won't all fit - perhaps a little taste testing might be in order. Just keep in mind at this point it will be a bit on the sharp/biting side.
That partial container is only for topping off the other two once I rack again in 2 weeks. It has some sediment in it, so am just letting it settle for that reason. Still, might taste test after next rack! Just to see...
 

Scooter68

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Got it. If you can put in a smaller container that will help protect it - even if it's in a wide mouth quart jar with a good lid on it. No gas build up will happen once it's in the fridge and it will settle out faster too.
 

Sunshine Wine

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Got it. If you can put in a smaller container that will help protect it - even if it's in a wide mouth quart jar with a good lid on it. No gas build up will happen once it's in the fridge and it will settle out faster too.
Thanks, will do!
 

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