Bottling from the carboy ...

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SusieMo

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Hello All!3.

I will be ready to bottle my 6 week wine on Sunday, August 2. We, however, are leaving town on August 3. Can I leave it in the carboy for the week that we will be away, and bottle it when I get home, or do I have to bottle it all that day? Or the day before, etc. (Aug 2 is actually 6 weeks plus, but I was 2 days late putting in the packages ... because I needed guidance from the winemaking store and they were closed--and I had not yet discovered this site, so technically I could bottle July 31) Advice for the newbie?
 

KCCam

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Leave it. Make sure the air lock has liquid in it. Some people will leave it age for months, or years like that (bulk aging), with racking and sulfite additions every 3 months or so.
 

KCCam

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Hello All!3.

I will be ready to bottle my 6 week wine on Sunday, August 2. We, however, are leaving town on August 3. Can I leave it in the carboy for the week that we will be away, and bottle it when I get home, or do I have to bottle it all that day? Or the day before, etc. (Aug 2 is actually 6 weeks plus, but I was 2 days late putting in the packages ... because I needed guidance from the winemaking store and they were closed--and I had not yet discovered this site, so technically I could bottle July 31) Advice for the newbie?
Also, I know kits try to tell you to do such and such on day such and such, but there is always a “but” or “unless” there as well. Wine-making depends completely on the chemical reactions taking place amongst the infinite number of variables involved — not the calendar. Enjoy your week away, your wine will be there to welcome you home.
 

SusieMo

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Also, I know kits try to tell you to do such and such on day such and such, but there is always a “but” or “unless” there as well. Wine-making depends completely on the chemical reactions taking place amongst the infinite number of variables involved — not the calendar. Enjoy your week away, your wine will be there to welcome you home.
THANK YOU!! This site is going to be SO useful!!
 

KCCam

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Agreed. Most people here replying to posts are very, very knowledgeable. And happy to spend the time to help.
 

SusieMo

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I felt like I read something somewhere that suggested you had to get it OUT of the carboy when it was ready. This is excellent, and thank you all! I'll let everyone know how it tastes ... wow. I made wine!!
 

KCCam

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I felt like I read something somewhere that suggested you had to get it OUT of the carboy when it was ready. This is excellent, and thank you all! I'll let everyone know how it tastes ... wow. I made wine!!
Yes you did make wine! Wonderful feeling, eh? The only 2 reasons I can think of being in a rush to get wine out of the carboy are:
  1. So you can drink it,
  2. So you can put more stuff in there that you can drink later
😁
 

G259

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Also remember that you will probably have to sweeten the wine, depending on the final SG, and your preference. A little sweetening can make a huge impact on the fruitiness of your wine. Sweeten in SMALL steps! Also, clearing time is probably needed, so get others started fast, because we know that the first couple will be history fairly quickly! (Been There!)
 
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jgmann67

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I felt like I read something somewhere that suggested you had to get it OUT of the carboy when it was ready. This is excellent, and thank you all! I'll let everyone know how it tastes ... wow. I made wine!!
Welcome!!

Wine is ready for the bottle on its own schedule. By all means, taste your wine before bottling. If it tastes sharp or fizzy, chances are it’s still loaded with co2 (and at 6 weeks old, it probably is). Also, always always always bottle from a clean carboy. When your wine is ready, rack it, dose it with kmeta and then bottle it.
 

NorCal

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Hello All!3.

I will be ready to bottle my 6 week wine on Sunday, August 2. We, however, are leaving town on August 3. Can I leave it in the carboy for the week that we will be away, and bottle it when I get home, or do I have to bottle it all that day? Or the day before, etc. (Aug 2 is actually 6 weeks plus, but I was 2 days late putting in the packages ... because I needed guidance from the winemaking store and they were closed--and I had not yet discovered this site, so technically I could bottle July 31) Advice for the newbie?
The biggest reason the kit manufacturers tell you to bottle right away is so you will buy another kit. Let the wine age, your patience will be rewarded with a better tasting, more evolved wine.
 

SusieMo

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Welcome!!

Wine is ready for the bottle on its own schedule. By all means, taste your wine before bottling. If it tastes sharp or fizzy, chances are it’s still loaded with co2 (and at 6 weeks old, it probably is). Also, always always always bottle from a clean carboy. When your wine is ready, rack it, dose it with kmeta and then bottle it.
This sounds great, except for the part where I don't know what kmeta is! What is kmeta?
 

sour_grapes

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This sounds great, except for the part where I don't know what kmeta is! What is kmeta?
K-meta is potassium metabisulfite (K2S2O5). It is a source of sulfites that have two salubrious effects on your wine: it prevents microbial spoilage, and it scavenges oxygen to reduce oxidation. It is available as a pure powder, or pressed into tablet form called "Campden tablets." Your kit indubitably contained a sachet of it that they ask you to add at the end of the process.
 

SusieMo

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K-meta is potassium metabisulfite (K2S2O5). It is a source of sulfites that have two salubrious effects on your wine: it prevents microbial spoilage, and it scavenges oxygen to reduce oxidation. It is available as a pure powder, or pressed into tablet form called "Campden tablets." Your kit indubitably contained a sachet of it that they ask you to add at the end of the process.
Thank you! I didn't have a packet called kmeta, but I added sulfites at the end, so I'm assuming it's the same idea. Thanks!
 

sour_grapes

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Thank you! I didn't have a packet called kmeta, but I added sulfites at the end, so I'm assuming it's the same idea. Thanks!
More than same idea -- it is the same thing. "K-meta" is kind of a nickname. Your packet of sulfites was almost certainly potassium metabisulfite.
 

mainshipfred

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Susie, assuming this is your first wine and you want to reap the rewards you might want to buy a 5 or 3 gallon carboy. Rack to whichever you prefer, bulk age and bottle the rest. This way you will get 5 or 15 bottles of wine to drink right away and still have an empty carboy for another batch. However as others have hinted the longer you age it the better it will be.
 

KCCam

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More than same idea -- it is the same thing. "K-meta" is kind of a nickname. Your packet of sulfites was almost certainly potassium metabisulfite.
K is the abbreviation for Potassium on the Periodic Table. “Meta” is a lot quicker than typing out metabisulfite every time. So K-meta, Kmeta, and sometimes just meta all refer to exactly the same thing: Potassium Metabisulfite. The exception is that “meta” could also refer to Sodium Metabisulfite (or Na-meta), which has almost identical properties. The packages that come with kits usually spell out Potassium Metabisulfite.
 

KCCam

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Susie, assuming this is your first wine and you want to reap the rewards you might want to buy a 5 or 3 gallon carboy. Rack to whichever you prefer, bulk age and bottle the rest. This way you will get 5 or 15 bottles of wine to drink right away and still have an empty carboy for another batch. However as others have hinted the longer you age it the better it will be.
I like that idea too. You can never have too many carboys, especially a variety of sizes. I had to buy a 3 gallon for the ice-wine-style kit that I did, and it has come in handy since.
 

SusieMo

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Yes you did make wine! Wonderful feeling, eh? The only 2 reasons I can think of being in a rush to get wine out of the carboy are:
  1. So you can drink it,
  2. So you can put more stuff in there that you can drink later
😁
Yeah, turns out I didn't make wine. I made juice. 😢
 

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