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Don N

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So I purchased a bucket of cabernet wine juice from a local distributor. He went over some of the process with me but like any newbie forgot some things. As per instructions he said leave in the bucket. After bringing up to 65-70 degrees he said give a good stir to get everything off the bottom and mixed well. After it settles add the yeast slurry cover and don't touch for 6-8 weeks while maintaining the same temperature. Then rack the wine into a carboy and leave for another few months.

1. Do these instructions seem right?

2. Do I stir the bucket 1st and wait for it to settle or add the yeast and wait before stirring. I read 2 articles seems confusing.

3. After cleaning and I start to sanitize my utensils do I mix the Potassium Metabisulfite with hot water ?
 

sour_grapes

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The timing is not right.

Mixing it up sounds fine, and yes, you can do that before pitching the yeast on top. (I am assuming here that you are not planning to rehydrate the yeast, which is fine IMHO.)

However, you should not wait 6-8 weeks with the wine in the bucket. In fact, you should NOT go by time at all. Rather, you should measure the specific gravity (SG) with a hydrometer (available for ~$7 at your LHBS or Amazon). You should record the SG before pitching yeast. (It should be 1.090 or so.) When the SG drops to ~1.000 to 1.005, you should then transfer the wine to a carboy and add an airlock. The SG should take about 6 to 8 DAYS to drop that much (or perhaps a bit longer).
 

Don N

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The timing is not right.

Mixing it up sounds fine, and yes, you can do that before pitching the yeast on top. (I am assuming here that you are not planning to rehydrate the yeast, which is fine IMHO.)

However, you should not wait 6-8 weeks with the wine in the bucket. In fact, you should NOT go by time at all. Rather, you should measure the specific gravity (SG) with a hydrometer (available for ~$7 at your LHBS or Amazon). You should record the SG before pitching yeast. (It should be 1.090 or so.) When the SG drops to ~1.000 to 1.005, you should then transfer the wine to a carboy and add an airlock. The SG should take about 6 to 8 DAYS to drop that much (or perhaps a bit longer).
I was told to make a slurry with the yeast and pour in. I was not sure as to the stirring. If I should wait until it settles. Then add the yeast slurry. As for the hydrometer I do have one and plan on doing what you said and test before the yeast.

What is the difference of leaving it in the bucket for several weeks compared to transferring to the carboy?

The sanitizing or the utensils Can I mix the potassium metabisulfite and sanitize it with that letting it drip dry?

Thanks for the help and advise.
Don
 

sour_grapes

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If you rehydrate the yeast, just carefully follow the directions on the back of the package. It will not make any difference if you wait after stirring or not.

The problem with leaving the wine in the bucket for that long is the danger of oxidation and contamination. In particular, there are bacteria that can convert alcohol to acetic acid (vinegar), but they need oxygen to do so. You want to transfer to a carboy, eliminate most of the "headspace" above the wine, and put it under airlock.

MoreWine! has a couple of nice manuals that you could peruse: https://morewinemaking.com/content/winemanuals
 

Don N

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If you rehydrate the yeast, just carefully follow the directions on the back of the package. It will not make any difference if you wait after stirring or not.

The problem with leaving the wine in the bucket for that long is the danger of oxidation and contamination. In particular, there are bacteria that can convert alcohol to acetic acid (vinegar), but they need oxygen to do so. You want to transfer to a carboy, eliminate most of the "headspace" above the wine, and put it under airlock.

MoreWine! has a couple of nice manuals that you could peruse: https://morewinemaking.com/content/winemanuals

Okay that makes sense. The bucket does have a air valve on it. But I do have a couple carboys so I will transfer it over at the appropriate time and level.

Now for the important part. Sanitizing the utensils the gave me Potassium Metabisulfite. Do clean the utensils then rinse the with this and let them drip dry? Or just use a spray bottle and spray them ?
 

sour_grapes

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Drip dry. It doesn't really make sense to rinse (although you would be fine if you did). As you suggest, I have a spray bottle handy, which is best for unwieldy items.
 
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