Can you add more water to must

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montrealweb

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I bought 23L kit of Pinot Grigio, but only have a 20L pale. Fermentation has started and SG @ 8.
Can i add 3L of water now or after fermentation to achieve mt total 23L? Or leave as is.

Thank you
Dom
 

sour_grapes

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Can you clarify what you mean by "SG @ 8"? I don't understand what scale you are using. Brix? How long has it been fermenting?

What is the volume of the must now? Obviously, you cannot add 3 L if it is still in a 20 L pail.

In principle, you can add water later to make it 23 L at the end. However, it may be a difficult fermentation.
 

montrealweb

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Brix is at 8. My pail is a 20L. Fermenting for 5 days now. I'm thinking fermentation will finish in 2 more days.

Thank you.
 

winemaker81

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If you have 20 liters in a 20 liter pail, it's full to the brim. This is risky, as even a mildly vigorous fermentation can overflow the bucket. If you're going to make kits, you need a bucket that's at least 25 liters, preferably larger to allow for vigorous fermentations. Plus if you have to move the bucket, you're far less likely to spill some.

23 liter kits are designed to be reconstituted to 23 liters. Altering the volume alters the balance, especially initial gravity. Yeast cannot thrive in very high sugar environments, so you can produce a must that is too rich to get a fermentation going.

How are you going to add more water, if you only have a 20 liter bucket?

Regarding scale, once the wine has started, use specific gravity as the scale and use 3 significant digits to the right of the decimal, e.g., 1.050. This helps eliminate confusion when folks are trying to help you.
 

Jim Welch

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If you don’t have a hydrometer Morewine has a handy spreadsheet one can download where you plug in the OG in Brix and later Brix measurements and it converts to 1.xxx SG readings. I find it to be very accurate and now don’t bother with my hydrometer until the spreadsheet indicates a gravity <1.000.
of course one needs a spreadsheet program such as Excel to use it.
 

Rice_Guy

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* yes you can add water later, wine is forgiving. My bias would be to rack it to a five gallon (19 liter) and just use water for any topping off, ,,, or rack to a six gallon and use water at the first time for topping off.
* you have a second option today, you could split the must into two five gallon pails or a combination as five and two gallon stock pot (do not use aluminum/ acids eat them).

If the kit uses 1118 yeast it will tolerate higher alcohol and could be finished off as a high alcohol wine to dryness.
 

winemaker81

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Dom, I'm guessing you may be having a bit of trouble figuring out what winemaking terms to use. If so, don't worry about it, as you'll learn as you progress with this kit. If someone uses a term you are not familiar with, I suggest you search on it. If that doesn't help, or if you are unsure, ask questions. We'll cheerfully answer.

It looks like the volume in the pail is a lot less than 20 liters, if the pail has a total volume of 20 liters. Do you know the volume of the liquid in the pail?

Did you record the original SG or brix, from before you pitched the yeast? This helps us figure out the current ABV and guess the final ABV. The hydrometer appears to read 1.020, so fermentation is closer to ending, which is typically when the SG is 0.998 or lower. [My previous comment about a high brix must inhibiting fermentation from starting is obviously not a problem in your case, although some folks experience it.]

Do you have a 23 liter carboy? If so, proceeding from here is easy. I suggest you add 2 liters of water to the empty carboy and mark the water level with a grease pencil or masking tape. Keep doing this, adding 2 liters at a time and marking the level, until the carboy is full. Then empty the water out.

Give the wine another couple of days, then rack the wine into the carboy. Tilt the carboy at an angle so you get most of the wine out -- don't worry if during this racking you suck up some sediment. It will be eliminating in future rackings.

Compare the wine level to the markings to determine how much wine you have.

The kit is a 23 liter kit, so the juice/concentrate bag is intended to be reconstituted to 23 liters total. Typically 1 liter of volume is lost in the first racking, so the intended total after racking is probably 22 liters. You can add water to the 21 or 22 liter fill mark, which should restore the wine to the intended reconstitution level.

Insert the drilled stopper and airlock into the carboy and let it rest another 7 to 14 days for fermentation to complete.
 

sour_grapes

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Wait! Don't add any water until we figure something out.

What makes you think that this should make 23 L? Are you sure it is not a 20L wine bucket? I.e., that it is intended to make 20L of wine?

The starting SG is consistent with that. And the labeling on the bucket that we can see is also consistent with that. Are there directions in addition?

Or are you just using an old bucket that you had with a 23L kit?
 

montrealweb

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Sorry, don't look at the bucket, this is an old 20L bucket i used.
The instructions say to use a total of concentrate and water to reach 23L.
 

cmason1957

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How did you decide when to stop adding water in your 20L bucket?? Usually you fill until the lip nearer the top, but the starting SG seems about right. If you were over 3 L short, I would expect the SG to have been higher to start. I'll run it through some numbers to verify that.

So, I assumed that target SG would be 1.090 and initial was 1.095, with an initial volume of 20 L, expected volume of 23L. I get that to end up with that you will need to add 2.7 Liters of water and approximately a pound of sugar.

All those numbers come from, they also have an app to download to your phone.
FermCalc JS
 
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sour_grapes

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Just taking the numbers at face value: If you take 20L of liquid at 1.095, and you add 3 L of water to it, you get SG = 1.082. This is a bit low, but not unreasonable. It would correspond to a ABV of ~11.4%.
 
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montrealweb

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Fermentation has stopped, SG = 1.090 .
Can i add 3L of water and a pound of sugar now? or just water?
 

montrealweb

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SG = .999

cmason1957 wrote:
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So, I assumed that target SG would be 1.090 and initial was 1.095, with an initial volume of 20 L, expected volume of 23L. I get that to end up with that you will need to add 2.7 Liters of water and approximately a pound of sugar.
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