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Sally Scheibner

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Love, it seems like that was the sort of list that brought me so muchconfusion in the begining!!

Now I just throw in some juice, sugar, and yeast. (Now I use wine yeast)

When the cats finally stop looking at the airlock, it's time to rack it off.

Back in the early days, my cat once watched an ailock for 5 days straight! No sleep or food, I would look over and she would be laying down with one eye open the whole time.

Some old winemakers may call me silly or drunk, but I am only telling you what I seen. maybe cats know something about this. If they do, they better start chipping in, cause so far it is starting to cost me alot of money for their amusement.
Troy
 

Sally Scheibner

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Still trying to figure this reply process out. Different every time?!! Love your cat’s reaction and fact there’s others out there starting out with the basics. My 5 gallon jug, oh, I meant carboy, has 7 cans of frozen grape juice with 4 lbs of sugar and wine yeast. My bubbler is doing its thang as I sit and watch, listen and in awe of the wonders of nature. Thanks
 

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I have read on another post that a person was 3 weeks into EM. What That be?
Not to throw a wrench into the terminology but I have done some reading which also uses the term Sur Lie Aging. As described they age the wine "on the lees". Basically meaning they rack the wine down to a fine sediment on the bottom and leave it there for anywhere from three months to up to one year. This also involves occasional stirring, as much as every week or so for three months. I have not done this yet as I am still starting out as well, but the benefit is said to be enhanced flavor and complex aromas, reduced astringency, increased roundness.
 
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@SeniorHobby, Extended Maceration and Sur Lie are completely different.

EM is keeping the pomace, which for kits may be a grape skin pack, in contact with the wine post-fermentation for as long as several months. The purpose is to extract more from the pomace.

Sur Lie is aging on the fine lees, which is yeast residue, not grape solids. The effects are completely different.
 

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@SeniorHobby, Extended Maceration and Sur Lie are completely different.

EM is keeping the pomace, which for kits may be a grape skin pack, in contact with the wine post-fermentation for as long as several months. The purpose is to extract more from the pomace.

Sur Lie is aging on the fine lees, which is yeast residue, not grape solids. The effects are completely different.
Great, I learned something new today. Like I said I am a beginner yet.
@SeniorHobby, Extended Maceration and Sur Lie are completely different.

EM is keeping the pomace, which for kits may be a grape skin pack, in contact with the wine post-fermentation for as long as several months. The purpose is to extract more from the pomace.

Sur Lie is aging on the fine lees, which is yeast residue, not grape solids. The effects are completely different.
 

oldwest

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A few other terms not seen:

Pomace, the solid materials left over from the fruit in winemaking or juicing. Such as the pulp in orange juice or spent fruit in a fruit sack left over after fermentation.

Racking, to transfer a liquid from one vessel to another. Normally done to remove the wine from the lees. Part of the clearing process.

I agree with Steve as well, you don't need a bucket stamped HDPE but do want a food grade product. You can use those gray Rubbermaid trash cans you see in commercial settings for fermenters. They are not stamped HDPE but are food grade and perfectly acceptable for a large fermenter. There was an article in either Winemaker or Brew Your Own magazine showing how to make one of these into a fermenter.
I have bought 4 gallon buckets with lids from Dairy Queen. $1.75 .They are food grade and DQ gets them with the syrup /juice they add to their treats ! I cut a round hole in the top and inserted an airlock in. Then taped the edge of the lid with duct tape..
 

Scooter68

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Step saving suggestion. If those buckets are for fermenting batches - Don't bother using the lid and an airlock. Bucket lids are notorious for leaking and that often leads to people thinking a ferment has stopped or never started because the airlock never bubbled or showed any signs of gassing off.
Better and easier plan is to tie a towel or a piece of tightly woven cloth (Like a piece of Muslin cloth or an old pillow case) over the top.
Remember that it's a good idea to stir a ferment once a day so if you tape that lid on you are creating a lot of extra work with no real gain for your trouble. Oxygen - Oxidation is not going to happen while a ferment is ongoing and even for at least a couple of days afterwards. The CO2 gas coming out of the ferment provides a protective blanket over the wine. The cloth is just to keep bugs and pets out.
 
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SeniorHobby

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Step saving suggestion. If those buckets are for fermenting batches - Don't bother using the lid and an airlock. Bucket lids are notorious for leaking and that often leads to people thinking a ferment has stopped or never started because the airlock never bubbled or showed any signs of gassing off.
Better and easier plan is to tie a towel or a piece of tightly woven cloth (Like a piece of Muslin cloth or an old pillow case) over the top.
Remember that it's a good idea to stir a ferment once a day so if you tape that lid on you are creating a lot of extra work with no real gain for your trouble. Oxygen - Oxidation is not going to happen while a ferment is ongoing and even for at least a couple of days afterwards. The CO2 gas coming out of the ferment provides a protective blanket over the wine. The cloth is just to keep bugs and pets out.
Thanks Scooter68, I am pitching my yeast today and was wondering if I should throw a towel over the top or leave the plastic lid with the airlock hole open as it ferments. I like the towel idea! No bugs or pests in Minnesota at this time of year so don't need to worry about that. So when my sp gr gets to about 1.00 and fermentation stops, then its time to get an airlock on it to keep from getting oxygen in?
 

Scooter68

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I'd use a towel or other clean cloth tied over the top.
Before racking to a carboy I normally look at 2-3 things:
1) SG at or below 1.010 +/- .005
2) Little to no significant foam on the surface
3) When stirred any foam generated dissipates pretty quickly.
THEN I would rack to a glass carboy and airlock it. Transfer slowly and stop when about 7/8 full and let it sit for 5-10 mins to see if significant foam builds up. That's the time when folks most often get that foam fountain issue. If no significant foam, finish racking and airlock it.
 

Jovimaple

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No bugs or pests in Minnesota at this time of year so don't need to worry about that.
Beware the pesky box elder bugs! We are still finding one every couple of days in our house (Twin Cities area). I refuse to share my wine with them so I cover the must with a towel.
 
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I usually just place the lid loosely on top with no airlock. I’ve had the foam reach the towel before. The towel is clean but not sanitized while the lid is. I just put something over the airlock hole to keep out invaders.
 

Scooter68

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Old Corker's point is well taken. Sanitize anything that might come in contact with your wine. On occasion I've dipped my bucket covers, made of unbleached Muslin cloth, into into a bowl of sanitizing solution, wrung it out and then tied it down over the bucket - even wet. What I like about a cloth cover is that you can tell if the foam gets high enough to touch the cloth. You should not lose any of the wine unless it REALLY FOAMS up there big time. If that happens you are using too small a bucket - I always try to have a bucket at least 1 gallon larger than my starting volume. Not against using a bucket lid just that If not snapped down those tiny fruit flies/gnats can still get in. I even find them in the airlocks of my wine aging in carboys. Sometimes more than a dozen of them. If you look at the holes on the top of an airlock those are small holes so that's why I would not rely on just laying a lid on the top of my wine fermenting.

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I usually use an old towel or tee shirt. Lay it across the top of the fermenter and place the lid over it not snapped down. Started doing it this way bout 10 years ago when my wife got a kitten. He was in to everything by setting the lid on top far as I know he never went for a swim in the wine. Arne.
 

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I'd use a towel or other clean cloth tied over the top.
Before racking to a carboy I normally look at 2-3 things:
1) SG at or below 1.010 +/- .005
2) Little to no significant foam on the surface
3) When stirred any foam generated dissipates pretty quickly.
THEN I would rack to a glass carboy and airlock it. Transfer slowly and stop when about 7/8 full and let it sit for 5-10 mins to see if significant foam builds up. That's the time when folks most often get that foam fountain issue. If no significant foam, finish racking and airlock it.
Thanks Scooter68
So what do you do if there is significant foam?
 

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Beware the pesky box elder bugs! We are still finding one every couple of days in our house (Twin Cities area). I refuse to share my wine with them so I cover the must with a towel.
Newer home, not too much of a problem so far! I was raised on a sand farm with many oak trees, now I am on a heavy clay soil farm, no oaks out here, but with soybean fields around here we do get the fun Asian Beatles aka lady bugs! I am about 2 hours West of the Twin Cities.
 

SeniorHobby

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Use a larger primary. While that is totally unhelpful to a batch in process, it's the best advice. I prefer the must volume to be no more than 75% of the primary's volume, to allow for a vigorous ferment.
I guess I meant if it foams that means its not done with the ferment so you just wait at that point, correct?
 
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I guess I meant if it foams that means its not done with the ferment so you just wait at that point, correct?
Not necessarily. Wine has the potential to foam any time there is CO2 in suspension, both during and after fermentation. IME, during fermentation foaming is a combination of yeast strain, how vigorous the fermentation is, the amount of solids, the amount of suspended CO2, temperature, and probably other factors.

Stirring and adding things (e.g., nutrient) to an active ferment can produce foaming as it causes the CO2 to be released. Paul (@sour_grapes) mentioned the proper term in a recent post, although I can't think of it at this moment, but essentially the powder gives the CO2 something to cling to and it comes out of suspension, producing potentially heavy foaming.

This will also happen with a post-ferment wine that hasn't been degassed.

If you use a large enough primary, the issue is eliminated. I ferment 23 liter kits in 7.9 gallon (29.9 liter) buckets, which is (IMO) the bare minimum size. I was going to purchase 10 or 12 gallon Brutes, but my local home supply store didn't have any small ones last time I looked. I ferment grapes (up to 180 lbs) and recent triple batches of kits in 32 gallon Brutes, which is overkill, but it eliminates overflow problem.

Always add things to a wine carefully, e.g., when adding nutrient, sprinkle a bit gently over the surface to see what happens. If it foams a lot, add in small amounts until done.
 

sour_grapes

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Stirring and adding things (e.g., nutrient) to an active ferment can produce foaming as it causes the CO2 to be released. Paul (@sour_grapes) mentioned the proper term in a recent post, although I can't think of it at this moment, but essentially the powder gives the CO2 something to cling to and it comes out of suspension, producing potentially heavy foaming.

The term is "nucleation sites."
 

SeniorHobby

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Not necessarily. Wine has the potential to foam any time there is CO2 in suspension, both during and after fermentation. IME, during fermentation foaming is a combination of yeast strain, how vigorous the fermentation is, the amount of solids, the amount of suspended CO2, temperature, and probably other factors.

Stirring and adding things (e.g., nutrient) to an active ferment can produce foaming as it causes the CO2 to be released. Paul (@sour_grapes) mentioned the proper term in a recent post, although I can't think of it at this moment, but essentially the powder gives the CO2 something to cling to and it comes out of suspension, producing potentially heavy foaming.

This will also happen with a post-ferment wine that hasn't been degassed.

If you use a large enough primary, the issue is eliminated. I ferment 23 liter kits in 7.9 gallon (29.9 liter) buckets, which is (IMO) the bare minimum size. I was going to purchase 10 or 12 gallon Brutes, but my local home supply store didn't have any small ones last time I looked. I ferment grapes (up to 180 lbs) and recent triple batches of kits in 32 gallon Brutes, which is overkill, but it eliminates overflow problem.

Always add things to a wine carefully, e.g., when adding nutrient, sprinkle a bit gently over the surface to see what happens. If it foams a lot, add in small amounts until done.
Thanks for the help, Still pretty new at this, haven't done a whole lot of nutrient addition after initial testing. I am just trying to get a fermentation complete without major mistakes! This whole degassing thing is interesting to me as a beginner. Can you completely Degas a wine through fermentation and get a somewhat successful wine without the use of a degassing machine?
On the subject of fermentation, is is a normal thing to stir the wine each day during fermentation?
Another subject, I have put my fruit in a cloth bag to add to the primary during fermentation. Is it common to leave the fruit in suspension then strain later? Still reading and learning!
 
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