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ethanhaven25

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Well, I just started my first batch of basic welch's wine. First time EVER making wine. Seemed pretty simple. Then I downloaded this forum and OMG!!!! All of the information is so overwhelming!!!!! I feel like I did NOTHIG right!
 

Scooter68

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Don't panic. Just write down what you did do and post it here. There are lots of folks on here with years of experience and many went through similar panic attacks when they discovered a mistake or problem along the way.

Things you need to provide are:
Quantity of finished wine you are aiming for
What and how much you have put in your wine so far and in what order if you can remember.
Readings you took before and after you started. Including SG, pH or TA Temps and of course when and how you took the readings.
And what equipment you are using like a fermentation bucket or Carboy.

Hang in there don't panic We've all been there >>> :slp
 

Arne

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Typically the first batch is the one you stress over the most. Keep at it and after you get going you will settle down and enjoy winemaking more. Like Scooter said, let us know what you have been doing if you have any questions. And welcome to Winemaking talk. Arne.
 

ethanhaven25

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I didn't take any readings! Lol. I ordered a kit with a hydrometer and some other supplies. For now I just made a homemade airlock. I used a gallon mason jar and drilled a hole into the lid and inserted sterile rubber tubing in one end and placed the other end in water. I activated my yeast, added 3 cups sugar to a one gallon container of Welch's minus a few cups of juice, added some nutrient I made from boiling raisins in the juice I removed, shook vigorously, transferred to sanitized 1 gallon mason jar, added yeast and put sealed lid on. It started bubbling after about 2 hours and the water that the airlock is in has been bubbling like crazy for the past two days. I haven't messed with it. Just left it alone and let it do its thing. This is my "test run" before my carboy and real airlock and everything else arrive today!
 

ethanhaven25

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Oh and FTR, I have no freaking clue what degassing is! And I haven't done it, bc I don't know what it is! But I keep seeing it all over this forum ...
 

Hinermad

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Sounds like you're on the right track. You're learning one of the basic lessons of winemaking - patience. (grin)

Degassing isn't strictly necessary, but it does improve the wine's flavor by removing the harsh taste of dissolved CO2 left over from the fermentation. That comes after you've moved your wine into a carboy. You can stir it with a paddle or wire whisk to get it to fizz out, or you can attach a small vacuum pump to the carboy to extract the gas. (Which is really fun to watch!)
 

Scooter68

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Doing good - a homemade airlock !! Great. Well just be ready to be learning a lot over the course of the next 2-4 months AND BEYOND!
Step-by-step that's all you need to do. You will probably be surprised at how forgiving the process is. One thing to keep in mind is clean your hardware before and after use to keep out the nasty bacteria and spores that can frustrate you. Beyond that - ask all the questions you want.
And I understand the Degassing question. I first misread it as DAY GAS (Bad phonetic reading habit.) Any way that issue is down the line a bit. Your fermentation was letting off gas hence the airlock to let that happen while keeping out bugs and bacteria. Degassing later is justs setting free the gas hanging around in the wine giving it potentially bad flavors. If you rack about once every month or two until the wine is finished (normally about 6-12 months, the gas should be gone.)

The rest of the issues - like SG and pH you can deal with when that kit gets there. The SG is the first thing you will want to check to confirm you wine is finished fermenting. That the first and foremost thing to do when you get your kit. Let us know what the readings are and we are ready to help.
 

ethanhaven25

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I soaked all of my materials in a very diluted bleach water solution and then let air dry on a clean towel before I started the process. Hopefully that cleaned everything good. I have some campden tablets in my kit though. It just arrived!!!
 

Mismost

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chill out Ethan...you didn't take a SG, the sun will rise in the morning and the yeast don't even know what an SG is anyway. You will just not know where your wine is in the process or what the ABV level is when finished. No big deal, it's Welches grape juice we are talking about.

At this point the wine is going to be what it is going to be...relax and let the yeast do their thing. Take your time and let it work....that'll give you plenty of time to keep reading and learning.

FWIW....I did the exact same thing you did. Ethan, you'll never learn to swim if you don't get in the water! Welcome to the pool!
 

Johnd

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I soaked all of my materials in a very diluted bleach water solution and then let air dry on a clean towel before I started the process. Hopefully that cleaned everything good. I have some campden tablets in my kit though. It just arrived!!!
Get some cleaning and sanitizing chemicals made for winemaking. NO BLEACH in the winery!!!!
 

ethanhaven25

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Well I made 3 more batches of 3 different flavores. This time I took all reading before hand and labeled everything. Used the proper yeasts, sanitizer, etc. I'm so excited!!! My Uncle gave me some pointers and is bringing me a cyphen hose tomorrow and a couple other things he said I'd need. I can see this becoming an obsession very quickly!!! [emoji15]
 

drainsurgeon

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Well I made 3 more batches of 3 different flavores. This time I took all reading before hand and labeled everything. Used the proper yeasts, sanitizer, etc. I'm so excited!!! My Uncle gave me some pointers and is bringing me a cyphen hose tomorrow and a couple other things he said I'd need. I can see this becoming an obsession very quickly!!! [emoji15]
Sounds like you're hooked already!

By the way, don't get the bleach too close to the gas....:se

Just kiddin..but don't use bleach. Degassing is something that you will have to do after the primary ferment is complete. If you are patient, wine will de-gas by itself over time. Most people, myself included, will help it along by stirring with a whip and drill or splash racking with a vacuum pump.

Biggest thing is to relax and have fun. Wine really is forgiving. In fact, it rather likes being ignored...for months at a time!

You are lucky you found this site so early in your wine making hobby. There are many good folks here to help you with questions and before you know it, you'll be enjoying your first glass of homemade wine!

Welcome to WMT!
 

Scooter68

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I bought a 32 oz bottle of Star San for rinsing my carboys, fermentation buckets and bottles. For tools and other racking equipment I use OneStep (Bought a 1 lb bag of that) For treating my wine I use campden tablets because it's already premeasured for me. Nothing against the powder K-Meta - I just started with Campden tabs and have stayed with them. ( The more errors I read about over-dosing batches of wine the more I like my campden tabs )

These products are made for our wine making and won't foul the taste of your wine or require a lot of rinsing after using.
 
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ethanhaven25

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That is what I bought, the campden tablets through Amazon! Do I need to use them every time before I start a batch? I also have nutrient, energizer, and gelatin finings. [emoji15]
 

Scooter68

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Campden tablets are for killing the 'nasties' (Bacteria and wild yeast) on your fruit before you start fermentation (Wait at least 12-24 hours after adding them to your wine beforeyou add your yeast)
After the wine is finished fermenting (SG is at .995 or lower) you add the campden tablets to stop the fermentation. Then many folks use campden tablets once every other time they rack their wine.

One tablet per gallon. I crush them in a shot glass and dissolve with distilled water before adding to the wine.

There are a few other fine points of campden/Kmeta use but those are the basics.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi ethanhaven25. Sounds like you are well on your way. Campden tabs are useful if you are fermenting fruit or juice that you have collected or pressed. All fruit will have wild yeast on it and the Campden tabs (active ingredient is Potassium meta-biSulfite) will inhibit their growth long enough for the large dose of yeast culture that you inoculate the must (the juice) with. When you buy commercially pressed juices (at least in NY State) those pressing the juice must ensure that the juice is free of e-coli so they UV pasteurize the juice (the light does not cook the juice, but it does kill pathogens), so any juice that has been pasteurized does not in fact need any Campden tabs. There are no wild yeasts or mold in the juice. That said, Campden tabs do have another benefit and that is that the free sulfur dioxide that they produce binds to any oxygen and so inhibits oxidation when you age the wine. Oxidation (the scientific term for rust when the rust is not on a hard metal surface) results in a discolored wine and a wine whose flavor changes - often in ways that many people don't like. So, many wine makers dissolve the equivalent of one Campden tablet in a little water and add that solution to every gallon of wine each time they rack (transfer) the wine from one carboy or container to another (say, every two or three months). (Ha! I just saw that Scooter said the same thing! ).
 

Mismost

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That is what I bought, the campden tablets through Amazon! Do I need to use them every time before I start a batch? I also have nutrient, energizer, and gelatin finings. [emoji15]
Ethan...if you are using bottled juices, you should not have to use camden tablets...they were sterilized when bottled, they should be good to go.

Now, if you're using fresh fruits or juices, I would use camden tablets...dose, wait 24 hours, then pitch the yeast. I also keep a five gallon jug of water that I dosed with camden tablets...just in case I need more liquid (more for beer than wines, but it has come in handy).
 

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