Did I screw things right off the bat?

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

donkeyface

Junior
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Hi there, proud owner of a new basic kit. Have yet to meet anyone who hates this hobby so I thought I'd give it a try. Here's what I did, trying for a fruity red:

1) Sanitized the hell out of everything used in the next steps
2a) Dumped in six gallons of grape juice into the primary fermentor
2b) Put 1 packet of LAlvin 71B-1122 wine yeast into about a cup of simple syrup and let it get slightly bubbly.
3) Put 1/4 tsp sodium metabisulfite into the primary.
4) Stirred about five minutes.
5) Put in about 2 pounds of sugar, stirred to dissolve.

Did I screw things here? ---> 6) Immediately put yeast in fermentor,

I guess my concern is that I put in the metabisulfite, then less than a few minutes later, put in the yeast....did I effectively kill off the yeast? Should I have waited?

I should mention this is barely day 2 in the primary, so I'm guessing things are salvageable. This noob appreciates the advice.
 

Tom

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
11,356
Reaction score
99
yes it looks like you did
It seams like you added the yeast right after adding the sulfite (you should wait 12-24hrs before adding yeast). Good chance you killed the yeast
On adding the yeast to simple syrup.. That may be bad also depending on how strong it was. Wait a day and hopefully you have another yeast packet.
Why did you add another 2# of sugar?
What was the gravity?
Was this fresh wine juice?
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
59
We can probably salvage it, but as Tom said we need more info.

What you should have did, based on what you said:

Put juice into the fermentor. Take an SG(specific gravity) of the juice itself to see how much sugar was in the juice. From there, pour some of the juice into a large pan, get it warm and dissolve as much sugar as you need to bring the SG to where you want. Pour this into the "must", stir it and take a reading. Only you know, because we don't, what you were aiming for as final alcohol.

Then you add the sulfite and allow it to sit.

Then you rehydrate your yeast in warm water and add it.

Couple more things involved, but that is the down low basics.

Do you have a hydrometer? If not, go get one tommorrow. The "must" will be okay for a day or so, but we need to get you going.

Like Tom asked was this a kit, store juice, frozen concentrate, etc.

Fill us in DF, give us details, and we will alltry to help.

Troy
 

robie

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
6,465
Reaction score
204
This forum can help you.
If I were you, I would find a recipe I really like and I would follow it completely. Next, I would also find STEP-BY-STEP instructions as to exactly how to make that wine - ferment, stabilize, clarify and age.

Seems like you are either guessing or you are randomly trying things. You can never be successful this way... trust me!

Lots of folks on here can help you, but you should ask "first". So, if you don't know what to do next, always ask. (first).
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
59
Don't sweat it too hard DF, I am sure we can get this going for you.
 

Tom

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
11,356
Reaction score
99
robie
Truer word were never spoken..
I like your "1ST"
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
59
In the same thought. I can't remeber how many people DO see a recipe, never tried it before, tweak it and then ask why and what went wrong.

I am confidant though we might be able to help DF out. Than off to the corner along with our pal Nikki!!!!LOL

Sorry Nikki, couldn't resist.
 

jeepingchick

**Domestic Goddess**
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
1,059
Reaction score
0
BAH! no corner for me this week!!! i done read all my directions and caught up with the cran LOL!!!

good luck DF im sure u can save it!!!
 

myakkagldwngr

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
785
Reaction score
4
First welcome to a great forum and group of people.
Yep, the information you get from these guys, and girls will really help you along.
I also say don't take their playful jabbing seriously. Sometimes when you're new, some of their comments might seem harsh, but they are just helping.
When they know something is wrong, they will tell you and how to make it right if it can be made right and if it's not possible, they will tell you that too.
I just wish there was a button on the computer where you pushed to get a sample of some of there wines.
 

donkeyface

Junior
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Wow, thanks so much! To be frank, I had read a couple different sets of how-to's on Instructables, and nicely confused myself between them.

The juice was bottled grape juice - Paul Newman's Organic, from Costco - just water, grape juice, and Vitamin C, nothing else.

The simple syrup was 1 cup of granulated sugar to 1 cup of slightly warmed water. I guess there's the potential to overload the yeast and kill it there, then, correct?

The 2# of sugar - from one of the Instructables. I made no gravity checks on the original juice, and that was stupid, but I really didn't know what the point of the hydrometer was until I read up today. Now at least I understand how you aim for a specific alcohol content.

After I read the response from Tom, I immediately popped the fermentor open. I noted a very large amount of unbubbling grape juice staring back at me, then dropped in a second packet of yeast (that would be roughly hour 36 since I put the metabisulfite), crossed my fingers, and went to bed. Came back from work today and the airlock's bubbling now, YES!!! It's going off now about every 15 seconds.

Instructions and me winging it = bad idea: Agreed. I'll dig on this site next and see if I can find something closer than what I've been using and stick to it. If anyone has a suggestion for something close (fruity red, don't care too much about alcohol content for a first try), I'm all ears.

I greatly appreciate the advice, y'all are awesome.
 

jeepingchick

**Domestic Goddess**
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
1,059
Reaction score
0
YAYYYYYYYYY PRETTY BUBBLESSSSS!!!!! dont feel to bad, iread and re-read my directions for my bluberry last week, and even tho i follwed properly it still stuck !! to top it off my crazy but had never bought backup yeast !! so i had to drive over an hour to the LBS to grab some yest to get it going LOL!!! if i haddnt been able to get out there i was gonna thow in some bread yeast just to see what happened !! i was so desperate!!!

glad u got ur bubbles!
 

Tom

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
11,356
Reaction score
99
Wow, thanks so much! To be frank, I had read a couple different sets of how-to's on Instructables, and nicely confused myself between them.

The juice was bottled grape juice - Paul Newman's Organic, from Costco - just water, grape juice, and Vitamin C, nothing else.

The simple syrup was 1 cup of granulated sugar to 1 cup of slightly warmed water. I guess there's the potential to overload the yeast and kill it there, then, correct?

The 2# of sugar - from one of the Instructables. I made no gravity checks on the original juice, and that was stupid, but I really didn't know what the point of the hydrometer was until I read up today. Now at least I understand how you aim for a specific alcohol content.

After I read the response from Tom, I immediately popped the fermentor open. I noted a very large amount of unbubbling grape juice staring back at me, then dropped in a second packet of yeast (that would be roughly hour 36 since I put the metabisulfite), crossed my fingers, and went to bed. Came back from work today and the airlock's bubbling now, YES!!! It's going off now about every 15 seconds.

Instructions and me winging it = bad idea: Agreed. I'll dig on this site next and see if I can find something closer than what I've been using and stick to it. If anyone has a suggestion for something close (fruity red, don't care too much about alcohol content for a first try), I'm all ears.

I greatly appreciate the advice, y'all are awesome.

Being a New B its best to ask here FIRST that way we can steer you in the reight direction. :dg
Wait till tomorrow. The SMELL is so COOL !
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
277
Keep the temps up around 73* and if you want this wine very dry(no residual sugar) then stir it up before racking to glass at a gravity of about 1.015 or you can put the lid with airlock and leave in the bucket until its finished fermenting. Welcome to thos site and feel free to ask any questions you have as the only stupid question is the one not asked1
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
59
DF, the very first wine I ever made came from an INSTRUCTABLES thread and it used bread yeast. In fact the very first question I ever asked in here was about using bread yeast!!

Glad you got er going.

Keep us posted.

Incase anyone is interested check out www.instructables.com , really a cool web site, lots of really neat DIY stuff in there, not ust food and drink, sure worth taking a peak at. If you like tinkering with anything, and I assume you do because you brew your own, give this site a quick peak.

Welcome again DF, just ask, happy to help.
 

donkeyface

Junior
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
..feel free to ask any questions you have as the only stupid question is the one not asked1
Ok, let me fire off with a few more then. It's been going at a good clip, and I'm getting a large array of bubbles every 20 seconds now (down slightly from 15 seconds the past week). Smells good!

1) At what point should I move to the secondary fermentor? I read the "Home Winemaking Book" and it states "..a few days to a week after fermentation start the must needs to be transferred to the secondary...You may want to take a hydrometer reading...SG=1030". Does the bubbling drop off massively and it's obvious or should I be taking daily hydrometer readings?

2) What chemicals should I add when I move to the secondary? (Of course I'll sanitize all equipment) From the Home Winemaking Book, I'm thinking...nothing. But better to be ask than to have to pour it all out into the storm drain later, I guess.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
1,146
Reaction score
20
if it's going really fast (3-4 days), i transfer at >1.030, but normally i wait for it to go under 1.020.

not chemicals are needed for the transfer. you don't want to add anything until the SG reading stays the same for a few days. at this point it will be in the .090-1.000 reading range and should not have any bubbling. it can sit for a bit like that without any chemicals i the secondary.

after you are sure the yeast is done, resweeten to taste using simple syrup (aka inverted sugar) or leave it dry (your preference) and then add sorbate (if sweetened any) and pot. meta.

to sweeten (and you probably will want to) search simple syrup. there should be plenty of tutorials/info on how to make it. ONLY add sorbate if you add the sugar. adding sorbate without enough pot. meta (aka k-meta) can result in geranium taste in wine. so you have to add both if you add sorbate.

you seem to be on the right track. the wine will be fine and slow to do much now. time for the 3 p's.
 

Tom

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
11,356
Reaction score
99
I would add meta and sorbate before back sweetening
 

donkeyface

Junior
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Great, thanks again. I'm reading at 1.011 (1.01 + 0.001 for 70 degree temp). Plenty of bubbles and gas though, so I'll see where I'm at tomorrow.

I probably will end up back sweetening, looks like this will be dry. Is there a certain amount of time I should space out between the meta+sorbate, then simple syrup?
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
277
There are 2 ways of thinking here. Me myself, if I want it to go dry I either let it finish fermenting in the bucket or stir it up so that all the still viable yeast get transferred over and finish doing their job so as not to stall. If I was down to where you are now and planned on having it a sweeter then dry wine Id rack it over right where you are cause it surely will still ferment some more but may stop early say around 1.000 and not even need sweetening and still have some C02 from fermenting to protect the wine before having to sulfite and stabilize with sorbate. You can sweeten right after stabilizing but make sure it is done fermenting before stabilizing by checking the sg 3 days in a row to make sure its not moving at all.
 

donkeyface

Junior
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Ok, I went with the latter and put it in the secondary tonight, since I'm trying for a sweeter wine. Checked SG before I put it in the secondary (1.003 now!)

This is all a hell of a lot of fun, by the way. You know you have a fun hobby when you don't even mind the clean up! Thanks again for all the help, you all are much appreciated!
 

Latest posts

Top