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Difference between kit instruction SG and hydrometer reading?

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skyfire322

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I just started a new kit (RJS Chilean trio) on Sunday, and the instructions say that the starting sG should be between 1.070 and 1.090, but the hyrdometer read 1.100 (1.102 after calibration). I'm assuming that's nothing to be concerned with too much, is there?
 
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DoctorCAD

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Rarely have I ever seen a kit with a higher than advertised SG. Most kits I have to add some sugar to get them up to 1.092, my perferred SG.

Are you sure of your 6 gallons?
 

skyfire322

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That's odd! It's right at the six gallon mark on the fermenter. The reading was 1.100 and the temp of the wine was 68. IIRC, wouldn't that be +.002?
 

skyfire322

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Stir it heavily and let it sit overnight, then check again. My guess is not throughly mixed, however that usually shows up as a lower sg, rather than a higher one.
I just stirred it for about five minutes and turned the heat up just a small bit in my room, so I'll check tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for the replies!
 

skyfire322

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So I stirred for three minutes today. The wine temp has gone up around two degrees (now at 71 degrees) and has the slightest bit of foam (kind of looks like jelly) but the SG is still at 1.102. It is a low-foam yeast, but I'm at a loss right now :?

Since it's been four days, should I consider adding some yeast starter or 1118 if things don't change?
 

Boatboy24

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Get some yeast in there quickly. Your wine has started fermenting with whatever yeast was in the air.
 

mainshipfred

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Since you are just now getting into the 70s it's possible the yeast has taken a little time to start. I'm not very experienced with kits but their instructions are so generic the posted SG could be for another wine. 1.100 wouldn't bother me.
 

cmason1957

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I'm with the others, pitch your yeast and let the fermentation get started. It's higher than they advertised, which is unusual, but not horribly high. You have done your due diligence to it. I might contact the manufacturer, just in case something doesn't come out right, but I don't think you have to worry about that. It is just a CYA to get them to ship you a new kit if something isn't quite right.
 

skyfire322

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I forgot to mention that I pitched the yeast on Sunday. I checked this morning and it's alot more foamy. Will check the SG again when I get home and update :)
 

skyfire322

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Alright. I just checked the SG again when I got home, and it's still the same even though it's producing more foam. Could this be a faulty hydrometer?

If it helps, here are my notes so far:

Day 1 - Sunday 3/10
-Added 7mg of GoFerm + stirred into a slurry
-Added yeast to it and let it sit for 15 minutes @ 94 degrees
-Added must to yeast, final temp 84 degree then pitched.
-SG: 1.102 (+.002 calibration), must temperature: 65.2

Day 3 - Tuesday 3/12
-Stirred for 3 minutes, wine temp 65.7. SG: 1.102 (+.002 calibration)

Day 4 - Wednesday 3/13
-Starting to foam!
-Stirred for 3 minutes, wine temp 71.3. SG: 1.102 (+.002 calibration)

Day 5 - Thursday 3/14
-Really foaming now!
-Wine temp: 71.6. SG: 1.102 (+.002 calibration)
-Added 3mg of hydrated room temperature Fermaid-K
-Stirred for 3 minutes.

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skyfire322

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Update: I just talked to the winemaker I worked with and told him the situation. Here is what he said:

"When you do your yeast addition you bring 10e6 yeasts/mL, they need to reach 10e9 to start the fermentation. Lots of biomass creation but no sugar transformed. First they consume all the YAN. So at the very beginning it can be normal to see some activity with no change of SG. Definitely keep an eye on it though as you know that until AF starts your juice is very sensitive."
 

cmason1957

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I have never known it to take 5 days to start dropping the sg, as in making alcohol and fermenting. Just for fun, I might put some water into something tall enough and measure the sg. If it reads around 1.000 no problem, but if it reads lots higher, suspect that hydrometer.
 

skyfire322

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Hallelujah! Just checked it, and it dropped to 1.084. Maybe it was the addition of the Fermaid-K that kicked it into gear? I'll keep an eye on it for the next few days to see what happens.

Thanks you guys for all the help!!! This is why I love this forum. :)
 

skyfire322

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Just wanted to give an update. The SG is at 1.023 and the temp is staying steady around 67 degrees. However, I am noticing a few things. Once I start stirring, it begins to look like lees, has the consistency of a smoothie and gets close to flowing over the fermenter. When I pulled the stirrer out, it did have some dark red chunks on it.

There aren't any off smells or anything, so is this something I should be concerned with? I only ask because I haven't run into this before with a red. Thanks again!! :D
 

skyfire322

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Quick update: Day 16 and it's at 1.005. I upped the temp just the smallest bit (~69-70), but I'll be going to secondary within the next day or two. :)
 

skyfire322

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Alright, so I'm going to be racking tomorrow. SG has stayed a 1.001 for three days straight even when I bumped the temp up to 72. Kit recommends .998 or lower. Should I just go with the flow and let aging take its course? I assume it might turn out a bit sweeter.

I will be bulk aging in 4 oz of M+ Hungarian oak (1 oz will be soaked in Scotch), so maybe that and the tiniest bit of tannin can help counteract the sweetness?
 
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crushday

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Personally, I wouldn’t rush it. There’s no harm letting it sit a week or two more under an air lock. You don’t want sweet wine.
 

skyfire322

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Thanks :) I mainly just want to get it off the gross lees. I assume not to add k-meta?

This is just a hypothetical question, but if after, say the next couple days after secondary and the SG is still the same, is there anything I can try to get that final push?
 

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