Does fizzing mean fermenting?

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cavino

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Hello. First timer here. I am using the wine eclipse kit with grape skins. 6 gallons in 8 gallon plastic bucket with lid and airlock from Master Vinter. I see mixed advice for covered v. uncovered but decided to airlock it for my first go.

Followed directions to a T I believe. Pitched the yeast in must at 72*F and starting SG of 1.080. It was foaming for a couple days but 72 hours after pitching yeast, the wine stopped foaming but is fizzing. I have it in my basement where it is consistently 65-68*F room temp. I measured the SG at 1.040 and temperature was at 74*F so that’s a positive sign. I open it twice a day, stirring gently one time. My question is, even though it isn’t no longer foaming but fizzing, is it still fermenting? Should I just let it be and check SG and temp in a few days? Thanks!
 

Ajmassa

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Congrats on your 1st go!
Lid on/lid off- it doesn’t matter. Check SG every day! As long as that SG is dropping then you good. Whether foaming/fizzing etc etc.
Forget the instruction’s amount of days timeline tho. Always go by the hydrometer. Once it stops dropping you’re dry. Will be anywhere between 1.000 - 1.090.
And one other tip- if it’s a dry red and you aren’t sweetening it up later then skip the potassium sorbate addition. Unnecessary in dry wines and sometimes can give a weird taste.

Good luck
 

stickman

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I assume you mean .990 for the low end of gravity when done.
 

cavino

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Good advice. I’ll trust the hydrometer then. Thanks for the tip!
 

G259

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If you have an 8 gallon bucket with 6 gallons of must, I think that you have all the oxygen required for the fermentation. However, a towel over it for the first few days allows you to stir it easier. After 5-7 days, I like to rack mine to glass.
 

Scooter68

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I doubt that anyone uses a completely "Uncovered" approach to fermentation.
The differences you seem to be confused about is whether or not to use the plastic lid. MANY do not use it and instead cover the container with a towel instead of the lid. Others lay the lid on loosely and cover that with a towel.

The biggest fallacy we see is people thinking their wine is not fermenting because they see no bubbling in their airlock on a plastic bucket lid. The reason they don't is that those lids rarely seal that well. The way to prove that, if you have an ongoing fermentation - Wet down the seal well with water then snap the lid on and set your airlock in place. In a few minutes the airlock will start to bubble - for a few hours until the water on that seal dries out. Then the bubbling will stop again.

Note also that snapping that lid on and off is a royal pain so that is one more reason NOT to even use it OR at most just lay it on top and put a towel over it. Remember you want to keep fruit flies, dust, pets and most of all, bacteria from getting into that fermenting wine must. That's why a towel tied down with a cord, string, rubber band etc is the best and easiest way to go - IMHO.
 

Rocky

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Cavino, When did you take your reading of the initial SG? The reason I am asking is 1.080 is somewhat low for that kit. You did not identify the grape variety, but since it has skins, it has to be a red. If you can ferment that wine to dry (e.g. SG 0.992) the ABV will about 11.5% which is low for a bold red. If you took the reading just after adding the grape skins, the low reading could be because the skins had not had the time to add additional sugar, raising the SG. I have made a number of the WinExpert Eclipse kits and I have never had an ISG of less than 1.090.

Also, I loosely cover my fermenters with the tops that came with them. The volume of CO2 that is released in the first few days make an airlock unnecessary. I add the airlock after racking to the secondary fermenter (i.e. glass carboy).

Lastly, I prefer the one piece (S-type) airlock because it is easier to see what is happening in the carboy. The upside of the three-piece airlock to me is ease of cleaning. The downside is more rapid evaporation of the liquid in the airlock and the difficulty to see evidence of fermentation at low levels of SG.

Good luck with your wine.
 

cavino

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My first reading was 1.092. Then I stirred it prior to adding the yeast and it went to 1.084 so maybe more water was in the second reading. Also this was all after adding the grape skins. Lodi ranch 11 cab. Both were within the range in the instructions so.

Sunday @ 10:30am SG was 1.026
Monday @ 7:00am SG was 1.015
 

cavino

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Thanks Scooter. The lid actually does pretty well and there is consistent and pretty aggressive activity in the airlock. My assumption is the tennis on from the lid will weaken over
time so I will likely consider the towel at some point.
 

Scooter68

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Yeah those lids are a real pain to mess with and if you are going to stir once a day for the first few days of fermentation as many folks do... a Towel is much easier to deal with.
More often than not they don't seal perfectly after they are taken off.
 

Blackberry60

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Cavino, When did you take your reading of the initial SG? The reason I am asking is 1.080 is somewhat low for that kit. You did not identify the grape variety, but since it has skins, it has to be a red. If you can ferment that wine to dry (e.g. SG 0.992) the ABV will about 11.5% which is low for a bold red. If you took the reading just after adding the grape skins, the low reading could be because the skins had not had the time to add additional sugar, raising the SG. I have made a number of the WinExpert Eclipse kits and I have never had an ISG of less than 1.090.

Also, I loosely cover my fermenters with the tops that came with them. The volume of CO2 that is released in the first few days make an airlock unnecessary. I add the airlock after racking to the secondary fermenter (i.e. glass carboy).

Lastly, I prefer the one piece (S-type) airlock because it is easier to see what is happening in the carboy. The upside of the three-piece airlock to me is ease of cleaning. The downside is more rapid evaporation of the liquid in the airlock and the difficulty to see evidence of fermentation at low levels of SG.

Good luck with your wine.
Very useful to me too as a beginner.
Started ginger wine 3 days ago and in a plastic fermenting bin with airlock. No bubbling but much fizzing from must when I am stirring each day. I will take out bubble and seal hole and pop over loosely and cover with towel.
You have saved my wine I think. I must get a hydrometer ordered today.
 

G259

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We LOVE to answer these questions here, because we feel smart, and that we actually know what we are doing (lol!)
 

Scooter68

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I have some stretchy yarn and that goes around the bucket to keep my Muslin cloth in place, no lid needed no bugs get in. After a batch goes into the carboy the yard and the muslin cloth get washed (if needed) and sanitized before use. Lids are just not needed.


I could use a large rubber band but I have this aversion to getting anything rubber near my wine. Almost had a batch of wine tainted by a true rubber stopper.
 
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