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Leela

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I transferred my wine from the primary bucket to the carboy at SG 1.020 only 4 days ago. It seemed liked the bubbles in the airlock stopped so I took a SG reading. It now says 0.992. The wine still smells a bit unpleasant (not sure if that's normal at this stage). I admit there is a little extra room for oxygen (about the base of the carboy neck to the opening). Not sure if that is the reason for this quick fermentation. Should I rack the wine into a new carboy and start the stabilization or wait? I only worry cuz it doesn't really smell like a glass of wine i'd want to drink ; )
I should add, that after taking the reading, naturally the liquid in the carboy moved around a bit. Now that it's re-airlocked, I see there's bubbling again but definitely subtle. I tried not to move the liquid around too much.

note: this wine is made from blueberries and Lalvin 71B
 
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pgentile

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I transferred my wine from the primary bucket to the carboy at SG 1.020 only 4 days ago. It seemed liked the bubbles in the airlock stopped so I took a SG reading. It now says 0.992. The wine still smells a bit unpleasant (not sure if that's normal at this stage). I admit there is a little extra room for oxygen (about the base of the carboy neck to the opening). Not sure if that is the reason for this quick fermentation. Should I rack the wine into a new carboy and start the stabilization or wait? I only worry cuz it doesn't really smell like a glass of wine i'd want to drink ; )
I should add, that after taking the reading, naturally the liquid in the carboy moved around a bit. Now that it's re-airlocked, I see there's bubbling again but definitely subtle. I tried not to move the liquid around too much.

note: this wine is made from blueberries and Lalvin 71B
All blueberries? Fresh or frozen? How many days to get to 1.020 in the primary bucket?

1.020 to .992 in 4 days is rather normal. I'd wait another 24-48 hours before racking. Blueberry wines take about 10-12 months to start tasting good IMHO. Plus you have a lot of CO2 in there right now affecting taste, it's very young.
 

Leela

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All blueberries? Fresh or frozen? How many days to get to 1.020 in the primary bucket?

1.020 to .992 in 4 days is rather normal. I'd wait another 24-48 hours before racking. Blueberry wines take about 10-12 months to start tasting good IMHO. Plus you have a lot of CO2 in there right now affecting taste, it's very young.
Thanks for your feedback. Good point about the CO2 causing the bad smell. It actually tastes much better than it smells.

Yes, all frozen wild blueberries. Started 6/11 at 1.090, however, I killed the yeast rehydrating (at least that's my guess) and had to pitch more yeast on 6/13. From there it kicked off nicely:

6/14 1.080
6/15 1.060
6/16 1.040
6/17 1.020 (transferred to secondary in the AM)
6/20 0.992
 

pgentile

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Thanks for your feedback. Good point about the CO2 causing the bad smell. It actually tastes much better than it smells.

Yes, all frozen wild blueberries. Started 6/11 at 1.090, however, I killed the yeast rehydrating (at least that's my guess) and had to pitch more yeast on 6/13. From there it kicked off nicely:

6/14 1.080
6/15 1.060
6/16 1.040
6/17 1.020 (transferred to secondary in the AM)
6/20 0.992
I missed read the "smells a bit unpleasant" part, I meant CO2 affecting taste, but yes at this point there could be unpleasant odors but should dissipate. If they persist after next racking in 24-48 hours then you might need to be concerned. Did you use any nutrients for the yeast?
 

Leela

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I missed read the "smells a bit unpleasant" part, I meant CO2 affecting taste, but yes at this point there could be unpleasant odors but should dissipate. If they persist after next racking in 24-48 hours then you might need to be concerned. Did you use any nutrients for the yeast?
Yes I used 1 tsp of nutrient
 

jgmillr1

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. Not sure if that is the reason for this quick fermentation. Should I rack the wine into a new carboy and start the stabilization or wait?
Sometimes the fermentation is fast when the conditions are right. A fast fermentation can be hot and stress the yeast enough that some off odors are produced. (See below.)

I'd let the wine settle for some time before racking, say a month. You will want to add sulfites very soon to protect it from oxidation/spoilage/MLF.

I admit there is a little extra room for oxygen (about the base of the carboy neck to the opening).
All the more reason to add sulfites and not get into the carboy too often. Outgassing of CO2 will displace some of the oxygen in the headspace but you can't count on that to fully purge it. I have a spare CO2 tank handy with a long-nosed nozzle to purge out air in these type of cases.

The wine still smells a bit unpleasant (not sure if that's normal at this stage).
Do you smell the H2S rotten egg smell, which is a common odor produced by yeast stressed by insufficient nutrients or high temperature? If so, this can be easily treated with a 1% copper sulfate solution. If the smell is more of a harsh, yeasty aroma then time is your friend.
 

Leela

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Sometimes the fermentation is fast when the conditions are right. A fast fermentation can be hot and stress the yeast enough that some off odors are produced. (See below.)

I'd let the wine settle for some time before racking, say a month. You will want to add sulfites very soon to protect it from oxidation/spoilage/MLF.
So you're suggesting to leave it in the secondary, not rack it yet but add a campden tablet? Should I add a stabilizer as well at this time? When do you suggest degassing the wine? After the month when I rack it to a new carboy?

Do you smell the H2S rotten egg smell, which is a common odor produced by yeast stressed by insufficient nutrients or high temperature? If so, this can be easily treated with a 1% copper sulfate solution. If the smell is more of a harsh, yeasty aroma then time is your friend.
It's definitely not a sulfur (rotten egg) smell. It's possibly a yeast smell would be my guess. The temperature has stayed very consistent throughout this fermentation (70-72).
 

jgmillr1

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So you're suggesting to leave it in the secondary, not rack it yet but add a campden tablet? Should I add a stabilizer as well at this time? When do you suggest degassing the wine? After the month when I rack it to a new carboy?
Yes, I'd leave it in the secondary and not rack for a month or two. The campden tabs can be crushed and added now. There is no need to add sorbate until you are closer to back-sweetening and bottling. Right now you are just allowing the lees to settle out.

I'm not a fan of degassing since it will degas naturally on its own with time and when you rack it.
 

Scooter68

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A good batch of blueberry can ferment to finish surprisingly fast - Had one start to finish in 4 days. Don't sweat that unless you get those rotten egg/burnt rubber smells. Yeasty smell is fine - it will dissipate (Especially once it's off the gross lees).

Get off of the lees as soon as possible. Give it 3 days from that reading of .992 and then rack it and add the K-Meta/campden tab(s) No need for stabilizer yet - Sorbate can throw some strange tastes after extended periods so leave it out until you need it. (Normally about 1 week before you back-sweeten and bottle.) If you aren't going to back-sweeten then don't use sorbate.

There will be more lees of course, but once the fermentation has completed the lees will provide nothing good, especially seeds.

One question for you, how many lbs of blueberries did you use per gallon? If you used a high enough amount then a little topping off with water won't hurt anything. ( 4 oz < gallon ) If you want to you can use a white wine for topping off - that won't add any strong flavors.

My blueberry batches (5 so far) have never had a strong blueberry smell, that's just one small shortfall of blueberries. I made batches with 5, 6, 8, 6, and 6 lbs per gallon. The 8 lbs/ gallon was no more flavorful than the 6 lb batches. Of course I'm using homegrown blueberries sometimes frozen ones sometimes fresh from the pickin.

One last thing - don't bottle or back-sweeten for at least 10-12 months. New Blueberry wine is rather sharpish due to the high acid levels common with blueberries. Sweetening too early can end up with a wine a bit too sweet.
 
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Leela

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One question for you, how many lbs of blueberries did you use per gallon? If you used a high enough amount then a little topping off with water won't hurt anything. ( 4 oz < gallon ) If you want to you can use a white wine for topping off - that won't add any strong flavors.
I used 2lbs of blueberries, rest water with the intentions of sweetening prior to bottling with red grape concentrate. However, they were fully ripe wild blueberries, so they had more sugar than store bought.
 

DAB

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"Started 6/11 at 1.090, however, I killed the yeast rehydrating (at least that's my guess) and had to pitch more yeast on 6/13. From there it kicked off nicely:"

Two days doesn't seem that long when it comes to yeast. Is it possible that said yeast had not actually died, but were simply just slow to get started? And by introducing a second inoculation of yeast just as the first were about to take off, a now even larger army of yeast cells went-to-town eating up all the "food" more quickly and thus finished the fermentation much sooner? Just curious because it's my understanding that yeast need a certain acclimatization period to adapt to any new environment, and that temperature, gravity, nutrients, etc. all heavily influence their level of activity. And isn't is possible, too, that the "extra" yeast may be contributing to the "bad smell"? Thoughts?
 

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