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Oyarsa

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I am a week into my first kit wine. It's about 4 to 5 years old, so I'm crossing my fingers and aware it might not work. It started fermenting slowly, but fermenting at least, but I've fiddled with it some, so we'll see if I've screwed it up.

My first question is regarding SG. The kit starts at 1.050 or so, goes down to 0.998 before racking to the carboy, then goes back up to 1.015 before bottling. What causes this to go back up? Is it the ingredients used to clarify and stop the fermentation?

Second question: It highly recommends filtering due to the residual sugar. How necessary would you say this is? If all goes well, we may give wine as gifts this holiday season. I don't want any exploding bottles or anything...

Final question: I'm also a few days into a tamarind wine from a recipe I found. I prefer sweeter wines to dry wines. I figure I could stop the fermenting with sorbate at some point to have a sweeter wine. In order to do that, I'd have to take a sample. Do I need to worry about disturbing the krausen? And if I then wanted to carbonate the sweeter wine, is there any way other than forced carbonation? I assume that if I use sorbate the cabonating tablets won't work...

Thanks for the help!
 

meadmaker1

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First and most important.
K Sorbate WILL NOT stop fermintaion. It with k mete will prevent i from starting again once complete.
If it says sg will go back up, im assuming it has a flavor pack to add when fermentation is complete. Or recommends sweetening.
Filtering and clearing agents are for impatient people or commercial producers that have production scheduals and an absolute need for a consistent product.
Time will generally clear your wine.
I dont have an answer for the sparkling but i beleive forced is the answer.
 

Oyarsa

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Oh yes, of course! I completely forgot about the finishing pack. Thanks for the reminder.

So if I want to stop the tamarind wine on the sweet side, I use either k-meta or backsweetening?
 

Scooter68

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Starting at an SG of 1.050 and going to .998 is only 6.83% ABV You need to recheck those numbers. Normally wines should end up with at least 8-10% ABV. A far safer starting SG would be 1.070 and then fermenting to .990 That would give an ABV of 10.50 IF it ferments all the way to .990. Wines don't always reach that point and it could stop at .998 or thereabouts.

Neither K-Meta or K-Sorbate can be trusted to fully stop a fermentation in progress, It might work or it might not. You need both and even then stopping an active fermentation is not always successful.

Always better to let it ferment all the way dry. THEN K-meta and K-sorbate, wait a couple of days THEN back-sweeten. Safest and most reliable way to prevent re-start of fermentation and an exploding bottle.

Never heard of a filter that would take out dissolved sugars. Don't believe that will work. Otherwise filtering of a back-sweetened wine would remove the sugar a person added to sweeten it.

Also - you are pushing the timeline to get a wine completed and ready to give at this Christmas. A wine that young is likely to be sharp and lack the depth of taste.
Rule of thumb is that most wines are just going to be barely 'drinkable' if less than a year from end of fermentation. Wines more than a year old are far more likely to "ENJOYABLE" You could get lucky but...
 

meadmaker1

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@Scooter68 always gives the detail answer.
But hear us both. stopping fermentation can be done, but is an advanced undertaking and is likely to be the beginning of a sad storey we hear far to often.
Ferment dry. degass, check to make sure it doesn't get gassy again, and that you have no sg movement
Then add potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfide to prevent yeast from restarting ( doesn't kill it ). And back sweeten.
Read . Read. Read.
 

Oyarsa

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Thanks for the replies. I'm trying to read more and ask less, but it's hard to know what you don't know :)

I double checked the instructions and the numbers are correct. This is an Orchard Breezin Mist Wine kit. I see a person asked about the ABV on the website for one of their products and the response from the manufacturer matches was 6-6.5%. So maybe "wine" is too strong of a term for the kit :)

I did some more reading and I now understand the K-meta/K-sorbate issue much better. It sounds like a sweet, sparkling wine is out of my reach unless the local brewing supply store helps with forced carbonation. C'est la vie. Now I just have to decide if I want a dry, sparkling tamarind wine, or a sweet tamarind wine. I'm leaning toward sweet.

If I were to want to add some spiciness to the wine, would that be possible? Maybe rack the wine to a secondary container with some cut up habaneros in it?

As for the filter...my thought was that they suggested filtering in order to further remove as much of the remaining yeast as possible, not the sugar.

Thanks for the help!
 

Scooter68

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1) Correct - It's more of a wine cooler. That's the reason for the ABV being so low.
2) Unless you have a fair amount of experience with kits and wine making - It would be more than a little bold to alter the kit too much.
3) Filtering can remove the yeast but again, with a kit like that - I'd stick fairly close to directions. Other than the time factors kit with a kit like that - I'd just follow the directions.
 

Oyarsa

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Sorry, I'm jumping back and forth in topic between the kit wine (cooler) and a 1-gallon tamarind wind I'm working on from a recipe that didn't have much in the way of details. The wine kit highly recommends filtering, but that would mean another $40 or so to buy a filter unless there's a method I haven't found yet.

The tamarind wine is basically 6 oz. tamarind, 2 lbs sugar, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient and Lalvin EC-1118. Sadly, I didn't measure the SG when I started it. A krausen developed and exploded out of the container, but it seems to be progressing fine. I started it Friday, I may measure the SG tonight.

The tamarind wine is what I have been plotting variations for. I thought it might be fun to try to mimic tamarind candy which typically has tamarind, chili, lime and salt. Not sure, exactly, how I will mimic all of that, but the tamarind and spice is a start...
 
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