Experienced Homebrewer/Newbie Winemaker with questions on first batch

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wilmh

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Hello,

I've been browsing for a while and have searched on this, but found conflicting info so I wanted to get some feedback.

I've been a homebrewer for the past 6+ years so I sort of have an idea of what I'm doing, but this is my first batch of wine.

While I'm mostly a beer guy, my wife and her friends prefer cider and wine so I decided to start a batch of strawberry wine as it is their favorite.

In lieu of getting a ton of strawberries out of season, I picked up a gallon of Vintner's strawberry fruit wine base from my LHBS back in December. I proceeded to add 4 gallons of water with it in a sanitized fermentation bucket along with ~25 oz of corn sugar a packet of Lalvin 71B-1122 wine yeast, all stirred up resulting in 5 gallons of must with an OG of 1.092.

I let the must ferment for 4 weeks in my fermentation chamber along side a couple of beers with temps between 68-72* and last night checked the gravity and found a 1.010. (ABV should be roughly 10.76% right now) Per the instructions, I racked the wine to another sanitized carboy leaving only the small amount of sediment still in the bucket.

Para-phrasing the rest of the instructions from Vitner say to continue with the following:

* Check gravity on a weekly/semi-weekly basis until gravity is 1.000 or under (should result in an ABV of 12%+).
* Once gravity is low enough, stir and add 5 crushed campden tablets and 2.5 teaspoons of Potassium Sorbate to stop fermentation.
* Allow about one week for wine to clear before sweetening.
* Gently stir 10 oz of wine conditioner (add additional to taste if desired) and bottle when ready
* Wine should be ready to drink immediately, but will benefit with time to age (3-6 months)

Here is where I'm looking for feedback.

Other instructions that I read include adding acid blend, tannin, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. I suspect that the fruit wine base already includes most or all of this, so I likely don't have to worry about this.

Other instructions include degassing, filtering out fruit and other sediment to assist with the clearing process, etc...

Is there anything not listed above that is recommended?

Thanks in advance.

(adding some pics if they'll load, along with a pic of my Keezer and Digital Tap List out in the garage)

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BernardSmith

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Hi wilmh and welcome. You ask: Other instructions that I read include adding acid blend, tannin, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. I suspect that the fruit wine base already includes most or all of this, so I likely don't have to worry about this.

Whether the can has these ingredients or not will be included in the can I don't know but my guess is that the acidity and tannin levels (and even the nutrients needed by the yeast) are likely to be at appropriate levels although I might have aimed for a smaller volume. These cans are far more flavor rich when you use them to make 3 gallons rather than 5.
As to adding pectic enzyme, I believe that alcohol denatures the enzyme so you really want to add any enzyme before you pitch the yeast.

"Other instructions include degassing, filtering out fruit and other sediment to assist with the clearing process, etc..."
Sorry but I am unclear whether the instructions included degassing , racking etc or whether they were silent about them.
Degassing occurs naturally if you allow the wine to quietly age but if you are in a rush to bottle you should degas before you bottle.
There should be no need to filter out the fruit if you are racking but if you are finding that you have a lot of fruit in the secondary you may want to rack through a fine mesh filter.
But all that said, If the glass carboy is the carboy that you have racked into there is a great deal of headroom - You really want to have the wine fill the carboy into the neck so you have perhaps only 1 cubic inch or 2 of head room
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
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Welcome to WMT!

Agree with what Bernard has said. But I'm a little concerned that after 4 weeks at around 70 degrees, your wine isn't dry. What yeast did you use?
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
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acid blend, pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient are added prefermentation. the fruit wine base you purchased do not contain these additives. yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme would have helped your fermentation.The pectic enzyme would help clear the wine it can also be added post fermentation. the yeast nutrient would help the yeast in its work. acid blend is added only after measurements for acid level and ph are made. the remainder clearing degassing etc are post fermentation efforts in helping to clear the wine and provide a drinkable product.
 

Scooter68

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First things first:
You need to reduce the headspace. Even though it's still fermenting and producing some protective gases, those gases are much less and the wine should be protected from exposure to oxygen now. If that's a 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy you should be able to move it to a 5 gallon carboy and just about eliminate the headspace. Fermentation at this point will move much slower normally.

Check your pH and as long as it's no higher than 3.6 all should be good for aging, after you eliminate the headspace issue.

PS - Don't be surprised if the beautiful strawberry color you have now starts to fade. That's pretty much the norm for strawberry wine.
 

hounddawg

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Hi, first off venters an golden harvest is good for 3gallons at best, for a 5gallonbatch use home winery.com. for 6 gallon or larger batches call home winery.com they sell pints as well for 6 gallons I get a concentrate plus a pint, way cheaper then venters an golden harvest, it'll come in a half gallon jug, but that half gallon jug will beat 2cans of venters or goldrenharvest, and like I said if doing 6gallons instead of 5 get that extra. Pint,b at check out you can get the acid, enyzemes, pectum, enidgizser and soonc just tell them to send needed chemicals, I use all but the yeast, I like a higher ABV so for yeast I use K1V-1116,

Give them a try you'll be beyond happy.
Dawg,, they also on the concentrate page there's a link to set upy your wine, give em a try, I use mostly fresh fruit an berries but when not I only use home winery.com
Dawg








QUOTE=wilmh;636497]Hello,

I've been browsing for a while and have searched on this, but found conflicting info so I wanted to get some feedback.

I've been a homebrewer for the past 6+ years so I sort of have an idea of what I'm doing, but this is my first batch of wine.

While I'm mostly a beer guy, my wife and her friends prefer cider and wine so I decided to start a batch of strawberry wine as it is their favorite.

In lieu of getting a ton of strawberries out of season, I picked up a gallon of Vintner's strawberry fruit wine base from my LHBS back in December. I proceeded to add 4 gallons of water with it in a sanitized fermentation bucket along with ~25 oz of corn sugar a packet of Lalvin 71B-1122 wine yeast, all stirred up resulting in 5 gallons of must with an OG of 1.092.

I let the must ferment for 4 weeks in my fermentation chamber along side a couple of beers with temps between 68-72* and last night checked the gravity and found a 1.010. (ABV should be roughly 10.76% right now) Per the instructions, I racked the wine to another sanitized carboy leaving only the small amount of sediment still in the bucket.

Para-phrasing the rest of the instructions from Vitner say to continue with the following:

* Check gravity on a weekly/semi-weekly basis until gravity is 1.000 or under (should result in an ABV of 12%+).
* Once gravity is low enough, stir and add 5 crushed campden tablets and 2.5 teaspoons of Potassium Sorbate to stop fermentation.
* Allow about one week for wine to clear before sweetening.
* Gently stir 10 oz of wine conditioner (add additional to taste if desired) and bottle when ready
* Wine should be ready to drink immediately, but will benefit with time to age (3-6 months)

Here is where I'm looking for feedback.

Other instructions that I read include adding acid blend, tannin, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. I suspect that the fruit wine base already includes most or all of this, so I likely don't have to worry about this.

Other instructions include degassing, filtering out fruit and other sediment to assist with the clearing process, etc...

Is there anything not listed above that is recommended?

Thanks in advance.

(adding some pics if they'll load, along with a pic of my Keezer and Digital Tap List out in the garage)[/QUOTE]
 
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