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kerryb

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ok heres the thing...i started making wine from grape juice 5 days ago. bubbling on the primary fermenter with airlock subsided enough where i thought it was done enough, mostly because i wanted to move on. i noticed that when i transferred it to another carboy i had to put quite a bit of water in it to top it off. i didnt have a hydrometer when i started so i dont have a comparison. im afraid to taste the wine. how do i know if the wine is safe to drink? is there a number i can look for when i stick the hydrometer in to guess-estimate the amount of alcohol to make sure it is preserved enough to drink?
 

Tom

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kinda hard now to guestamate now
making wine you need certain basic equipment Hydrometr is the 1st you will need.
Give us the recipe you used and how much water you added.
What kind of wine are you making?
Buy a hydrometer asap
 

kerryb

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well heres what i did. i wanted to start to do this but i didnt want to use a kit so i looked at severl sites and came across my own recipe sort of. i used 3 cans of 100% grape juice, no preservatives, 6 cans of water, 3/4 cup of sugar and wine yeast. came out to just under a gallon. it fermeted and foamed pretty good for 5 days but pretty much slowed down bubbling. so i transferred it to another carboy and added about 3 cups of water to fill it up. i also put about 3 tablespoons of sugar in it. then i airlocked it.
 

Dugger

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It's not likely your wine is unsafe - it may be awful but it will still be safe! The smell would be your first indication that it may not be palatable and a sip would tell you how it tastes. So go ahead and try it - you might be surprised!
.. Doug
 

kerryb

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i might have been under the impression that if you use a hydromter after the fermenting is done, you can get a reading on the specific gravity to determine if the wine has a great enough alcohol content to be preserved and safely drank.
 

Luc

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well heres what i did. i wanted to start to do this but i didnt want to use a kit so i looked at severl sites and came across my own recipe sort of. i used 3 cans of 100% grape juice, no preservatives, 6 cans of water, 3/4 cup of sugar and wine yeast. came out to just under a gallon. it fermeted and foamed pretty good for 5 days but pretty much slowed down bubbling. so i transferred it to another carboy and added about 3 cups of water to fill it up. i also put about 3 tablespoons of sugar in it. then i airlocked it.
I hate to say this, however..............

You should not have diluted the grape juice unless it is concentrated juice. You say it is pure grapejuice, so I think you will have watered it down way to much.

Besides that I think you will be low on the sugar side. The juice is watered down so there will be not a lot sugar in the original must and then you added 3/4 cup sugar. In my opinion that is way too low.

Try indeed the method described in the post above in which I explained how to measure alcohol.

If it is still fermenting, there is no harm in adding additional sugar, however this will be a weak flavored wine. I still hope though you made a typo and meant concentrated juice.

Luc
 

kerryb

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yes actually i did use concentrated juice. do you stil think there is enogh sugar in it? would it hurt to add more after i have already racked once?
 

BobF

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yes actually i did use concentrated juice. do you stil think there is enogh sugar in it? would it hurt to add more after i have already racked once?
It's too late to use a hydrometer to figure out abv, but it's NOT too late to use a hydrometer to see if it is done fermenting.

Get a hydrometer and measure. Measure again tomorrow and the next day. If the readings aren't changing, then it's done fermenting.

Taste it. If it tastes weak on alcohol, add some sugar and measure SG. If you haven't stabalized already, then fermentation will likely restart and convert the new sugar. Check SG again in a few days to see if it is in fact fermenting.

Lather, rinse, repeat.
 

kerryb

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i can definatley tell its still fermenting, its bubbling up pretty good again. im just concerned i didnt add enough sugar to make the alocohol content enough to make the wine safe to drink and bottle.
 

BobF

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i can definatley tell its still fermenting, its bubbling up pretty good again. im just concerned i didnt add enough sugar to make the alocohol content enough to make the wine safe to drink and bottle.
The easiest thing to do is to compare what you did with a published recipe. Keller is a good place to look. Compare the quantities of stuff you added to those in the recipe.

A bit of basic math will get you in the ball park. No, it will not be exact. You should be able to get "somewhere over 10%" which should be enough for preservation.

Or, use the taste method. As this is your first batch I'm guessing it won't get much of a chance to spoil :h
 

Torch404

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I doubt you have anything to worry about. Let it finish up. As someone else said when you get the same reading on a hydromiter for three days it's done. Unless you can see mold or forgot to mention the deadly nightshade you slipped in the recipe; it'll be fine. The worst you'll get is a nasty taste in your mouth.
 

Tom

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i can definatley tell its still fermenting, its bubbling up pretty good again. im just concerned i didnt add enough sugar to make the alocohol content enough to make the wine safe to drink and bottle.
Download WineCalc here
http://www.sweeting.org/jack/winecalc.php
This will tell you how much sugar you need Just enter your gravity and where you want it and how big a batch.
This is what I use all the time
Works GREAT !
 

Tom

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Ah yea true. :slp Hopefully he and others can use this program when they have a hydrometer.
 
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