Extreme newbie...first batch question

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Feb 20, 2009
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WOW am I glad I found this board full of experts! And might I add after reading a good lot of posts here in the beginners boards, you "experts" are so kind to those questions that may seem silly to you.....great board!

So..now for my silly question.

I started my first batch of Vino del Vida World Tour Australian Chardonnay (kit) seven days ago. (loose oak chips...which by the way was pretty nasty looking mixed in)
The primary is a sealed bucket with a hole for the air lock.

The instructions say to leave it in the primary undisturbed for 14 days, then rack to secondary.

I thought I could find my answer by reading the forums, but...it only made my urge to post stronger. ;)

Ok, so I have not checked the sg since it said to leave it sit without touching for 14 days, but I have noticed that there is no noticable co2 escaping from the air lock for the past two days...it has remained at a steady temp of 74 degrees F

Yes, I am getting to the question.....sorry...

Should I open the bucket up and check the sg now? if it is as the correct levels is it going to hurt to move to secondary now? Is there any harm letting is sit in the primary for the 14 days? (see I started with one question, read the boards and ended up with three)

Thank you in advance!
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You can't necessarily tell how a fermenation is doing by airlock activity. The only way to know where you are really at is to take a gravity reading.

In general, you can't really go wrong just following the kit directions... so the extra days in the fermenter shouldn't be an issue even if it is done with the primary fermentation. In other words, if the kit says wait 14 days and it's only been 10 days... I'd just wait the extra 4 days.

Out of curiosity, how many days has it been in the primary fermenter?
I would leave it in there the recommended time as 1 it helps degas the wine and 2 it helps the wine clear a little so that you can leave behing more lees(sediment).
Thank you. I ran across the same thing, and every thing i'd read seemed to imply that it was fine to wait it out, even if all the sugar had fermented out. Now I have only 9 days left.
Vitner's Reserve Merlot. It like it so far.

I have a question about stirring. Should I really get a stirrer that I can attach to a motor or can i just use child labor and get my neighbors kid to stir vigorously as needed? But really is that necessary, or is it possible to stir up the sediment by hand with a long spoon. The carboy neck just makes it seem awkward.
For stirring a spoon and some good ole arm work works well, but in my opinion you cant do a good job of degassing your wine by hand but there are others who will dissagree with me here. The drill mounted stirrer is way easier IMO.
Thank you Wade!

Curiousity got the best of me after I posted last Friday, so I took the lid off the primary for a look. I was a little scared to be honest, because with those loose oak chips in the mix....it was pretty nasty when I put the lid on.

To my delight, what I saw looked very much like Chardonnay...a little cloudy, but beautiful none-the-less.

I got a reading on the sg, came out 1.002, so that is looking good thus far.

Of course I could not help myself, I had to taste it...(imagine that) glad I did, I instantly became hooked on wine making! I don't believe it will be it's best after 6 weeks, but with some age behind it, it will be a very lovely Chardonnay...as long as I don't screw it up! :D

Thanks again, you all eased my fears.
If its good right now then you are going to love it in like 6 months and even better after a year, if it makes it that long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Congrats! I remember how stoked I was when I got the first bottles corked. :)
Hell Tooth, I am going to start my 6th 5 gallon batch tonight, I have one gallon carboy of orange in the secondary left and have never even bought a cork! Guess although I can spell patience doesn't necessarily mean I know how to exercise it:D I'm getting better though....I hope!:)