First 50lbs of Cali Merlot Must arrives

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albe518

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This is my cousin and i first time making wine. We understand most of it and the company is sending BDX yeast, tartaric acid, nutrients, and fermentation tannin but my 1st question is they said i will need s02 and MLF culture at some point, What are those and do you always need them and at what point.

Also i am a tad confused on the ph levels and Brix. do you always need to use tartaric acid or only if the PH isnt at a certain level and same with Brix. when do you need to add water or not add water

Thank you, and excited for the must to arrive next Wednesday,
 

Scooter68

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With a grape wine adding water is very very unlikely to be needed - except as you may use some to dissolve sugar to make a simple syrup to raise the SG/Brix. Do you have the following:
Hydrometer
pH meter or Titration Kit
Potassium Metabisulfate (Gives you the sO2 you need into the wine must)
Testing tube to hold your hydrometer
Sanitization solution/powder or liquid concentrate to mix up a sanitization solution.

AND is there a wine/beer making supply store nearby? If so find them and talk with them. You CAN order everything on line but the wait can be a problem if you need something immediately while your wine is fermenting.
 

albe518

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I have everything on that list other than S02. And yes their are places near by i can go too.

Is their any guidelines on when you need to change or put in certain yeast or acids.

any recipes or help would be appreciated to make up exactly what route to go.

Thanks
 

ibglowin

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Depending on what part of CA your grapes come from you could see some VERY high brix levels that if left unchecked could produce rocket fuel. Thus it is quite possible you may need to water back with acidulated water in order to bring the wine back into balance.

The best online winemaking tutorial is the Morewine Guide to Winemaking A great step by step manual for the beginner.
 

Scooter68

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One more thing - whatever container you use for you primary fermentation - be sure to leave enough space for foam gas to collect. The gas from fermentation helps protect the fermenting wine from bacteria. Normally if the batch is 5 gallons you use a 6.5 gallon bucket. Don't push 6 gallons of liquid into a 6.5 gallon bucket. Based on the pounds you are getting a 6.5 gallon fermentation bucket should be fine. Carboys either plastic or glass aren't the best for the primary stage of fermentation - too hard to stir, take readings and a very small opening if a lot foam gets generated. You don't want a fountain of grape foam.
 
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