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devnull

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Hello,

This is my very first wine, and I've read a ton but I'm curious. I left this in the primary for about a month, and last week I racked it into the secondary. It was the coolest thing ever seeing the cloudy liquid clear up and start looking beautiful.

Now, after a week it has really settled and is still making bubbles steadily. My question is, should I rack this again to get it off those lees? My recipe calls for it to be in the secondary for 3-4 weeks and I'm not in a hurry to do anything with it. I just don't really know what I'm looking at.

I'd read so much about how leaving the wine on there too long would give it an off taste and want to make sure I'm good to just stay the course.

My starting SG was kind of high at 1.13, and when I racked it into this carboy it was still at 1.02. Around 12% by my math, and my yeast said that was about as high as it would be able to tolerate.

Thanks

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Welcome to WMT!

You are probably fine. Some information would be helpful.

What kind of wine is this? I.e., what juice did you start with?

Could you cite your SG numbers to 3 decimals, i.e., 1.xxx. Not because we need that level of precision, but it really helps to guard against typing, say, 1.02 when the poster meant 1.002.
 
Welcome to WMT!

You are probably fine. Some information would be helpful.

What kind of wine is this? I.e., what juice did you start with?

Could you cite your SG numbers to 3 decimals, i.e., 1.xxx. Not because we need that level of precision, but it really helps to guard against typing, say, 1.02 when the poster meant 1.002.
Thanks for the reply! I started with mango puree. What's in the bottom now was everything that settled out of the wine after I racked it. Here is a picture of when I first racked it if that's helpful. As far as the gravity readings by 1.02 I mean 1.020.

The recipe I followed called for a different brand of mango and I think that's why my OG was so high, because the kind I used had more sugar.
 

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I would recommend racking now. add kmeta at 1/4 tsp for 5 gallons
My starter kit came with campden tablets, and I did check - they are potassium metabisulfate. So my understanding was one of those per gallon. Am I off track here?
 
welcome to WMT

* wine making is a series of cleaning steps; remove juice from pulp > remove oxygen from juice > remove sugar from juice > remove yeast from wine > package
The appearance is clean so you could rack and add more metabolite (to remove oxygen from racking)
* wine is forgiving, the yeast don’t know the rules, if more gunk settles after bottling be careful when you pour. Its not toxic just don’t look good
* wine is not forgiving, oxidation chemistry wants to happen, it is easy to get painty flavors or let aerobic organisms grow
 
You racked pretty early and it looks like you still have some fruit pulp in there (gross lees). I would rack again and add k-meta. After that any lees are just dead yeast cells (fine lees). I age my wines on the fine lees and don’t rack again until bottling.
That sounds reasonable to me! Thanks for the advice
 
mango has lots of lees, definitely get it off them quickly. I never let more than 1 week.

also mango needs a little more tannins added than other fruits. can sour Or oxidize easy. but your wine looks beautiful.
 
My starter kit came with campden tablets, and I did check - they are potassium metabisulfate. So my understanding was one of those per gallon. Am I off track here?
That is the usage of Campden -- it's handy for small batches. If you move into larger batches, powered K-meta (potassium metabisulfite) is cheaper and easier to use.

I agree with racking off the sediment. If it's fine lees (yeast hulls) leaving it is fine, but the quantity of lees and the timing you mentioned indicate it's gross lees (fruit solids) which can impart off flavors and aroma.

For future wines, do not blindly trust the recipe. Add sugar in batches, stirring well in between and checking SG after each addition.

The ABV rating for a yeast strain is under laboratory conditions. In real life, the ABV tolerance varies a bit; some batches are under achievers (lower ABV tolerance) while others are over achievers (higher ABV tolerance).


Note: it's metabisulfIte, not metabisulfAte. I know you are using the right substance; I'm mentioning it so other beginners in the future don't use the wrong thing, as sulfate is poisonous. [You're far from the first person to use the wrong term, and you're far from the last. ;) ]
 
I racked it last night, added a crushed campden tablet, and topped up with a little store bought wine to get it into the neck. No more lees, and as of 24 hours later no more bubbles. Still at 1.020 ish and pretty sweet but it's delicious - just a little harsh which will soften with age I hope. Thanks for all the advice everyone!

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I racked it last night, added a crushed campden tablet, and topped up with a little store bought wine to get it into the neck. No more lees, and as of 24 hours later no more bubbles. Still at 1.020 ish and pretty sweet but it's delicious - just a little harsh which will soften with age I hope. Thanks for all the advice everyone!
Excellent!!!

Your wine is young, it tastes the way it should ... at this time. Give it 6 months and you will not recognize it.

Do yourself a favor. Record your impressions now. Bulk at age least 3 months, adding 1 Campden every 3 months.

Each time you taste it, record your impressions and put those notes away. 1 year after bottling, read your notes, first to last. This is the best education regarding wine aging that you can give yourself.
 
Excellent!!!

Your wine is young, it tastes the way it should ... at this time. Give it 6 months and you will not recognize it.

Do yourself a favor. Record your impressions now. Bulk at age least 3 months, adding 1 Campden every 3 months.

Each time you taste it, record your impressions and put those notes away. 1 year after bottling, read your notes, first to last. This is the best education regarding wine aging that you can give yourself.
Btw because of the specific gravity, and of course the taste - I know there is still some sugar in there. Will I need to add sorbate when I get ready to bottle?
 
Btw because of the specific gravity, and of course the taste - I know there is still some sugar in there. Will I need to add sorbate when I get ready to bottle?
This decision requires a risk assessment -- the likelihood that it will continue fermentation in the bottle.

IMO (since you're asking), I'd bulk age a minimum of 3 months, probably 6 months. If the SG doesn't change during that time, you're safe bottling without sorbate. I'd keep a weekly watch on the bottles, but you're probably ok.

Honestly, you're doing ok. You're asking good questions, you're paying attention and you're learning.

My advice for future is to start with a lower SG, ferment dry, stabilize (sorbate + K-meta), and back sweeten to taste. This leaves you in control, which is great, since Mother Nature and Dionysus are notable for messing with us mortals. 🤣
 
This decision requires a risk assessment -- the likelihood that it will continue fermentation in the bottle.

IMO (since you're asking), I'd bulk age a minimum of 3 months, probably 6 months. If the SG doesn't change during that time, you're safe bottling without sorbate. I'd keep a weekly watch on the bottles, but you're probably ok.

Honestly, you're doing ok. You're asking good questions, you're paying attention and you're learning.

My advice for future is to start with a lower SG, ferment dry, stabilize (sorbate + K-meta), and back sweeten to taste. This leaves you in control, which is great, since Mother Nature and Dionysus are notable for messing with us mortals. 🤣
Thanks for the encouraging words. I actually just racked a batch of raspberry wine out of my primary fermenter tonight. I started with a lower specific gravity (1.080) and fermented all the way to dry (.992). I added some campden and it's clarifying right now.

We had some raspberries in the freezer from last year's harvest so I figured I'd go for it.

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Thanks for the encouraging words.
Glad to be of service!

At first, winemaking often appears to be a mysterious and arcane art ... but it's just biology, chemistry, and physics. Gird yourself for lessons in all three!

Also realize that Mother Nature and Dionysus have a weird sense of humor, so things don't always go as planned ... ;)
 
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