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Jucks

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Good Evening,

Just wanted to thank those who had answered several of my questions upon starting out. Today was finally the day, and I assembled my first bucket of red wine ( Concentrate based ).

I was alittle lower on the alcohol% that I was looking for, but I believe I'll wind up in the 11-12% range depending on the final gravity reading. PH was a solid 3.6, T.A. came in at around .5%-.6% ( alittle low, but I'm assuming its more of a failure on my part at knowing how to properly use the tester, given the PH reading ), and the SG was around 1.085.

As long as it winds up making something drinkable, I'll be content for the first batch. I added in Opti-Red, as well as GoFerm.

My only additional questions are;

As for sulfite, is there a basic pattern I could follow as to adding it, for example a quarter teaspoon every few days? I want to remain on the lower end of the sulfite spectrum, but I also don't want bad wine.

Is there a good pattern as to when to add Ferment K? Split it up within the 10 days of fermentation, every few days or so?

Thanks again for all of your responses, and assistance along the way!

Jucks
 

Julie

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Your alcohol content depends on what you star out with. A good formula to calculate your ABV is Sg minus Fg multiplied by 131=ABV
 

Scooter68

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There are many ways to get to good wine at the end. The only suggestion I would have it to aim a little higher on the ABV to account for loss of volume due to topping off. As many will suggest, if you top off your carboy with a wine of a similar or same type then volume loss is not an issue BUT if you use water to top off then each addition of water lowers your end ABV. I believe that the baseline ABV needed to help preserve your wine is about 10.5 %.

You don't have an issue with this but it's something to keep an eye on as you go.
 

Ron0126

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There are many ways to get to good wine at the end. The only suggestion I would have it to aim a little higher on the ABV to account for loss of volume due to topping off. As many will suggest, if you top off your carboy with a wine of a similar or same type then volume loss is not an issue BUT if you use water to top off then each addition of water lowers your end ABV. I believe that the baseline ABV needed to help preserve your wine is about 10.5 %.

You don't have an issue with this but it's something to keep an eye on as you go.
Agree with Scooter68. I used water ... once. The wine was thin and not worth drinking. My wife called it "one dimensional."
As far as sulfites, I add 1/4 tsp per 5-6 gallons of wine every three months when racking.
 
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Scooter68

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The offset for those of us making Fruitwiners, wines that cannot be matched with a store bought wine, is also simple. Add more fruit and increase the ABV to offset the potential dilution from volume loss. After a few batches it's not difficult to accurately estimate how much volume will be lost to lees with a given fruit.

My most recent batch of Peach wine is a good example. Aiming for a 3 gallon batch I actually pushed the volume up to 4 gallons and accordingly added more fruit. At the end of primary fermentation I had about 3 2/3 gallons once the fruit bag was removed and squeezed dry. I still expect to lose almost a gallon to lees and I'll use the additional volume must to help offset that loss. My initial calculated ABV was right at 14% but by the time the batch is done I expect that to be somewhat lower, closer to 12% or 12.5%. Flavor loss should be negligible even if I have to add a little water since I started with approximately 6 pounds of fruit per gallon. With ripe peaches that has produced a solid wine.
 

NorCal

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For fermaid K, follow their instructions. I believe it is 1/2 at first sign of fermentation and the other 1/2 one third through fermentation.

For 3.6pH you want to be at 50ppm, which is 1.6 grams of SO2 per 5 gallons. I like Ron's 90 day cycle, assuming it is a glass carboy. Half that if it is in a barrel and 60 days if it is in a flex tank.

Go for it and good luck!
 

Jucks

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Thanks for the extra info! Also, do I add in sulfite during the fermentation process, or only after its been fermented and re-racked? Id imagine adding sulfite now would be counter productive, as it would likely damage the yeast that is hard at work.
 

sour_grapes

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Thanks for the extra info! Also, do I add in sulfite during the fermentation process, or only after its been fermented and re-racked? Id imagine adding sulfite now would be counter productive, as it would likely damage the yeast that is hard at work.
Correct -- don't add any sulfite during the fermentation, for the reason you cited.
 

Jucks

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thanks!! Appreciate all the help guys and gals! Its a great community here.
 

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