Quantcast

First Batch Of Wine

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

thomask

Junior
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
I just started my first batch (1 gal) of strawberry wine. The must began with a SG of 1.085. I rehydrated the yeast (a half packet (1 tsp) Red Star Montrachet) and added about a half cup of must to it for about 12 hours and got it bubbling. I added it to the must tonight. It's about 6 hours later and there's a little activity, but not as much as what I would think. I still have the cheesecloth with the strawberry pulp in the pail. I have a few questions from here:

1. How much activity should be taking place in the primary vessel? Do I need to activate the other half a packet?

2. Should I attach the lid and place the air lock on the primary from the get go?

3. What SG should I transfer over to secondary? I've read about 1.03.

4. Do I measure SG every day?

5. When I transfer over, should I stir good so the yeast gets transferred over also?

That's probably enough questions for now, so I appreciate anyone's help here. Thanks!
 

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
11
You probably aren't going to see rapid activity for about 24 hours or so. You could add the rest of the yeast but it probably isn't necessary at all. You can transfer to secondary at around 1.040 to 1.020. I try to transfer around 1.020 or so. Did you mean 1.003 or 1.030? Actually anytime rapid fermentation is done you can transfer. I check the SG after about 4 days and then at a week depending on the wine. Once I transfer I check it at about a week later once again depending on the wine.

When I rack I try to transfer off the lees and leave all the sediment behind. Now if you are fermenting in a bucket and transferring to a carboy. It definitely will not hurt to take some of the sediment with you as that is actually the yeast bed. While there is some in the suspension transferring some won't hurt. I rarely transfer all of it though. It all depends on the wine style. On the strawberry, I might take a little but not all of it. It really depends on how fast it ferments down.
 

Madriver Wines

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
602
Reaction score
0
Did you use a strainer bag? I did not and had to rack at 1.03 and again a week later because I didn't like all the strawberry flesh that got transfered. It fermented out to .994 so I racked 1 more time and it is sitting and settling now. 4-6 weeks according to the recipe and I can bottle. We will see though. Hard to mess up strawberry, if not I would of already.:)

Here is a question. Can you rack too many times? Keeping in mind that you dont get alot of air or contaminates in it.
 

Madriver Wines

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
602
Reaction score
0
Hey Smurfe you forgot to ask him/her to add their location ha ha. Slipping??lol ::
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
1. How much activity should be taking place in the primary vessel? Do I need to activate the other half a packet?

2. Should I attach the lid and place the air lock on the primary from the get go?

3. What SG should I transfer over to secondary? I've read about 1.03.

4. Do I measure SG every day?

5. When I transfer over, should I stir good so the yeast gets transferred over also?

That's probably enough questions for now, so I appreciate anyone's help here. Thanks!
1) The yeast will first be in the growth fase. That means that the yeast colony will multiply and grows. In that time you will not see a lot of activity. possible you can see small patches of foam starting to occur in the must. That is a sign of activity.

I mostly make a yeaststarter 24 hours upfront. That way I hit the must with a large colony of yeast and fermentation starts up within a few hours. You can find how to make a yeaststarter here:

http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/08/gist-starter-yeast-starter.html

For now do not worry and give it some time. In about 24 hours like Smurfe says you will see more and more activity.

2) In the first phase the yeast needs some oxygen to grow. So cover the primary with a cheesecloth and stir the must at least 2 times a day. That way you will punch the cap down and so prevent bacteria growth and provide the yeast with some oxygen.

3) I would transfer in about 3 days after fermentation starts, no matter what the hydrometer says.

4) No, there is no need to measure the must every day. It serves no purpose if you can see that fermentation is on its way. The bubbles will tell you that everything goes as planned.

5) Like Smurfe writes: indeed the yeast will be for a great part at the bottom of the must. So if the most part of the strawberries are still in the cloth, indeed transfer some of the lees to the secondary.

Strawberry wine is like Madriver says indeed hard to mess up. You will be fine and pleasantly be surprised on how good it will be.

Luc
 

thomask

Junior
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Thanks for all the help! I've transferred to secondary jug, attached the airlock, and away she goes! I may have transferred too early (hydrometer read 1.003) as some of the CO2 bubbles were going through the airlock. Is this a problem? They've recently subsided, but it took most of the evening.

I know this question is a little too early, but I'll ask anyway while I'm here. When do I degas? Is that after racking a few times and right before bottling?
Also, what about adding some sugar and a stabilizer as the recipe calls for. Will the sugar dissolve ok?

Sorry for all the questions, I just want this to turn out ok. Thanks for your help!
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
Well first I do not understand the first part of the question.
You say CO2 gas escapes through the airlock. Well that just means that the wine is still fermenting and that is where the airlock is for.
It lets the gas out and no nasties and oxygen in.

The second part is easy. If you rack and let the wine age properly, no degassing is needed. Degassing is mostly a thing of winekits. they are made within a small timescale (1 or 2 months). You are not making a kit so it will take more time as those few months. Racking and time will degas the wine.

About the sugar addition.
Your initial SG is high enough to give the wine an appropriate alcohol percentage. So I presume that the sugar addition is for sweetening the wine in the end.
Sweetening is done when the wine has completely finished and cleared. No fermentation should be going on any more at that time.
Then first you stabilise the wine by adding sulphite and sorbate and then add the sugar for sweetening.
So this is at the end of the process.

For now sit back and enjoy, or better: start a new batch :D

Luc
 

gonzo46307

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
255
Reaction score
1
I'm still new to this...so it's grain of salt time.

I just made a 1 gallon batch of strawberry wine, from frozen strawberries. I let it ferment in the primary for 7 days...it ended up being .994 when I racked it to the secondary. I let it sit for 2 more weeks, until I didn't see any activity. It ended up being at .990 (my hydrometer's limit), maybe a little less. I added a camden tablet, and then sorbate, degassed and let it sit until it clarified.

After it clarified, another couple of weeks, I racked it and made a simple sugar (2 parts sugar to 1 part water). I added this a little at a time, mixing in between, until it tasted like I wanted. I'll probably bottle it in a couple of months.

The taste of homemade wine is very subjective, make it the way you like, especially 1 gallon batches. You can't do much with those except drink them. If you give a couple of bottles away, you only have a couple bottles left.

If you're going to be making fruit wine, definitely get an acid test kit (if you don't already have one).

Good luck, and have fun.

Peace,
Bob
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
269
Thomask, there are a few opinions here on degassing. I make fruit wines all the time also and I degas my wine as it helps the wine clear faster, besides that Ive had a few batches that bulk aged around 1 year that never degassed well. When it is done fermenting (checked by using a hydrometer a few days in a row with no changes and below 1.000 usually) you can add both k-meta and sorbate and then sweeten.
 

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
11
Hey Smurfe you forgot to ask him/her to add their location ha ha. Slipping??lol ::
No, I didn't forget. I don't think you have seen me ask anyone that. I don't like when that is asked. It is none of my business where someone lives. Most posts it is irrelevant anyway. If it is relevant, I will ask but until then, Nope, not gonna happen. :D
 

Latest posts

Top