First batch started now what?

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Aug 27, 2009
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Now that I have my first batch going what do I do?

The recipe says to stir it every day (the top only) for the next 4 or 5 days till the sg gets to 1.040 and then rack to secondary? does that sound about right?

Would it work better to not stir?

Do I need to do anything after racking? I was under the impression that I just top it off with water maybe a bit more sugar and then leave it sit under airlock for 2-3 months or so before touching it again.

And any general tips about this part of the process or racking would also be more than welcome.

Thanks for all the help I have to say this is the most helpful forum I have used for any topic.

What are you making? is it a kit?

If a fruit wine.. have you got a recipe?

stirring is to keep fruit submerged/stop the fruit going moldy stuck at the top of your wine.... and to introduce oxygen into your must .. as initially the yeast needs the oxygen to get a good head start. first racking strains off the fruit and then you put the wine into your secondary under airlock to let it ferment out.

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sorry to not provide enough info.

I am using vinter's harvest cherry wine base (it does have whole cherries in it but I put them in a straining bag so I will probably just turn the bag a couple of times instead of stirring it to better avoid messing up the lees.

I do have something of a recipe and directions yes but not like they probably are in a kit its more like the recipe for spaghetti on the back of the noodle box, a general guide but very basic not specific.
did you add some pectic enzyme?

I'd be inclined to mash the bag against the wall of the primary anyway.. get as much of it to break down into your must as possible before removal. Messing with the lees isn't an issue this early in the wine.. it'll all settle out eventually anyway.. getting as much flavour as possible into the wine.

I too had a similar question regarding stirring that I have been wanting to ask. I have seen several recipes that said to stir "x" times a day. ( I realize the importance of pressing down the "cap" when using fresh fruit. But what ARE, the advantages, if any by stirring your must? I have seen other recipes and recommendations that said just to leave it alone during the primary ferment. Seems like this would just prolong the settling period altogether.

It adds oxygen for the yeast Troy..

some yeasts take a few days to get going.

I understand that G, but, once it is fermenting good, would there be any other reason to stir it during the primary ferment? I'm not talking about a fresh fruit wine, where it is necessarry to push down the cap. But thats not stirring. I have had other "old timers" tell me they stir their wine every day. So I am still somewhat confused if there is any reason to stir you must.

I have forgot the term , "sur lees", I believe, but if you stirred it daily then the lees would most certainly not settle during the primary.

Only if the fruit was still in it Troy, if it was juice and the ferment was going.. I wouldn't bother stirring it myself.

The stirring in the directions is basically the same as punching down the cap. You want to keep the fruit moist and turned over so you get the extraction. If it is in a bag just keep pushing it under the liquid surface daily. If you didn't have it in the bag you would stir the top to turn the fruit under the surface.
I will add that a lot of good yeast cells and hulls get covered by some yeast when the first very vigorous fermentation starts to slow a little and getting them stirred up gets them all hot and horny again to do their thing! :)

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