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bladeofthemoon

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hey everyone. i finally got everything and put the must in the primary fermentor last night for an Apple and Honey Wine.

However, do to my inexperience with hydrometers, i kinda managed to break it while cleaning it. so i couldnt measure the SG of the must. The temp was 24'C as measured. I am going to buy another hydrometer today, but i wanted to know, once the SG has been reached and i am to transfer it to the secondary fermenter, should i leave the hydrometer in the must? this way i will be able to check the SG without having to take any of the liquid out.
 

bladeofthemoon

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just an addition.... i finally checked the sg. its absolutely correct. but the fermentation hasnt begun even now that 24 hours are over.... any suggestions?
 

Luc

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Did you sprinkle the yeast on top or did you make a yeast starter.
I always make a yeast starter, that way I am sure that I have a healthy yeast colony hitting the must.....

Did you add nutrients ??? That might help.

What apples did you use, or was it juice and where there any
conserving ingredients like sulphite or sorbate or benzoate ???

A few more details would be helpfull please ......

Luc
 

Wade E

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The above questions would be nice to know but 24 hours is way to early for most fruit wines to show much action. Your first sign will most likely be little tiny action like looking into a soda popand also sound like a can of soda with a little sizzling sound. It may take around 36 hours to really start to see ant signs. What temp was the must when you aded the yeast.
 

bladeofthemoon

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Did you sprinkle the yeast on top or did you make a yeast starter.
I always make a yeast starter, that way I am sure that I have a healthy yeast colony hitting the must.....

Did you add nutrients ??? That might help.

What apples did you use, or was it juice and where there any
conserving ingredients like sulphite or sorbate or benzoate ???

A few more details would be helpfull please ......

Luc
i did make a yeast starter. however, i didnt see signs of foaming or anything on the top. so i took the advice of a chef who's been baking for me for a long time.... my mum. :D and she said that the yeast seems to have been activated. :) so i added it in.
i didnt add nutrients cause that and pectinaze were two things i couldnt lay my hands on. :( if you have any home remedies which can be substituted i would love to do that.
i used fresh apples. The apples we get in india are imported Kashmiri apples with lots of juice and are reasonably sweet(not too sweet. thats the indian variety).
er... the recipe didnt say to add any sorbate or sulphite or benzoate so i didnt add. plus, i seem to remember these stop the fermentation, so i think thats good i didnt. however, i did sprinkle some sulpite on the apples to keep them from browning as the recipe suggested. lemme see the solution was ( about 1 teaspoon in 1/2 ltr of water and i used about 3/4 of a cup to sprinkle. Do you think thats the problem?

The above questions would be nice to know but 24 hours is way to early for most fruit wines to show much action. Your first sign will most likely be little tiny action like looking into a soda popand also sound like a can of soda with a little sizzling sound. It may take around 36 hours to really start to see ant signs. What temp was the must when you aded the yeast.
as i am writing now, its been about 36 hours. the temp has been maintained at about 23'c except at night when it falls to about 19-20'c. i dunno if 3-4'c will matter, but then this is my first batch. what do i know. hehe :D
 

Wade E

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Get the temp up higher until it at least starts the you can let it get back down, that will get it going. GET SOME PECTIC ENZYME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Apples are notorious for pectin and yo definitely want to get some in there ASAP!
 

bladeofthemoon

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well i can definately raise the temp.... i'll just put it in some hot water so gently raise the temp..... also, the SG seems to have increased to 1.100 from 1.095 as it should have been... so i'll dilute it with water too.

tell me something, the surface of the liquid is about a little less than 3/4th of the height of the container..... is that a prob? also, i havent put a pipe in the container to remove the carbon dioxide which might be created?? do u think that could a prob too??
 

Wade E

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You want that space in there during primary fermentation so that the yeast will get 02, you dont need to lock down the lid and use an airlock during primary fermentation and actually it is beneficial not to but it is ok to as Ive been doing s for 4 1/2 years like this, Just makw sure not to leave it accessible to bugs or something to get into, cover it with a cloth or something like that.
 

bladeofthemoon

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cool.... i'll leave it covered with a cloth to keep the bugs out. lets give it another shot with the raised temp for 24 hours and see if the fermentation starts or not.
 

bladeofthemoon

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lol... true. well, i took a look from outside the container and there seems to be some white froth on the sides on the liquid. but its a thin later only. is that fermentation??? if it is, i would have thought it'd be more like the foam u get when u pour beer. :p
 

Wade E

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Probably fermentation, some wines will foam up like crazy(mostly red wines) and some will foam a little and some will just fizzle a lot(usually white wines). Get your ear in there and see if you can hear a sizzling noise like a can of soda.
 

bladeofthemoon

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naah... its deathly silent. with just a very little foam in places between the apple slices. :p well, here's to hoping the foam will get a bit thicker so that i can be sure of fermentation. i soooo want this first attempt to work. :) i appreciate all the advice. thanks.
 

bladeofthemoon

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looks like the foam has really set in a bit more thickly... and if i stir it just a bit, there is fizzing sound too..(am i supposed to just leave it alone or stir once a day to keep the fruit wet and keep from drying up?)
How long do u think it should take for the SG to fall from 1.095 to 1.020 as per the book? i mean an average time would gimme a good idea. :)
 

Wade E

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Glad you are going now, you really should punch down the cap a few times a day but at least once a day. There are just too many variables to say how long this will take, like especially fermentation temp, and size of batch and I do not recall seeing the size of this batch in mention. Seeing as this is a Mead which usually take a lot longer and should be fermented with cooler temps like around low 60's with multiple stages of nutrient added, its going to take about 2 months if this is bigger then a 3 gallon batch.
 

bladeofthemoon

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well its a 10 litre batch which is about a little more than 2 gallons. the temp i am maintaining is around 30'C for fermentation. However, im not sure what punching the cap a few times a day means. :p sry. heheh
mead?? i thought i was making like a wine wine. ( apple and honey wine it says on the name of the recipe. :O )
 

arcticsid

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Hi Blade, They're refering to the solids(pulp) that float to the top while fermenting, common when making fruit wines. This needs to be pushed uder the liguids at least a couple times a day, it keeps it moist and also keeps it from getting spoiled. There are also other goodies in there and they need to be part of the "must" as much as possible. Make sure whatever you use to push it down is sterilized, even if it is your own hand. A potato masher works the best, but make sure you push it down at least a couple times a day. i am sure some of the others will say the same.
Troy
 

bladeofthemoon

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hey... i have reached SG 1.028.... i gotta reach 1.020 and then im supposed to transfer it to the 2ndary fermenter and when that reaches SG 0.095, then im to add bentonite crystals and wine conditioner. The thing is, i havent been able to get my hands on either and im gonna use gelatin crystals which they use to make in jelly instead of bentonite and im still thinking of what to use instead of wine conditioner.... any suggestions? i guess my wine is all about improvising. :p
 

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