First batch !!

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Aug 3, 2008
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Well,finally got all my equipment gathered and now its time to do my first batch of wine. Went down to the local wine making store(Dans)and picked up a pail of white zinfendale juice. They pre ferment it but still needs to be put in a fermenting pail for a few weeks to get the proper hydrometer reading pending on how dry you want it.....or so this is what they told me ???
Anyhow,i racked it into a fermenting pail and put on my gas release plug thing on top of the pail and now I wait for at least four weeks or until the hydro reading reads .992 or lower....How exiting,almost like watching paint dry...


Cheers !!
Check your hydrometer reading daily to see how your fermentation is progessing. 4 weeks is a long time for fermentation unless your room is fairly cold. Usually fermentation from juice is completed in a week. If your fermentation is completed in a week and you let it sit for 3 additional weeks without racking and protecting the wine with sulfite you may find your wine starting to oxidize from exposure to air.
Ok,I'll keep an eye on the hydrometer reading fopr sure.
My hydrometer goes from 1.120 to 0.990. My instructions state that I should rack at 0.992. So I guess that means that when the hydrometer reachs 0.990 to where the meter its pretty much submerged to the last reading its time to rack ????
I also put a warmer on the fermenting pail and it has the temperature at a steady 75F now. When I lifted the lid to check the reading the wine was workin up a storm !!!

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That's good the fermentation is working so well, another reason why I think it will be completed well before 4 weeks. At a specific gravity of 0.992 the wine is fermented to dryness, which means the residual sugar has been converted to alcohol. Once you transfer the wine to the carboy put an airlock on and wait a few days and see how much solids (lees) settle to the bottom. With a pail of juice it will probably be about a 1/4 inch. When you don't see any bubbles coming out of the airlock your fermentation is completed. Rack the wine off the lees into clean carboy, add sulfite (campden tablets 1 per gallon, or a 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite) and let rest for a month or 2 then rack again.

If you want some free wine making guides, go to and click on the link More Winemaking Info.
Thanx again for all the great racking tips !!!
Checked out the link the left in your post. Lots of interesting tools there to help me out. Most of the stuff on that site I have seen in the wine making shop up the road. Nice to know what everything is for before I go out to buy it .....
Got a question..When I bought all my start up stuff off my freind last week he gave me a container with Calcium/Magnesium Sulphate...What is its purpose ???

Magnesium Suphate is an ingreditent found in Fermaid, which is a yeast nutrient used during the fermentation process. I did not know of any application for just Magnesium Sulphate so I did some research. Here is the description from

Magnesium Sulfate is quite often called for in Mead and other recipes where the fermentation can sometimes be quite a challenge. There are times when even the hardiest of yeast will have trouble fermenting such sugars. While not an effective nutrient by itself, when Magnesium Sulfate is combined with either our Yeast Nutrient or Yeast Energizer it enhances their effect on the rate of fermentation considerably.

Another useful website you may want to check out is

PS. Were you able to find the guides at
I was able to find the guides in that link. Will come very useful,many thanx...Also your research on the Sulphate will come in helpful too.
I'm in the process of making a batch of sour mash whiskey so I may just have to give that Calcium Sulpate a try to kick up the fermentation process if required...we'll see how it goes..

Well, the yeast has got the sour mash on the move and its starting to smell down in the laundry room:) ...Time to put in that ventalation fan soon....
As for getting back to my first batch of wine,tommorrow I'm fully expecting it to be at 0.990 or close to it so the first racking will commence !!! I'm exited:D

Cheers !!