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lepidgeon

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Hi All,

I started my first batch yesterday, and I have a few questions:

1- I am using a Coopers Primary Fermenter with a Krausen collar instead of an airlock. Would this affect anything? Technically, it should be doing the same job as an airlock. (Picture attached)

2- I accidentally topped it off to25L instead of 23L. This shouldn't effect the alcohol % too much, right?

3- I'm a little nervous since it is my first try, but I don't see any foam or anything forming in my fermenter. It's only been 24hours as of now. Temp started at 19C, and is now steady at 22-23C.

Thanks for your input!

ImageUploadedByWine Making1496666922.809702.jpg
 

sour_grapes

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1- I am using a Coopers Primary Fermenter with a Krausen collar instead of an airlock. Would this affect anything? Technically, it should be doing the same job as an airlock. (Picture attached)
Well, you don't really need an airlock during primary fermentation. Most of us just either leave a lid loosely on top of the bucket, or cover the bucket with a towel. You just need something to keep the bugs and critters out.

2- I accidentally topped it off to25L instead of 23L. This shouldn't effect the alcohol % too much, right?
Well, it should reduce it by ~8%, say, from ~13% to 12%. However, the bigger problem is that your wine will also be diluted in flavor. The only thing I can think of to do, if you want to try to "fix" this, is to add some grape-juice concentrate. Not sure I would bother, though.

Next questions: What kind of kit is this? Do you have a hydrometer? If so, what was the starting specific gravity? (If not, get one now!)

3- I'm a little nervous since it is my first try, but I don't see any foam or anything forming in my fermenter. It's only been 24hours as of now. Temp started at 19C, and is now steady at 22-23C.
Don't get nervous at 24 hours. You should see results within 48 hours of starting, however.
 

lepidgeon

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It's just a Costco Kit - Argentina Ridge Merlot

I have a hydrometer, but didn't take a starting SG... my friend makes wine all the time and he said i was wasting my time. I regretfully listened to him :(
 

Grabo

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It's just a Costco Kit - Argentina Ridge Merlot

I have a hydrometer, but didn't take a starting SG... my friend makes wine all the time and he said i was wasting my time. I regretfully listened to him :(
Welcome to the forum!

Especially for a first timer, I would disagree that taking the SG is a waste of time. When I nervously made my first batch, the hydrometer was a reassuring measure of progress that I didn't mess anything up. Even a year and a half later, checking the SG is an exciting way for me to start my day. It takes longer to sanitize the hydrometer than to take the reading :h
 

michael-s

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I would like to add something I consider very important I read when I started to learn wine making. Use proper equipment.... that is meant for wine making.
Cleaning & Sanitation........ "Anything and Everything" that comes in contact with your wine has to be clean and sanitized....... don't be lazy and take shortcuts here. With kit wines, for a beginner, follow the manufacturers instructions. You will end up with a good, drinkable wine you will be proud of and enjoy.
I have a log book and enter all information for every batch of wine I make. I list the wine, the date, the "starting S.G.", the temperature and anything special done at the start of that batch of wine. Every day I check the S.G. and temperature then date and write that in the log book.
I highlight the exact S.G., along with the date, when I transfer to Secondary Fermentation and continue checking and writing in log book until the batch reaches the S.G that I choose to Stabilize the wine and then begin clearing. Finally I write down the date that the wine is bottled and add any comments I may have about that batch. I can read the details of the very first wine kit I made and everyone after that.

Just some suggestions for you........... Enjoy your wine making.......... It is a pleasant and rewarding hobby to get into.
 

lepidgeon

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Welcome to the forum!



Especially for a first timer, I would disagree that taking the SG is a waste of time. When I nervously made my first batch, the hydrometer was a reassuring measure of progress that I didn't mess anything up. Even a year and a half later, checking the SG is an exciting way for me to start my day. It takes longer to sanitize the hydrometer than to take the reading :h

Will be doing this going forward! Thanks!

Welcome to the forum!

Thank you!

I would like to add something I consider very important I read when I started to learn wine making. Use proper equipment.... that is meant for wine making.
Cleaning & Sanitation........ "Anything and Everything" that comes in contact with your wine has to be clean and sanitized....... don't be lazy and take shortcuts here. With kit wines, for a beginner, follow the manufacturers instructions. You will end up with a good, drinkable wine you will be proud of and enjoy.
I have a log book and enter all information for every batch of wine I make. I list the wine, the date, the "starting S.G.", the temperature and anything special done at the start of that batch of wine. Every day I check the S.G. and temperature then date and write that in the log book.
I highlight the exact S.G., along with the date, when I transfer to Secondary Fermentation and continue checking and writing in log book until the batch reaches the S.G that I choose to Stabilize the wine and then begin clearing. Finally I write down the date that the wine is bottled and add any comments I may have about that batch. I can read the details of the very first wine kit I made and everyone after that.

Just some suggestions for you........... Enjoy your wine making.......... It is a pleasant and rewarding hobby to get into.

Thanks a lot! I will start a diary!
 

lepidgeon

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Hi all, racked to carboy today, specific gravity is 0.990 after primary fermentation. Should I still leave it10 days in secondary? Or stabilize now?
 

sour_grapes

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IMHO, you could go either way. But, in general, the best answer in winemaking is to wait longer, I think I would go ahead and do the "secondary."
 

Hordak

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I just started a Costco Argentia Ridge Cab Sauv and I made it only up to 20L and added the following:
- 1/2 of a Mosti Mondiale grape pack (which is usually easy to source in bigger cities in Canada)
- 1 tsp wine tannin and 1 tsp FT Rouge Tannin
- 1 cup frozen cherries and 1 cup frozen blackberries.

My SG was bang on 1.10 which is decent for a Cab Sauv I believe.
All my reds I let ferment in primary for 4 to 6 weeks.

When you go to do the second Merlot that came in the box I highly recommend only making it to 19-20L, try to source that Mosti grape pack and primary for at least a month and I think you'll be really pleased with the results versus just doing it per instructions and the full 23L
 

Jocelyn

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I just started a Costco Argentia Ridge Cab Sauv and I made it only up to 20L and added the following:
- 1/2 of a Mosti Mondiale grape pack (which is usually easy to source in bigger cities in Canada)
- 1 tsp wine tannin and 1 tsp FT Rouge Tannin
- 1 cup frozen cherries and 1 cup frozen blackberries.

My SG was bang on 1.10 which is decent for a Cab Sauv I believe.
All my reds I let ferment in primary for 4 to 6 weeks.

When you go to do the second Merlot that came in the box I highly recommend only making it to 19-20L, try to source that Mosti grape pack and primary for at least a month and I think you'll be really pleased with the results versus just doing it per instructions and the full 23L
Agreed with the costco kits I always do a little less water then required.
I have never bothered doctoring them (but I might try it on my next batch, do you throw the extra fruit in a bag? what might be good to throw into a merlot?).

I have done 5 of them so far, they are cheap, they taste better then some of the expensive kits I have made. I use them mainly to give to people who don't bring booze to a party or in sangria. That said one of my cousins hates wine and loves those costco ones, every time I see him I bring him a few bottles and he rants and raves about them. Wont touch my good stuff though.

The only issue I have ever had with them was on my first one I didn't stir it enough and it ended up kind of fizzy. Obviously that was a user error though lol
 

Hordak

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I usually add about 300-400gr dark frozen cherries and 300-400gr of another frozen fruit that is in line with some of the tasting notes like raspberry or BlackBerry.
I also highly recommend a 30-45 day extended maceration or primary ferment and then a two month oaking stage in secondary ( I use oak cubes)
 

Jocelyn

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Which stage do you add the fruit in primary or secondary? Are usually leave mine in the secondary for an extended period but I have also moved it within the first couple of weeks and it was still all right.
 

Trick

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about to start my ar shiraz, it is on sale. planing to add a bag of frozen black fruit mix and black raosins to raise body. and to add 1 tbsp tannin in primary. my water addition will be based on sg. target to 1.095.
 

Trick

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bm4x4 is the yeast to use in leur of ec1118

Even after diluted the juice to about 21 L, the SG is only 1.090. pH at 3.50. This looks like a real lean kit. Just matching the price.

Then I added the fruit and raisins in a nylon bag. Added pectic enzyme, will let it sit for one day, then add oak, tannin, and pitch the yeast.

Maybe add some oak tubes in the bulk aging to add more flavour.
 
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michael-s

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lepidgeon you are receiving lots now from winemakers that have, I assume, been making wine for a while now and are confident in their abilities to
experiment and add different things to their wine kits, which I totally agree is a good thing. When I started out learning how to make wine I relied
on this site and the members of this site to talk about their ways of making wine, it is and was so helpful to me.

I have one suggestion for you to consider. In your very first post and question you said you are making your first kit wine. Speaking personally for
myself I went thru the same thing as you. Here is my suggestion to you and I am in no way knocking any suggestions and input from any members.
There is a learning curve every beginner goes thru learning how to make wine. This is what I suggest to you....... stick to and follow the instructions
exactly as you are given by the manufacturers of the wine kits you buy. Do this for the first number of kits that you make so that you learn and become very comfortable with the entire process of making wine from the beginning to end. Once you feel confident with the process then if you want start experimenting with changes to kit wines and also further your experience and make wine from scratch, meaning not from a wine kit but
from ingredients you add yourself you may of picked or bought, a batch of wine totally from scratch. When you complete your first batch of wine
from scratch you will feel very proud of yourself. I am not here pushing any scratch wine batch, you decide for yourself but my first non-kit
wine batch I made was the Dragon Blood which you can find on this site. I went on to make homemade wine from pineapple, blueberries, rhubarb, dandelion (lots of hand picking) and a few others.
Take your time and "get very comfortable and confident" with the process of making wine from beginning to end, then move on and begin experimenting, wine making is a truly rewarding and pleasant hobby to get into.

Enjoy yourself.
 

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