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First larger batch in Brute - when to go to air-tight?

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mattyc

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I've always made smaller batches that fit in an 8 gallon airtight primary fermeter. This week I started a larger batch (~25 gal) in a Brute, covering it with a towel to keep insects out.

I'm planning to press after 8 days of skin contact time, but toward the end of that 8 days my SG is going to be pretty low and I'm basically going to have wine in there - wine that's entirely exposed to atmospheric oxygen. That seems like an issue to me...

So, question, do I need to move to an airtight vessel prior to pressing? Or is it fine to just ride through the 8 days, press, and then go to an airtight secondary (glass carboys)? Am I thinking about this right?!?

Thanks-
-mc
 

pgentile

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I've always made smaller batches that fit in an 8 gallon airtight primary fermeter. This week I started a larger batch (~25 gal) in a Brute, covering it with a towel to keep insects out.

I'm planning to press after 8 days of skin contact time, but toward the end of that 8 days my SG is going to be pretty low and I'm basically going to have wine in there - wine that's entirely exposed to atmospheric oxygen. That seems like an issue to me...

So, question, do I need to move to an airtight vessel prior to pressing? Or is it fine to just ride through the 8 days, press, and then go to an airtight secondary (glass carboys)? Am I thinking about this right?!?

Thanks-
-mc
No need to put under airlock until after press. Then rack again 24-48 hours after press once the gross lees settles. I would let the hydrometer tell me when to press rather than specific days. Some will press around 1.010-1.020 others(me) will press once 1.000 or below.

This hobby keeps scaling up, be careful.
 

mattyc

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Thanks.

No need to put under airlock
Can you expand on why not? We work so hard to keep air out of the wine from pressing and beyond. What's different now, when the wine is around 1.000? It's pretty much wine, right?

I'm making Marquette and everything I've read from the U of MN recommends 8 days of skin contact time, so that's where I'm getting that...
 

pgentile

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Thanks.



Can you expand on why not? We work so hard to keep air out of the wine from pressing and beyond. What's different now, when the wine is around 1.000? It's pretty much wine, right?

I'm making Marquette and everything I've read from the U of MN recommends 8 days of skin contact time, so that's where I'm getting that...
Some oxygen during fermentation is a good thing. Yeast need it. And I believe, during primary/AF, the wine is getting more and more saturated with so2 that it really can't absorb much oxygen. Once AF is over and the wine degasses it all changes, then you want to limit exposure.
 

ibglowin

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There is plenty of CO2 to protect the wine until you press. Even Kit manufacturers are saying to ferment down to dry these days and no need to top up anymore as long as you have your wine under airlock after you rack off the gross lees. Again plenty of CO2 in the wine to prevent oxidation.

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Thanks.



Can you expand on why not? We work so hard to keep air out of the wine from pressing and beyond. What's different now, when the wine is around 1.000? It's pretty much wine, right?

I'm making Marquette and everything I've read from the U of MN recommends 8 days of skin contact time, so that's where I'm getting that...
 

pgentile

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I'm making Marquette and everything I've read from the U of MN recommends 8 days of skin contact time, so that's where I'm getting that...
There are many here who have done extended macerations, it is fine, just pay attention to off odors and keep punching down the cap a couple times a day. Hopefully someone with more experience with Marquette will chime in.
 

Ajmassa

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I think your perfectly fine going 8 days until pressing. The amount of co2 alone is enough to protect it for quite some time. My wine from May is still loaded with it. (And still without added so2 as well).
I’d probably leave the cap in place the last couple days. If punched after fermentation has slowed then it won’t form again. And the cap is giving another layer of protection.
Just don’t be afraid to call an audible either if the ferment goes super quick. Nothing wrong with 6 or 7 days either.
 

Kraffty

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I agree with all above but if you just don't feel comfortable or want it to sit longer you can layer plastic wrap across the surface of the wine and weigh it down slightly. Not airtight but would limit contact with Oxygen.
Mike
 

Ajmassa

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These kinds of questions make me realize how lucky I was to learn from the old timers. Really gave me a sense of what ya can get away with— which is ALOT.
The co2 pretty much allows ya to do whatever the heck ya want the first 2 weeks (at least) without concern. Personally I feel that the exposure to o2 early on helps the wine become accustomed to it for later on.
 

mattyc

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Wow. Thanks everyone for all the helpful replies! Yes, I wish I had an old-timer to learn from, but feel very fortunate to have this group of people available and willing to comment and help out!!!
 
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