First Time Bottling - HELP!

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Vic Frohmeyer

Pharma Engineer - Retired
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
17
Hello Everyone!

My wife and made our first one gallon "demonstration" batch of wine to see if we could even make a wine like substance back in mid-January of this year. So far things have gone well, due much in part to the knowledge base here that kept us from doing things we shouldn't, and focus on things we should (like cleaning/sanitization). At each racking we held back 250ml (separate from the main batch) and back sweetened the 250 ml to SG=1.005 to our taste preference. Consumed the 250 ml immediately just to learn the taste changes over time. We topped off the main batch each with any remnant red we had on hand to make up for the 250 ml we pulled out each time, on 2/25 and 5/28. Didn't know any better but it didn't seem to hurt anything.

So here's where we're stuck: We'd like to back sweeten and bottle what we have in bulk, but not sure what to add in terms of avoiding a fermentation restart, and simply preserving what we put in the bottle for a year (if it makes it that long before consumption). The wine making kit (bucket, siphon, airlocks, limited chems, etc.) we have from BSG came with Potassium Sorbate granules, and Campden tablets. Unfortunately we've found the BSG guide to be a little disjointed and not always reflecting current good practices we see discussed here. I noticed on many postings that there is frequently is a request for batch details needed to provide an answer, so I've written them below. Necessity for acid testing was a learning for us, so no early data.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!




Batch Details:
The batch recipe made on 1/17/21 was as follows:
1 gallon of Welches 100% grape juice
9 oz. sugar
1 Packet of red star yeast.
1 tsp . yeast nutrient
1 tsp acid blend
1/4 tsp. tannin.
Starting SG was 1.085, 0.993 after 7 days, and moved to secondary with airlock on 1/19 (Added Campden tablet).
Racked again 2/25, SG 0.993 (Added Campden tablet).
Racked again 5/28, SG still at 0.993, (titration kit arrived, tested out at .75% tartaric), Added Kieselsol and Chitosan (LD Carlson), to clear the batch.
 

Rembee

Country Wine Artisan 🍷
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
426
Reaction score
664
Location
Southern Mississippi
Potassium Sorbate is what you would add when your ready to backsweeten. This will stop the yeast from multiplying into another fermentation. It does not kill the yeast, just stops them from multiplying.
If your last camden tablet was on 2/25 then add another when adding the sorbate before bottling.
After you add the camden, sorbate and backsweeten, allow the wine to sit for 3 to 5 days before bottling to make sure that it is stabilized.
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
3,097
Reaction score
1,463
Location
Kansas
do a bench trail using 1/4 cup samples=60ml and sugar syrup form two cup sugar to one cup hot water mixed in a blender. use 1/4 =1.25ml tsp additions until you achieve desired sweetness ten add to main batch along with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite.
 

Rice_Guy

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
2,295
Reaction score
2,553
Location
Food Industry - - Retired
you will find most made from scratch instructions say add the sorbate and campden (AKA metabisulphite) then wait a day to let them work on the yeast before adding the back sweetening, , however wine is forgiving it still drinks well if done all at the same time.

and Welcome to WineMakingTalk
 

Vic Frohmeyer

Pharma Engineer - Retired
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
17
Thank you for the responses! Followed the suggestions, everything seems fine as of this writing ;).
 

Vic Frohmeyer

Pharma Engineer - Retired
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
17
you will find most made from scratch instructions say add the sorbate and campden (AKA metabisulphite) then wait a day to let them work on the yeast before adding the back sweetening, , however wine is forgiving it still drinks well if done all at the same time.

and Welcome to WineMakingTalk
Coming up on bottling a new batch of dried elderberry we made, and my wife wants to sweeten this batch to taste before bottling. If we follow convention and add the sorbate and the campden a few days in advance, will it affect the taste at the time we back sweeten?
 

Rice_Guy

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
2,295
Reaction score
2,553
Location
Food Industry - - Retired
Coming up on bottling a new batch of dried elderberry we made, and my wife wants to sweeten this batch to taste before bottling. If we follow convention and add the sorbate and the campden a few days in advance, will it affect the taste at the time we back sweeten?
* you will keep meta additions below 50ppm so it will not be an issue, for most folks it is detected well above 100ppm
* sorbate is used in a lot of food systems as bakery, , , if you dose at bottle instructions it is not an issue
 

Vic Frohmeyer

Pharma Engineer - Retired
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
17
Hello - I finally got around to bottling the batch described above on 9/25/21, and it went well. The SG was .990 on 9/20, so back sweetened to 1.000, then followed the directions suggested above (added campden and sorbate). Looked at my notes, and I had it noted as clear, no sediment on 9/20. Filled and corked 8 bottles on 9/25/21, still clear, no sediment. I used #9 1-1/2" corks, inserted with a floor corker into recycled, green punted bottom bottles. Bottles were washed and sanitized, dried and openings covered for about 24 hours prior to filling.

I picked up a bottle yesterday, 10/18 and noticed that it had sediment in the bottom, as did the other seven. Sediment is similar in amount and appearance across all bottles, see pictures below. We opened one bottle and it drinks well, reasonably clear in the glass, sediment stays at the bottom of the bottle, have 1/2 open bottle left.

Said all that, to ask this: Do we have a problem to be worried about? I was hoping to let these go as gifts to a few friends over the holidays, but I'm embarrassed to gift wine with "dirt" in it. Can I open them pour them all back into bulk, treat/filter the batch some how and re-bottle? Will this clear on it's own?

Any suggestions as to root cause of the contamination/sediment and ideas as to how to rescue this batch would be greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

Vic Frohmeyer

Pharma Engineer - Retired
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
17
Apologies, the batch referenced above with sediment in the bottles is Elderbery:

Adapted 5 gallon batch recipe to 1 gallon:

6 ounces dried elderberry
6 ounces raisins, rinsed soaked and minced, boiled in RO water. Water retained and transferred to main batch.
56 ounces welches grape juice to get to 1 gallon plus a little for losses
2.1 lbs white granulated sugar
1 pack Red Star Cotes de Blanc yeast
1 tsp yeast nutrient
.5 tsp pectic enzyme
Start SG 1.112, end SG .990.
 

winemaker81

wine dabbler
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
3,432
Reaction score
8,176
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
My best guess is that your rackings were not as clean as you'd like. This can be tough with small batches (1 gallon) as you have less wriggle room as the racking happens quickly. I normally make at least 5 US gallon batches, and my racking process is:

My first racking is not a clean one -- my focus is on getting rid of the worst of the gross lees AND not throwing away good wine. I don't intentionally suck up heavy sediment (gross lees) but I don't worry about getting some. It will be eliminated in future rackings.

Starting with the second racking, I do not drop the racking cane to the bottom of the container. I hold it above the bottom and when the carboy gets down to 1/5 full, I gently tilt the carboy and point the cane towards the lower edge. Once I see sediment getting sucked up, I pull of the cane and stop the racking. The remainder in the carboy (wine plus loose sediment, not gross lees) gets poured into a bottle and goes into the fridge for a week, which may let me recover half the volume. From there it goes back into the carboy.

I use the same process for successive rackings to avoid sucking up sediment. For the last racking before bottling, I bottle the racked wine, and bottle the last bit from the carboy separately. For a 19 liter carboy, this means I get 24 totally clear bottles and the 25th may have a bit of sediment. It gets used first.

Tasting the wine along the way is the best way to teach yourself! Topping up with red wine is also an excellent idea. Keep in mind that your focus should be on protecting your investment -- keep that container topped up! Also keep in mind that your investment is not just the cost of the materials -- your effort and your pride are also at stake.

It appears your first try produced a good result! Congratulations!
 

Rembee

Country Wine Artisan 🍷
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
426
Reaction score
664
Location
Southern Mississippi
Any suggestions as to root cause of the contamination/sediment and ideas as to how to rescue this batch would be greatly appreciated.
The root cause was that the wine had not finished dropping out settlement. It needs to bulk age longer.
Although it is unsightly, you can opt to leave the bottles alone and just drink as is.
Second alternative would be to place the wine back into a carboy, add a clearing agent and continue to bulk age for a few more months.
 

Vic Frohmeyer

Pharma Engineer - Retired
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
17
My best guess is that your rackings were not as clean as you'd like. This can be tough with small batches (1 gallon) as you have less wriggle room as the racking happens quickly. I normally make at least 5 US gallon batches, and my racking process is:

My first racking is not a clean one -- my focus is on getting rid of the worst of the gross lees AND not throwing away good wine. I don't intentionally suck up heavy sediment (gross lees) but I don't worry about getting some. It will be eliminated in future rackings.

Starting with the second racking, I do not drop the racking cane to the bottom of the container. I hold it above the bottom and when the carboy gets down to 1/5 full, I gently tilt the carboy and point the cane towards the lower edge. Once I see sediment getting sucked up, I pull of the cane and stop the racking. The remainder in the carboy (wine plus loose sediment, not gross lees) gets poured into a bottle and goes into the fridge for a week, which may let me recover half the volume. From there it goes back into the carboy.

I use the same process for successive rackings to avoid sucking up sediment. For the last racking before bottling, I bottle the racked wine, and bottle the last bit from the carboy separately. For a 19 liter carboy, this means I get 24 totally clear bottles and the 25th may have a bit of sediment. It gets used first.

Tasting the wine along the way is the best way to teach yourself! Topping up with red wine is also an excellent idea. Keep in mind that your focus should be on protecting your investment -- keep that container topped up! Also keep in mind that your investment is not just the cost of the materials -- your effort and your pride are also at stake.

It appears your first try produced a good result! Congratulations!
Thanks for this, and the suggestion to salvage the wine+sediment, refrigerate and recover some of that makes great good sense! Hopefully Santa will bring me some 5 gallon capacity for 2022.
 
Top