First-time winemaking - Want to make a (Great!) Riesling

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Welcome to WMT!

Don't be afraid of the carbon in the FWK whites. It looks weird but will fall out during aging.

Also, most of us ferment in a food grade bucket, loosely covered with a towel or a lid to keep out dust and bugs. (I set the sanitized lid on and drape a towel over it.) Yeast need oxygen at the beginning of the process, so while you CAN ferment in a carboy under airlock, it slows down the whole process of the yeast growing its (their?) colony at the beginning.

I use 7.9 (U.S.) gallon food grade buckets to ferment 6 gallon kits. That is generally enough room, at least for kits without skins. I did a 6 gallon Barbera juice bucket earlier this year, and the busy yeastie beasties overflowed it for a few hours. Had I left it in the original 6.5 gallon pail or tried to ferment it under airlock in a carboy, I would have had even more of a purple mess to clean up!


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You're being too optimistic.

It's highly unlikely your first batch will last for years. Not because it goes bad; rather because you'll drink it faster than you expect. This is perfectly normal behavior, especially for first batches. Consider if you open 1 bottle of wine each week, that carboy is gone in 7 months.

I suggest you set aside 4 bottles in a "do not drink" area, and don't touch them for a year. Depending on your own consumption rate, we'll see how long before those bottles are orphans, e.g., no others remain.

There is only one solution that allows for wine to age -- make more than you drink. That may sound funny, but it's literally true. As you peruse this forum, you'll read about how carboys breed like bunnies, as people start making more and more wine. Be prepared for this, and don't expect help from the forum on the subject, as we are all enablers.

I wait at least 1 month, as most wine are past bottle shock at that point. Waiting 3 months is being cautious, which makes sense for a commercial winery. If you open a wine at 1 month and experience bottle shock, you won't freak, while a paying customer will.
When I told my wife that they recommend letting it age for at least a couple months, she said "you got to be s***ing me." lol One thing I will say, if you're buying $!0 - $15 a bottle, wine, you will be really happy with how good the kits are.

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