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First wine-making attempt

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SVEN

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At 68, I am attempting to prepare my first batch of wine. I have a 1 gallon sanitized glass carboy and an airstop. I will be preparing 1 gallon of wine using Welch's 100% concord grape juice, preservative-free. To that I will be adding: 0.176 oz./5 grams of Red Star Premier Rouge yeast, 0.5 lb. of sugar, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient, 1 tsp. malic/tartaric acid blend and 0.25 tsp. liquid tannin.
Add the yeast to the sanitized carboy, then add the juice and insert the airstop. Place in a 25C room and wait 30 days. Do these proportions look reasonable? Comments???
Thanks!
VikingSven
 

NorCal

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Welcome! I started 5 or so years ago with about this same recipe, and this year I will bottle 180 gallons! Someone that makes these wines will be better equipped to review your specific additions, but welcome!

The one thing I would invest in is a $8 hydrometer. It will tell you how your fermentation is progressing. Since fermentation times can vary from a few days to a few months, it is important to know when it is done, so you can rack and sulfite the wine.
 

SVEN

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NorCal:

I have a hydrometer so as soon as my yeast nutrient and acid blend arrives, I will initiate the fermentation.

I cleaned the glass carboy with soap and water. Do I need further sanitize with sodium metabisulfite?

VikingSven
 

1d10t

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I think most consider the protocol to be clean, rinse and then use a no rinse sanitizer as the procedure that gives you the best chance of avoiding unwanted 'guests'. With a 1 gallon carboy this shouldn't require too much effort.
 

SVEN

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StarSan it is! Thanks!

My first batch is going well, I think--->2.5 days into the primary fermentation. A froth first developed, tried "creeping" into my airlock. Had to decant a little must to increase the headspace.

Getting CO2 bubbles every 2 seconds with small bubbles rising on the sides of the carboy. Have noticed a color change from deep purple to a deep red. Looking cool!

Should have tried this long ago!
 

G259

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What was your initial SG? You need that info to calculate the Alcohol level, and to insure that you have enough sugar to allow the wine to have enough alcohol to preserve it over time. I too started with 1 gallon carboys, cheap 4L jug wines from Carlo Rossi. It's not fine wine, but palatable, and I cook with it sometimes as well. I figured: "I'll make my mistakes smaller at first!" 2 Years in, and I have 10 - 1 gallon, and 4 - 3 gallon (Better Bottles). You shouldn't use the glass carboy for your initial fermentation, the yeast need oxygen to reproduce. I have a plastic 2 gallon bucket (food grade - has that triangle thing with a 2 in it, on the bottom), and a lid with a gasket in it. A hole is in the lid and a grommet in that hole, for your airlock. For the first few days, I even just lightly place the lid on the bucket, the CO2 from the yeast protects the wine from oxygen. This also allows me to stir it daily for a few days.
 

LouisCKpasteur

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The soap and water cleaning makes me nervous. You can get some off tastes - cleaner and sanitizer made specifically for winemaking is best.
 

SVEN

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G259: Starting SG was 1.084. At day 3.5, I am getting a bubble every 3 seconds out of my airlock....down from 2 bubbles / second. I should not be agitating the carboy during the primary fermentation??? Thanks!

LouisCKpasteur: I will refrain from soap and water sanitization. Will adopt StarSan. Live and learn! Thanks!
 

BernardSmith

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Hiya Stew , and welcome... Just my two cents but if you use K-meta for sanitizing rather than Star San (and there is nothing wrong with Star San) you get a three-fer. K-meta will sanitize, will at lower concentrations eliminate wild yeast and kill bacteria in fruit (You won't need it if you are using commercially bottled juices) and will at similar concentrations act to inhibit oxidation at each racking and before bottling. Star San "merely" sanitizes. Buying and using Star San does not then mean that you don't need K-meta... and if K-meta can do three jobs... Well, that's your call.
 

SVEN

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BernardSmith:

Well this "enology thing" is truly an adventure of learning!

After working the field of organic chemistry for 45+ years, it is fun going back to revisit my biochemistry classes in college.....much to recall: ATP, NAD+, pyruvate dehydrogenase, acetaldehyde, etc.,etc.

Thanks for your comments!
 

SVEN

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Definitely respect the artistry of wine-making....much, much to learn!!!
 

G259

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'Oh the waiting, is the hardest part'! I made a gallon of apple juice / apple cider (juice with spices), from bottled juice (100%). One year old, in the beginning it was tart/acidic, and I let my co-workers sample a little. Now I tried the second to last bottle a few weeks ago, unbelievable the change in it! It has mellowed out so much now, I plan to bring the last bottle in to our holiday meal that they set up for us at work, on Friday.
 

BernardSmith

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I think that the malic acid tends to be transformed to a far less sharp acid as cider or apple wine ages. Twelve months after pitching the yeast the wine enters a different dimension, doesn't it? So much smoother than you would ever have imagined.
 

G259

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Amazing, I would say that it is like a Pinot almost.
 

topper9520

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Hi Stew,

Not to sound critical but is there any way you can get wine grapes? that method that your going with is going to create a very sweet wine with literally no body I do not know where you are located but if you can get frozen must you can ferment it yourself without adding all that other stuff. with the frozen must you will have the sugar, tannin, wild yeast, acid all in the must. just a suggestion

Good Luck!
 

SVEN

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I will look into getting wine grapes or at least wine grape juice. The scientist in me likes to add all the individual components rather than going down the pre-formulated route. Have to learn through experimentation! ;-)

I just completed corking 4+ - 750 ml bottles yesterday. Ending S.G. = 0.996 / ABV = 11.6%.

The wine is very clear and quite dry with a slight acidic bite. "Not bad for a young wine." (That was my wife's comment)

I was thinking about fortifying one of the partial bottles with a Puerto Rican rum to bring it up to 14.5% ABV.

Comments?
 

topper9520

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Sounds like the brix was low to start, in my experience anything below 22 brix is low for reds, I like it 24 -27 its hard doing what your doing to get the ABV that your looking for. I'm not sure what taste you will have adding PR rum to it, let me know

Cheers!
 

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