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Mr Joe

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I’m a first time wine maker that is super confused! There is so much info out there that I’ve decided to go with what I think are the basics. At this point I just want to make a palatable red wine. Here is what I’ve done so far. Please comment on what I’ve done at this point and hopefully some of you will comment and give advice as I move along in this process.
First thing I did was rinse the graves still in bunches
Second I put them in hot water for about 30 sec
Then I put the grapes in bunches through a juicer that separates all the pulp (stems, skins, some leaves)
Put them in the freezer for 4 days. Had to go to work.
Thawed everything together in primary fermenter.
Started yeast
24 hours later dissolved 1/2 cup of sugar added to mixture of grapes and pulp
Put in yeast mixture
2 hrs. Later it is fermenting good
Pushed fruit and sticks/ stems to bottom and will do again in an hour
 

meadmaker1

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Im no grape expert but.
Dont wash your grapes. They absorb water.
I would use some yeast neutreants like fermaid K, per instructions on package. $3- $4
Get and use a hydrometer. It will tell you where you are in fermintation. Znd theybare cheap $5 -$10
Keep pushing down the cap. Twice a day or more.
Rack off of the pulp after 1 week. And again in a month then every three months until you bottle dont get in a hurry to bottle. 6 months to a year.
Get some campden tablets use 1 per gallon after first racking and every 3 months when racking
Like you said there is a ton of other things that can be done but these basics will get you some wine you can drink.
$20 of basic supplies will get you going in a good direction

Beware!!! It starts at $20 but becomes a life style, collecting difrerant sized containers equipment, additives, ect.
 

Mr Joe

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Im no grape expert but.
Dont wash your grapes. They absorb water.
I would use some yeast neutreants like fermaid K, per instructions on package. $3- $4
Get and use a hydrometer. It will tell you where you are in fermintation. Znd theybare cheap $5 -$10
Keep pushing down the cap. Twice a day or more.
Rack off of the pulp after 1 week. And again in a month then every three months until you bottle dont get in a hurry to bottle. 6 months to a year.
Get some campden tablets use 1 per gallon after first racking and every 3 months when racking
Like you said there is a ton of other things that can be done but these basics will get you some wine you can drink.
$20 of basic supplies will get you going in a good direction

Beware!!! It starts at $20 but becomes a life style, collecting difrerant sized containers equipment, additives, ect.
Thanks for the info! I’ll get the fermaid k and the hydro
Im no grape expert but.
Dont wash your grapes. They absorb water.
I would use some yeast neutreants like fermaid K, per instructions on package. $3- $4
Get and use a hydrometer. It will tell you where you are in fermintation. Znd theybare cheap $5 -$10
Keep pushing down the cap. Twice a day or more.
Rack off of the pulp after 1 week. And again in a month then every three months until you bottle dont get in a hurry to bottle. 6 months to a year.
Get some campden tablets use 1 per gallon after first racking and every 3 months when racking
Like you said there is a ton of other things that can be done but these basics will get you some wine you can drink.
$20 of basic supplies will get you going in a good direction

Beware!!! It starts at $20 but becomes a life style, collecting difrerant sized containers equipment, additives, ect.
Thanks for the info! I’ll get the fermaid k, the campden tablets and hydrometer tomorrow. One question now and I’m sure many, many more to come, when do I transfer to glass carboy? I’ve read to do this after primary stops fermenting. Thanks again for responding, I appreciate all the info
 

Johny99

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For your first batch, press it and put it in a carboy when it gets to 0brix on your hydrometer. You can do it sooner if your schedule or fears dictate. That should be right around when the bubbles/foam almost stops. If you leave it longer, you start risking unwanted bugs finding a home. Extended maceration is graduate school, for later batches.

For future batches, don’t wash as @meadmaker1 says, unless you are worried about chemical sprays. Basic bugs and stuff won’t survive in the wine. Freezing has 0lusses and minuses. After you crush, foot or whateve4, try to remove the stems and leaves. They add harsh tannins. Finally, let your hydrometer tell you how much sugar to add, if any.

Have fun, and do lots of reading before the next batch.
 

meadmaker1

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Lots of reading. Others will post things that are coming your way. Some will talk about things that sound like chemistry home work, as time goes on and it matters to you, most of it will start making sense.
It can be as simple or involved as you want.
 

Mr Joe

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For your first batch, press it and put it in a carboy when it gets to 0brix on your hydrometer. You can do it sooner if your schedule or fears dictate. That should be right around when the bubbles/foam almost stops. If you leave it longer, you start risking unwanted bugs finding a home. Extended maceration is graduate school, for later batches.

For future batches, don’t wash as @meadmaker1 says, unless you are worried about chemical sprays. Basic bugs and stuff won’t survive in the wine. Freezing has 0lusses and minuses. After you crush, foot or whateve4, try to remove the stems and leaves. They add harsh tannins. Finally, let your hydrometer tell you how much sugar to add, if any.

Have fun, and do lots of reading before the next batch.
Will do. Thank you. The other batch is in the freezer now. It is much cleaner, I pulled all large twigs and leaves out. Small stems on grapes still there though. Reading? You got that brother!
 

Mr Joe

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Lots of reading. Others will post things that are coming your way. Some will talk about things that sound like chemistry home work, as time goes on and it matters to you, most of it will start making sense.
It can be as simple or involved as you want.
I am easing into this somewhat. In a nutshell, 5 or 6 years ago I built @ pergola and planted a grape vine at each post. Last year about this time we produced about 10 lbs. of good grapes that we made jelly out of. Around this same time I had a little heart episode and am now the proud owner of a stint. Freaked my wife out. so amongst her many dietary restrictions/prescriptions I was ordered to drink wine! I know, she is really cool. This year, 80 + lbs. of grapes. I can’t eat jelly now and I love wine. Made beer many years ago and liked it. Too old for my other hobbies now. Plan is to get 3 batches going in stages, not sure about time lines but I’m in no hurry, at least not anymore.
 

Venatorscribe

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I am easing into this somewhat. In a nutshell, 5 or 6 years ago I built @ pergola and planted a grape vine at each post. Last year about this time we produced about 10 lbs. of good grapes that we made jelly out of. Around this same time I had a little heart episode and am now the proud owner of a stint. Freaked my wife out. so amongst her many dietary restrictions/prescriptions I was ordered to drink wine! I know, she is really cool. This year, 80 + lbs. of grapes. I can’t eat jelly now and I love wine. Made beer many years ago and liked it. Too old for my other hobbies now. Plan is to get 3 batches going in stages, not sure about time lines but I’m in no hurry, at least not anymore.
Good on you Mr Joe. I also had a couple of medical specialists tell me to drink wine. Their words were 'drink red wine and you decide the intake based on how you feel' . My wife wasn't particularly excited about their unofficial script. Naturally I was delighted. Sounds like you are getting as much enjoyment out of these simple pleasures and activities as I am. After a life time of work - wine making is the new chapter in my book. All the best.
 

Scooter68

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The Basics:
Read
Have Patience
Read
Document everything you do
Read
Have Patience
Get the proper equipment and learn how to use it.
Read
Have Patience


(Have Patience = Don't rush things)

Welcome to a fun hobby that produces something friends and family will love.
(And if your friends don't appreciate it....find new friends.) :b
 

BigH

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+1 to the document everything you do idea. Google sheets is a good way to do this. It gives you access to your wine log from a variety of devices.

I am a big fan of the morewinemaking.com guides. Fairly throrough and you can read in sequence up to the point you are at, and then stop until you are ready to continue the next step

Red wine making guide
White wine making guide

H
 

G259

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The first thing I noticed was that you didn't 'inoculate' your wine before you started. Add 1 Campden tablet (crushed) per gallon, and wait 12 hours to a day before pitching yeast.. Also look at Pectic enzyme and other additives like acid blends, tannin, and others. They are not AS important at first, but I think the Campden IS. It purifies your juice, so no other bad yeasts can spoil the flavor of your wine, you start out only with the yeast you have selected. . . . and document, I'll third that motion!
 

Mr Joe

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Thanks all of you! Awesome info. Hope you don’t mind but I wrote it all down on my newly purchased spiral notebook that is freshly stained with what I’m calling the “Must”. It’s the juice that is coming out of the hole in the top of my primary. I’ve figured that it may be a little full. It’s noted. Fermentation appears to have slowed/ stopped so I’ve decided to separate all of the pulp from the juices tomorrow and transfer to carboy. If this is a bad move I’m hoping that this gets a response before tomorrow evening. I’m afraid to wait - slightly afraid to wait due to exposure to oxygen.
 

G259

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FYI,the yeast NEED some oxygen during primary, to reproduce, that's why my white, food-grade bucket has the lid just placed on top. The CO2 blanket from the fermentation (rapid) covers the wine, and protects it from O2. Check your SG, did you get a starting #?
 

Maynard123

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You asked how long to leave the skins and pulp in the must, I don't know if any one answered but I like to leave it until the activity slows down or I get time to rack which is usually one week. Some one else suggested using a strainer bag from the paint store they work great, get one for a five gallon bucket and you can strain into a bucket and then siphon into your carboy. Top off and wait until it starts to clear then rack it again. I usually rack two or three times before I bottle, you will notice a layer of sediment (lees) on the bottom of the carboy and you will have less each time you rack. Some like to use campden tablets you just need to crush them, a spoon works fine, previous advise to use them each time you rack, I don't but it's up to you. I tend to make my wine with a higher alcohol content which is probably why I haven't had any problems.
 

Ajmassa

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If truly flying by the seat of your pants then a real easy racking schedule to remember is the 3-3-3 method. Once fermentation is complete and you’ve pressed and transferred to glass (your current stage) Rack the wine again in:
3 days
3 weeks
3 months and recurring (with sulphite addition at every 3 month racking)

Easy to remember and you can’t go wrong using it. Also plenty of leeway. No real wrong way to go about it.
3 days is because grape wines have a whole lot of crud they drop out early- the ‘gross lees’ as it’s known. Too long on em and can give some funky flavors. And another 3 weeks because you will be dropping out some more and don’t wanna wait too long. Then every 3 months. Wine should clear and degas on its own this way. After 6 months you’ll likely have just a dusting of fine/light lees on the bottom.
Keep leaning on this forum and your gonna be good to go. What kind of grapes btw?
 

Mr Joe

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You asked how long to leave the skins and pulp in the must, I don't know if any one answered but I like to leave it until the activity slows down or I get time to rack which is usually one week. Some one else suggested using a strainer bag from the paint store they work great, get one for a five gallon bucket and you can strain into a bucket and then siphon into your carboy. Top off and wait until it starts to clear then rack it again. I usually rack two or three times before I bottle, you will notice a layer of sediment (lees) on the bottom of the carboy and you will have less each time you rack. Some like to use campden tablets you just need to crush them, a spoon works fine, previous advise to use them each time you rack, I don't but it's up to you. I tend to make my wine with a higher alcohol content which is probably why I haven't had any problems.
Very nice. That’s almost how it happened to me - Saturday the primary appeared to have stopped fermenting. So on Sunday I wrung it all out through a fine net, then I siphoned juice in glass carboy with air lock. I’m seeing no action?! This evening there was a lot of sediment so I “racked” (a term I’ve recently learned) the juice, leaving the sediment behind. Okay, so here is where I went off the rails - I started the other 1/2 of the yeast using 4 oz. of the juice. Then I added this back into the carboy. Topped it off with sugar water. I have what may be a dumb question. should I have made the dissolved sugar mixture using some juice instead of water?
 

Mr Joe

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If truly flying by the seat of your pants then a real easy racking schedule to remember is the 3-3-3 method. Once fermentation is complete and you’ve pressed and transferred to glass (your current stage) Rack the wine again in:
3 days
3 weeks
3 months and recurring (with sulphite addition at every 3 month racking)

Easy to remember and you can’t go wrong using it. Also plenty of leeway. No real wrong way to go about it.
3 days is because grape wines have a whole lot of crud they drop out early- the ‘gross lees’ as it’s known. Too long on em and can give some funky flavors. And another 3 weeks because you will be dropping out some more and don’t wanna wait too long. Then every 3 months. Wine should clear and degas on its own this way. After 6 months you’ll likely have just a dusting of fine/light lees on the bottom.
Keep leaning on this forum and your gonna be good to go. What kind of grapes btw?
I like it! I use a similar calculation to remember when to fertilize, this’ll be a nice addition to the math side of things. I’m growing a vitis vinifera but unsure of variety. Thought I was buying a seedless variety but as it tuns out this is not seedless.
 

Mr Joe

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The first thing I noticed was that you didn't 'inoculate' your wine before you started. Add 1 Campden tablet (crushed) per gallon, and wait 12 hours to a day before pitching yeast.. Also look at Pectic enzyme and other additives like acid blends, tannin, and others. They are not AS important at first, but I think the Campden IS. It purifies your juice, so no other bad yeasts can spoil the flavor of your wine, you start out only with the yeast you have selected. . . . and document, I'll third that motion!
Thank you and I will use them and I need to start documenting more efficiently for sure.
 

Donatelo

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May I suggest you read "The Joy of Winemaking " by Terry Gary. It is an old book with a ton of good solid information. It is an easy read, understandable and a good reference.
Also my first wine was "Welch's Concord Grape" made from just the juice , yeast and time. Made a very drinkable red. I still brew up a batch now and then.
 

Maynard123

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Very nice. That’s almost how it happened to me - Saturday the primary appeared to have stopped fermenting. So on Sunday I wrung it all out through a fine net, then I siphoned juice in glass carboy with air lock. I’m seeing no action?! This evening there was a lot of sediment so I “racked” (a term I’ve recently learned) the juice, leaving the sediment behind. Okay, so here is where I went off the rails - I started the other 1/2 of the yeast using 4 oz. of the juice. Then I added this back into the carboy. Topped it off with sugar water. I have what may be a dumb question. should I have made the dissolved sugar mixture using some juice instead of water?
It doesn't matter if you use juice, the yeast doesn't care they will eat the sugar and turn it into alcohol, It depends on what kind of wine you're making, in most cases using juice of the grape you are using would be best. I don't think you need to do two yeast additions since they will multiply until they run out of sugar or the alcohol get's too high for them to survive. On your next batch try to find a recipe that you like and follow it. If you haven't gotten a thermometer and hydrometer yet you should, that way you can measure the amount of sugar that is in the must. One other thing try getting a wine kit they can help you with getting comfortable since they have good directions and can turn out very good. I made several before I used fresh grapes.
 
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