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Toonster

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Hi - I've lurked around these forums for a little while now, but thought it time to step out of the shadows and introduce myself.

I live in Wellington, NZ, and have got my fourth batch of wine on the go at the moment, so still very much a beginner...

I'm focusing on making non-grape based wines (living right next to wine-production areas here in NZ, I want to make things that I can't find in the shops) - over the last year, I have made:
Plum (a bit of a disaster - I made pretty much every mistake in the book, (though I did get the sterilisation part right!), and ended up with exploded wine over the carpet when the fermentation restarted in the bottles...),
Feijoa (sweet and very drinkable on a hot summer's day),
Apple (waiting for it to rest - probably another six months before it is drinkable), and
Elderflower in the carboy at the moment (hopefully ready for bottling over the next week).

Waiting in the wings are honey for mead, and blackcurrants... (and the need to buy another wine rack...)

I'm loving this as a hobby (particularly when my friends like drinking what I've made), making tons of mistakes as I go, and my husband is starting to get used to semi-permanent sticky floors...
 

bkisel

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Welcome to Wine Making Talk!

Like you I make some country/fruit wines but I also make kit wine. Are kits available to you? With kits you can make wine coming from all over the world. Maybe you'd be able to make some wines that are not readily available in New Zealand.
 

ceeaton

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Welcome to WMT!

You are learning the best way, by trial and error. Sometimes we have to put up with inconvenient issues like sticky floors, but once you find out why that happened, you won't have sticky floors again, at least from winemaking. Sounds like you have a great love for the hobby, so keep it up. See what you can do to teach some of your friends how to make wine, that way a little more of your wine will make it to you and your husband's glass!
 

Toonster

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Thanks all :)

The sticky floors are usually the result of the syphon hose having a life of its own - my equipment came with an evil pump that never really got the syphon aspect working, and that went everywhere. But last batch I got a proper syphon from a friend, so now the spillage is more misjudging how much goes into a bottle, either when filling, or when corking (at least I know I've only got a small air gap if it has splooshed out the top! :D)

There are possibly kits available - I've not looked for them as yet, as I'm having too much fun with free / cheap fruits (The only base items I have paid for are the apples as they were on insanely cheap special, and the honey for the mead as I'm not in a position to have my own hives, however even that I got from the producer direct, and it's a varietal that you can't buy in the shops....)

Blackcurrant picking today...
 

bkisel

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Thanks all :)

The sticky floors are usually the result of the syphon hose having a life of its own ...
Funny how the only time mine comes to life is when I'm not watching it.. go figure. :rolleyes:
 

Arne

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One thing that can help with some of the mess is to place the fermenter in a larger bucket, a tray of some kind, or even a big garbage bag. just kinda pull the bag up around the bottom a bit. If you ever misjudge the headspace on the fermenter and it takes off like a rocket you will be glad you did, especially if you are fermenting over nice flooring. I am on cement so don't worry about i much. Arne.
 

cgallamo

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Welcome! That was a great write up. I still have sticky floors after 10 years of winemaking. I just took over the garage and made it into a winery. ;)
 

Toonster

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Good thought on the garbage bag for the fermenter bucket (sadly, no trays or other buckets big enough for the 30 l barrel that I use, but I'm sure I've got some bags going spare...) I do now use a tray to stand the wine bottles on when I fill them up, so the mess is more contained.
 

ceeaton

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I do now use a tray to stand the wine bottles on when I fill them up, so the mess is more contained.
I have been bottling my wine in my sink with a wire rack in the bottom. Works really well and I don't have to worry about cleaning up any spills. Though I'm sure some here would like to capture any spills for a "treat" once the bottling session was finished.
 

Toonster

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How does that work with a syphon? Or do you syphon into a jug, then pour into the bottles? I've been hefting the carboy up onto the bench, then syphoning directly into the bottles.
 

ceeaton

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How does that work with a syphon? Or do you syphon into a jug, then pour into the bottles? I've been hefting the carboy up onto the bench, then syphoning directly into the bottles.
Yes, I used to raise the carboy up to a level a bit higher than the sink and use a siphon. I used phone books, which are easy to find now that everything seems to be online. Now I use an AIO (All In One wine pump, I'm sure you've seen it on this forum (https://www.allinonewinepump.com/)) and can have the carboy on the floor (ie. at a level lower than the bottle I'm filling). Either way, having the sink to capture any excess or mistakes has improved my marriage and kept me from mopping the kitchen floor everytime I bottle a batch of wine or beer.
 

Toonster

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Thanks for the link - I'll have to see if the local brew shop stocks anything similar (sadly, the company doesn't seem to ship to NZ). It certainly looks like it would save my back!
 

vernsgal

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Hi Toonster! Welcome to the forum. I too suffer from very sticky floors lol.Sadly I couldn't get the AIO either (shipping would have morgaged the house!)
I use a transfer pump and it sure beats having to lift those carboys. Here's the one I use, but a google search shows quite a few options https://morewinemaking.com/products/variable-speed-diaphragm-pump-03-gpm.html. I still have to lift them when bottling and storage but saves having to lift every time you need to rack,not to mention how much quicker it is.
 

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