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Sunshine Wine

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So much to read... I just need to know what I do next.... I am getting ready to take an SG reading and will post back. No idea about ph....trying to read up on it....
 

jgmann67

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So much to read... I just need to know what I do next.... I am getting ready to take an SG reading and will post back. No idea about ph....trying to read up on it....
Are you doing a kit, fresh grapes, a juice bucket or some kind of fruit wine?

If you’re doing a kit, don’t stress. 99% of the time, the manufacturer did all the math for you. No need to fret over pH.

If it’s something else, then yes - knowing your pH can be very instructive. You’ll need a calibrated pH meter. They can be had for as cheap as $20 and as much as $600 (and they’ll do a lot more than test for pH).

So question number 1: what are you making?

Question #2: what equipment do you already have?

When I started five years ago, I bought an equipment kit. Had about everything I’d need. I bought a floor corker and an extra hydrometer or two, and jumped in with both feet.

Use the search function and don’t be afraid to ask a question. Just remember, ask 5 people a question, you’re bound to get 10 opinions.
 

Rice_Guy

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Thanks! Was just reading on ph levels and do not have anything to test with... was getting ready to check the SG reading this evening...
welcome to your own thread. :b
* As a food processor pH is involved in many processes, that said God made grapes as the perfect fermentation substrate, a lot of us can ignore pH. Doing fruits I basically try to copy grapes.
The first place to start with pH is fairly cheap pH paper (and hard to read on anything dark/red). pH is important for flavor, microbiology problems and SO2 chemistry/ oxidation.
 

gsf77

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Welcome! Lots of knowledgeable winemakers on here. I too am in a learning curve and have picked up a lot of good points from here.
 

Sunshine Wine

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Are you doing a kit, fresh grapes, a juice bucket or some kind of fruit wine?

If you’re doing a kit, don’t stress. 99% of the time, the manufacturer did all the math for you. No need to fret over pH.

If it’s something else, then yes - knowing your pH can be very instructive. You’ll need a calibrated pH meter. They can be had for as cheap as $20 and as much as $600 (and they’ll do a lot more than test for pH).

So question number 1: what are you making?

Question #2: what equipment do you already have?

When I started five years ago, I bought an equipment kit. Had about everything I’d need. I bought a floor corker and an extra hydrometer or two, and jumped in with both feet.

Use the search function and don’t be afraid to ask a question. Just remember, ask 5 people a question, you’re bound to get 10 opinions.
I have home canned dark muscadine juice. I have a 5 gal bucket, 6 gal carboy, 4- 1 gal jars, a siphon, hydrometer, tube to test SG, bungs, yeast, yeast nutrient. Ordered k-meta....
 

jgmann67

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I have home canned dark muscadine juice. I have a 5 gal bucket, 6 gal carboy, 4- 1 gal jars, a siphon, hydrometer, tube to test SG, bungs, yeast, yeast nutrient. Ordered k-meta....
Okay. Seems like you will need a pH Meter. Since you’re just starting out (and this hobby might not stick), maybe a meter in the $20-40 range gets the job done.

If you’re going to do kits, you’ll need a larger primary bucket. Kits are usually 6 gal + (with skins). So get a 7.5 gal (need some space for foaming).

If you’re going to do more than one batch a year, you’ll eventually want to get more carboys. I started with 2... I have 15 now. All glass. Mostly 6’s. But I have 5’s, 3’s, and 1 gal jugs. Come to think of it, I could probably use a couple more.

You’ll want more bungs and air locks too.

If you have a hand corker, but haven’t used it. Trust me - You’ll hate that more that a root canal. Consider an Italian or Portuguese floor corner. Well worth it.

If you’re at the point where you believe this hobby is going to stick, and in addition to a better diagnostic meter, you might invest in an AIO pump or something similar. Great for racking and bottling.

You’ll collect more hydrometers (if you have only one, you will drop it on the floor - I promise), stir spoons, cleaning brushes, etc., along the way.

Learn the ways of patience and proper hygiene. They are your two best tools for winemaking. Check out the MoreWinemaking guide to making red wine (and the other on white wine). And don’t be after to ask a ton of questions. You’ll find the people here to be very knowledgeable and willing to share.
 

NorCal

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Welcome. Agree with the morewinemaking guide, it was the best, consolidated information that I could find for home winemakers. It not only explains what to do, but why you are doing it.
 

Sunshine Wine

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I just racked for the first time! The SG reading is at .996. There is a lot of pulp at the bottom of the bucket, so I did not get all the wine. Should I strain it to get more out? I know that some of the sludge got into the carboy. I plan to rack to one gallon jugs, since my carboy is too big. Should I wait to add k-meta to make sure the SG reading stays the same for a few days?
 

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jgmann67

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I just racked for the first time! The SG reading is at .996. There is a lot of pulp at the bottom of the bucket, so I did not get all the wine. Should I strain it to get more out? I know that some of the sludge got into the carboy. I plan to rack to one gallon jugs, since my carboy is too big. Should I wait to add k-meta to make sure the SG reading stays the same for a few days?
Congratulations!

That looks really good.

What I would do:

0.996 is fine. But, I would wait on Kmeta and check your SG again in a couple days.

Depending on what your pulp looks like and how much wine you might recover, I would let it go.
 

jgmann67

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Judging from your airlock, I’d say you’re right.

I had this problem with my California grapes this year. I used a 1.5l bottle and put Saran Wrap on top secured with a rubber band.

Depending on how long your wine is going to be in that container, it might not be a problem. But, that’s a lot of surface area to have exposed to air.
 

Sunshine Wine

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Judging from your airlock, I’d say you’re right.

I had this problem with my California grapes this year. I used a 1.5l bottle and put Saran Wrap on top secured with a rubber band.

Depending on how long your wine is going to be in that container, it might not be a problem. But, that’s a lot of surface area to have exposed to air.
I found a rubber gasket that fit perfectly inside the lid. Worked for a short time...but have to figure something out...
 
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