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Help with first fresh grape wine

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nickyp

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Ok we just picked up our cabernet grapes and they are in the primary. This is our first batch so I have researched but still have a lot of questions.
70 lbs grapes
SG measured 1.098
brix - 23
I added 1/4 tsp k meta
and 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme. Is this enough?
Is this a good starting point. Am I ok to add the yeast tomorrow, 24 hours after k meta? Also I bought a yeast nutrient and not sure if I should use it or when.
Also, at what SG should I rack to secondary.

A lot of questions, I know, any help is appreciated

Thanks
Nick
 

Wade E

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I would press after about 5-7 days and dot press too hard, taste it as your pressing as there will be a point where you will be able to taste the difference f when you are squeezing too many tannins out of it meaning your extracting tannins from the seeds. Most people dont even use pectic enzyme I believe when making a grape wine. The nutrient would be fine to use. Add the yeast 24 hours after the sulfite as usual but make a yeast starter with some of the must from the crushing and a little nutrient.
 

nickyp

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ok.
thanks Wade.
Im not sure when we will be around to rack from primary. It will probably be day 5 or not until day 8 or 9. Which would be better? When I picked up the grapes I was told to rack after 10 days. Is there a SG that I should be racking at?

Thanks.
 

grapeman

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It may be warm where you are this time of year and that would make fermentation go faster. You want to take out of the primary fairly close to dry and press. I draw a sample in a tube and float the hydrometer to get a reading. I like to be around 1.000 to press a nice red like a cab. Unless you have a very large powerful press don't worry too much about tannin extraction from pressing- it will be fine. Pectic enzyme works for white grapes and can aid color extraction from weak pigmented varieties- optional for the cab. Base time to press on the hydrometer, not the calendar.

Yeast nutrient is indeed a good idea and without it some yeasts will throw hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs).


Good luck with the wine. You should enjoy it, but remember it will need to age a year to be better.
 

nickyp

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ok. thanks.
I just checked the SG and on day 4 it is 1.500. I forgot to add the nutrient when I added the yeast, should I add some now? or just let it go? Seems to be going slow. It is warm here but in the basement it is around 65-70.
 

carmine

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ok. thanks.
I just checked the SG and on day 4 it is 1.500. I forgot to add the nutrient when I added the yeast, should I add some now? or just let it go? Seems to be going slow. It is warm here but in the basement it is around 65-70.
If you have fermaid or fermaid k you can add it it will not hurt
carmine
 

nickyp

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Ok. thanks for the replies. I Racked from primary into a 6 gallon carboy. It is a 5 gallon batch that is now a bit over 5 gallons. Am I ok to leave in the 6 gallon carboy even though it is not filled to the top?
 

carmine

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Ok. thanks for the replies. I Racked from primary into a 6 gallon carboy. It is a 5 gallon batch that is now a bit over 5 gallons. Am I ok to leave in the 6 gallon carboy even though it is not filled to the top?
You need to fill that carboy up to the neck of the carboy with a similiar winelike an ince or two from the top
carmine
 

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