HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by Nurse Betty, Jun 26, 2018.

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  1. Jun 26, 2018 #1

    Nurse Betty

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    Ok. I'm an idiot and probably didn't research as much as I should have, but a couple weeks ago, I bought a wine making kit. I have a lot of blackberries on my place and harvested a bunch of blackberries and 6 days ago, started my first batch of wine.......well. I didn't realize that I had to add water to the 3 piece type airlock thing that goes on top of my bucket. Today, I sterilized my carboy and syphoned my product into my carboy and while watching YouTube video on how to do it realized there was water in the airlock on the video........ It had been in that bucket 6 days...... did I mess up my wine? The bucket lid was on and the airlock was in place, it just didn't have water in it. I tasted the wine mixture and it was really sour tasting. IDK if it is ruined, needs more sugar, just needs more time or what. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Jun 26, 2018 #2

    CK55

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    smell the wine, if it smells fine its okay, fill it up immediately with water, or vodka or star san solution.
     
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  3. Jun 26, 2018 #3

    Nurse Betty

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    Thank you so much!
     
  4. Jun 26, 2018 #4

    Scooter68

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    So let's gather a bit more info here. You added the yeast and yeast nutrient and other additives called for correct? That is to say you followed a recipe for the wine. If you can post that recipe or more importantly what you added for your wine that would be important info. HOWEVER, IF you had yeast in there and adequate sugar for the fermentation to produce a viable wine (At least 10% ABV) then you should be fine. The process of fermentation creates a large amount of CO2 which provides a protective blanket during fermentation. So during those 6 days things should have perked along.

    What we don't know from your post is what the initial SG and pH readings were. Those are important to be sure that the fermentation will produce enough alcohol to keep the wine from spoiling. The pH is important for the same reason, and some other reasons too.

    Did you stir it at all during those 6 days?
    What prompted you to transfer it when you did? Was it based on an SG reading you just took or just a certain number of days? That's very important because fermentation does no occur on a set schedule. It can go very rapidly in say 3-4 days or it can take 2-3 weeks in some cases. It depends on a lot of things. That's why I'm asking about the SG reading. Most wines are started with an SG reading somewhere between 1.075 and 1.130. We consider fermentation complete when the fermentation has reduced that SG reading to something under .999 (.995 is consider to have fully fermented all available sugar.)

    So if you took a starting SG and pH reading that would be helpful to know as well as the SG reading when you transferred it.

    All sounds like a ton of questions and info for your simple question, but I ask because it will help us all to help you more. To figure out where that wine is in the process from Blackberry Juice to a delicious Blackberry wine.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2018 #5

    Nurse Betty

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    I APPRECIATE all the questions....... I started with blackberries that I had picked and then ran through a juicer turning them into a seedless puree. I had about a gallon and half of the puree. I figured surely it needed to be pasteurized to get the bacteria out of it. I boiled it for about 10 minutes. (I make homemade jelly all the time and it always has to be cooked......every recipe I found was for canned puree). I sanitized my bucket with Star San. I mixed 3 lbs of sugar with 1 tsp acid blend, 4 tsp yeast nutrient, 2 tsp of peptic enzyme with about a gallon of warm filtered water from my fridge. (fridge has a filtration system). I added the fruit puree and then did a SG reading and it was 1.09. I then added the pkt of yeast and stirred it up and put the lid on it with the 3 piece Airlock (WITHOUT any fluid in it). I opened the bucket up the next day and stirred it and then a couple days later. Today was 6 days. When I went to do a SG reading, my hydrometer was broken, but it had been 6 days and my recipe called for 5-7 days so I went ahead and transferred it over to the Carboy. I tasted it and it was really sour. I will say that my blackberries are a very sour/tart variety to begin with. I now have vodka in the 3 piece Airlock. I have ordered a new hydrometer. I live out in the sticks and there is no place to go locally to buy one. IDK if a picture of what it looks like in the carboy will tell you anything or not, but I'm going to upload a pic of it.
     

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  6. Jun 26, 2018 #6

    Scooter68

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    Ok, well I'd order a new hydrometer ASAP, before you start that plum batch you posted about. It's really important to know where you started and where you end up with the SG reading. Sometimes a fermentation can stall or simply quit for a variety of reasons. It's important to recognize that so you can either restart the fermentation or take other corrective action.
    With the airlock on now and filled with your starsan solution you may see bubbles percolating through the airlock. Make a note of how often they happen and then keep notes on it. Again that Hydrometer is the only reliable way to know if the fermentation is really finished.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2018 #7

    meadmaker1

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    Boiling your fruit will only cause it to be cloudy or very hard to clear.
    A dose of potassium metabisulfite or campden tablets a day ahead of pitching yeast will stop any nasties in your must.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2018 #8

    Nurse Betty

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    Already ordered and shipping confirmation email this morning. So, when I get it........syphon out a sample and check SG on it. If if it less than 1.030 then it is good and leave it as is for a few weeks? If not at 0.030 then what? Thank you for being patient with me!
     
  9. Jun 26, 2018 #9

    Scooter68

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    For future reference a canned fruit concentrate "Wine Base" is simply a concentrated fruit juice/puree sometimes with skins intact (Plums) sometimes just the juice without seeds (Black Currants) Really you can treat that just as you would fresh fruit except that you don't have to do the de-stoning, chopping, mashing steps. Most of those packages will have instructions on them. Some will say to add the campden tablets/Potassium Metabisulfate (k-Meta for shorthand) some will say you don't need it. With fresh fruit ALWAYS use K-meta to eliminate bacteria and wild yeast and you do that at least 1 day before you intend to add the yeast.

    One other point - in jelly making the pectin is desirable to make your jelly/preserves firm up. JUST the OPPOSITE in wine making. We want to eliminate the pectin or keep it from making our wine cloudy so we treat with Pectic Enzyme to stop pectin from clouding our wine.

    You will see some people talk about steaming the juice from berries. That's fine if you want to do that but not required with fruits like Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries with tender skins, they break down readily and release all their 'stuff' for us without that step. In general I regard Heat as an enemy of the process as it can change the chemical make up of the juices to some degree. Others on this forum don't see it the same way, that's the 'fun' part about this process. There are many ways to produce a good wine and hobby wine makers can argue their points back and forth. Just find what works for you and stay with it until you have at least half a dozen batches of wine in the bottle.

    One more thing in this 'little' post - Lack of Patience is the one thing that gets more beginning wine makers into trouble. Very few things have to be done zip-zap RIGHT NOW TODAY! And in fact that's when most mistakes happen, when we rush to get to the next step. Your wine that may be finished fermenting today could be drinkable today or next week. BUT if you wait a year, you will find that same wine has become awesome.
     
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  10. Jun 26, 2018 #10

    Nurse Betty

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    I live out in the country and often have access to fresh fruit......ex, I have two loaded pear trees and am thinking if I can successfully make blackberry and plum wine, why not pear?????? So, I probably wont be using a lot of fruit concentrate from a can. I just thought surely I had to heat the juice to get rid of the bacteria, but I see now that is what the campden tablets are for. Do I need both campden tablets and potassium metabisulfate or are those one and the same? Thank you for explaining the purpuose of the pectic enzyme!
     
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  11. Jun 26, 2018 #11

    Scooter68

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    Great! With MOST fresh fruit a good rule of thumb is to use as little water as possible, let all liquid come from the fruit. There are exceptions like Blueberries (Due to the high acid content) and Elderberries and Black Raspberries(Potent flavor). There is not total agreement on this but here is why I mention those exceptions. The high acid content of blueberries can make starting a fermentation difficult. I've never had that problem personally and I think that's because I raise my own blueberries and they are always very ripe not almost ripe. Still when I made a batch with no water added (8lbs for a gallon) that wine was no better tasting than my batches with 6 lbs per gallon and a little water added. Elderberries I have heard are also very potent in flavor and as little as 3 lbs per gallon works for some people. Other fruits like pears, plums, peaches and other, less water is definitely better. What can happen (peaches did this to me) is that an all fruit, no water batch can be so thick it's like pudding and you cannot get a hydrometer reading right away. I had to wait 2 to 3 days for the peaches to start to loosen up and break down before I could get a reliable reading. Still, that's the way I will always make my peach wine - all fruit and little to no water.

    SO you live in the county meaning you may run across all kinds of great wine sources. Wild cherries blackberries etc. Make it so much more fun when you are in control of when things are picked and what goes into that wine. I personally believe that wild Blackberries and wild Black Raspberries are far far better than ANY domesticated ones, but that's just my personal opinion. To me store bought Blackberries look like something bloated or steroids with no more flavor per berry than one wild blackberry half that size - just my personal prejudice.
     
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  12. Jun 26, 2018 #12

    Scooter68

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    K-meta (Potassium Metabisulfate) and Campden tablets are the same thing. Campden tablets are convenient for small batches where measuring out 1/5 of 1/4 tsp would be a headache or even making a concentrated solution then portioning that out for your batch size. On Campden tablet per gallon, crush with a mortar and pestle and dissolve in water. Sometimes I cheat and crush the tablet then put it into the empty carboy before I rack the wine into the carboy. the flow of the juice is enough to mix things up if the tablet is properly crushed.
     
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  13. Jun 27, 2018 #13

    Nurse Betty

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    Thank you!!!
     
  14. Jun 29, 2018 #14

    Jal5

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    Pear wine is terrific. A clean crisp taste IIRC
    JOE
     
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  15. Jun 29, 2018 #15

    Nurse Betty

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    Just hoping the raccoons don't beat me to the pears........unfortunately, they usually do!
     
  16. Jun 30, 2018 #16

    Scooter68

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    I don't take animal lives wantonly but a racoon here is on my hit list for his destructive behavior in my blueberry patch. I've now got him fenced out but it almost ruined one of my best bushes. Maybe a little solar powered electric fence around the base of the tree(s)?
     
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  17. Jun 30, 2018 #17

    Slappy

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    If it comes to it there's no need to waste him. I'd tan his hide and make myself a big warm hat!
     
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  18. Jun 30, 2018 #18

    Scooter68

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    That is an option. Wife actually is for his elimination as a bold little critter. She found him on the front step one evening as she opened the door. He moved TOWARD the door not away. Not an expected action.
    For now he's safe until I get my rifle scope setup....
     
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  19. Jun 30, 2018 #19

    Nurse Betty

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    Scooter68 and Slappy.....you all are cracking me up. i'm country.....I won't hesitate to shoot the culprits if I get the opportunity. Problem is, there are SOOOOO many of them. I have game camera pics of 5 or 6 in the same pic.
     
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  20. Jun 30, 2018 #20

    Scooter68

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    Ok if you are country you can "enjoy" this - True story from Venice California a few years ago. (Venice is a beachfront community with canals (Like the real Venice Italy) etc upscale). Lady called to report that her dog was on her deck one evening and several racoons came up and started attacking the dog. Animal control officer told her... "Lady, you and your dog are the invaders, they have the right to be there. We won't do anything to stop or remove them. Keep your dog inside out of their way." I think back in this neck of the woods, there would be 1) No call to the Animal Control but there would be 2) Several coonskin hats in the making quickly. Loved animals but when they cross that line they get their ticket punched.
     
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