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jgnin

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Hello,
brief description is in order i guess....38 years old, recently realized that buying a bottle of wine at the liquor store every day was getting a little pricy so decided to give making wine a go since I was already making my own beer. 15 years as a correctional officer, hobbies are collecting (and playing vinyl), playing guitar, watching football (GO GIANTS!), little gym time too. I've only really made about 5 batches of wine, white for my girlfriend, and I'm a fan of red. Questions I'm looking to get answered hopefully on this site, mostly how to make home made wines better using things not found in a conventional home kit. How to make my wine drier, as I'm a fan of dry reds. Anyone that can point me in the right direction as far as threads would be appreciated! thanks.....
 

Johnd

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Hello,
brief description is in order i guess....38 years old, recently realized that buying a bottle of wine at the liquor store every day was getting a little pricy so decided to give making wine a go since I was already making my own beer. 15 years as a correctional officer, hobbies are collecting (and playing vinyl), playing guitar, watching football (GO GIANTS!), little gym time too. I've only really made about 5 batches of wine, white for my girlfriend, and I'm a fan of red. Questions I'm looking to get answered hopefully on this site, mostly how to make home made wines better using things not found in a conventional home kit. How to make my wine drier, as I'm a fan of dry reds. Anyone that can point me in the right direction as far as threads would be appreciated! thanks.....
Welcome to WMT!!

As far as making your wine drier, I'll take a shot at that for you. A dry wine is one that has had all of its sugar converted to alcohol. Therefore, your best bet is to conduct the best alcoholic fermentation that you can, using the best yeast for the job, at the right temps, providing enough nutrients for your yeast to do it's job. If you get your post fermentation specific gravity down into the .990 - .995 range, that's definitely a dry wine. Sometimes you'll get down to .996 or .997, still a dry wine, but that's just as low as it will get. What sort of SG's are you getting on the wines that you consider as "not dry enough"?
 

jgnin

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I recorded the SG, but don't have it anymore as the kit was done and bottled so i chucked the paper that i kept it on....I'm more concerned with the kits i have running now...... still not quite sure about the SG relative to bottling the wine, still new to this so still figuring it all out. I just waited the number of days that the kit instructions said to, made sure the SG was within range per the instructions and bottled. I'm thinking that the instructions are more guidelines than anything, and the wine can be better with a few tweaks here or there to the standard instructions??? Maybe leave it in the carboy a little longer, should i use a heat belt? (I'm using one on the two batches i have going now, 1 white, 1 red). I'll definitely keep an eye on the SG on these batches to ensure it's where it should be. Thanks
 
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Johnd

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Keep it in the mid 70's, rack to a carboy with an airlock around 1.010, and leave it there until it's done, 72 hours with no change in SG. Some ferments are quick, under a week, others longer, I've had one go on over a month. Point is, the wine tells you when it's done with SG readings, not the calendar. And keep meticulous records!! If you come to the forum with a problem, you'll be asked questions, which you'll need to be able to answer to get help.
 

jgnin

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out of curiosity, how often do you (or should I) check the SG?
 

Johnd

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out of curiosity, how often do you (or should I) check the SG?
In the beginning, I checked it daily. Nowadays, my hydrometer is used when I start to record my beginning point, and when I see the ferment slowing, to confirm I'm ready to rack to a carboy, and again when the wine has finished clearing, to establish my final SG.
 

vernsgal

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Hi jgnin Welcome to the forum! I moved here to BC years ago from Oromocto NB
I agree with John on keeping accurate records!
I've made plenty of kits and am also a big fan of Dry reds.When I 1st started making kits I checked the SG after the 1st 5 days then every other day until it got to where the kit specified range should be.Then I would check 3 days in a row to make sure it was done.
Now I just wait 10 days, check and do 3 days in a row to make sure.I also leave in the carboy after racking for a minimum of 3 months,sometimes it drops another point.
A note for you also , since you want your wine dry there is no reason to add the sorbate that comes with your kit.
 
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Bodenski

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Welcome to the forum! You've made more wine than me at this point, so don't feel too new :)

(And I'm glad to read that most folks don't check SG every day. I was going to call it "laziness" but "experience" sounds a lot better!)
 

bkisel

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Welcome to the forum!

The driest (0.990) I've ever gotten one of my wines when I happened to wind up putting two different yeast packets in my 6 gallon/23L batch of, I think it was, Niagara bucket juice. Don't really know if two packets is what did it or that the wine would have fermented that dry with just one packet.
 

jgnin

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Two packets of yeast didn't result in a yeasty taste in the wine?
 

Spikedlemon

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Getting below 1.000 isn't an issue for me - even with lower temperatures (fermenting in the winter in my basement ranges from 16 to 18C) it just takes longer. Adding time won't get you there - it's really down to the yeast.

To be honest, once it's below 1.000, I stop measuring it - I've not had yet a wine that I felt was "too sweet" unless it's later sweetened.
 

jgnin

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Once you get below 1.000 irregardless of your starting sg?
 

Floandgary

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I use juice buckets (Chilean, California, Italian) almost exclusively. Once inoculated with yeast of choice, I stir and check Sg. and temp daily till completely dry,,, usually .990-.992. this ALL in the juice bucket and typically 5-7 days. Rack to carboy under airlock, stabilize if necessary, add oak and/or flavorings. At 1 month rack off additives, dose with K-meta and put to sleep. Repeat @3 months for a year for reds, maybe 6 months for whites. When done you should have little to no sediments and a degassed wine which tastes way better than that first sip you took;)
 

Spikedlemon

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Once you get below 1.000 irregardless of your starting sg?
Yes. It will continue to ferment in secondary anyway as far as it'll go. I won't add Sulfites for a few weeks later anyway so I've no fear of prematurely stopping fermentation.
 

vernsgal

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Sulphites don't stop fermentation. I wouldn't go too long without adding.Your wine will continue to ferment .I always rack my kits to secondary with metabisulfite and then let continue to ferment.
 

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