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Just bought wine grape juice for the first time!

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phasee

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...and i'm not sure what to do next.

Got a shiraz/cabernet mix, bought some yeast, campden, ph and acid test kit.

Does anyone have a link to a guide, or something? I searched but couldn't find anything on the forum.

Many thanks!
 

Julie

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Take a hydrometer reading, then a ph test. Add k-meta wait at least 12 hours and pitch your yeast.
 

phasee

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and campden tablets are k-meta, yes? It's 1 tablet for every gallon?

I have 5-6 gallons, I believe, so 5 tablets.
 

Stressbaby

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and campden tablets are k-meta, yes? It's 1 tablet for every gallon?

I have 5-6 gallons, I believe, so 5 tablets.
That is correct. Test the pH and the acid. Do you have a hydrometer? If so, check the specific gravity.

Morewine has a red wine guide which may help, it's pretty good. However, it is written for red wine from grapes, not juice. Still, it might help.

Link.
 

Ajmassa

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That is correct. Test the pH and the acid. Do you have a hydrometer? If so, check the specific gravity.



Morewine has a red wine guide which may help, it's pretty good. However, it is written for red wine from grapes, not juice. Still, it might help.



Link.


This morewine Manuel is my bible. I refer to it very often. It is as detailed as one could ever need. I should probably print it out at some point.

For juice buckets there's maybe 100 different variations. Here's a quick little set of instructions that should keep you straight. But when in doubt you can always refer to that morewine manual.
http://juicegrape.com/jg_sitespecific/docs/support/Musto Wine Grape_Making Red Wine from Fresh Juice.pdf
 
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phasee

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So I also bought a pH meter, I have calibrated it, and checked the pH of the grape juice. Getting a reading of 2.99.

I believe I am right in saying that the pH should be between 3.4-3.6 for a red wine. How can I alter the pH to achieve the ideal reading.

Thanks again for all the help and information
 

NorCal

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Something doesn't sound right. Knowing those varieties, I've never seen them that acidic at harvest. Agree with the morewine PDF. I read that all the way through before starting. It not only tells you what to do, but why.
 

Ajmassa

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It also tells you what to add, how much and everything involved with adjusting levels. I'm not seeing anything for raising ph in there though.
This is very involved for someone just starting, and you could probably get away with checking levels and adjusting after fermentation. But to remove acids you'll need to add potassium bicarbonate. This one has been my acid adjustment bible. http://wine.wsu.edu/2010/10/13/managing-high-acidity/
 

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I agree with @NorCal. Either the measurement is off OR you will have trouble...trouble getting it balanced, trouble getting through MLF, or both. Use your acid test kit with the pH meter and get a TA reading.

If I got that reading (and knew it to be correct), I would consider a calcium carbonate addition preferment, MLF, and possibly other acid remediation measures.
 

phasee

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With the acid test using the pH meter, I am getting 0.70% TA
 

phasee

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Maybe I have done something stupid...I dunno.

I took an initial hydrometer reading of 1.070, decided to increase this amount by adding approx 3lbs of sugar.

I crushed up 5 campden tablets, mixed them in to the grape juice. It foamed quite a bit to begin with (wild yeast?). Afterwards I done another hydrometer test with a reading of 1.084 SG, TA 0.70%, pH 2.99.

I don't know if I should have waited to add sugar. Hopefully I haven't done anything that could ruin the grape juice. Can't remember if I got a pH reading before I added the campden tablets or not.
 

Ajmassa

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Did you check the ph reading more than once? Or check the meter after testing your sample by inserting into the 4.0 buffer solution? I wouldn't be surprised if your 4.0 buffer reads 3.6 or something. Because your TA is right on the money.
The Camden tabs shouldn't affect the ph though.
But if your meters off than the TA is off too. If you did the TA test by color change you can eliminate that variable.

I had these same exact frustrations when checking ph and TA for the first times. One step forward 3 steps backwards.
 
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phasee

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Think you might be right. Re-calibrated once again in the 4.0 buffer, It was reading way lower at 3.2 or something. With this re-calibration the pH level is sitting between 3.27-3.29 now.

I am starting to get the impression my pH monitor is not very good. It is "checker by Hanna", and to calibrate I have to turn small screws on top. Is there another pH monitor that is recommended?
 

Ajmassa

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I know a few cheap ones that work great for people as long as they are cared for properly. They all should be calibrated often. Especially when some time passes in between uses.
And you always have to keep in stored wet in either storage solution or the 4.0 buffer. You'll never use the 'cap' it came with again
 

Scooter68

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ALL pH Meters require re-clibration AND yes they usually have a small screw that is used for the adjustment. Further when I re-calibrate mine I start with the 4.0 buffer, adjust for that, then rinse with distilled, then check in 7.01 buffer, adjust for that, rinse again and return to the 4.0 buffer and finish with that. Since all our wines are in the lower range, that is the point where we need it to be most accurate.

I use the cap for mine (Rectangular cap) and put some distilled water in that before placing my meter in it. I stand it in a cup on the cap and store it that way.]

Drifting happens with all pH meters, all prices. Just invest in a couple of bottles of buffer solutions (2 or 4 oz size) I have some cleaned, sanitized glass cigar tubes (Look like test tubes with plastic caps) I store my current buffer test solution quantity in. After 3-4 weeks of use I discard those "Test tubes" of solution and refresh it from the 2-4 oz bottles of buffer solution. Keep the large bottles of buffer solution in cool dark spot (Along side the aging bottles of wine)
 

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Interesting to note that the Checker by Hanna has precision to the 0.01 but only accurate to 0.2.

Models are different. Mine has no screws and different order of operations to calibrate. I've been very happy with my MW102 but you'll drop $100 for that meter.

Anyway, those numbers seem better. Are you going to MLF this wine?
 

phasee

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Anyway, those numbers seem better. Are you going to MLF this wine?
I was thinking about it, after reading through the makewine guide. I have looked at my local wine stores website, but can't seem to see anything to do with malolactic fermentation, i.e. the ML culture.

Also, as the campden tablets are already added, is this going to affect my ability to complete a MLF?
 

Ajmassa

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I think a lot of people who add sulphite before fermentation and add malo after, will not give the must a full dose.
But the fermentation with eat up a lot of those sulphites. And they sell certain ML bacteria that has a high so2 tolerance. So if you order online you can choose the best fit for your needs
 

cmason1957

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I have found that many smaller Local Brew Shops don't carry much in the way of Malolactic Cultures. My guess is shelf Life isn't so good. My go to place to order that is morewinemaking. They always have several different types in stock, prices are as good as anywhere.
 

phasee

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Excellent. I will order online in a couple of weeks, to prepare for the end of fermentation.

In regards to fermentation, I plan on pitching the yeast later, when I get home from work. While the yeast is doing its job, should I keep the wine in the pale, or transfer to a carboy? The lid for the pale that I have has no hole to add an airlock, it only has two very small holes for releasing C02, I imagine. And if I the answer is to keep the wine in the pale, it will be ok for the time it takes to ferment?

- I believe I have the answer to this after research: As long as there is enough headspace to allow for the increase in volume during fermentation, the pale should be ok. I'm wondering if it's an issue that I cannot fit an airlock.

When it comes to yeast and yeast nutrients; In reading the MakeWine document, they use a feed for the yeast upon hydration called "Go-Ferm" and during fermentation, feed the yeast with Fermaid-K. I did buy a yeast nutrient, which I imagine is very similar to - if not - Fermaid-K. Is it possible to use the yeast nutrient I have during hydration without damaging the yeast, and then use the same nutrient during the fermentation process?

Thank you for all your help, I really appreciate it.
 
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