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Just crushed my first grapes. How long after Kmeta to pitch yeast?

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v8rx7guy

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Just crushed my first grapes. Newbie Regent wine in the making

I just harvested and crushed my first grapes, a 2 year old Regent. Here are my values:

S.G. 1.090
T.A. 5.0 g/L (using titration method, so pretty accurate +/- 0.5 g/L)
pH 3.8 (not so accurate, using narrow band pH strips)

I added K-meta after the crush to get what I have calculated to be about 50 ppm free SO2 to kill of any wild yeast. My question is, how long should I wait to pitch the yeast? I have read 24 hours, but just want to make sure. What temperature should I keep the must at? Also, how do my numbers look? Should I add a little acid to bring my pH down?
 
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NorCal

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I would bring the pH down to 3.5-3.6 for SO2 efficacy, and pitching the yeast (assuming the data sheet says it is SO2 tolerant to 50ppm) the next day.
 

v8rx7guy

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What was your K-Meta to gallons ratio?
I'm starting to think I screwed up :(

The Kmeta I have is in tablet form, they are 0.5g each. The packaging said one tablet per gallon results in 30 ppm SO2. Since I had about 1.25 gallons I did the math and fount that 2 tablets would result in 50ppm which is what the wine making write-up I had recommended (more wine! .pdf).

The mistake I made was that I think I got total ppm and free ppm confused nd probably over-dosed it! Is 1 gram K-meta way overkill for 1.25 gallons?

I did pitch the yeast 24 hours later, and it seems to be starting to ferment today...
 

Boatboy24

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It is a little much, probably. But if you're seeing signs of fermentation, all is well. ;)
 

v8rx7guy

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It is a little much, probably. But if you're seeing signs of fermentation, all is well. ;)
The good news is that I did wait over 24 hours , stirred it a bunch and even transferred the must from a small to a larger receptacle right before pitching the yeast. Hopefully that introduced some good oxygen.

Is the big thing I have to worry about is fermentation not taking off or getting stuck? Or is the wine potentially going to be dangerous to drink or something like that in the future?

Grrrr... so frusterating. Waited a whole year growing these grapes and mess up on the first step! Oh well, at least it's a small batch compared to what I plan on harvesting next year:dg
 

v8rx7guy

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Checked the must at lunch time, it is bubbling quite intensely... so I'll take that as a good sign.
 

Johnd

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Is the big thing I have to worry about is fermentation not taking off or getting stuck? Or is the wine potentially going to be dangerous to drink or something like that in the future?
Biggest worry is not getting started, so if it's going, you're out of the woods, the yeast will do its job. No worries about your wine being undrinkable as the result of a little KMS overdose. You should be right back on track, carry on!
 

v8rx7guy

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Checked the s.g. last night... about 18 hours into primary fermentation. The gravity has so far dropped from about 1.100 down to 1.080
 

v8rx7guy

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This is kind of turning into a batch/recipe thread... so I'll fill in a few more details. The innitial specific gravity reading was about 1.090 on my hydrometer... however, my refractometer was saying 1.080. I tend to believe the hydrometer a little more than the refractometer, but at the same time there was some bubbles I couldn't get rid of during my hydrometer reading which may have skewed those results slightly. To be safe, I added 2.5oz of sugar (my batch size is 1.25gal) to get it up to a specific gravity reading of 1.100 on my hydrometer and 1.090 on my refractometer.

I also added about 3/4tsp of acid blend to bring the T.A.'s up from 5.0 g/L . This brought up the T.A.'s to about 7.0 g/L. Could not get a good pH reading with my strips since the grape juice was already reddish at that point and was skewing the reading. If it was 3.8 before, I'm hoping I'm closer to 3.6 now. A "real" pH meter will be high on my christmas wishlist this year. Is there math to confirm this?

Anyway, besides the innitial "too much K-meta" newbie scare, everything seems to be going nicely. As mentioned earlier, the s.g. is now down to 1.080 on the hydrometer as of last night. I'll take another s.g. reading with the hydrometer tonight.

I pitched 2 grams of RC-212 yeast which was started with go-Ferm per the packet instructions. Ambient temperature during fermentation is about 75F.
 
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v8rx7guy

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S.G. down to 1.050 . I've now had 5 days of skin contact and I'm contemplating pressing early. I have read that Regent tastes best pressing no later than 5 days of maceration...
 

v8rx7guy

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Massive drop over 12 hours, checked the S.G. and it was all the way down to 1.005 ... almost dry! I went ahead and pressed it last night. I pressed it into my 1 gallon big mouth bubbler and put an airlock on it... It is still fermenting. I will rack off the gross lees tonight.
 

Johnd

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Massive drop over 12 hours, checked the S.G. and it was all the way down to 1.005 ... almost dry! I went ahead and pressed it last night. I pressed it into my 1 gallon big mouth bubbler and put an airlock on it... It is still fermenting. I will rack off the gross lees tonight.
You could wait a little longer to rack off of the gross lees if you would like. I usually wait 48-72 hours after pressing. As the fermentation slows, more lees will drop out, and they will typically be a little more compact, easier to rack off of, and will yield a little more liquid.
 

v8rx7guy

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You could wait a little longer to rack off of the gross lees if you would like. I usually wait 48-72 hours after pressing. As the fermentation slows, more lees will drop out, and they will typically be a little more compact, easier to rack off of, and will yield a little more liquid.
OK, that actually probably works for my schedule to wait 2 days and tackle the first racking over the weekend.
 

Siwash

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SO2 amount for 20 Lugs?

Looks like you did it right! I am following this b/c I am struggling with the same issue...

let us know how ti turns out
 
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v8rx7guy

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I racked this morning. The S.G. is 1.000 as nearly as I can tell and fermentation was complete. Very strong sulphur smell... I think this is probably due to my over sulphiting early in the process which is a pretty big bummer. I splash racked it a total of 3 times and it seemed to help already... time will tell I suppose. I am not set up to do MLF, so I added my french oak chips (0.4 oz). Its now in a carboy under vacuum.
 

1948man

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It's my very non-expert understanding that mistakes mostly affect drinkability and don't cause any health-harmful effects. I could be wrong.
 

v8rx7guy

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It is now 5 days after my 3X splash racking. I gave it a smell and the sulphur smell seems to be dramatically improving... there might be hope for my first vintage from real grapes afterall? I believe I can attribute a lot of this to the adding of k-meta post fermentation and having the carboy under vacuum. I pump it once a day and can see very small bubbles coming out of the wine which I believe to be sulphur gasses (H2S, SO2?) rather than CO2.

I'm a bit lost at this point in the process. Having only done kits up until this point, I'm not sure if I am supposed to wait longer than I'm used to for bottling?
 
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