just finished starting my first batch

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conman610

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and it is looking pretty damn good. used a wine expert reisling kit and it came together really well. these photos were taken after only a few hours. check it out



 

Luc

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I have never done a kit wine but it sure looks good.

Looks about the right temperature too.

This will turn out great.

Luc
 

smurfe

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I have never used one of those strips. What temp is it at? I would recommend getting it to around 70 F for the primary fermentation. You might be able to accomplish that by raising the carboy off of the floor as it is the coolest place. If you are in a clearing stage after stabilization and topped off, the lower temps don't hurt anything.

The range for a Wine Expert kit is between 65-75 F with an optimal temp of 73 F throughout fermentation. At this temp, your physical time for each step should be close to the directions. It looks like your temps are above that minimal range, but it looks like they are close. I always try to keep my primary fermentation temp at 70-75 F.

After I rack to glass I try to keep the temp above 65F. You just don't want it to get too cool and fermentation stop and chance a stuck fermentation. After I stabilize I am not real concerned with the temps but try to keep them stable and not have wide fluctuations. Just keep an eye on it. Good luck and welcome aboard.

Smurfe :)
 
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conman610

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hey thanks guys! im pretty excited about making this wine. just checked it again this morning and it looks about the same. i had heard wine yeast acts a little slower than beer but this stuff here is wasting no time at all. lots of it growing in there, and most of it is suspended. doesnt grow on the bottom like beer. is bubbling a wee little bit out of the airlock already too. this is in a closet along with a carboy of beer and the temp is actually a little warmer this morning. looks like it does fluctuate a little bit but not too much. maybe 2* or so, though it seems it wont get any colder than about 67. that closet is going to be reorganized and the wine carboy brought well up off the floor so it should be in slightly warmer temps soon. im just pleased as can be to see it getting going so well so fast. yay!
 

smurfe

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If the temps are at 67F, you will be fine, it just might take a little longer between steps than what the directions say. Let your hydrometer guide you to when it is time to proceed to the next step. One thing I do if I have to place a carboy on the tile floor is to place a folded bath towel under it to give a little insulation from the cold floor.

Smurfe :)
 

Katie_1977

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Good for you...

Congrats on your wine making... i cannot wait to get started... please keep us updated... send samples hahhaah. Where did you get your kit? how much??
 
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conman610

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hi there katie. i got the kit from the local brew shop. ran about $40. some of the other wine styles were a little more though. up to about 60 tops i saw. includes most all the ingredients you need too. i was impressed at how complete it is. comes with a big bunch of some seriously concentrated grape juice. im sure that is the bulk of the cost there. the directions are really nice and well written. way better than any beer instructions, these were totally idiot proof.
first time i have went for a batch of wine too so that works out pretty well. im just kind of doing it by the numbers and feeling good that it will turn out well. the wine expert brand comes highly recommended around here.
i have brewed a good several batches of beer, so all i did was get that brand new big carboy so i didnt have to chance sharing a beer one with wine.
still trying to hunt down some bottles. i didnt think too much about it before i began, but 30 or so wine bottles might not be so easy to come across. i put out a want ad in craigslist and someone says they have 40+ bottles i can have, and another person says they know a guy that runs a greek restaurant and can help me arange for a nights worth of bottles to be saved for me to come pick up. sweet deal. i figure i caould use as many as i can get my hands on, maybe 100 or so for starters. brew plenty of wine and have it all aging and ready for fishing in the summer:)

**update**
ok i havent actually seen the wine myself since those photos were taken. im a trucker, so i have to pretty much go on the word of my roommate. anyway, here is the report.
as of a few nights ago, the wine was bubbling to the tune of 1 bubble per second. the wine looks sort of like 'milky lemonade'. seems all is well.
the wine seemed to take a little longer to 'rev up' in frementation, as i was told to expect. once it gets going though man it is going. next to no foam on top of it, which is just as well since it is a 6 gal. batch in a 6.8 gal. carboy.
so, so far so good. in a few days i will be back in town and maybe it will be time to switch it over to secondary at that point. going to use the same carboy for secondary too. going to transfre the wine into a brewing bucket, which has never been used for fermenting anything so it is clean. then clean the carboy out and put it back in there.:)
 

smurfe

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I guess since you started this in a carboy with an airlock in place, you will be OK. I would be checking it soon to see if it is time to degas, stabilize, and top up though.

Smurfe :)
 
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conman610

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ok i will check out the wine in a few days. im on the road so cant really keep up on it full time though. still bubbling pretty quickly i am told though.
here is a question though.
will the wine need to be dealt with before it is done bubbling?
with the beer you have to wait until its pretty much through bubbling and i would assume the wine works the same way but im not positive on that
 

FentonCellars

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Yes, your kit instructions (if you brought it with you) should mention that you need to wait until the airlock is silent and "let your hydrometer guide you" mostly.

If you have not taken time, check out my thread on removing factory labels off of bottles you may get recycled to you from a restaurant. Keep in mine restaurants don't typically rinse them out well. Also, plan on a few hours to do 30 bottles. I would get your roommate involved. It would go much easier!

Good luck and welcome!
 
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conman610

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thanks for the tips!

here is the update:


the SG is at .996 and so far has just been in the primary fermenter. still bubbles around once every 15 to 20 seconds. i drank the sample and its pretty potent stuff, and tastes not too bad. a bit sour but can definitely tell its going to shape up into something good. looks like secondary fermentation is going to be abridged i guess. there is a lot of gas in it too. the sample seemed almost carbonated. that will be dealt with in the next step too. so far, so good
 

smurfe

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Do you have a 6 gallon carboy to rack this to? When you degas and stabilize you will need to top up to prevent oxidation.

Smurfe :)
 
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conman610

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no i was going to put the wine in a bucket and clean out that same glass carboy and put it back in there. didnt really consider the oxidation factor. wouldnt the little bit of co2 created by wine insulate it though?
 
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Caplan

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no i was going to put the wine in a bucket and clean out that same glass carboy and put it back in there. didnt really consider the oxidation factor. wouldnt the little bit of co2 created by wine insulate it though?
Do you own a plastic brewing/bottling bucket? If so you could sanitize it well and then gently rack your wine into it, cover it from the air. Quickly wash and sanitize your carboy and airlock and re-rack your wine back in.

I wouldn't recommend doing this really other than your first attempt - Much better to pick up a plastic primary and another glass carboy (or 2). Much easier!
 

smurfe

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no i was going to put the wine in a bucket and clean out that same glass carboy and put it back in there. didnt really consider the oxidation factor. wouldnt the little bit of co2 created by wine insulate it though?
After you degas and stabilize, you will not have that CO2 layer as you will drive off the CO2 when you degas.. Read your directions. I am sure they say top up to within an inch or two from the bottom of the bung. If it is a Wine Expert kit, it will say that.

Smurfe :)
 
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conman610

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ok i did do the degas and stabilize stuff last night.
drained the wine into a bucket, cleaned out the carboy, and put it back in there. i had put a vacuum on it with the mighty vac for a while and it stil seemed gassy so while it was in the bucket i stirred it well and added the extra ingredients. and now i see what you mean. if there is no gas being generated, then there will be nothing to prevent oxidization. not too sure what i could do about that now. probaby not a lot. maybe figure out a way to make some co2 gas and sort of 'pour' it in there. hmmm...baking soda and vinegar releases gas. dont have any of that handy though. a chunk or tow of dry ice dropped in there might do the trick as well. again not handy though. what i breathe out has not a lot of oxygen to it. but what if i am coming down with a cold? might not be a good idea then either. si could add a bunch of water to the mix. that would at least reduce the surface area, but dilute the wine too. yeah i really should read the directions better.
 

smurfe

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Do not get vinegar around your wine. Don't even use a container that vinegar was in to make wine. If you have a store nearby that sells marbles, get a bunch of them, sanitize them well and add them to your carboy to raise the level of the wine. I don't even know what marbles cost though. Look at dollar stores, not places like craft stores. I looked in Hobby Lobby and they were expensive there.

Nothing else I can suggest unless you have the stuff to layer a blanket of CO2 like beer brewers do. I have no knowledge on how to do that though. Maybe a beer brewer here will chime in.

Smurfe :)
 
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conman610

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marbles is a good idea. cheap and easy way to displace the wine and raise the level. i might wind up with oxidized wine this time around though but next time i will be better prepared.
also, i got 3 boxes of wine bottles off a generous citizen. should be enough of then to get me by. yay! thats a load off my mind there. also, it turns out there is a small winery in the next town over so i will swing by there and see what sort of a deal i can work up for more bottles
 

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