muscadine wine explosion; pls help

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stasia

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Hello all. Complete novice here. I know next to nothing about wine-making, but I had a lot of muscadines, so I decided to follow a simple recipe for muscadine wine using very basic, non-professional equipment.

As per that recipe, I let the wine ferment for a week in one gallon mason jars before straining the fruit off and pouring up into swing top (air locked) bottles. I noticed at this point that the wine smelled extremely potent. There was plenty of fizzing when I poured it into the bottles. The directions said to let sit for one week, so I sat them in a cool dark spot. 48 hours later one bottle exploded (broken glass flying everywhere, disaster). I quickly let the carbonation out of the others. Two of them shot out half their contents when the lids were popped. The remaining two were remarkably calm.

So I am assuming that the fermentation was not complete when I bottled them. My big question is what to do now. Could/should I halt the fermentation somehow, or how can I allow them to safely finish the fermentation process?

Like I said, I am essentially clueless. Thank you in advance for any advice or feedback. And please take it easy on me.
 

VinesnBines

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I’m not Bryan but he’ll be along shortly.

You cannot stop fermentation nor should you try.

Your fermentation was not complete. First, get it out of bottles before you are hurt and into a bucket covered with a towel. If you recapped the bottles, at least reopen outside and wrap each one with a towel, wear leather gloves and eye and face protection to reopen. That may be overkill but you can’t be too safe.

Fermentation takes at least a week or longer and fizziness shows that CO2 is still present and will build up to blow a capped bottle. After the active fermentation the wine should be transferred to a carboy with an airlock.

Winemaker_81 has a link on his signature to his blog with a beginning winemaking page. An excellent resource you should read immediately.
 
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@crushday, I laughed out loud when I saw you post. I obviously post FAR too much!

A while back I wrote a basic winemaking process, as we get questions like this on a regular basis. This post is intended to be streamlined and not bury the beginner in more detail than is necessary. It is also not the only way to do it -- there are a lot of paths in winemaking and this is just one.


As @VinesnBines said, there is a link in my sig to the MoreWine! manuals. Skim the red and white grape manuals -- do not try to read intently, as you'll get buried by too much information. You'll find my post easier to digest -- then read these manuals for more detail.
 
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It was more about who could actually answer this question(s) top of mind. Thankfully, you and @VinesnBines stepped up.
It was still funny to me. Thanks!

I've been writing "white papers" for my winemaking site, as we answer the same questions repeatedly. Taking the time to write out a complete answer in detail helps me organize thoughts, and provide a more complete answer. I've got several ideas for new posts that I'll get to after fermentation is done! [Grapes are due in a week or two.]

Note -- I don't collect personal information and don't do advertising on my site. It started in 1999 as a way to organize my notes, and grew from there.
 

ratflinger

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Hello all. Complete novice here. I know next to nothing about wine-making, but I had a lot of muscadines, so I decided to follow a simple recipe for muscadine wine using very basic, non-professional equipment.

As per that recipe, I let the wine ferment for a week in one gallon mason jars before straining the fruit off and pouring up into swing top (air locked) bottles. I noticed at this point that the wine smelled extremely potent.
You have now learned that swing-top bottles are not airlocks, they are caps. Airlocks let pressure move both ways without letting air in. As far as not being too hard on you - Let him without sin cast the first stone. There is no one here that has not made a mistake, stupid or otherwise.
 

crushday

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@crushday, I laughed out loud when I saw you post. I obviously post FAR too much!

A while back I wrote a basic winemaking process, as we get questions like this on a regular basis. This post is intended to be streamlined and not bury the beginner in more detail than is necessary. It is also not the only way to do it -- there are a lot of paths in winemaking and this is just one.


As @VinesnBines said, there is a link in my sig to the MoreWine! manuals. Skim the red and white grape manuals -- do not try to read intently, as you'll get buried by too much information. You'll find my post easier to digest -- then read these manuals for more detail.
This morning, I was the one that laughed out loud... See pic below:

Bryan.png
 

stasia

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@VinesnBines @winemaker81 @crushday @ratflinger @CDrew

Thank you all so much for your super helpful feedback, and thank you Bryan for the wealth of information provided on your website. I have procured a carboy with an airlock (now that I understand what an airlock is) and a hydrometer, and I did manage to get the exploding liquid out of glass bottles with only minimal damage done to the ceiling and cabinets. Boy do I feel silly, and selfishly gratified to find that at least a few other people have been equally silly.
 
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@stasia, I'm comfortable speaking for the crew in saying they we're happy to help.

From here, I suggest you browse the Beginner's forum and read the threads that sound interesting. You'll pick up a lot by just reading what others are doing and what questions they're asking. From there branch out into other forums, and read what sounds interesting. If you have a question, create a new thread and ask it. If you don't know, it's 100% sure that someone else doesn't either, so your questions help other beginners.

Welcome to the club!
 

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