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Muscadine wine sediment

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Dennis_S

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I'm making my first batch of muscadine wine. I put it in the secondary, a 5 gallon carboy on March 27th 2010. There looks to be about 5" of sediment. The wine is a very very deep purple. I'm getting concerned about the amount of sediment and when I should re-rack? I started with 35#s of grapes. If there is 5" of sediment, what should I do? I've been watching it for a week and the sediment is not going down any. Should I rack and? then what. That should have been plenty of grapes for a 5 gallon batch.
P.S. It's working really well, bubbling about 1st a second but it's 83* today.
 
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Julie

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I'm making my first batch of muscadine wine. I put it in the secondary, a 5 gallon carboy on March 27th 2010. There looks to be about 5" of sediment. The wine is a very very deep purple. I'm getting concerned about the amount of sediment and when I should re-rack? I started with 35#s of grapes. If there is 5" of sediment, what should I do? I've been watching it for a week and the sediment is not going down any. Should I rack and? then what. That should have been plenty of grapes for a 5 gallon batch.
P.S. It's working really well, bubbling about 1st a second but it's 83* today.
Hi Dennis,

Can you post the recipe? I would be curious on what the acid was when you started. When doing any wine from fresh fruit I always make sure that I have more liquid than 5 gallons, you will lose a lot in sediment. If it is high in acid you can add water to make up for all the sediment but if you can post the recipe that would be great
 

Dennis_S

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Well, not really. This was my first batch in a long time. I forgot how important it is to keep accurate records. I have some notes but not all of them. I'll try though. I didn't have a acid test kit when I started this. Everyone just said that Muscadines have a lot of acid so I added calcium carbonite. Can't remember how much. Is it to late to check my acid? I have a kit now. I had 35#s of grapes crushed them with a tomato strainer. Got about 2 1/2 gallons of pure juice and 1/2 gallon of real thick stuff. I added 1 oz. of oak chips. I boiled 1 gallon of water and added 10# of sugar. 5 crushed campden tabs, 5 tsp of super yeast nutrient. With the bag of pulp it was 6 1/2 gallon. Don't know if this really helps but the best I can do.
 

Julie

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I don't think it is too late to check your acid. I usually check at the very begining just to make sure that fermentation will be ok and then I check after it is done fermentating and make adjustments where needed. Have you taken a hydrometer reading? I would take that just to see where you are at in the fermenting process and leave it alone for awhile. It has only sat in the carboy for about 2 weeks. Once I put my wine into the secondary I usually let it sit for a month before I do anything with it. Get a reading, if it is still frementing let it alone, once it is done, check the acid, if it is high, rack and then add some water and taste.
 

Wade E

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What is the sg and is it still fermenting? If you are down low then Id airlock it but eave it in there to finish and rack as soon as its done fermenting to get it off those lees. If you dont mind your wine ending up a little sweet then you can rack around 1.015 and it could go dry or stall a little early. Acids can be checked pre or post fermentation.
 

valdelocc

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I wouldn't worry about the sediments (lees), depending on the fruit you'll end up with more or less lees, the longer the wine seats on the lees the stronger the flavor but if left too long the dead yeast and decaying fruit may impact negatively the wine, by too long I meant over a month on the gross lees.
 

Sacalait

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Don't worry about the acid, 35#'s of grapes for a 5gal batch won't increase the acid level very much. Questions: 1) what was the starting S.G.? 2) how long did you leave it in the primary? Is an air lock attached and is the wine clearing?

If fermentation is complete, I'd rack off the lees and strain the into another carboy and top off with water, muscadine juice or a suitable dark wine, add air lock and add 1/4tsp K-meta and 1/2tsp/ K-sorbate/gal wine. If fermentation is still ongoing (check S.G.) then wait for completion and follow instructions above.

Muscadine wine has such a delicate flavor that oak tends to mask it. Oak should be added toward the end of the process so you can have more control over the final product, add sparingly and sample often.
 

Dennis_S

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Starting SG was approx 1.1, It was in the primary about 8 days. It's still going strong. The air lock is bubbling about once a second. I'm really not sure if the lees is the total 5" or if it's just sticking to the side of the glass. The color is so deep purple it's hard to tell if it's clearing.
 

Wade E

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If you think its just sticking to the side then give the carboy a quick twist as that will release the lees from the sides.
 

Dennis_S

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Well I still don't know what's going on. Wade, I shook it up good I thought. It looks like it is going to settle just about the same as it was. Maybe it is all lees. It just seems like a lot to me. I think I'm just going to wait for a month from original transfer and see what happens. I'm not sure what to mix with it, or maybe just add water? I guess I need to do an acid test, let you know and get recommendations then.
 

Sacalait

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Don't worry about the lees while fermentation is ongoing. Once complete, the stuff will settle out. Don't try rushing it, time is on your side.
 

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