My 1st Go at Wine and RC 212

Discussion in 'Yeast, Additives & Wine Making Science' started by FunkedOut, Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. May 24, 2019 #41

    FunkedOut

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    Tonight marks the end of day 4 of primary fermentation.
    I added the second half dose of Fermaid K just ahead of the 1/3 sugar break, at the end of day 3.
    • Kit instructions say to allow 6-8 days before proceeding to step 2: secondary fermentation (rack to a carboy with airlock).
    • Step 2 says to rack to carboy when SG reaches 1.020 or lower.
    The way things are trending, the SG should hit 1.020 by the end of day 5.
    Screen Shot 2019-05-24 at 12.32.46 AM.png
    * the entire timeline on this graph is 7 days

    I'm thinking the right thing to do is ignore the calendar and listen to the hydrometer.
    Am I thinking clear thoughts?

    How low (SG) can I leave it in the primary and not risk oxidizing the wine?
    Should I leave it in the primary for 6 days, and rack it dry?
    Or rack it as soon as it hits 1.020 or some other magic number?
     
  2. May 24, 2019 #42

    G259

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    Don't get too hung up on the EXACT time to move to secondary. If you can, a good time is 1.020-1.010, but I have had a couple ferment dry in the bucket (.990), and they turned out fine.

    The question I ask myself is: 'Does the wine have a blanket of CO2 covering it?' If the answer is 'maybe', then I'm worried.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  3. May 24, 2019 #43

    Johnd

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    You’re on track, let the hydrometer / SG be your guide at this stage, not time.

    If you have active fermentation, your wine is fine to stay in it’s primary vessel, as it nears completion, we move it to a vessel where we can control air exposure as well as get rid of some of the heavier lees that have begun to settle out. Exactly when is your call, though the closer to “done” you are, the lower the chances of overflows / airlock foaming / volcanoes is. Some folks completely finish AF in primary, others rack at 1020, 1010, 1000, you get to choose.
     
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  4. May 24, 2019 #44

    mainshipfred

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    What I normally do is keep the lid loose until it gets to around 1.010 or below. Then I snap the lid and put in the air lock to make sure I have a CO2 blanket. I then let it go to dry or almost dry.
     
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  5. May 25, 2019 #45

    FunkedOut

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    Fermentation was very tame. It would’ve been fine in a 7 gallon pot.
    The only pucker moment came when I added the Fermaid K.
    That’s a great way to degas!
     
  6. May 29, 2019 #46

    FunkedOut

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    On day 6, 1.020, and I racked into a 6 gallon carboy.
    It's now day 9, still at 1.010. If the trend continues, this will probably be dry a week from now.
    There currently sits 3/4" of fine lees on the bottom. Should this concern me at all?

    I've read where it's recommended to rack off of the fine lees once they build up to 1/2".
    Are these lees going to funk my wine in the next week?

    My heart says to just wait until it's dry before racking again.
    But I really don't know.

    Does the height of the lees matter for a week or two?
     
  7. May 29, 2019 #47

    mainshipfred

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    You should be fine to let it go, infact you may want to stir it daily to stir up the lees. You probably don't have 3/4" anyway. The lees get attached to the glass and there is probably only the appearance of 3/4" around the base.
     
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  8. Jun 7, 2019 #48

    FunkedOut

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    I have not done a thing to the wine, no stirring up the lees, no racking.
    Here we are on day 18 since pitch, SG reads 1.001.
    I can still see a steady stream of tiny bubbles working their way up to the surface. Airlock still gluggs a few time a minute.
    But it is almost 3 weeks into fermentation. That 50% longer than everyone else.
    I'm not worried. Should I be?
    Should I consider stirring up the lees? Or just practice patience?
    Screen Shot 2019-06-06 at 11.15.10 PM.png
     
  9. Jun 7, 2019 #49

    Chuck E

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    I usually stir my fermentations twice a day, but I also usually have a "cap" of skins to deal with. That said, your ferment is working its way down to dry; so I would say not to worry.
     
  10. Jun 15, 2019 #50

    FunkedOut

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    I still have not done a thing to the wine, and it's bubbling away. Bubbling has slowed down a fair amount. SG is down to 0.997.
    Tomorrow marks day 28 since pitched.

    Either RC212 is way slower than EC1118, or I racked into the carboy too early.
    At least there was a happy ending.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  11. Jun 25, 2019 #51

    FunkedOut

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    I’ve had my struggles with keeping the stoppers in the carboy.
    Ended up being, making sure they were dry and the carboy was dry was the answer....

    ...until I topped up and left 1” of headspace after degassing.

    I had a stopper that I adapted a VacuVin that worked great.
    After a week of that, I replaced the stopper with a solid stopper.
    The 6.5 gallon carboy kept spitting the stopper out.
    Both the universal kind and the rubber #7.

    I’m guessing it’s the limited headspace being compressed by inserting the stopper created too high a pressure and that’s what is pushing the stopper out.

    Anyway, this is what I’ve resorted to as even some tape was no match for the carboy.

    36A5C281-7FEE-40EF-8220-AA937D376348.jpeg
     
  12. Jun 25, 2019 #52

    Johnd

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    I doubt that your wine is degassed in one week with a vacuvin, which is probably why it’s spitting your stopper. A stopper with an airlock or waterless vented bung is a good option for several more months. When my wine is in carboys, there’s never a solid stopper in place, only my barrels have solids.
     
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  13. Jun 25, 2019 #53

    FunkedOut

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    sounds like i just made a messy bomb then...
     
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  14. Jun 25, 2019 #54

    Johnd

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    Kinda what I’m thinking. Be careful not to put your face over the bung when you cut those zip ties loose!!
     
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  15. Jun 25, 2019 #55

    FunkedOut

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    It already had a good amount of desire to get the bung out!
    Thanks for the heads up and reading/posting so quickly, before my wine was all over my floor.

    There's a 3-piece airlock on it now. I got tired of the vacuvin treatment.
     
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  16. Jun 25, 2019 #56

    Chuck E

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  17. Jul 13, 2019 #57

    FunkedOut

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    I grabbed one of those on a recent order. I plan to put it to use after I transfer from the 'clearing' carboy to the 'aging' carboy next week.

    I left for the weekend and set the HVAC to 80*F since the house would be empty.
    That 1" - 1.5" of headspace I left on this batch disappeared when the wine heated up!
    I came home to find the airlock full of wine. Not a drop had spilled though.
    I guess during that time, it's as if no airlock was present, since the wine level rose far enough to join the starsan in the airlock.
    I basically had a small surface area of the wine exposed to air for a couple days.
    Not worried about it. I will consider that my micro-oxygenation. :h

    At any rate, after cleaning and recharging the airlock with fresh starsan, I decided to remove some wine to create a bit more headspace.
    It is still what I call a bit boozy. The strong alcoholic taste is overpowering the rest of the notes.
    If this game is anything like beer, that taste should mellow and go away after a few months to a year.
    Anytime I make ~10% beer, it's got this taste that goes away after 6 months to a year.

    Looking past that bit, the smell, the taste and the finish on this kit is fantastic! It's essence of Malbec.
    Any Malbec fans should definitely give this kit a go.
    I do not plan to add any oak whatsoever. Maybe I will regret that after the booze mellows out a bit.
    But applying my beer experience with this tasting, I say let it ride.

    Thanks for everyone's help on this maiden voyage.
    I am really happy with this outcome and definitely hooked.
    My second kit is on order, but that's another thread...
     

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