My first go...

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Jan 22, 2009
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just racked my first attempt at wine making. it's a suncal (i know i know) white zin. starting sg 1.070. 1st rack 1.010. red star (WY110).



going smoothly i think.

Heck! If THIS is a picture of your first attempt, you seem to be doing OK. I wish I took a picture of my first attempt 2 years ago, which was dandilion wine using a recipe I printed off the Internet, fermenting it all in a Tupperware container.
The first of many

Your first batch looks good. I'm sure there will be many more.
Doc, going good there, if you read through the threads on the forum, you will see that PATIENCE is the most important ingredient. When it comes to clearing/fining agents, I'm sure some of the other members will chime in. I say, get another batch going right away! Noone can have too much. Looks good. Keep it up.
thanks folks. I've noticed a MILD color change between initially putting the wine in the carboy to today but nothing major. It's in a 67F basement so I look to be trying to clear it by april probably...should be between 40-50F outside so it may find itself in the garage. I would LIKE to clear it with only racking and cool temperatures but I'm aware that may not work out. I'm going to give this as much time as it needs. I'm in no hurry. As far as my second batch...I'm looking around at different possibilities. I have a job that makes me very busy so I don't want to get into something that I can't make time for. Perhaps just one for now and I'll get another one started when I get within about 2-3 weeks of bottling.

According to your original post the sg is 1.010. And to me, it looks about like that. At 67F it will be slow to finish fermenting, so take that into consideration.


According to your original post the sg is 1.010. And to me, it looks about like that. At 67F it will be slow to finish fermenting, so take that into consideration.


No worries...I'm patient. I see some buildup of lees along the base already...very slight however. Lots of action out of the lock. I am working on collecting bottles so I am in no hurry.


that ferment looks identical to the suncal zin i started 1.5 mos. ago would like to be kept up on how it goes for you i used a different yeast montrechet
sweet...I'll be keeping everyone up on it. it's a way for me to keep track of my progress too.
For the newbies collecting bottles - if your town has a "Freecycle" network I would recommend checking there for empty bottles. I placed a FREE ad in Fishers, Indiana and my first responder had over 80 bottles. All (my favorite word) FREE.
Well, Tuesday is two weeks after being placed in my secondary (carboy). Fermentation is slowing bigtime but still visible and my airlock clicks about every 2-3 minutes (as opposed to the every 15 seconds). The color is also much darker (richer and not yuck) and is clearing a little bit. I'm hoping, since this is my first batch, that all of this is normal (experienced persons, offer comments now). There is no foul smell at all (sweet and kind of soft smelling). Temp is still about 68 degrees during the day and 66 during the night (that's the range on my thermometer.
Do ot go by airlock activity as that could just be C0 being expelled. Take a sg reading and check this a few days in a row to see if its changing, if it is changing wait until it stops, if it is not changing then you are ready to proceed by adding sorbate and k-meta and then degas. If you want to sweeten then do so or just let it age or add fining agent if you like the way it is and want to clear it now instead of letting time take care of that part.
Ok, so I will check sg tomorrow and then do serial checks over the next couple of days. Also, do I add sweeteners a couple days after the k-meta or right away? My other "issue" is I hate to add water to top it up. I have a 5-gal carboy and no "leftovers." I also am not really keen on adding wine to top up either. How much does adding another wine "compromise" the flavor??? Just some questions I have. I'll have more later. Thank you ALL for your input.
Make sure you add sorbate and then k-meta before sweetening. How low are you from the bung because if you are going to sweeten this then that would most likely do the job of topping up. Just remember when making a fruit wine always make more then you want so you have top up wine for later after a few rackings.
it's a wine kit
sg = JUST under 1.000 (not measurable)

nice taste, just yeasty and a little harsh. needs racked and I would like to age it. Is it wiser to age in bottle or carboy? I need to buy some sorbate. What do you guys commonly sweeten with?
Just to let you know, the quantity of topping wine necessary to fill up your carboy to the correct level shouldn't be more than a few hundred milliliters provided you've got an assortment of different sized carboys and jugs to store your wine in. If you do the math, one liter accounts for about 4.3% of 23 liters. So let's say you use a full 750ml bottle to top up a 23L carboy, the wine you have added will now make up approximately 3.3% of the total volume. Provided you used a fault-free wine, the chance of being able to perceive any difference in aroma or taste from such a small amount is virtually nil. I understand the desire to keep your wine 100% homemade, but until you have a little stash of homemade wine built up that you can use for topping, I wouldn't be overly concerned about using a small amount of wine from the liquor store to keep your batch properly topped up.
Keep a log

Doc, make sure you keep notes on everything! !!Everything, temp SG, etc. And every batch. It helps to decipher problems and successes. It may be several months before you know the true results of your efforts. You will need to know what you did wrong or right. And along the way some of the more experienced makers will have an easier time helping with your questions and comments.


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