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My First Wine

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Scotto70

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I just started my first wine. It is a 1 gallon batch of strawberry. I opted for frozen unsweetened as opposed to fresh. I feared that the fresh might have been picked before their peak to get them to the grocery store. I tried a small taste of the must, it was sweet with a very nice strawberry flavor, very tasty. I used one of the recipe's that came with my kit, from the book, "Winemaker's Recipe Handbook", from Midwest Supply. It calls for 3.5 pounds of berries for 1 gallon. The SG was somewhere around 1.093 - 1.095. It was hard to get an exact measurement because of the slight foam on top. I will probably back sweeten, and stabilize before bottling. I tend to like the dryer wines, but my wife prefers the sweeter. I'm hoping she might enjoy this. I can't wait until some fruits here on the east coast come into season so I can pick my own.
 

Wade E

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Just make sure you do what you posted in the opposite order, stabilize and then sweeten.
 

Scotto70

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Thanks Wade, will do. After getting an accurate reading on the hydrometer I discovered the SG was only 1.080. I added another pound of sugar and got it up to 1.095 - 1.096. The recipe I used only called for 3 pounds and said the SG should be between 1.090 - 1.095, I ended up using 4. Maybe the sugar content in my berries was lower? I'm pitching the yeast today, hopefully the fermentation starts OK. What does everyone here use in their airlock?
 

Madriver Wines

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Most use the sulfite solution. It keeps the nasties out and if it accidently gets into the must it wont hurt anything.
 

Wade E

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I use k-meta or vodka. Water over time can get contaminated with bacteria. I would have left the sg here it was, I didnt say anything earlier about the higher sg as it was already done but it will be fine. I would never go any higher then that though with a fruit wine.
 

cpfan

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Despite the previous two comments, I strongly believe that most home winemakers use water in the air locks.

Steve
 

Madriver Wines

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I use k-meta or vodka. Water over time can get contaminated with bacteria. I would have left the sg here it was, I didnt say anything earlier about the higher sg as it was already done but it will be fine. I would never go any higher then that though with a fruit wine.
I agree with Wade 1.085 is plenty high enough for fruit wines and if left for any amount of time the water will stagnate and if city water can take on a smell all its own.
 

Luc

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Despite the previous two comments, I strongly believe that most home winemakers use water in the air locks.

Steve
I agree, and I do think the cause of this is that most winemakers
work with campden TABLETS.

When using the powdered version of k-meta it is so much
easier. Put water in the airlock and add a pinch of k-meta
that's it.

luc
 

Tom

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I use water only.
Here's why,
The alcohol will evaporate
The k-meta will dissipate
Airlocks now have that "red" cap that will prevent the "bugs" from taking a swim in your airlock.
 

Wade E

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Plain water can get contaminated much faster then k-meta solution espcially if you are bulk aging and if you live in an area where temp and or barometric pressures make your airlock liquid go in reverse as Ive seen many of times I advise you to go the safer way. Vodka will last a long time and not get contaminated.
 
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