New batch started a few days ago

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Ignorant Teetotaler
Mar 11, 2010
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I started a new batch a few days ago. Here are the ingredients as I remember them. It was from a recipe the lady at the winemaking shop gave me, so its written down, I just don't have it with me right now. I might edit it tomorrow if I find out I did something differently. The difference between the recipe and this is that I used Apple juice with the Grape Juice instead of just using Grape Juice. Apple juice is cheaper....

2 gallons Walmart Grape Juice in bottles on the shelf
1.5 gallons Walmart Apple Juice from two bottles on the shelf
2 cans of Walmart Grape Juice concentrate from the freezer section
6 cans of tap water
6 teaspoons Yeast Nutrient
6 teaspoons Acid Blend
6 teaspoons Pectin Enzyme powder (or was it 3...)
6 cups of white sugar
1/4 teaspoon Potassium bisulfite

Then I swirled it around and shook it up as best I could and kept swirling and shaking it over about fifteen minutes or so just to make sure everything was dissolved. The I put the fermentation lock on the top and let it sit for about 24 hours, swirling it a few times.
The I tried to rehydrate some Red Star Premiere Cuve'e yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with a little sugar and a few drops of grape juice in it, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I added some of the juice to the cup and let it sit for a few minutes more. It didn't seem to be doing anything, just floating little pellets. But I dumped it in the juice anyway. If you rehydrate bread yeast the way I did then it seems to dissperse and then float to the surface and then foam a little, but this wasn't doing anything like that. I let it sit a while. Still nothing. I was discouraged by going thru all this and it seeming to be dead yeast. Eventually I decided to add the other packet of yeast directly to the juice by sprinkling it into the hole on top. I let it sit a while, it still didn't seem to disperse but it did seem to maybe be fizzing a tiny bit. I swirled it and waited and it seemed to float to the top and maybe be fizzing a little. I put paper napkins over the hole and secured it with a rubber band so it could get some oxygen, since I think it needs oxygen to grow new yeast cells. I left it for hours and came back and it was bubbling like crazy! I swirled it a bit, watched it bubble a while, then put the fermentation lock on it with some sulfite in the water in the lock. I went to bed and when I got up the bubbing was greatly reduced but still going. That seemd to be a good thing anyway. Then I went to work and I haven't gone home yet to see what it is doing. But I anticipate it bubbling away and maybe having some gunk floating on the surface.
So. What do you think of what I have done so far?
Oh, by the way, the reason there are 6 teaspoons of things is because I thought my carboy was six gallons, and I added the dry stuff to the carboy part way thru so I could dissolve some it before it was full. Once it was nearly full I realized that it is only meant to ferment five gallons of something at a time. I guess it will be okay according to what someone on here told me in a different thread. :h
you did all this in the carboy? hopefully you didnt fill it up to high otherwise it may foam up and over flow through your airlock. Just about everyone here starts out in a primary bucket and leaves a couple inches to the top just in case (so the foam doesn't spill over), its also easier to stir everything together, plus many other benefits. Other then that it looks like a fairly solid process, you should definitely get a hydrometer, (they're really cheap ~$5.00-$10USD) which will allow you to calculate ABV-alcohol by volume, when fermentation is stopped.
As far as being discouraged by the yeast not starting off right away-don't, it can take up 48hrs before you see any visible signs of fermentation.
Also welcome to the forum, I see by reading some of your other threads you started wine making in a similar fashion as I did, you jumped into the deep end of the pool and then asked "how do I swim?" Not the cheapest way, and some may say not the smartest way, but if your like me, I learn best by MY mistakes and through experimentation, after all this is just a hobby in which the process(experimentation) is just as enjoyable as drinking the result.
Getting hydrometer is the best thing you can do especially if not following a recipe exactly and even by doing that the sugars in fruits can vary quite considerably raising the abv until your yeast starin is overwhelmed to the point where it cvant handle and quits or just never starts up at all. You are ging to ave to be more patient as yeast does not work in minutes and can actually take up to 72 hours to work depending on many things like temp and nutrients involved. Best method is to add everything up front except pectic enzyme and yeast and then wait 12 hours with the lid off your vessel and then add pectic enzyme, this allows the sulfite to do its job and then disperse as enzymes dont work well in the presence f higher sulfite levels. after another 12 hours(24 total) you add your yeast to the mix and still it is best to leave the lid either loosely or to cover the vessel with a cloth until your wine has a very good fermentation in progress as yeast needs lots of 02 to multiply. A carboy is not a good vessel for doing primary fermentation in as it doesnt let enough 02 in unless you only have it about 1/2 full.
Here I thought I was doing everything the right way this time and I still did it completely, totally wrong.
No one will believe me, I know, but I am actually crying now...
Why am I sooooo ignorant....
I never heard about doing anything in a bucket. I would think it would get contaminated.
I thought I would have good news when I came here tonight. Maybe get some encouragement. But someone sent me email saying they are probably going to ban me because everyone can't stand me. And now I am told I screwed up again on my new attempt....
I can't really see the screen any more because I'm crying.
Sounds like you are off to a good start. :h You might want to remove some must for head space as they can foam up pretty good through the neck of a carboy. It will take some time to see the yeast going but if you see a fizz you're fine as that's them starting their job.
The Hydrometer is nice as it let's you monitor the progress fairly precisely, but isn't required. It sounds like you have what you did written down. It's really helpful to start a notebook or journal so you have a good record of what happened and when. I use Google documents it's great. I can add info anywhere there is internet, you can add pictures and share them online.

Let us know how it's going... :br
Hamster, dont get discouraged, it can be done in the glass carboy but you will want to make sure there is sufficient room in there and 1 gallons volume difference may not be enough and you could have a great big mess on your hands doing so one of these times. Most of us use 7.9 gallon primary buckets that are Food Grade and sold in wine and beer making. I have had a few batches that hane encrouched right up to the lid on this bucket and this bucket holds almost a full 2 gallons volume over the carboy that you are using so Im just saying this to give you a heads up because the carboy you are using may not hold a vigorous fermentation. Yes you can make wine without a hydrometer but being as you are a new wine maker I would advise you to get one cause otherwise people will not be able to tell you why your wine hasnt fermented all the way down and you wont know if your wine is truly stable or not. There are many reasons to use a hydrometer and no reasons not to. I am not trying to discourage you and actually that couldnt be the farthest from the truth. As a new wine maker you need every bit of help there is to make a good wine ad using a hydrometer and keeping the starting sg down to around 1.085 is the best way to do so. Please hang in there and we will help you as much as possible.
I personally have only started on batch in a carboy. It's the California Red concentrate that I started on 2/20. I racked it to secondary carboy the other day and it had dropped from 1.090 to 1.02.

I was initially concerned about the lack of square inches of surface area for the yeast to get oxygen but it appears to have done well.

I do like primary in a bucket better though.
Don't lose heart now. You are only just starting. Patience is the key here. We do want to help you.
I have started wines in carboys and they have been fine. I do recommend that you treat yourself to a hydrometer though. You'll enjoy the science behind it and make a better wine.
I feel beaten up here.
Here I go starting to cry again...

OK calm down, no one knows less about making wine than I, just started my second batch today as a matter of fact. Just listen to what the good folks on here suggest and I'll bet your wine will be fine. If things don't work out your only out a few dollars, a trip to Wal Mart, and some time. I think this whole wine making thing is suspossed to be fun and relaxing don't let it stress you. Good Luck