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Welcome to WMT, @skylerl33!
Well, you certainly got a boatload of good information already. About the only suggestion I can add is to take notes. Lots of notes. You'll be glad you did.
I am truly blown away by how incredibly helpful and friendly everyone has been! Its amazing!
And thank you for your advice as well! Im going to purchase a journal right now that I will use to keep all my winemaking notes in!! Much appreciated!!
I am truly blown away by how incredibly helpful and friendly everyone has been! Its amazing!
I'm a novice wine maker (1 year) and I've said something similar MANY times. Great people here.

I did think of one more simple suggestion - whenever you do something with your wine (stirring, racking, whatever) smell it and have a little taste. It will tell you a lot.
Welcome and as Big Dave said, smell and taste at every step of the way and especially during primary fermentation. You will quickly learn by smell and taste where your wine is in the fermentation and aging process.
On the last page Dave mentioned keeping notes. Your notes will help your future self in ways you can envision now.

Post-bottling, folks will tell you to not drink your wine for months or even years. This is wrong. You should pull a cork every month or three. Record your impressions each time -- put those notes away and don't look at them.

After a year, read your notes from first to last.

You will teach yourself to let your wine age and will understand the benefits. There's nothing like practical experience.

I almost forgot -- it's also fun. :)
Not to steal anyone else's thunder (I'm not gonna name names), but patience will be your most valuable tool. I am also a newby, 9 months. I have made several kits and they are drinkable at the bottling date. They improve slowly over the next couple of months, but almost from one week to the next, around 3 months after the bottle date, your wine will be better than what you regularly drink (my assumption of course, but better than most low/mid priced wines), beyond that they just teach you to pay attention as flavors develop.

The most important thing to know is that these kits are designed for you to succeed. All the fail safes are in place in the kit. Follow the instructions, and don't stress. Don't worry about oxygen in Primary, after that, keep it sealed under airlock to keep it out.

It is a good idea to verify that your fermenter volume matches your carboy volume. My first batch I filled my primary to 23 liters and I was short 4 bottles when I moved it to carboy. You do not want to fill with water, it will pull the kit out of balance, but you need a full carboy to keep it from oxidizing. You can weigh water to get your true volumes, but this is one of the few variables outside of the kit instructions that we can inadvertently overlook to throw things out.

As you have noted this group is very welcoming and helpful. Everyone wants you to succeed and we are happy to help. Notes are your next best friend. I still look back at wines I am drinking for insight.

Welcome to WMT!
Welcome to the forum Skyler. Enjoy!

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