Quantcast

New to group and to wine making. HELP !! :)

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Hello! I am a new member as well as new at wine making ( I am planning my first batch now ). I live in Michigan, and right now it is not the warmest (30 degrees and snow to be exact! LOL!). I am trying to find a location to make my wine. The back half of my house is cool (average temp is aprox. 64 degrees. I have a closet so it will be in dark place and have added a electric heater which will shut off when the closet reaches a temp of 74 (it is a consistent 64 without help). I plan on keeping the door closed. There is a small crack at the bottom. Is there any reason that this set up would not be a good idea or do you think it would be successful? Please feel free to add any tips you all have. Thanks for any and all input.

PS I purchase the California Connoisseur Cabernet Sauvignon kit
 

cmason1957

CRS Sufferer
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
4,082
Reaction score
3,310
Location
O'Fallon, MO - Just NorthWest of St. Louis, MO
I don't think I would ferment in a closed closet, with just a small crack for CO2 to get out of, it might work, but I would worry about that CO2 level. If it were me, I would ferment in the back half of your house that stays at 64. I ferment in my basement year round, during the winter it is about 62-64 down there it might take a day or two more, but I don't even think it takes that. The fermentation process raises the temp of the must at least a few degrees. I would rehydrate the yeast, instead of just pitching it into the must like your kit instructions probably say to do.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Thank you! I was wondering about the CO2. Maybe I could just leave the door open. That way it is set back out of the way. The back of my house is rather small. It is basically an entry to the home, I would describe as an oversize mudroom. I have also read that you can wrap the fermentor/carboy as well to keep the light out. Maybe I am overthinking it? I have also read that you don't want to exceed 80 degrees. Would that be an accurate statement, in your experience?
 

skyfire322

Junior Member
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
371
Reaction score
249
Location
Ft Wayne, IN, US
Welcome fellow Midwesterner! (I'm in Fort Wayne, IN).

I like to slip a large black t-shirt over the fermenter and a carboy bag when I'm bulk aging. Light and temperature can have negative effects on wine (ie strip away flavor, potentially kill yeast prematurely). Like cmason, I like to try and keep the temperature between 62-65 and also rehydrate the yeast. The healthier and happier the yeast, the better!
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Interesting. I feel like I am obsessing about getting the temperature higher and it sounds like at a constant 64 degrees, I am good to go. Can I ask how you go about re-hydrating the yeast prior to adding it to the must?
 

skyfire322

Junior Member
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
371
Reaction score
249
Location
Ft Wayne, IN, US
While others may do it a little differently, but this is my re-hydration method for a 6 gallon kit. You'll need some yeast nutrients: Go-Ferm and Fermaid-K. Think of Go-Ferm as your morning coffee and Fermaid-K as Gatorade during a marathon.

1. Make a slurry 7.5g of Go-Ferm to 100ml of tap water that's at 110 degrees and gently stir it in. Let sit until it's at 102 degrees.
2. Gently stir 6g of yeast to the slurry then let stand for 15 minutes to wake the yeast up.
3. Add 60-80mL of must to the mix so it becomes acclimated to its new environment.
4. Wait until the mixture is ~85 degrees, then pour it in.

To keep the yeast going during fermentation, use some Fermaid-K. For a six gallon kit, I use 3g of Fermaid-K once I start seeing/hearing bubbles, then 3g at 1/3 sugar depletion.

That calculation would be your starting SG divided by 3, then subtracting the difference. For example:

Starting SG - 1.084
Remove the 1.0 and divide by 3: 84/3 = 28
Add .0 so it becomes .028 then subtract the difference:
1.084-.028 = 1.056

Most importantly, don't be afraid to ask questions! This forum is an awesome resource to help you along the way. :)
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,615
Reaction score
6,511
Location
South Louisiana
Thank you! I would love to hear from others that may do this a bit different. :)
I’ve never made a starter and have always just sprinkled the yeast on top and let it do it’s thing. Purportedly, the kits contain all of the nutrients necessary to complete fermentation with the yeast provided, so unless I’m changing to a high nutrient demanding yeast, I don’t add nutrients.

You might want to invest in a brew belt to give your red musts a little extra heat towards the end of fermentation, things can get a little slow at the end in the mid 60’s.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Thank you all for your feedback. I have a few options here. I am going to look into the brew belt for sure! I am hoping to just stay with the kit instructions because this will be my first batch and want to try to keep it simple.
 

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
3,998
Reaction score
2,616
Location
Centerville, Northern Virginia
Thank you all for your feedback. I have a few options here. I am going to look into the brew belt for sure! I am hoping to just stay with the kit instructions because this will be my first batch and want to try to keep it simple.
Good decision to stay with the instruction on your first batch. The only things I would recommend disgarding are the timeframes. Go with your gravity reading and not time.
 

jgmann67

Rennaisance Man
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
3,762
Reaction score
2,043
Location
South Cental Pennsylvania
Welcome to the procrastinator’s obsession. [emoji1303]

If you’re really worried about temps during fermentation, get yourself a brew belt. I only use mine when it’s really cool in the basement and I’m trying to finish up a ferment. It’s cheaper than running a heater and easier to control.
 

LouisCKpasteur

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
103
Reaction score
44
I live in MIchigan and the ambient temp in my winemaking area this time of year is about 68 F at best. Done about 15 or so kits, just pitching the dry yeast - and never had a stuck fermentation. I don't use any other heating source though the fermentation vessel is positioned close to a heat register during fermentation. My experience is have the must in the right range temp wise to start with and don't fret too much. Get that first one under way using kit instructions is probably a pretty good idea as the finished wine will give you confidence and a base to start tweaking and experimenting in the future. It may also induce a life-long addiction to wine-making.
 

Jal5

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
446
Reaction score
215
Welcome! Some good advice here for your first batch. Re. Addiction you know you’ve got it when any flowers or fruit you come across make you wonder about the wine it would make!
Have fun
Joe
 

winojoe

Joe "the Grape"
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
96
Reaction score
57
Location
Sterling Heights, MI
Welcome to the forum!
I have three simple pieces of advice:
1) Always make sure that anything coming in contact withe must/wine is sanitized.
2) Once the must is fully fermented, air is your enemy.
3) Have fun! :db
 

Rice_Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
1,083
Reaction score
724
Location
Midwest
I was wondering about the CO2. Maybe I am overthinking it? I have also read that you don't want to exceed 80 degrees. Would that be an accurate statement, in your experience?
* I do not worry about CO2. I have periodically run a primary in a dorm size fridge or a full size fridge with all the shelves removed. 5 or 6 gallons of must do not produce enough gas to hurt themselves or you in a plastic refrigerator box. Second the walls/ floor are porous enough that it will diffuse out. The time I worry about CO2 is in September when several thousand gallons are fermenting and CO2 builds up to a level where it could aphixiate an employee.
* I have run tests at an assortment of temperatures as from 45 to 85. You will find that low temp will preserve fruity flavors and high temp will evaporate fruity and push the H2S stink. That said a red is usually run 70-75F which blows off a lot of the flavor notes. Whites and fruit will keep fruity flavors better at 50-65F. Low temp takes longer therefore kits want you too run hot and see the finished wine faster (50F could be 3 weeks) The choice is yours and how much do you want to keep volatile flavors? and to a lesser extent are you pitching a yeast which likes 45F.
* It is normal to minimize light as fermenting in stainless or in the old days in a cave. If your goal is years of shelf life oxidation reactions start to become measurable based on light exposure. I worry more about air exposure as a cause of oxidation.
* If I was running a large tank I would worry as temp too high/ enough starter/ kits are put together too be fool pruf.
 
Top