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Add 1 tsp, stir well, check the pH, and taste the wine.

Tests are great, but test equipment will not be drinking the wine. If there is a difference in opinion between test equipment (e.g. pH strips) and your tastebuds, tastebuds should win.

Keep in mind it's much easier to add more than it is to take some out. Patience is key, and if you're not sure it needs more acid, stop. Let the wine meld and taste it again in a week.
 
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How long is allowable to leave the raisins hanging out in there? Fermentation restarted almost immediately. I’ve left them in there a few days now and popped open the fermenter to add citric acid - the batch was audibly fermenting though not foaming up
 
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How long is allowable to leave the raisins hanging out in there? Fermentation restarted almost immediately. I’ve left them in there a few days now and popped open the fermenter to add citric acid - the batch was audibly fermenting though not foaming up
Well, I decided to remove the raisins yesterday and fermentation fervently continues today.

Sg has dropped to 1.0 as well. PH still high at 5
 

BigDaveK

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Sorry I missed the original question about the raisins.
Grapes - and raisins - are one of the perfect fruits (chemically speaking) for wine making. The raisins can stay in primary the entire time.

With an SG around 1.0 you should start thinking about transferring to secondary with an airlock. Some would have done it by now, some wait a bit. It's a personal choice.

That pH is...is....mind boggling! Are you sure?
 

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@jeffersonmueller to your original post, a beverage with a pH of 5 falls in the beer family and is normally kept in a refrigerator to prevent microbial problems. Once we get above 5% alcohol (starting gravity of 1.050) food poisoning organisms aren’t a major issue, but flavor related microbes will grow. The active CO2 release is a preservative now and keeping head space low keeps aerobic organisms out later. Having a dry beverage is a preservative (gravity below 0.995). ,,, Wine with alcohol above 10% is stable without refrigeration.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about pushing the pH to 2 (ie like a cola soda/ phosphoric acid) or pH 2.5 (like a citrus soda/ citric acid). Using soda as a model we can balance the flavor with sugar to make it pleasing. I have dropped the pH on finished ferments to “kill” the beverage so that it is stable. To do this a bench trial is suggested. For your five gallon I would pull out a pint/ 500ml and add acid by the 1/8 tsp to the sample > mix > recheck pH > taste > add more to get below 4 and preferably slightly above 3. With the ratio you find we could scale up and treat the whole carboy. ,, Paper is not very accurate, but it works. Also our great grandfathers didn’t have pH and didn’t kill themselves. ,,, again, 5% alcohol / pH 5 is relatively safe. You are dealing with buffering, or the higher percentage solids in the beverage, the more acid it takes to push it into target range.
This is my personal preference, aromatics make good taste. I like real lemon from the bottle or low levels of lime to build aromatics. This again is bench trial stuff, with lime go one drop at a time, lemon 1/8 tsp.
From a traditional beverage point of view, OXYGEN IS YOUR ENEMY! Air significantly reduces shelf life.

Welcome to Wine Making Talk. , , , , making wine is a lot like cooking, , , there are lots of pleasing ways to finish the beverage.
 
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Sorry I missed the original question about the raisins.
Grapes - and raisins - are one of the perfect fruits (chemically speaking) for wine making. The raisins can stay in primary the entire time.

With an SG around 1.0 you should start thinking about transferring to secondary with an airlock. Some would have done it by now, some wait a bit. It's a personal choice.

That pH is...is....mind boggling! Are you sure?
“Sure”? No - just doing litmus paper tests. Added another teaspoon today and it appears closer to 4 now - will let it rest another day and test again. It tastes better after btw. I read one source that pointed to tantaric acid for ph instead as some bacteria might essentially nullify the citric acid? Anyway, hopefully this won’t be a case of that. Also the first dose of citric acid was with raisins still in the vat. Perhaps the buffering effect Rice Guy talks of is why a tsp didn’t affect it much.

I did actually transfer the wine when removing the raisins so it’s in secondary now. Airlock still bubbling

Thanks Rice Guy - I appreciate the useful info. It seems as though I’m in the ballpark and from some sampling it definitely feels like I’m at high enough ABV for safety.

Thanks for chiming in!
 
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well today we’re still bubbling at slightly faster than 1 bloop per second in the airlock, and getting an sg of .990 and ph looks to be about 4.
 

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well today we’re still bubbling at slightly faster than 1 bloop per second in the airlock, and getting an sg of .990 and ph looks to be about 4.
At this point I would not mess with it. It’s in secondary. Just put it someplace cool and dark for a month or two to let it clear. At that point if there are a lot of lees rack it off of them and let it ride for another few months. I’m not sure if ginger wine needs a lot of aging… hopefully others can advise.

ETA. If you are going to get into wine making a decent pH meter is a good investment. A good one can be had for $50 or so.
 

vinny

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At this point I would not mess with it. It’s in secondary. Just put it someplace cool and dark for a month or two to let it clear. At that point if there are a lot of lees rack it off of them and let it ride for another few months. I’m not sure if ginger wine needs a lot of aging… hopefully others can advise.

ETA. If you are going to get into wine making a decent pH meter is a good investment. A good one can be had for $50 or so.
Don't buy the $10 amazon one... It's junk.
 
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Regarding aging - and the original recipe - when I asked how long to leave it in secondary, the source responded “it’s not very scientific. I just leave it until I run out of bottles” (from the previous batch)

I’ll give it time now. Thanks again!
 

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Regarding aging - and the original recipe - when I asked how long to leave it in secondary, the source responded “it’s not very scientific. I just leave it until I run out of bottles” (from the previous batch)

I’ll give it time now. Thanks again!
Be sure to let us know how it turns out. That’s how we all learn!
 
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Regarding aging - and the original recipe - when I asked how long to leave it in secondary, the source responded “it’s not very scientific. I just leave it until I run out of bottles” (from the previous batch)
I was taught the 1-3-3 rule: 1 week to ferment, 3 weeks to clear, and 3 month of bulk aging. While I've tried various things, including kit timing (4 to 8 weeks), but I came back to 4 months minimum from start to bottling. Most wines get 6 months and heavy reds get 12+ months.

Don't be in a rush to bottle.

FYI, I wrote a post on the topic:

 

vinny

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I was taught the 1-3-3 rule: 1 week to ferment, 3 weeks to clear, and 3 month of bulk aging. While I've tried various things, including kit timing (4 to 8 weeks), but I came back to 4 months minimum from start to bottling. Most wines get 6 months and heavy reds get 12+ months.

Don't be in a rush to bottle.

FYI, I wrote a post on the topic:

This seems to be a sweet point, for sure.

The best advice I have been given here, is that it is ready when it tastes good. Everyone's taste is different so you have to decide when you like it. I personally have not had any of my wines taste ready before the 3 month bulk age point. They can really come together at that point, even being significantly more balanced than just 2 weeks prior.

If it tastes good at 3 months, it will likely taste better at 6, but only you will miss out if you drink it early. This is all geared to your goals and expectations.

I have split my six gallon kits into a 3 gallon carboy and bottled the other half. As I am new to wine making, I want to sample what I have made, but I also want to learn how it will develop, where I feel the sweet point is, as well as educate my pallet instead of just drinking young wines because they taste good to me.
 
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Thanks all

I’ve really only brewed some kombucha and an extract bourbon barrel stout kit prior to this wine. I think if I’d used less ginger - or kept it more “solid” - I may have finished per the original direction and who knows what I would be brewing next. Addressing the issues in this thread have help further my interest both in wine and beer making. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. I’ll be sure to provide any pertinent updates along the journey of this ginger wine
 
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I guess a couple of questions/concerns more :S

1) do I need to minimize headspace?

2) and when/if to use Campden tablets or the like?
 
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1) do I need to minimize headspace?
Once a wine is degassed, it's critical to reduce headspace. During fermentation and degassing, wine is emitting CO2 which protects it from O2. Once degassed, oxidation is a factor of wine volume vs headspace volume vs time. A small volume of wine with a large headspace oxidizes more quickly than the reverse.

I typically topup wine to within 2" to 3" of the stopper. Folks use other methods such as fill with inert gas (can't see it, don't know how effective it is), vacuum (gotta have a vacuum setup, and it's possible to degas wine too much), and fill with marbles (make sure they are lead free!). I top with wine as I am 100% sure what's in the carboy. YMMV

2) and when/if to use Campden tablets or the like?
Post-fermentation, I add K-meta at each racking and at bottling time. The dosage is 1 well-crushed Campden per 1 US gallon / 4 liters, or 1/4 tsp K-meta per 5/6 gallons (19-23 liters).

Some folks test SO2 levels and check pH to calculate the exact dosage of K-meta. The above rule of thumb was determined practically and it works. Again, YMMV
 
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So - degassing naturally, this could be several months before I need to worry about headspace?

“Once a wine is degassed, it's critical to reduce headspace. During fermentation and degassing, wine is emitting CO2 which protects it from O2. Once degassed, oxidation is a factor of wine volume vs headspace volume vs time. A small volume of wine with a large headspace oxidizes more quickly than the reverse.”
 

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So @jeffersonmueller how much head space are we talking about?

When I'm a bit short I'll swirl or shake the carboy, releasing CO2 and filling the space, watching for a few bubbles through the airlock. I think that buys me some time till the next racking. Essentially I'm kicking the can down the road - gotta deal with the headspace eventually.
 
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So @jeffersonmueller how much head space are we talking about?

When I'm a bit short I'll swirl or shake the carboy, releasing CO2 and filling the space, watching for a few bubbles through the airlock. I think that buys me some time till the next racking. Essentially I'm kicking the can down the road - gotta deal with the headspace eventually.
3 gallons! Got 4 of liquid in a 7 gallon bucket fermenter.
 
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