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claywine12204

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Hey guys! So I'm new to this wine making thing and found this great forum. So far I've bought some equipment and looking for a detailed write up from start to finish. I've been browsing this forum, but can't seem to find one that goes from step one to the very end. Any recommendations?

This is the kit I've bought so I might be missing a few things:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006K0XQZ0/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Ned
 
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Johny99

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Welcome Ned. Looks like a decent basic kit. First thing you need to do is decide what you are going to make, from grapes, fruit or a kit. You can then source recipes here, on the web or from books. I'd suggest getting an idea of what the process is before you start. Morewinemaking.com has a good primer on making reds or whites from grapes. Lots of books and such for how to also. Of course a kit comes with instructions
 

claywine12204

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I would like to make a berry wine first, maybe raspberry. I've seen the recipes, but I'm looking for a video or instructions of the process. I have an idea, but it would be nice to see the process in action for the first time.
 

Arne

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Hi Ned, Welcome to the forum. Maybe try a Dragon blood. There are pretty good instructions on this site how to make it, uses store bought berries and doesn't cost very much. Also is done fairly quick so you don't have to wait quite as long for the drinking part. Nice thing is the low cost for a first go around, if it gets messed up not out much. Arne.
 

bkisel

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Welcome to the forum! I'll second Dragon's Blood as mentioned above or a mid-range kit - 10-16L. Plenty of YT videos that will walk you through the steps.
 

claywine12204

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Thanks everyone and the Dragon's Blood right up is exactly what I was looking for. I have a question about two ingredients he listed:
3 tsp. yeast nutrient (stir)
1 tsp. yeast energizer (stir)
So I have something called "Yeast Energizer Diammonium Phosphate (Nutrient Booster)
So is this the yeast nutrient or energizer? I want to make sure I have all the ingredients before I start.
 

claywine12204

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Ok I found the answer about the difference in energizer and nutrients. One question before I start my first batch tomorrow is when to add the nutrient. Some of the other threads adds the nutrient later in the process, but the dragon blood write up puts it all in at the start?
 

bkisel

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Ok I found the answer about the difference in energizer and nutrients. One question before I start my first batch tomorrow is when to add the nutrient. Some of the other threads adds the nutrient later in the process, but the dragon blood write up puts it all in at the start?
I add it all up front except for pitching the yeast ~24 hours later. You definitely can vary from the recipe and still get good results but I'd recommend just following the recipe the first batch or two.

As a side note... I've made a bunch of country/fruit wines, since making my first DB, using the same basic DB recipe. I now always use bentonite in the primary, sometimes use acid blend in place of the lemon juice and sometimes use the lemon juice but half as much. I've learned, for my taste, to use more fruit than what the DB recipe calls for. Back sweetening will often be brown sugar, honey and frozen juice concentrate along with or in place of white sugar.
 
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NorCal

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Yea, can't go wrong with a batch of DB to kick-off your winemaking career. A word of caution. You are going down a slippery slope. First it's a carboy, then it's two, then you are scowering craigslist for used stuff. It may take a year or two, but you will realize that the best wine is made from fresh fruit and some mechanized equipment and a barrel will allow you to make commercial quality wine. Please proceed with caution!

My Craigslist haul, instant winery for $.25 on the dollar
 
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claywine12204

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Not sure what all that is in your truck, but looks like a serious setup to me!

Ok so I have a few more questions:
1. Once I get to step 3 and he says to cover the primary, am I locking the bucket's lid tight or leaving it cracked like he says in step 1?
2. What is the average time that it takes for the SG to get below 1.0 and time to rack into the carboy? 1-2 weeks?
3. In step 4 is says to degas the wine, but how do I do this? Am I just to stir, swirl, mix a lot once in the carboy? Seems like it would be difficult to stir using such a small hole in the carboy
4. In step 5 it says to add sugar, is this what I hear people calling back sweetening?
5. Once I do back sweeten and the taste is right and ready to bottle how do I know her fermentation is done so it's safe to bottle?
6. When is the first time I can taste the wine t determine the taste and if I need to add sugar?

Thanks again guy, just trying to get my ducks in a row before I start my journey.
 

Hokapsig

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1. I would just leave it cracked.
2. depends on temp and your yeast. some take as long as 3 weeks, some sooner. check your hydrometer for progress
3. turn your mixing spoon upside down and put the handle in the carboy and stir. And stir, and stir and when you're tired of stirring, stir some more. NO FIZZY DB.... Or buy an All In One pump and let it degass for you...
4. that is backsweetening - correct...
5. Make sure to add K Meta (potassium metabisulfite) and sorbate to your wine BEFORE back sweetening. If not, the yeast will start up again and you'll have rocket fuel in your fermenter. too much alcohol makes it tough to drink for a while. the sorbate keeps the fermentation from starting again in your bottles. From experience, it's not fun to come home to corks shooting off your bottles...
6. Taste AFTER you stabilize with the K meta and add the sugar in the recipe. If you need more, then add slowly or bench test before adding any sugar at all. Do you like a sweet wine or an off dry DB??? Take about 500 ml and do some testing. Use the ferm calc to help you with sugar additions....

good luck and welcome to the obsession....
 

claywine12204

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Thanks for all the help, that clears some things up! I like sweet wines so I'm expecting to back sweeten. So from my understanding when you rack to the carboy at SG around 1 that means it's dry (not sweet at all)? When I back sweeten what is typical for a semi-sweet- sweet wine 1-2 cups more of simple sugar?
Also, when I add the K meta how long after do I add the sugar? Right away?
 

NorCal

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It is very difficult to stop fermentation, unless you were going to bring the abv to 20% (port style). The common practice is let it ferment dry (under 0) rack, SO2, sorbate, then backsweeten. Even with all this, once you introduce sugar again, it is best to let it sit and make sure it is stable in bulk for a few weeks, before bottling.

As far as backsweetening, you can do a bench trial and figure out the sugar to wine ratio you like or just add little by little to the carboy until it taste the way you want. Always stop a little short and taste the next day. You can always add more, it's hard to take sugar out of solution.
 
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claywine12204

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Another question....I used a 3.5 lb of the mixed berry bag (I have a 3gallon carboy) I also thawed about a lb of blackberries. I never put the blackberries in since I was nervous I was going to change the ratio up too much. Should I still keep them out or if I do add them should I increase anything else?
 

NorCal

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You should be getting near the end of fermentation. I would freeze the fruit and use it on the next project.
 

claywine12204

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So I added the yeast last night and this morning took my first reading SG 1.080 with a temp of 70F. I squeezed the fruit bag stirred for about 5 mins and placed the lid and towel back on loosely.

My question is do I measure and stir once a day or multiple times? I just peeked and can see a lot of foam already since this morning.
 

wineforfun

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So I added the yeast last night and this morning took my first reading SG 1.080 with a temp of 70F. I squeezed the fruit bag stirred for about 5 mins and placed the lid and towel back on loosely.

My question is do I measure and stir once a day or multiple times? I just peeked and can see a lot of foam already since this morning.
As cmason stated, stir 1 to 3 times a day. I stir twice a day. Once in morning, and once at night. Also, you don't need to stir for 5 min. only a min. or so.
And yes, take SG reading every other day for first week, then possibly every day as it gets closer to 1.000.
 

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