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Chuck

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Hi,

I added yeast to juice from California and the must bubbled like a can of soda, after 9 days I racked the must. 1.010 to go into 2nd fermentation. (google advice)

Then nothing, no action at all for 7 days..... With the advice of a wine supply store, I added some campden tablets and waited 3 days. After 3 days I racked and added more yeast but still no action or bubbles. I now read 1.000 and 64.9 degrees.

Am I done? Just rack and wait a few months?

Thanks,

Chuck
 

cmason1957

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Your hydrometer gives an indication of the amount of sugar in the solution. water is 1.000, many wines start out about 1.090 and then end up somewhere below 1.000. Alcohol is less dense than water, so it reads a bit lower than water. I am going to hope that you now have your wine in a carboy, with an airlock on it. That addition of the campden tablets may have been enough to effectively kill your yeast. Most folks around here would not have added them right then.

Check your sg for the next three days, if it doesn't go any lower, then you are done with the fermentation phase of making wine. Rack it, as in move it from one container to another leaving behind most of the crude on the bottom (lees). Let it sit and clear for about three months. You can stir it to try to force the CO2 out of the solution. Rack it again, add more campden tablets 1/gallon of wine. At about the 6 month mark, if you feel it is clear enough you might consider bottling. I generally would wait a full year. You may need to add clearing agents, ask about those later.
 

Chuck

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I have it in the fermentation bucket right now but today it will be moved to a carboy. Is there a way to get abv without an initial reading?
 

cmason1957

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There is no easy way to do it. There are ways, the best of which is send it off to a lab and have them measure it for you. Not inexpensive, I would imagine. Another way to get an indication is to use a refractomer and measure the SG, which is distorted by the alcohol present, then go to charts and see what the starting sg might have been. No clue how accurate that would be.
 

Chuck

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Thanks for your insight and direction. One last question??

Thought? Have you ever added sugar or frozen juice and this point in the process to restart it and get better readings? (I did not get my first reading because of excitement)
 

mainshipfred

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Thanks for your insight and direction. One last question??

Thought? Have you ever added sugar or frozen juice and this point in the process to restart it and get better readings? (I did not get my first reading because of excitement)
Excited with the first batch is understandable. Lots of first time mistakes are going to happen. Not sure what you mean by better reading, are you referring to lower reading? If so adding a sugar of some type is only going to raise the alcohol level until it reaches a point it kills off the yeast at which point you will have a sweeter wine. There is nothing wrong with 1.000. Some believe the wine releasing CO2 causes a higher reading. You may want to try filling your hydrometer vial put your hand over it and shake. Keep doing this until there is no pressure when you release your hand and take a reading then. It may drop it a little. The campden tablets probably didn't help but I have a hunch your wine is going to be just fine the way it is. Keep it in secondary and topped up propery. If it's not done fermenting it will finish there. Good luck!
 

Ajmassa

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Thanks for your insight and direction. One last question??

Thought? Have you ever added sugar or frozen juice and this point in the process to restart it and get better readings? (I did not get my first reading because of excitement)
Yea I’ve done this. My advice is- don’t do it! You will kill yourself trying to get this thing to ferment that last tiny bit Would need a “yeast starter”. Adding sugar to and Fermenting a small portion — then concurrently doubling the wine letting it ferment until it’s all done.
It’s a pain — and your basically dry anyway. 1.000 ain’t gonna re-ferment another few ticks. I wasted a whole weekend attempting this. But guess what? The wines pretty damn good in spite of it. Probably better because of it actually.
She’s done man. Get that bad boy into glass and filled to the top. 19 days in the bucket is toeing the risky line. Next time can rack into glass after 1st week.
Also- majority of those juice pails are pretty standard. They are adjusted at the facility and safe to assume reds SG starting ~1.090. So at 1.000 your looking at a 12% abv. Not just good——good enough!
 

bstnh1

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If I did my calculations correctly, the difference between a final SG reading of 1.00 and .992 is only about 1.48% ABV. Not much to worry about.
 

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