Newbie With A Question, I Messed Up.

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Kaicea, Jul 11, 2019.

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  1. Jul 11, 2019 #1

    Kaicea

    Kaicea

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    Hi there! My name is KC and I just prepared my first batch of wine yesterday. I am very excited about making my own wine, it is something I have always wanted to do. Anyway, prepared my first batch yesterday using a recipe I found online and um something weird happened. I woke up today and my wine was crazy fizzy, some of it got into the fermentation lock. So here are my questions. 1) What did I do wrong? 2) Is my first batch salvageable? Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Jul 11, 2019 #2

    mhopkins

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    Hi KC, Welcome to the wine-making addiction! My guess is that the batch is quite salvageable. Post the recipe you used, the type and size of primary fermenter you are using, the kind of fermentation lock (not really necessary for primary fermentation), the ambient temperature where you are fermenting, and anything else that comes to mind so that we have a better idea what you are up against.
     
  3. Jul 11, 2019 #3

    Scooter68

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    You have done nothing wrong other than maybe a less than perfect choice for a fermentation container (That is if you are using a glass carboy/jug for fermentation.)

    An active fermentation can produce a LOT of foam, bubbling and 'fizz' sometimes several inches on the top of a 2 or 5 gallon bucket.

    Best and safest container for fermentation = food safe bucket 2 gallon, 5 gallon, 6 gallon or 7 gallon depending on the size of your batch. You don't need a fermentation lock/airlock - just a cloth cover tied over the top to keep out bugs and curious pets.

    As far as the foam getting into the airlock - no big deal, remember it was pushing gasses out not sucking liquid or air in. Just clean out the airlock and tie a cloth over the top for now instead of an airlock. If you are using a bucket, you don't need to use a lid with an airlock - again just a cloth towel tied down over the top. That way if any foam rises to the towel - the towel will suppress the foam and you'll find the towel damp and stained - again rinse out the towel and replace.

    Any other questions?
    It will help folks help you if you post the recipe and general steps and measurements of your wine batch.

    By the way if you are getting a strong yeasty smell in the room with that wine fermenting - THAT's GOOD !
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  4. Jul 11, 2019 #4

    Kaicea

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    I used a "make wine from juice" recipe (don't judge me I'm a newb), twin bubble fermentation lock. I think it might have been caused by heat, it's probably around 80 degrees in my house and I thought keeping it in a closet would be fine, I have now moved it to the basement.
     
  5. Jul 11, 2019 #5

    Kaicea

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    Is it bad the I removed the airlock for a brief second to make sure it was in place?
     
  6. Jul 11, 2019 #6

    Scooter68

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    No problem with the moving or airlock being. Really you don't need an airlock until the very end of fermentation and beyond. During the first part, when you see all that bubbling and foam, a cloth cover over the top of a jug or bucket is all you need. The fermentation is releasing a lot of gas and all you have to do is keep out bugs, dust and pets.
     
  7. Jul 11, 2019 #7

    mhopkins

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    As for temp, generally the higher the temp (within limits) the faster the fermentation. 80 degrees is toward the high side, but not necessarily out of bounds. @Scooter68 has offered some good counsel. BTW, no judging here. Experiment around and make what you like! :)
     
  8. Jul 11, 2019 #8

    Scooter68

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    KIMG1308.JPG Here's a common way to cover an active fermentation. Now if it's really threatening to over flow ..put a pan under it,.

    Congratulations on getting that ferment fired up!!! That's not always easy.
     

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  9. Jul 11, 2019 #9

    Kaicea

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    Thanks so much for your help guys, I feel so much better.
     
  10. Jul 12, 2019 #10

    sremick

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    Where do you get those tiny bottles and airlocks?
     
  11. Jul 12, 2019 #11

    Scooter68

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    Recycling center - just keeping my eyes open over time. Nice to have to take care of the extra. Of course those are standard airlocks. Just have to find bottles that fit the cap. Believe they are 16 oz each. Have a 20 oz somewhere too. Plus a 1.5 liter
     
  12. Jul 12, 2019 #12

    DIYer

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    It's hard to tell from that pic, but they look very much like the 16-oz bottles used for the kombucha I buy. I save those and package my own kombucha in them. They seal well enough to carbonate and store for the short time before drinking. I haven't tried fitting a stopper in them though...good idea!
     
  13. Jul 12, 2019 #13

    Scooter68

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    DIYer- Improvisation - I use plastic screw caps for these but I'm probably going to move to non-rubber drilled stopper. The plastic ones keep splitting if you tighten them too much.

    Kaicea - Don't fear making a few mistakes now and then. What you've talked about does not constitute a mistake - sometimes you don't know what you don't know. If you get the chance read through some of the threads on this forum both the Beginner and the General sections and you'll find plenty of REAL mistakes listed. You can learn from those and ask more questions. That's how you learn. Not all of us.... have to make the mistakes ourselves to learn. Though sometimes it seems like I've made quite a few.
     
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  14. Jul 12, 2019 #14

    BernardSmith

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    Hi KC - and welcome. And as the others have said, don't worry. Everything is likely to be fine. Yeast are experts at turning the sugars in fruits and their juices into wine. They've been doing this for longer than humans have walked on this planet. The wine maker's job is just to help make sure that we remove any obstacles to prevent the yeast from doing what it is excellent at.

    That said, much of what you find online is nonsense and the rest is garbage. Airlocks and bungs are only needed in wine making after active fermentation has ended and the yeast have no more sugar left from which to produce carbon dioxide (and the alcohol). During active fermentation the yeast belch out so much CO2 - (half - HALF the weight of the sugar is transformed into this gas) that there is absolutely no concern about oxidation of the juice (or wine). Brewers (of grain) have other concerns because grains are havens for bacteria that can sour their beers and lagers so when they cool their wort (the sugar solution made from grain) to temperatures close to those at which they can pitch (add) their yeast that wort is sending out open invitations to all souring bacteria in the area, but we are working with fruit or honey or tree sap (maple syrup or agave) and souring bacteria don't have a great deal of interest in sucrose or fructose or glucose. Brewers tend to collapse with apoplexy at the idea of loosely covering their brews during the first weeks of brewing. Wine makers are much more relaxed and laid back. A dish-towel, a cloth napkin laid over our buckets filled with fruit or juice is all we need - and that solves the problem of airlocks filling with foam and froth (and the need for what brewers call "blow off tubes"). So... bottom line... sit back and relax ..

    And after about a week or so I would check on the gravity (AKA density) of your wine.(You do have an hydrometer, don't you? That is the one essential tool that a wine maker needs. They cost about $10.) If the gravity of your wine has dropped close to about 1.010 or lower then is the time to transfer it (we call this transfer "racking" because it is usually done with a siphon to prevent an excess amount of air being incorporated into the wine ) to a container with a narrow mouth that can be filled to within about 1 inch of the top and then sealed with a bung and airlock (this, to allow CO2 to escape through the pressure it exerts on the liquid filling the airlock but which prevents air (and bugs ) from getting into the wine because the air cannot exert enough pressure on the liquid from the outside to travel in the opposite direction).

    All this is to say that in wine making there is a good reason for everything we do. If you do not know the reason why a wine maker does something you should feel free to ask. Many folk on the interwebs have no good understanding of what they are doing but they say that this or that is what you need to do.. but in truth there is at least as much science that undergirds wine making as there is art. And most folk who self publish on the interwebs are alchemists.. if yer knows what I mean.
     
  15. Jul 12, 2019 #15

    Scooter68

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    Bernard !! Are you calling them Ducks (Quackers) :)

    I agree 100% - Especially You Tube videos. Watch 4 or 5 on the same topic (Any topic really) and you will walk away shaking your head.

    Wine making has some challenges but for me mostly it's been about collecting enough bottles.

    KC - Making wine from juice is one the easiest ways to get started with a low investment. If your juice was 100% juice (No artifical flavors or sweeteners) you should have no problems.
    By now your wine should have been giving off some very 'yeasty' smells akin to fresh home-made bread. Again if you can post the recipe or link to the recipe folks here can coach you to make sure all turns out for the best.

    IF you are interested in pursuing this as a hobby there are a few basic tools/equipment items to make it more fun and more accurate with less guess work. As Bernard said a hydrometer is the first item on that list and a simple Siphon rod and tube is the next thing. Buckets and carboys would be on that short list too but I think you probably have those already as your fermenting in something other than a soda bottle right?
     
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  16. Jul 12, 2019 #16

    BernardSmith

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    Quackers ... or quacks? Any idiot with a video camera can self publish and self- publishing may be all the rage these days but it is essentially vanity publishing. Remember vanity publishing? Vanity publishing today (in my opinion) has the same value as vanity publishing had in the latter half of the 20th Century - If yer has to publish something that you yourself have produced then what yer has to say cannot really be worth very much to anyone else. And the truth is , it doesn't. I live in the world of academia and we are dependent on peer reviews and peer reviewers and (many of us) still rely on finding quality publishers to publish scholarship and quality publishers have editors and fact checkers who call out crap for what it is... and even then junk still finds its way into quality journals and university publishing houses. :ft
     
  17. Jul 13, 2019 #17

    Scooter68

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    Yea, I'm sure it does. Unfortunately the Academic world has even suffered under the broad-brush approach to education where anyone can invent a subject to construct a class on.

    It pains me to watch what people are earning money doing. Especially some the "Off-the-grid" topics. And you know some of them are raking in 6 figures. Sigh. Sorry I have a conscience and couldn't do what they do and look at myself in the mirror. There are a few good ones out there but they are few and far between.

    BUT back to original -Hopefully our Newbee isn't scared off our commentary and short hi-jackinig her thread.

    Not as many newbees this year as the past couple.

    Oh, and today I got my peaches for this years batch. 1 full bushel of 'over-ripe' peaches (50lbs before de-stoning and cutting up) $44.00 at the orchard 'near' us. Last year ZERO peaches but they had frozen Apple juice unfiltered or treated. Made a great batch that I just bottled a week ago.
     

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