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Newbie with some questions

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ap_winer

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Hello everyone,

I've just gotten into wine making. I'm in the middle of making my first batch of a strawberry wine recipe that I got off of the net (middle of my secondary fermentation). In this recipe, it calls to primary ferment for about 7 days, then siphon into a secondary with airlock to ferment for 4-6 weeks, then rack
one more time into a clean secondary container re-attach the air lock and
allow to stand until the wine is completely clear (about 1-2 weeks). Then sweeten if wanted and bottle.

My questions are:

1) For sweetening, the recipe mentions that anytime you add sugar to a finished wine you must then either add a stabilizer such as Potassium Sorbate or filter with a pressurized type filter system using “sterile” filter pads. I've also read here and other places to add sulfites. Which should I do?

2) I've also read about adding Campden tablets during each racking (or every other racking). This recipe does not mention anything about this. I added sodium metabisulfite in the beginning (initial 24hrs of pulp before adding yeast) as per the recipe. So, do I need to add these tablets (or sodium metabisulfite since that's what I have and I believe sod. meta is in Campden) when I rack after secondary fermentation is done?

3) During the secondary fermentation, is it ok to once in a while remove the airlock to grab a sample (to check SG or to taste - every time I go in the basement and see it there, I want to taste it even though it's only been a week in the secondary)? Or would I just be asking for trouble (oxidation, etc)?

Thanks for your help,

ap_winer

PS. this forum is great! A lot of helpfull info.
 
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Sacalait

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1) By all means add the sorbate of you're going to sweeten at a rate of 1/2tsp/gal of wine. Also add either sodium meta. or potassium meta. These help at keeping your wine from oxidizing.

If you planned to filter the wine you could, as you stated, use a sterile filter pad in lieu of the sorbate but be aware that this filter pad will strip out some of the color.

2) As stated, add either 1 crushed tablet/gal or 1/4tsp of K-Meta/5gals.
K-Meta and camden are the same.

3) Taking a sample now and then is fine but you should top up afterward so you'll have less air exposed to the wine.
 

Billy-T

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Hey ap_winer,
Can I have a link to your strawberry recepie?
Billy-T
 

Noontime

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The sorbate prevents the yeast from multiplying any more, so BEFORE you sweeten you want to give the yeast a "double whammy" of kmeta and sorbate to make sure that NO fermentation happens once the wine is in the bottle (that gets REAL messy). You're giving them more food (sugar) so you have to make sure.
 
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ap_winer

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The sorbate prevents the yeast from multiplying any more, so BEFORE you sweeten you want to give the yeast a "double whammy" of kmeta and sorbate to make sure that NO fermentation happens once the wine is in the bottle (that gets REAL messy). You're giving them more food (sugar) so you have to make sure.
Should I add the k-meta and sorbate then leave it for a bit before sweetening or can I add those two and sweeten right after?

Thanks.
 

Sacalait

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I sweeten the same day that I add the sorbate and haven't experienced any problems, however most experts will tell you to wait at least 24hrs to sweeten after adding the sorbate.
 

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