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Frostbitten

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I'm a newby having made a couple kits and now I am making 6 gl of Dragon blood and following Dave's recipe closely until i racked it to my carboy and discovered in didn't have the Potassium Sorbate. I did add the Potassium Metabisultfite and am used Superkleer for the clearing agent. I live a long ways to the supply store and won't be in town now for about five days. Should i add it in a week when i get to town or what can happen if i skip the PS? What does the PS do? is there an alternative? i do have Sodium Metabisulfite. Should i add more Potassium Metabisulfite? I'm a bit unclear on what all these chemicals do. Thanks for the great help.
 

Johnd

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I'm a newby having made a couple kits and now I am making 6 gl of Dragon blood and following Dave's recipe closely until i racked it to my carboy and discovered in didn't have the Potassium Sorbate. I did add the Potassium Metabisultfite and am used Superkleer for the clearing agent. I live a long ways to the supply store and won't be in town now for about five days. Should i add it in a week when i get to town or what can happen if i skip the PS? What does the PS do? is there an alternative? i do have Sodium Metabisulfite. Should i add more Potassium Metabisulfite? I'm a bit unclear on what all these chemicals do. Thanks for the great help.
Look at sorbate as birth control for yeast, it prevents it from budding and reproducing, therefore making it incapable of renewed fermentation. We use this to add into wine which is finished fermenting, but we would like to be sweeter. Were you to add sugar to your DB to sweeten it, without sorbate, the yeast would go to work on your newly added sugar, adding alcohol as it worked, and leaving your wine dry again.

Sulfite (in either form Na, or K) can be used for sanitizing your equipment, but the Na form is not the one you add to your wine or must, use the K. In addition to its properties of sanitation, it also controls oxidation in our wines, quite the handy little gem.

As long as your DB fermented dry, and you have not added sugar, you can continue on in the process.
 

Frostbitten

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Look at sorbate as birth control for yeast, it prevents it from budding and reproducing, therefore making it incapable of renewed fermentation. We use this to add into wine which is finished fermenting, but we would like to be sweeter. Were you to add sugar to your DB to sweeten it, without sorbate, the yeast would go to work on your newly added sugar, adding alcohol as it worked, and leaving your wine dry again.

Sulfite (in either form Na, or K) can be used for sanitizing your equipment, but the Na form is not the one you add to your wine or must, use the K. In addition to its properties of sanitation, it also controls oxidation in our wines, quite the handy little gem.

As long as your DB fermented dry, and you have not added sugar, you can continue on in the process.
 

Frostbitten

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Thank you. That helps me get it. It did finish at .0991 which I assume is dry? And as I understand you, I will be able to add PS in a few days but prior to back sweetening?
 

Johnd

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Thank you. That helps me get it. It did finish at .0991 which I assume is dry? And as I understand you, I will be able to add PS in a few days but prior to back sweetening?
Yes, .991 is dry, you’re in great shape there. You’ve already sulfited, so just continue on with your clearing, you can add your sorbate when you do your backsweetening. Were it me, I’d let it get crystal clear, rack in 3 months, add a dose of sulfite as well as the sorbate dose, then sweeten to taste.
 

Frostbitten

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Sounds good, Thanks for the help. My confidence is growing with each batch I do and this forum has helped so much.
I want to start a 1/2 strawberry & 1/2 rhubarb now. Should I stick to the same DB recipe or will it require some alteration due to the tartness of the rhubarb?
 

Johnd

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Sounds good, Thanks for the help. My confidence is growing with each batch I do and this forum has helped so much.
I want to start a 1/2 strawberry & 1/2 rhubarb now. Should I stick to the same DB recipe or will it require some alteration due to the tartness of the rhubarb?
Sorry, but rhubarb is out of my wheelhouse, but someone else will surely jump in on it.
 

NorCal

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Sounds good, Thanks for the help. My confidence is growing with each batch I do and this forum has helped so much.
I want to start a 1/2 strawberry & 1/2 rhubarb now. Should I stick to the same DB recipe or will it require some alteration due to the tartness of the rhubarb?
This is where I started and why it is important to not only be able to follow a process, but know why you are doing each step. This way you can make it your own. Buy a pH meter and calibration solution and make your pre-ferment adjustments with tartaric acid. You are on the road to making some excellent wines.
 

Frostbitten

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NorCal, I will follow your advice. Just got back from town with the PS and several other goodies i might need. I'll order a pH meter, calibration solution and tartaric acid. Hey its all a process and I am enjoying it thoroughly.
 

Donatelo

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I started a Dragons blood with strawberries, blackberries and blueberries on Dec 6th. I racked it into a carboy and did the taste test. Seemed a little tart to me . Next time I will hold off a little on the lemon juice. I'm just waiting for the right time to bottle (after about 3 months). Let me know what you think of the DB. Very interested.
 

Frostbitten

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I don't think i have the patience on this first batch to wait long. Once it looks clear I plan to bottle. I just started the Strawberry/Rhubarb yesterday. I guess I will just follow the basic DB recipe. I was told at the supply store it is a popular blend but I haven't found much for recipes. And likewise, let me know how your straw//black and blue goes. I have several lbs of raspberries that are incredibly sweet and it will be my next batch.
 

Donatelo

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If I remember correctly, The original recipe states that you may bottle after a week after you rack the second time. I added a 4 oz. bottle of cherry flavoring and back sweetened after 2 weeks. It needed a little sweetening to offset the tartness. Next time, I will use less lemon juice and use frozen cherries instead of the strawberries.
After all is said and done, DB is the koolaid of wines. Don't worry about aging it months or years. Just bottle it after it settles out and drink it like "ANNIE GREENSPRINGS". Falls closer to hooch than Champagne..

Patience is the hardest thing to learn in winemaking. I'm still working on it.
 

Frostbitten

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If I remember correctly, The original recipe states that you may bottle after a week after you rack the second time. I added a 4 oz. bottle of cherry flavoring and back sweetened after 2 weeks. It needed a little sweetening to offset the tartness. Next time, I will use less lemon juice and use frozen cherries instead of the strawberries.
After all is said and done, DB is the koolaid of wines. Don't worry about aging it months or years. Just bottle it after it settles out and drink it like "ANNIE GREENSPRINGS". Falls closer to hooch than Champagne..

Patience is the hardest thing to learn in winemaking. I'm still working on it.
That's what I'm expecting with the DB. I wanted to get a bit of a stock of wine the younger folks will enjoy. So what do you suggest for a next wine that will have a more dryer 'sophisticated' taste. The wife and I drink mostly dry dark reds. I suppose I could make another kit but I really enjoyed making DB because it's all on me.
 
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Donatelo

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Merlot is a go to wine as a red. Sirah. or as the Aussies call it Siratz. is a very nice wine with a good body and its a dark wine. I like Chardonnay as a white wine Add Peach flavoring just before bottling and it is a great aperitif.
On occasion I have made small batches of Welch's Concord grape juice into a strong bodied wine. Using Cuvee yeast, it can be raised to 15% alcohol. Just start it at 1.100 Specific gravity by adding sugar and let it ferment out to dry. Been told that it ages really nice after 3-4 months, but I've never made it that long. Like I said Patience is the hardest thing to achieve in winemaking.
 
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Frostbitten

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Merlot is a go to wine as a red. Sirah. or as the Aussies call it Siratz. is a very nice wine with a good body and its a dark wine. I like Chardonnay as a white wine Add Peach flavoring just before bottling and it is a great aperitif.
On occasion I have made small batches of Welch's Concord grape juice into a strong bodied wine. Using Cuvee yeast, it can be raised to 15% alcohol. Just start it at 1.100 Specific gravity by adding sugar and let it ferment out to dry. Been told that it ages really nice after 3-4 months, but I've never made it that long. Like I said Patience is the hardest thing to achieve in winemaking.
That sounds like something I can handle. In a couple weeks the strawberry rhubarb will move out of the primary. I'm thinking I need another primary bucket and a couple more carboys!
 

Scooter68

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"That sounds like something I can handle. In a couple weeks the strawberry rhubarb will move out of the primary. I'm thinking I need another primary bucket and a couple more carboys!"

You can NEVER have too man carboys and fermentation buckets. Preferably in a wide variety of sizes - that way the odd size batch or leftovers from them can be properly fermented and airlocked when in secondary fermentation or while aging. Even small containers like 16 oz, 20 oz, and 32, oz sizes are helpful as long as you can fit an airlock to it - it's worth hanging onto. (Glass containers only if possible)
 

HeavyHauler

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I made a blueberry mead, used sorbate and meta; backsweetened and guess what happened?

It started again! And it tasted great before it started again, but now reeks of eggs (h2s)!!!

Not sure where I went wrong. It was a 1gal
 

sour_grapes

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Quel dommage! I feel for you there.

Potassium sorbate is reputed to have a short shelf life. Do you know how old was the sorbate was?
 

HeavyHauler

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Quel dommage! I feel for you there.

Potassium sorbate is reputed to have a short shelf life. Do you know how old was the sorbate was?
No idea, I normally just ferment dry and drink. I wanted to preserve this batch, but no Bueno.

I guess it's possible to be expired, but if so; came from the wine supply shop. Which sucks!
 

Frostbitten

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This is where I started and why it is important to not only be able to follow a process, but know why you are doing each step. This way you can make it your own. Buy a pH meter and calibration solution and make your pre-ferment adjustments with tartaric acid. You are on the road to making some excellent wines.
OK NorCal. I got the ph tester and calibration solutions and some calcuim carbonate. You mentioned above to calibrate and make adjustments pre-fermentation. At this time I have a carboy of DB, back sweetened for 2 weeks. I also have a strawberry/rhubarb in the secondary for past 2 weeks. I'm a bit concerned as this is not clearing real well. So two questions; can I ph test and adjust either carboy and second, what can I do to clear the secondary? Should I cold shock it? Add more super clear? or just have patience? thank you in advance.
 
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