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sct1984

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Ok - numbers time & what to adjust.

Must temp is up at about 60F now - should be mid high 60s by tonight

Brix (after adjusting): 24.5 (S.G 1.102)
pH : 3.5 (digital meter)
T.A.: 5.0 (approx - test kit)

I would be comfortable with lowering the pH a bit since I need to raise the T.A., but how much would 2g/L of Tartaric acid potentially lower the pH by, if I were try to raise it to 7.0? I'm worried that I'll end up with a too low pH before I pitch yeast later
 

Johnd

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Ok - numbers time & what to adjust.

Must temp is up at about 60F now - should be mid high 60s by tonight

Brix (after adjusting): 24.5 (S.G 1.102)
pH : 3.5 (digital meter)
T.A.: 5.0 (approx - test kit)

I would be comfortable with lowering the pH a bit since I need to raise the T.A., but how much would 2g/L of Tartaric acid potentially lower the pH by, if I were try to raise it to 7.0? I'm worried that I'll end up with a too low pH before I pitch yeast later
See your other post!!
 

sct1984

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How confident are you with that TA number?
I did the test 3 times using a titration kit, and was always close to the same value. I don't really like subjective tests like that though (visual). I feel like it is still a pretty rough estimate, so tonight I was going to confirm using my pH meter. Not sure why I didn't do that in the first place.

Short answer: confident enough where if I didn't have a pH meter, I would be satisfied, but not confident enough to not want to double check it with a superior method (without paying $1000 for a digital TA/pH meter for my first grape wine lol)
 

Boatboy24

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I agree with what John said in your other thread. TA might be a little low, but your pH is right in the sweet spot. Forge ahead and adjust based on taste later.
 

Johnd

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I did the test 3 times using a titration kit, and was always close to the same value. I don't really like subjective tests like that though (visual). I feel like it is still a pretty rough estimate, so tonight I was going to confirm using my pH meter. Not sure why I didn't do that in the first place.

Short answer: confident enough where if I didn't have a pH meter, I would be satisfied, but not confident enough to not want to double check it with a superior method (without paying $1000 for a digital TA/pH meter for my first grape wine lol)
Using the pH meter to determine the endpoint will give you the level of confidence that you desire, that's the way to do it for sure when using the titration kits. Hopefully, you'll find that your pH goes up a bit during your subsequent fermentations and you will end up wanting to raise the TA and lower the pH, which is just what you want if you have to make adjustments. Just remember with any acid additions or removals, GO SLOW. I've rarely had to add as much tartaric as the calcs say to achieve either the TA or pH I'm shooting for, so easy does it..........
 

sct1984

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OK so a bit concerned. Used a starter with go-ferm (1.25g per gram of yeast, and 1g of yeast per gallon) and pitched the yeast not until Friday night. I felt like ferment had started since (i think) the cap had formed pretty thick of skins and heard some slight sizzles when I punched it down. So I added fermaid-k and the recommended dosage and I haven't been able to punch down the cap for about 26 hours.

I just punched through cap down and there is a smell of sourness to it, almost like a slight malt vinegar. Now I haven't smelled a grape fermentation so I don't know what to expect. Is this normal and what should I be watching for at this point?
 

Johnd

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OK so a bit concerned. Used a starter with go-ferm (1.25g per gram of yeast, and 1g of yeast per gallon) and pitched the yeast not until Friday night. I felt like ferment had started since (i think) the cap had formed pretty thick of skins and heard some slight sizzles when I punched it down. So I added fermaid-k and the recommended dosage and I haven't been able to punch down the cap for about 26 hours.

I just punched through cap down and there is a smell of sourness to it, almost like a slight malt vinegar. Now I haven't smelled a grape fermentation so I don't know what to expect. Is this normal and what should I be watching for at this point?
Missing a punchdown for a day is no biggie. Fermenting wine has lots of funky tastes along the way, carry on.
 

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Not an unusual odor in the beginning. If it persists you have a problem, but if it goes away in a day or so you should be OK.
 

sct1984

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So took some more measurements and am at 1.050 SG. So far seems things are moving along nicely. Tasted still very sweet but not like vinegar so I suppose that's a good sign. Added 2nd dose of fermaid-k last night and tanin this morning ( i know a bit late) so I'll see how it is tonight ! Noticed though that pH has dropped by .1
 

sct1984

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Getting Closer! I suspect, if it gets stuck - it might be getting close to the point where it would. Is there anything I can do (other than regularly punching and stirring up the Lees) to prevent that?

Oct 25, 2016
20161025_220357.jpg

Oct 26, 2016
20161026_210625.jpg
 

ceeaton

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Getting Closer! I suspect, if it gets stuck - it might be getting close to the point where it would. Is there anything I can do (other than regularly punching and stirring up the Lees) to prevent that?
Looks like you are moving along just fine. Even if you took the first reading the morning of 10/25 and the second reading yesterday evening, ~0.010 in a day is still moving along just fine for as far along as you are. As it gets near the end it will slow down a bit, no worries, you are doing fine.
 

sct1984

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Looks like you are moving along just fine. Even if you took the first reading the morning of 10/25 and the second reading yesterday evening, ~0.010 in a day is still moving along just fine for as far along as you are. As it gets near the end it will slow down a bit, no worries, you are doing fine.
Measurements are typically taken about 23-24 hours apart (these two in particular 23 hours). My routine has been to punch the cap at 6AM before I leave for work, punch down again when I get home at 6PM, and then punch lightly again at 9-10PM just to get access to the juice to measure.

I'm excited to see where I'm at tonight. I have kept a sample in the fridge last night to slow/stop fermentation / clear it a bit so I can taste it's progress as of yesterday. Oct 25, it was still obviously super sweet, but already nice tannins to finish.

I used RC-212 yeast- which I read has alcohol tolerance of about 15-16%, so I figure I should be ok, but if there was anything else to help prevent a stuck ferment, would be great to know from you experienced guys.
 

ceeaton

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Measurements are typically taken about 23-24 hours apart (these two in particular 23 hours). My routine has been to punch the cap at 6AM before I leave for work, punch down again when I get home at 6PM, and then punch lightly again at 9-10PM just to get access to the juice to measure.

I'm excited to see where I'm at tonight. I have kept a sample in the fridge last night to slow/stop fermentation / clear it a bit so I can taste it's progress as of yesterday. Oct 25, it was still obviously super sweet, but already nice tannins to finish.

I used RC-212 yeast- which I read has alcohol tolerance of about 15-16%, so I figure I should be ok, but if there was anything else to help prevent a stuck ferment, would be great to know from you experienced guys.
I think your routine is great. I've used RC-212 three or four times and if you can keep it fed in the beginning, you'll be fine. I used it on my Forza kit which ended around .995-.996, but otherwise any batch I've used it on has gone down to .990-.992. I don't think it will get stuck since you are past the point where it would get stuck, depending on your definition of stuck. I don't think a wine that stops anything below 1.000 would be considered stuck.
 

sct1984

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I think your routine is great. I've used RC-212 three or four times and if you can keep it fed in the beginning, you'll be fine. I used it on my Forza kit which ended around .995-.996, but otherwise any batch I've used it on has gone down to .990-.992. I don't think it will get stuck since you are past the point where it would get stuck, depending on your definition of stuck. I don't think a wine that stops anything below 1.000 would be considered stuck.
Thanks a lot for the encouragement! I am thinking to prep for pressing soon - maybe as early as Saturday... should I be waiting the "3 days" steady S.G. or should I just wait until I get down to that .995ish level?
 

ceeaton

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Thanks a lot for the encouragement! I am thinking to prep for pressing soon - maybe as early as Saturday... should I be waiting the "3 days" steady S.G. or should I just wait until I get down to that .995ish level?
You could press anytime the SG falls below 1.010. If your cap is getting thinner or isn't forming at all, it is time to press. I usually aim for SG 1.000, but have done it at both a higher and lower SG, just as long as I pressed when I still had some cap formation (ie. you punch down and have grapes forming the cap within a few minutes). The idea is if your cap is still forming there is enough CO2 being produced to create a protective layer on top of the wine. Once the cap slows down or stops forming your CO2 protective layer diminishes, hence you want to press and get it under airlock in a carboy.

Then I usually let the heavy lees settle out for a few days, then rack to a new carboy and pitch my MLB, making sure I'm pretty well topped up to the base of the neck in the carboy. Then a stir every few days until (could be two weeks, could be three months) my test for MLF completion shows it's done, then wait a few weeks and then add Kmeta to protect the wine.
 

sct1984

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You could press anytime the SG falls below 1.010. If your cap is getting thinner or isn't forming at all, it is time to press. I usually aim for SG 1.000, but have done it at both a higher and lower SG, just as long as I pressed when I still had some cap formation (ie. you punch down and have grapes forming the cap within a few minutes). The idea is if your cap is still forming there is enough CO2 being produced to create a protective layer on top of the wine. Once the cap slows down or stops forming your CO2 protective layer diminishes, hence you want to press and get it under airlock in a carboy.

Then I usually let the heavy lees settle out for a few days, then rack to a new carboy and pitch my MLB, making sure I'm pretty well topped up to the base of the neck in the carboy. Then a stir every few days until (could be two weeks, could be three months) my test for MLF completion shows it's done, then wait a few weeks and then add Kmeta to protect the wine.
In that case, it sounds like my Saturday pressing plan will work out just fine! Hit 1.000 last night :db Should I leave some head space in the carboys? I'd worry that if I fill up to the neck that it could "volcano"... is that still possible at a lower S.G. like .998-1.000? There is still some cap formation, but not so much foaming (which the RC-212 didn't produce much of in the first place) - so I would presume it to be ok?
 

ceeaton

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In that case, it sounds like my Saturday pressing plan will work out just fine! Hit 1.000 last night :db Should I leave some head space in the carboys? I'd worry that if I fill up to the neck that it could "volcano"... is that still possible at a lower S.G. like .998-1.000? There is still some cap formation, but not so much foaming (which the RC-212 didn't produce much of in the first place) - so I would presume it to be ok?
You can leave a bit of space, since you will rack again in a few days and that long of a period without a full carboy is usually okay. When you press you will get a lot of solids from the grapes that will settle pretty quickly. These are what I refer to as the gross lees (it's grape parts and yeast settling out as fermentation comes to an end). Yea, RC-212 is pretty mellow compared to some of them, you'll be fine even if you get right up to the base of the neck. I'd leave an inch or so minimum to the bottom of the stopper.

By all means, when you eventually add MLB (if you are doing an MLF) and eventually eventually Kmeta, I always remove a few liters of the wine because you will get a volcano when you add about anything to a young wine full of CO2. Then I add back the few liters after the intense fizzing abates.
 
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