Peptic enzymes and primary fermentation

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Feb 20, 2019
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I have been making wine for about a year now and have had a fair amount of success. I tried using fresh peaches and a thick foam formed over the wine that blocked the airlock and built up pressure. Good thing I pay a lot of attention to the wine or I would have had a disaterous cleanup. Would pectic enzyme prevent this from from forming? Is there any interaction between the enzyme and camden tablets? When should I add the two different tablets? Finally, I've read several times about using a five gallon bucket for the first week/primary fermentation. Why would we use a primary fermentation vessel? What advantages are there to using a primary fermentation? How do I know when primary fermentation is over and how to start secondary? Is any measurements or additions nessacary at secondary? Any tips and information is appreciated. Thanks, Bradford
primary bucket prevents the catastrophe you just mentioned. it should be larger than the amount you are fermenting. additionally the fermenter is covered with a cloth to allow inspection and string of the must every day. the bucket for a 5 gallon wine fermentation should be at least 10 gallons. monitoring the specific gravity will ell you when to rack to a carboy. some proponents suggest this be done at about a specific gravity of 1020 while other go to the finish line of about 1.00. either is fine. place in the carboy with an airlock for at least three days. monitor specific gravity when it is steady for three days. rack again off of the gross lees.

with regards to enzyme normally add one day after addition of k-meta. pectic enzyme is used to help clear the wine of pectin once fermentation is complete. the foaming you experienced is not due to enzyme but most likely the yeast being used. stirring the must daily will prevent this plus provide oxygen to the yeast. the k-meta is used to kill any wild yeast or bacteria. visit this web page for many inductions and recipes.
Further to Salcoco - Peach is one of the worst for pectin, I do 5 gallons of peach in the late summer / early fall, requires a double dose of pectic enzyme well before you start fermentation and may require another dose when clearing.
Great, thanks for the quick replies, I found both to be handy.
@salcoco when starting must in primary vessel/bucket, should I screw the lid down after attaching a airlock or two? I assume that I should use the same no rinse sanitizer on the primary vessel too, correct? Thanks again, Bradford
I'm no Salcoco - but his initial answer said this -

"additionally the fermenter is covered with a cloth to allow inspection and stirring of the must every day."

No airlock during primary fermentation. Just lay a clean towel over the top. The yeast need oxygen. Stir at least once a day - twice is better. I check my temp & SG at least once a day, too.

Sanitizer EVERYTHING - spoons, hoses, hydrometer & tube, thermometer - anything that touches the wine should be sanitized first.

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