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Possible Campden mistake

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Tony moree

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I'm not sure if I should have waited to put the 1 tablet of crushed campden in like the directions say. I made 5 gallons of strawberry in a bucket. It was doing great. I just saw in the beginning of the book that all recipies are for 1 gallon. I didnt add enough for 5 gallons, only 1. Everything was going great and then after 3 days the crust dissapeared and nothing is happening.. the meter is reading just under .990. I beleive that is too low for alchohol content.. pretty sure it should be up around 13 or 14.. not sure if I can just add the rest of the sugar and ingredients. I think I read it right, someone on here said i could add it all if i didnt sulfight it but I think that's what the 1 tablet of campden is.. a little confused, and bummed if I ruined 20 lbs of strawberries . thanks for any help
 

cmason1957

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You can probably get it fermenting again. Normally, you would put 5 crushed up tablets in after it is done fermenting, you only added one, so stir it, then stir it some more. You are trying to get the Sulfur (active part of Campden tablets) to leave.

Your hydrometer is telling you how much sugar you liquid has in it. You start with it a big number (1.070 or higher), it ferments down to 0.990 Water is 1.000. At any point in time, your hydrometer is showing you how much alcohol you probably will make. So we start out at 11 or 12 and end up at 0 or even a little bit negative.

I would add the remaining ingredients for the 5 gallons, except no more water. So if you should have added 10 lbs of sugar and you already added 2 pounds, only add 8 more now.
 

salcoco

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a reading of .990 means that the fermentation is complete assuming you are reading from a hydrometer. what was the starting specific gravity that determined the alcohol content. if you have a three scale hydrometer one scale is specific gravity another is potential alcohol. if the specific gravity is 1.092 for starting the potential alcohol scale should be about 12%. if your thoughts are to add additional ingredients for 5gallons it iss to late. the yeast will not perform in the alcohol environment you have created. you need to start over.
 

rustbucket

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More information would be helpful. What was your initial specific gravity reading before you added yeast to the must? Also, are you looking for a sweeter wine or one with more alcohol content, or both?

Your specific gravity reading of .990 indicates that the wine has finished fermenting and is now a dry wine. If you want it sweeter, you will need to add sugar to the wine; but first, you must stop any fermentation from beginning again by adding Sorbate to the wine. Sorbate prevents yeast from multiplying. A phone app called Fermcalc will help you figure out how much sugar you need to add for back sweetening.

To set you mind at ease, the Camden tablet did not ruin your wine. It is serving to protect the wine from oxidation.
 

mainshipfred

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I've been following another thread of his and from what I gather I don't think an initial gravity was taken. If it were it would have started very low with only 2 lbs of sugar for the 5 gallon batch. So finishing at .990 the alcohol level is more than likely low enough to restart the fermentation. But these are assumptions.
 

Tony moree

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I got it to somewhat restart but it quickly quit again.. no idea what to do at this piont.. it did get to about 1.00 but that is way too low to be anything but juice.
 

sour_grapes

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I got it to somewhat restart but it quickly quit again.. no idea what to do at this piont.. it did get to about 1.00 but that is way too low to be anything but juice.
I believe you are not thinking about this correctly. Re-read Cmason's post #2. Sugar raises the density of the must. When alcoholic fermentation proceeds, the density gets lower. So the fact that your SG is now down to 1.000, this means that some of the sugar HAS been converted to alcohol.
 

Tony moree

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Ok with that being said is it not time to rack it into the 5 gallon carboy? That's what I did..I shoved the airlock in and there are no gasses coming through it. I cant beleive start to finish in 7 days, ready to drink? Is that possible? Something just dosent seem right.. I've got blueberry going and have gas coming out past the airlock for 2 months now.. from what I've been told it should be done about the 3 month period. Thanks for all your help
 

cmason1957

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Ok with that being said is it not time to rack it into the 5 gallon carboy? That's what I did..I shoved the airlock in and there are no gasses coming through it. I cant beleive start to finish in 7 days, ready to drink? Is that possible? Something just dosent seem right.. I've got blueberry going and have gas coming out past the airlock for 2 months now.. from what I've been told it should be done about the 3 month period. Thanks for all your help
Gas / bubbles coming out the airlock doesn't tell you anything about fermentation. Here is my procedure and I believe it is very similar to most of the folks on here.

Day one, mix up must in bucket/trashcan shoot for a starting sg using your hydrometer or refractometer of about 1.090 (sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but something around that number). Add Yeast, cover with cloth or something else to keep out bugs. Fermentation will produce enough CO2 to protect the wine. Fermentation temp somewhere between 60 and 70 F.

Measure SG and stir every day, somewhere around Day 7-14 your SG should have dropped to around 1.020-1.000. If you are using a refractometer to measure you SG, it will be higher, use chart to determine end point (I don't even own one, so you are on your own for that). Rack to a carboy to finish fermentation. Install airlock. Sometime after about 14 days, fermentation will be complete, how will you know??? Your SG will have dropped to something lower than 1.000, Generally mine are 0.996-0.992. Rack your wine a few days after fermentation completes, this is to get it off the majority of the lees, which can cause off odors if left on there for to long. At this racking add 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulphite for 5 or 6 gallons or 1 campden tablet per gallon. If you own a PH meter and can perform test for amount of SO2 to add, do that. This is also when oak should be added, if you want to add oak.

Now in about 3 months or so, rack again, repeat every 3 months for a year is great, 6 months is okay. You may want to filter, now is a good time to do that. At some point, if you want to add more sugar to make a sweeter wine, add Potassium metabisulphite and Potassium sorbate, this keeps the yeast (you won't have removed it all) from seeing that sugar and firing back up to produce more alcohol and bottle bombs. Wait a week to verify that the yeast aren't making more alcohol, using your hydrometer and then you are ready to bottle.
 

Tony moree

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That is very appreciated.. I'm just starting out and could really use direction. I'm starting to read as much as I can. This is a great forum!!! things are starting to make sense.
 

bstnh1

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Gas / bubbles coming out the airlock doesn't tell you anything about fermentation. Here is my procedure and I believe it is very similar to most of the folks on here.

Day one, mix up must in bucket/trashcan shoot for a starting sg using your hydrometer or refractometer of about 1.090 (sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but something around that number). Add Yeast, cover with cloth or something else to keep out bugs. Fermentation will produce enough CO2 to protect the wine. Fermentation temp somewhere between 60 and 70 F.

Measure SG and stir every day, somewhere around Day 7-14 your SG should have dropped to around 1.020-1.000. If you are using a refractometer to measure you SG, it will be higher, use chart to determine end point (I don't even own one, so you are on your own for that). Rack to a carboy to finish fermentation. Install airlock. Sometime after about 14 days, fermentation will be complete, how will you know??? Your SG will have dropped to something lower than 1.000, Generally mine are 0.996-0.992. Rack your wine a few days after fermentation completes, this is to get it off the majority of the lees, which can cause off odors if left on there for to long. At this racking add 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulphite for 5 or 6 gallons or 1 campden tablet per gallon. If you own a PH meter and can perform test for amount of SO2 to add, do that. This is also when oak should be added, if you want to add oak.

Now in about 3 months or so, rack again, repeat every 3 months for a year is great, 6 months is okay. You may want to filter, now is a good time to do that. At some point, if you want to add more sugar to make a sweeter wine, add Potassium metabisulphite and Potassium sorbate, this keeps the yeast (you won't have removed it all) from seeing that sugar and firing back up to produce more alcohol and bottle bombs. Wait a week to verify that the yeast aren't making more alcohol, using your hydrometer and then you are ready to bottle.
Why bother with SG readings every day? As long as I can hear the hiss of fermentation in 3 days or less, I don't check SG until about 7 days and again at 14. What's the perceived benefit of checking SG every day?
 

Vinobeau

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Why bother with SG readings every day? As long as I can hear the hiss of fermentation in 3 days or less, I don't check SG until about 7 days and again at 14. What's the perceived benefit of checking SG every day?
Because the books say so!!
 

cmason1957

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Why bother with SG readings every day? As long as I can hear the hiss of fermentation in 3 days or less, I don't check SG until about 7 days and again at 14. What's the perceived benefit of checking SG every day?
I almost always drop a hydrometer into my must and check the sg just by looking at it, so it isn't a hassle to do every day. I also have had a few ferments hit 1.000 on day four.
 

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