quick temp and sanitizing questions

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pittspur

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Just racked my first kit from primary to secondary last night. It took 11 days to get sg below 1.010. I had issues with temps being too cold. I do not have a brew belt yet. I just have a small space heater warming my room. My issue with it is that it really doesn't keep my temps very consistent - my temps are fluctuating anywhere between 68 and 75 degrees. Will this be an issue? At what point in the process can I turn off this heater and let the room become it's natural temp of around 62? Also, just wondering about my sanitizer. I have a sanitizing strength K-meta mixture in a spray bottle. How long will this last as an acceptable sanitizing mixture? Thanks for all the help.
 

rawlus

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if you can keep the temps in the 70's till final SG is below 0.998 and you get the same low reading a few days in a row that would be best. too cold and you can end up with a stuck ferment and it can be difficult to get going again when the alc is present and you're only a few clicks away from finished. be sure to adjust your SG readings for temp. to get accurate readings.

once secondary is complete, follow instructions. some fining agents dont work their best in cold, so depends on whether you want to bottle soon or bulk age. bulk aging should be no problem in the cooler temps, can even be beneficial in some cases. just be sure to apply necessary stabilization and k-meta additions if bulk aging.
 
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the solution should be good for ~2 months or so.

rawlus is right. keep the temps in the low 70's for steady fermentation and then when aging, above 55F and below 75F is good. keeping steady temps is more important. i suggest bulk aging before bottling in your case. this will get age into the bottles with less risk of making corks fail, less oxidation and a better overall consistent wine for bottling later. oh and this way you won't need to filter and it will become really clear with a racking before bottling.

if you want to bottle and it's not cleared well, you might want to use some bentonite to clear. cooler temps should help it to settle out. the process takes a week or so.
 

pittspur

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Thanks for the help. I plan on leaving it bulk age for maybe 2 mos before bottling, so it sounds as though I can turn off my heater then.
 

djrockinsteve

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You can wrap a blanket around your carboy, this will help to maintain the temperature. For me, normally after 6 days the s.g. is down to 1.000 or near that. I then transfer to a secondary carboy, add the refining agent and let nature take it's course for about 6 weeks. I always have an airlock on it in case there is still any fermenting left. After 6 weeks I'll rack again, add a few ingredients and bulk age 6 months for fruit and whites, 11 months for reds.

My potassium metabisulfate in a spray bottle, I always give it a small and careful whiff, you'll know if it's still good.
 

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