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donna1630

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Am racking my first try at winemaking today. I'm dealing with one gallon that is ending it's primary fermentation and was planing on racking into a second gallon container for secondary fermentation, but of course by leaving the junk behind, my "wine" will not come close to filling this second gallon jug. I understand oxygen spoils wine so what should I rack into??? a smaller container? should I add something to bring the wine up to the neck of the jar? or is it okay to leave that void in the second gallon jug? Thanks for your assistance.
 

CDrew

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This is the downside of small amounts. The best thing, would be to top off with a similar commercial wine.

Some people add sanitized marbles.

I make enough that I always have extra-and this year even bottled a case of Syrah/Primitivo mix to use specifically as a topping wine at my next racking. If I don't use it, it's more wine to drink!

Good luck, your instincts to limit air exposure are sound.
 

BigDaveK

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Good for you!
You have so many options. I'll mention a few. I hope others will add more options.

Adding water, to me, is the last desperate option. Try to avoid.
Add a similar or neutral (inexpensive) wine.
Use a smaller container or multiple small containers.
Marbles are an option. Haven't done that yet. Potential accident I think.
I "transfer" to secondary. I filter with a nut bag to get rid of the bits and pieces. Still a lot of good yeast there. You might not need to top up as much as you think.
For future reference, many of us adjust and make gallon-and-a-quarter to a gallon-and-a-half. That gives little head space in secondary and a little to top up after the next racking.

What kind of wine? Fruit juice is a possibility.
 

donna1630

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No fruit this time. It is rose petal wine and it was just fermenting like crazy, however there now is a time lapse og seven seconds between the 'burps'. The recipe I followed called for steeping the petals like one would do for a tea and then straining the petals away before adding anything else. I guess I should not have too much pulp to avoid when racking but the brew is just slightly clearer now than it was last week. When I rack to the secondary fermentation, do you think the fermentation will pick up again? I'm worried that it is a dud.
I like the idea of "transferring" to secondary with filtering. Naturally I have questions: when "transferring" to secondary, can it continue to ferment? What happens if the fermentation just stops..... does the 'wine' go bad? Are you suppose to stir it every day? How do you know when to bottle it?
 

vinny

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This is more for future reference. I just racked these three this afternoon. All recipes called for 1 gallon of water, which I was generous with. The bulk from the ingredients can also add to the total volume allowing for a top up after settling.

I used bags for my ingredients in primary and had no suspended solids. I transferred all liquid and yeast to my secondary and will rack again once fermentation is complete and yeast has settled. I can then use the extras to top up to one gallon.

Moving to secondary will protect the wine from oxygen which can affect flavors.
IMG_20220619_163851.jpg
Naturally I have questions: when "transferring" to secondary, can it continue to ferment? What happens if the fermentation just stops..... does the 'wine' go bad? Are you suppose to stir it every day? How do you know when to bottle it?

It will continue to ferment in secondary until all sugar is converted, unless there is not enough nutrient for the yeast.

If it stops before your specific gravity indicates fermentaion is done it would be best to describe the circumstances here and you will get all the advice you could wish for.

If protected from oxygen it will not go bad. Adding Potassium metabisulphite (sulphites) into secondary will help protect and stabilize the wine.

You do not need to stir every day.

You bottle it when it tastes good! If you bottle it before you like the flavour, you can not as easily make changes as you can in a secondary vessel.
 
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@donna1630, what is the current SG? If the SG is above 1.000, you have time as the yeast is actively producing CO2, so the wine is protected.

For future reference, ferment in an open bucket and start with a larger batch, so you have sufficient wine to fill the secondary. Batch planning saves a lot of later work.
 

vinny

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For future reference, ferment in an open bucket and start with a larger batch, so you have sufficient wine to fill the secondary. Batch planning saves a lot of later work.
I have successfully regurgitated all that you have taught me in my above post. ;) BUT.. I missed the equal primary and secondary volumes.

A VERY important note @donna1630

All my batches above were fermented in 2 gallon buckets.

I ended up with 5 litres of one batch because I messed up my ratios. I had to increase water to avoid a ridiculously high ABV. Using an oversized primary allows for corrections as well as foaming, and mixing.

It is important for yeast to have oxygen in the first stages of fermentation. A loose fitting lid or towel is all that is needed on your primary.
 
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Jonboy6692.ja

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Am racking my first try at winemaking today. I'm dealing with one gallon that is ending it's primary fermentation and was planing on racking into a second gallon container for secondary fermentation, but of course by leaving the junk behind, my "wine" will not come close to filling this second gallon jug. I understand oxygen spoils wine so what should I rack into??? a smaller container? should I add something to bring the wine up to the neck of the jar? or is it okay to leave that void in the second gallon jug? Thanks for your assistance.
You can top up with water if the amount is small, or top up with a similar type wine, either homemade or a store bought wine.
 

BigDaveK

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Rose petal wine sounds interesting! I've read about it but will never make it because I don't have roses.

Of all the really good information above I'm shocked that no one mentioned "patience"! Start thinking about bottling in a few months. Maybe rack in a month or 2, add kmeta, rack again after another month or 2. It should be crystal clear and beautiful!
 

donna1630

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What FUN!! After reading everyone's comments last night I decided to transfer rather than racking at this time. My reasoning was this could be a dry run, a time to explore using the equipment new to me and a time to settle some of the issues I will face when I do rack. I learned a lot and made notes - especially notes of things I have to address before racking.
I thought everything went well enough, I have more questions (further down). And I had a blast doing this .... no drinking involved. just a sign of how small my world has become.
What saved my hide last night was the transferring from an Imperial gallon to a US gallon. The difference between the two ensured the brew in the second gallon to be just shy of reaching the level of the neck narrowing so I added 2 Tablespoons of mango juice....... am hoping I did not entirely blow it.
Also, when the liquid was transferred, there was a layer of cream coloured ???? stuck to the bottom of the first gallon jug; my guess is it was settled yeast. I decided not to transfer that into the new jug.... probably a mistake. (It really was like watered down cement and was hard to clean out of that jug).
So today, the new jug is again at 73/74 degrees F and the 'burping' has dropped from once every 6 seconds to once/minute.
Anyone care to comment? I'd appreciate your take on the situation and on how you would have handled the situation. I'm here to learn so feel free to point out the absolute worst mistakes I made.
As for my questions.... sanitation.... Do you have to wait for the sanitizer (I used Star San Sanitizer) to air dry completely before you use the measuring cup or whatever? I know the article has to be kept wet with the sanitizer for a number of minutes, but last night not all of the equipment air dried completely (raining hard) and I was impatient to get started.
Another thing, should I have used some of the fluid to break up the sediment at the bottom of the jug and then transferred it?
Should I be adding something to the present brew to help it re-activate? Some kind of syrup?
 

donna1630

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I have successfully regurgitated all that you have taught me in my above post. ;) BUT.. I missed the equal primary and secondary volumes.

A VERY important note @donna1630

All my batches above were fermented in 2 gallon buckets.

I ended up with 5 litres of one batch because I messed up my ratios. I had to increase water to avoid a ridiculously high ABV. Using an oversized primary allows for corrections as well as foaming, and mixing.

It is important for yeast to have oxygen in the first stages of fermentation. A loose fitting lid or towel is all that is needed on your primary.
So, the yeast neeeds oxygen in the first stage..... should the primary fermentation be stired everyday? This need for oxygen rules out using jugs with narrow necks for the primary fermentation; is that correct?
 

donna1630

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Rose petal wine sounds interesting! I've read about it but will never make it because I don't have roses.

Of all the really good information above I'm shocked that no one mentioned "patience"! Start thinking about bottling in a few months. Maybe rack in a month or 2, add kmeta, rack again after another month or 2. It should be crystal clear and beautiful!
You suggest adding kmeta; would you mind to expand on that as I don't even know what it is. Should I be adding kmeta now or do you leave that for the last time yoy rack it. If you use kmeta, but want the finished product to be clearer still, can you add more?
 

donna1630

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So, the yeast neeeds oxygen in the first stage..... should the primary fermentation be stired everyday? This need for oxygen rules out using jugs with narrow necks for the primary fermentation; is that correct?
I did my primary fermentation in one Imperial gallon jug. Next time I intend to use one of my food safe buckets since air is good during the primary fermentation. Thanks.
 

Clover

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You can top up with water if the amount is small, or top up with a similar type wine, either homemade or a store bought wine.
Hello, everyone! Looong time lurker and knowledge gatherer, but I'm making my first post here because I love rose petal wine!

I use organic food grade dried petals, and make a tea with them. You can bag them and put into primary for a few days, too.

For topping off, I've had success with aiming for a higher ABV, and when topping off is needed, I make more strong rose tea and top off with that. Helps decrease the ABV to reduce harshness, and adds more rose essence to the wine. If I've had to top off too much, I'll switch to a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc to keep the ABV reasonable. Back sweeten with pasteurized honey - it's easy to pasteurize it yourself - and you will have an incredible wine.
 

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