Secondary fermentation panic

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Banksy, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. Feb 11, 2019 #1

    Banksy

    Banksy

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    Hi,

    I'm very new to wine making and have bought a 30 bottle kit and a 30 bottle fermenting starter kit with a 30l bucket with an airlock and bung and a 25l fermenter with an airlock also. Using the kits instructions it suggests when the hydrometer reading gets to 10. 010 you can transfer into a secondary fermenter or not. It suggested not to as fermentation is sped up with the kits yeast but I chose to change to a secondary fermenter as per a friend's advice . Fermentation continued for a couple of days until the air look wasn't showing activity so I took 3 consecutive reads at 0.995. I've started the stabalisation but I'm getting quite anxious that I've done something wrong. So many people advise so many things. My friend thinks I've done it wrong as it should have been in the secondary fermenter for weeks before it was finished but it was only a few days. I tasted the wine and it seemed to be OK

    Should I carry on with the stabalisation period and clearing? Can someone also advise if I should bottle straight away or not. It gets really confusing when people advise to bulk age etc. I also don't have access to demijohns or carboys.

    I don't know if the kit I'm using is correct but it's sent my anxiety flaring when reading about people fermenting for months and racking several times.

    If I've not made sense just ask me to clarify anything and ill do my best.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Feb 11, 2019 #2

    Ajmassa5983

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    Your cool. The kits instructions can be misleading sometimes. “Secondary fermentation” isn’t actually a real thing. Just the term for completing the end of fermentation in a carboy. Most alcohol fermentation run dry in about a week tho. Commercial joints refer to the malalactic fermentation as “Secondary” which can take months, but not done on kits and can add to the confusion.
    That “10 day Secondary” or whatever it says on yours is just kinda a failsafe, allowing the last few ticks of SG to drop if needed. But your dry so all is good if you started the “stabilizing” steps early.
    If leaving dry you can skip the sorbate addition- only needed when there’s residual sugar or backsweetening.
    You say you did primary in a bucket and now in a “25L fermenter”. But the bucket is essentially your fermenter. And also said no access to carboys. So, what kinda vessel is your 25L ?
     
  3. Feb 11, 2019 #3

    Banksy

    Banksy

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    Hi thanks for your reply. I've attached an image of the 25l vessel.
     

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  4. Feb 11, 2019 #4

    tradowsk

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    The most crucial ingredient in winemaking is patience. The kits purposely try to speed things up so you bottle quickly and have to buy more kits. But as you have found, there are many people here with many different methods and preferences. That also means there are a lot of "correct" ways forward as well depending on what you have and what you want to make.

    So it seems where you are right now is fine. Your wine is dry and you hopefully have no smells of rotten egg or raisins. So you can add the clarifiers and stabilizers to speed up clearing and bottle faster, or you can wait a bit and let things happen naturally. Either way is fine. Just be sure to add kmeta now regardless of whatever else you do.

    If I can stress one thing: don't bottle too early. If the wine isn't fully clear, it will settle in the bottle and create some unpleasant sediment in the bottom. Depending on what is in there, it can add bitter flavors to the wine as it sits there over time. So add the clarifiers and let them settle out completely, rack into another vessel and let it sit there for a week. If you have very little sediment after that week, then you can go ahead and bottle.

    Also, welcome to the forum!
     
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  5. Feb 11, 2019 #5

    Ajmassa5983

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    Agree with all, but remember, they don’t own or have access to carboys.
    And that 25l fermenter is exactly that- a fermenter. With extra room.
    Once to that final step when they could either bottle it or bulk age it, without a carboy ya really can’t bulk age it anyway

    @Banksy because if bulk aging it needs to be in a vessel filled all the way with minimal headspace. Even a 5gal plastic one would work. And can just bottle the remainder.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2019 #6

    Banksy

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    Thanks for all the help so far! I.believe I can get access to some glass demijohns that might be useful to bulk age the majority
     
  7. Feb 11, 2019 #7

    Banksy

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    Also if I add kmeta before the finings will I need to add any Campden tablets before bottling or will that not be necessary? The wine is supposed to clear within 5 days using the finings provided
     
  8. Feb 11, 2019 #8

    tradowsk

    tradowsk

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    Depends how long you let it sit before bottling. Typically, most here seem to rack and kmeta every 3 months. So if you are only clearing for a week and then bottle a week after that, I don't think you would need any more. But you could add like a quarter dose at bottling just to be safe.

    Also, how are you planning to sanitize your bottles? I typically use Star-San
     
  9. Feb 11, 2019 #9

    Banksy

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    Thank you. The wine kit I purchased came with a a no rinse steriliser that I was planning on using but I'm not sure what it's ingredient is. I have read about not using chlorine based sterilisers especially as I will be corking is that correct?
     
  10. Feb 11, 2019 #10

    tradowsk

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    Yes, avoid anything with chlorine at all costs at all steps of the process. Not only is it a pain to rinse out, but it can cause "corking" once you bottle.

    As long as the kit packet says "sterilizer" you should be fine. A "sanitizer" won't do it.
     

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