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Morgan

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2 weeks ago I pressed and transferred 5 gallons of cranberry wine from fresh cranberries @ 1.015. It was racked and topped off with commercial juice @ 1.005 3 days later. Tonight, after waiting patiently I decided to rack off again. I confidently started racking, thinking the bubbles I saw rising were just CO2 and my wine was no doubt perfectly dry by now. I snuck a cupful and it tastes pretty good, but a little fizzy naturally. I actually had my spoon in the bag of Kmeta when I thought I'd just check a SG to be safe.

1.010!

So I now have 4 gallons of most definitely not dry cranberry juice and I did save what was left from racking along with the lees in a gallon jug.

I think I know what I did wrong... First, I shouldn't have racked before fermentation was complete, then topped off. Looking back, i dont know what i was thinking. Second, should NEVER do anything without checking my numbers first.

What should I do now? Top off again with cranberry juice, make a strong starter with 1118, and let it go dry again? Or should I mix everything back together again with yeast energizer and nutrient and just wait it out? I'm not sure if my fermentation is just sluggish or if it's completely toast. I also considered just accepting what I have and aging, but I want it to go dry and see a corresponding increase in ABV. The temperature in my basement is 57 degrees. The juice is 3.05 pH.

Live and learn... I won't make those mistakes again! Thanks everybody.
 

RegionRat

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I am as new to this as you. I think we stared our cranberry wine within a few days of each other. I checked mine this morning and it is at 1.002. I think it started at 1.085. I am gonna let it go another few days. Then rack, degas, and stabilize. Mine is in a water bath sitting around 75 deg.

Being 1.010 I would think to put it all back together in a 5 gal carboy and let it ferment out. If you are anxious to get it to ferment dry I think I would get the temp on the must up a few deg.

Just my opinion. I am sure people on here with more knowledge then me will help.

Keep us up to date on your progress.

RR
 

Morgan

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Yah, I know it's a bit chilly for fermentation, but I used 1116 which is fairly robust. I need to figure out some temperature regulation apparatus... I liked your tub/fishtank heater but I really need to minimize the moisture in my basement. I might get some brew belts or a heating pad.

At this point I'm leaning toward chalking this up to stuck fermentation, adding some juice then pitching a nice robust yeast and just waiting it out. Aside from my noob premature racking, I'm sure temp has a large role to play in my current situation. The cranberry sure tastes good though... It was even starting to clear a bit and has a nice color to it. I bet yours will be awesome.
 

Deezil

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Just give it time and test the SG every few days.. My guess is that its going to keep going some - until nutrients run out - but its going to be slow-going, which isnt really a bad thing. It could finish at any time though, really... But 57 degrees is mighty cold for most yeasts, so have patience with it.
 

Pumpkinman

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Just an FYI, my hard cider was almost identical, I thought it had to fermented to dry, I tested it one last time and it was at 1.010.... it took 20 days to ferment to dry!
 

dangerdave

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"2 weeks ago I pressed and transferred 5 gallons of cranberry wine from fresh cranberries @ 1.015. It was racked and topped off with commercial juice @ 1.005 3 days later. Tonight, after waiting patiently I decided to rack off again. I confidently started racking, thinking the bubbles I saw rising were just CO2 and my wine was no doubt perfectly dry by now. I snuck a cupful and it tastes pretty good, but a little fizzy naturally. I actually had my spoon in the bag of Kmeta when I thought I'd just check a SG to be safe.

1.010!"

Morgan, why do you think the SG would go up during firmentation? :?
 

grapeman

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First thing to do to finish it up is bring it upstairs and get the temp up to about 70-75 degrees. It should finish off as is. It will also degas better at this temp.
 

g8keeper

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no matter what the gravity reading was, the addition of more juice, nevertheless, is going to raise the sg as well....unfortunately it doesn't look like the gravity was checked JUST AFTER THE ADDITION OF THE JUICE, so therefore the only way to really know if it is still fermenting or not, will be to continue and monitor the sg from here on out....
 

Morgan

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So I got a ferm wrap and an adhesive thermometer and I'm warming up my juice. Next question: I have my leftovers after racking in a gallon jug. It's already settling a little and it looks like I have about a quart of lees and a quart of juice. Should I mix it back in my 5 gallon carboy, or just the juice? What should I do about all that head space I have? At this point any addition of juice is going to bring down my final ABV unless I add sugar too... Should I do that? I hate to lose all that nice cranberry flavor by adding just sugar...
 

Pumpkinman

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If you have enough wine in a smaller container, and you need to top off the carboy, I would very carefully rack enough wine out of the smaller container into the carboy, making sure that you avoid adding as much sediment as possible, you shouldn't lose any flavor since they are the same product, from the same batch.
If you can't rack it over, then I would carefully and very slowly pour from the gallon jug into a pitcher and then into the carboy (you can let any sediment that may pour out, settle before adding to the carboy).
I'd rather have a 1/2 gallon get oxidized than 5 gallons.
Tom
 

Morgan

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Thanks pumpkinman and everyone else... Temperature is up to 74 degrees and it's fermenting again. I will keep checking my numbers but lesson learned!
 
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