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WineXpert SG in Secondary

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mrs.erinss

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Hi, I am progressing on my first kit, a Selection International Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, and think maybe I hit a snag?

So, I racked the wine from my primary to my secondary 10 days ago. It said to rack when the SG was 1.010 or below. Mine was exactly 1.000 so I moved it from my primary to the secondary carboy. Okay. Next, it says after 10 days in the secondary to take the SG again. That is what I did today. The directions say "After 10 days, check your specific gravity. It should be 0.996 or less." Then they want you to confirm that stable reading for two days in a row before moving on to stabilising and clearing, etc. So, problem is, my SG is STILL exactly 1.000. It hasn't changed at all in the last 10 days. And of course isn't at the required 0.996 or less.

Do I just need to wait it out? Should I test the SG everyday to see if it is going down or wait so many days then try? Is it possible for an SG to get "stuck"? What if it doesn't go down at all?

Am I just being paranoid (again)? Ha ha!

Thanks everyone!
 

Wade E

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Try pulling out a sample an shake up that sample really good and try taking a reading then as it may have a lot of C02 trapped in it which even if you are spinning your hydro just wont let it give you a right reading. What was the temp when your wine went into carboy and during this whole secondary time, you didnt let it get really cool as the end of fermentation is the wrong time to let it get chilly as the yeast are being over taken by abv and struggling to finish as is!
 

smurfe

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One thing you might want to do is check your hydrometer in some distilled water to assure accuracy. You may be at 0.096, the hydrometer could be off. It happens much more than people think.
 

mrs.erinss

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The entire time my wine has been going it's been a constant 71-72 degrees. I will try shaking up a sample and I will test the hydrometer too. Thanks!
 

Wade E

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Smurfe is right but I will add the instructions in case you dont know how. Some hydrometers are calibrated to 60* and some are cal. to 66* it will probably say what cal it is set to somewhere either on the chart it came with or on the paper inside the hydro. What temp it is calibrated to it will read 1.000 in this water. If it reads something different then just adjust to what it shroud be and remember it for future reference.
 

mrs.erinss

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My hydrometer did come with a little chart for the temperature difference, in fact. I just took a look at it. It looks like it is calibrated to read 1.000 in water at 68 degrees. It says for 77 degrees add 0.001. It is about 72 degrees in here, so I don't think my temp. is making much difference right now. If anything my SG is just slightly higher than the 1.000 I am reading, which is not good.

I still haven't shaken up a sample and tested it yet. I will do that probably do that later today and let you know what it says.

If it is what it is (at 1.000) - then what? :?
 

Madriver Wines

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Correct me if I am wrong Wade and Smurfe, but wont she just end up with slightly sweeter wine and slightly lower %alcohol ? I dont see any reason to worry myself. The difference between 1.000 and .996 is only .004! Not a big factor.
 
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smurfe

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My hydrometer did come with a little chart for the temperature difference, in fact. I just took a look at it. It looks like it is calibrated to read 1.000 in water at 68 degrees. It says for 77 degrees add 0.001. It is about 72 degrees in here, so I don't think my temp. is making much difference right now. If anything my SG is just slightly higher than the 1.000 I am reading, which is not good.

I still haven't shaken up a sample and tested it yet. I will do that probably do that later today and let you know what it says.

If it is what it is (at 1.000) - then what? :?
Did you actually put a 68F sample of distilled water in the test jar and check the accuracy of the hydrometer? The reason I say this is the meter marks inside the hydrometer are basically a piece of paper with the markings on them. Sometimes they are not set in correct or can shift giving an erroneous reading. I have one hydrometer that is one point low off. The only true way to know is to test it with distilled water at approx 68 degree sample. If you get a zero reading, your hydrometer is calibrated. I had to calibrate my refractometer the other day as well. I had used tap water when I calibrated it. Come to find out all this time I was 2 brix off.
 

mrs.erinss

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Okay, I took a sample and shook it up for a while to de-gas it, and it did make a difference. My reading was 0.998 now. I also did test my hydrometer in distilled water at 68 degrees, and it was practically right on 1.000, maybe about .001 off, if that. So at best my SG reading is 0.997.

Should I still wait and see if it goes down that little bit to 0.996? If the SG gets to where it should be and is not changing, will it hurt to leave it in the carboy a little longer? I may wait to do my stabilizing and clearing next weekend anyway.
 

Wade E

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Madriver, this is a wine that really should not come out on the sweeter side as it is a Cabernet which should really be very dry but 1.000 isnt really that bad. I also posted those instructions after smurfe for what he just wrote about as the temp diff. is really no big thing. I was also wondering if it got very cool in there and stalled fermentation but thats not the story if you say it was in the 70's! Just check your hydro as those little pces of paper inside the glass can slide around sometimes.
 

smurfe

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It's not going to hurt anything to wait a few more days. You might get those last few points. your yeast count is about exhausted so there are probably very few active yeast cells left.
 

Madriver Wines

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I bow to the experts as usual. Do these posts count towards the 1000 needed for the trip ? I assume that Wade decides what is a quality post and what is not.:D
 

mrs.erinss

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So is there anything I can do to actually get the SG down anymore? Or is it done when it's done? Any guesses (just out of curiosity) as to why it didn't get to where it should have been?
 

Wade E

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I dont think there is anything you can do at this point besides maybe add a little nutrient add stir it up but I bet its either done or just moving very slowly to finish.
 

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