Quantcast

should I be stirring primary fermentation in car-boys?

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Mdrew

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
9
Location
Washington State, USA
Last time I did the primary fermentation it was with skins/grapes in a food-grade trashcan. I would frequently push the grapes down - but this time, I sqeezed the grapes beforehand and am doing primary fermentation in two 5 gallon carboys; about 4 gallons in each for foam issues. Should I be pulling the air-stops a few times a day and stir the jars up?
thanks!
 

Attachments

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
2,921
Reaction score
1,224
Location
Kansas
one you should be fermenting without airlock just cover with a cloth. add airlock once sg=1020. stir the juice at least twice a day. stirring gives oxygen to yeast for a healthy fermentation.
 

Chilkat

Member
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
62
Reaction score
21
one you should be fermenting without airlock just cover with a cloth. add airlock once sg=1020. stir the juice at least twice a day. stirring gives oxygen to yeast for a healthy fermentation.
The cloth instead of an airlock; is that for this particular wine or wines in general?
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,516
Reaction score
2,096
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Since you are fermenting in carboys, you might want to take the precaution of setting the carboy in a pan or something to catch potential foam overflow. Those who have experience this can tell you it's not a fun clean up job. I've been lucky to only have a couple of minor overflows but those were because I racked from a fermentation bucket to a carboy too soon.
 

Chilkat

Member
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
62
Reaction score
21
Since you are fermenting in carboys, you might want to take the precaution of setting the carboy in a pan or something to catch potential foam overflow.
This is very sound advice. I have only one bucket for first fermentation and my mead boiled over twice when I degassed it. Such a sad thing to lose that wonderful stuff and even worse to have to clean up the honey from the "desperate run thru the house with a boiling over carboy to the kitchen sink".
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,516
Reaction score
2,096
Location
Northwest Arkansas
By the way, a cloth top tied down will suppress a light foam overflow to some degree, perhaps preventing and acutal liquid loss - BUT I'd use a pan anyway. I did have one ferment in a bucket that was really a little too full and the cloth cover tied down was stained by the must but there was nothing on the floor.
 

Chilkat

Member
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
62
Reaction score
21
By the way, a cloth top tied down will suppress a light foam overflow to some degree, perhaps preventing and acutal liquid loss - BUT I'd use a pan anyway. I did have one ferment in a bucket that was really a little too full and the cloth cover tied down was stained by the must but there was nothing on the floor.
So there was a post about just putting a cloth on the wine until it's down to 020. Is that the preferred method for a starting must?
 

PandemoniumWines

Save the Winos
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
187
Reaction score
102
Location
Columbus OH
It’s a popular approach to wine making. I let it go down even farther before transferring, but if I were making grape wines I imagine I’d be much more careful.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,516
Reaction score
2,096
Location
Northwest Arkansas
I just posted about the same thing on another thread. Watch the SG readings AND the behavior of the wine when you draw your sample for the hydrometer test. If that sample foams a lot just being put into the testing tube - beware - even if the reading is below 1.020 you might wait a bit longer. Sometimes the racking into a carboy incites the yeasties to foam madly for an hour or two. Good for finishing the fermentation, bad for making a mess with a foam fountain.
 

Mdrew

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
9
Location
Washington State, USA
Measured SG today and got 1.018 and 1.021. It started at 1.090 and 1.091, and it's been five days. I'm headed out of town for two weeks, so it's going to be a long primary fermentation. I did put air-stops in, they bubble a little faster than once per second. One of the carboys I have has a narrower mouth on it. The air-stop doesn't stay in worth a damn, so I wedged the f#(%&er in there - see pic. Thought you might enjoy a few pictures of these shenanigans. Thanks again for the advice!
I do have a little more time that I could rack this wine into tight fitting bottles. Say a 5 and 3. Think I should do it? The bubbles (I realize this is pretty subjective!) are about 81 beats per minute. https://www.google.com/search?q=metronome


nestwine.png IMG_20180612_223519.jpg
 

Jal5

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
455
Reaction score
215
You could tape that bung in place. I did that a couple of times or try that thin white tape you use in plumbing repairs around threaded pipes around the bung for a tighter fit. I never tried the plumber tape but it should work ok.
 
Top