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Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Rusty Nesmith, Oct 21, 2019.

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  1. Oct 21, 2019 #1

    Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    View attachment 57106 Well I started today. I cleaned and sanitized everything. Followed all of the steps for day one. It was a 10L kit. I read the post here about making cheap wine better and also watched YouTube videos on it. I filled it up to five gallons and checked it with the hydrometer and it was 1200. That seemed a bit strong so I filled it to six gallons and it came out at 1094. It is sitting at 74 degrees in the garage. I just went to check it and the airlock is caddywampus. Does this mean fermentation has started?
     
  2. Oct 21, 2019 #2

    cmason1957

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    In theory, when fermentation is going great, you get bubbles in the airlock. In reality, air leaks out somewhat and the airlock tells you nothing. Most of us around here and elsewhere don't even snap the lid down. It makes it very easy to stir the must every day. I know the directions tell you to use the lids and airlock. Do what you are comfortable with.
     
  3. Oct 21, 2019 #3

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

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    You've created 2 threads with same title. If this is a mistake you might want to see if the sys admin can remove one for you.
     
  4. Oct 21, 2019 #4

    Rusty Nesmith

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    I already reported it to them and asked them to delete the other one.
     
  5. Oct 21, 2019 #5

    Rusty Nesmith

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    This is the picture that was supposed to be in the first post. BCF58156-337F-4A44-BF70-AD9451C659C0.jpeg
     
  6. Oct 21, 2019 #6

    sour_grapes

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    That does not work out mathematically. It is possible you hadn't stirred well when it was 5 gallons. Another possibility is that your reading of 1.200 was not correct. I suspect perhaps the SG was 1.120. Take a look at this video to familiarize yourself:


    Probably. It means the pressure in your bucket is higher than the outside pressure. Likely, that is due to fermentation. As @cmason1957 said, you don't really need to have the bucket under airlock at this stage.
     
  7. Oct 21, 2019 #7

    Scooter68

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    Airlock during first part of fermentation is really more of a problem than a help. A good ferment will tell you every time you walk into the room and the only measurement or indicator that matters is the Hydrometer reading. Airlock bubbles just mean some gas of some sort has formed.
    NO bubbles in the airlock on a bucket tells you..... nada, doesn't tell you anything.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  8. Oct 21, 2019 #8

    Rusty Nesmith

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    You are correct. It was 1.120. I just went out and looked at the hydrometer.
     
  9. Oct 21, 2019 #9

    Rusty Nesmith

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    When I filled it to six gallons I started at 1.094.
     
  10. Oct 21, 2019 #10

    Intheswamp

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    1.094 according to FermCalc has a potential ABV% of between 12 and 13.
     
  11. Oct 21, 2019 #11

    Scooter68

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  12. Oct 21, 2019 #12

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Reading the kit directions all the way through. Step one is fermentation, that is where I am at. It says step two is stabilizing and degassing in 14 days. I will be checking it with the hydrometer after a week. Step three is clearing on day 15. Step four is polishing rack and aging. It says to age longer than three months add 1/4 tsp meta and cover with a solid bung. My question is a solid bung correct? I don’t need a airlock for aging?
     
  13. Oct 21, 2019 #13

    mainshipfred

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    That all depends on how well it is degassed. It's impossible to keep a solid bung on a wine that is not still. I keep an airlock on for the first six months or so. I wouldn't wait a week to check the gravity, you always want to know if it's still fermenting and the only real way to tell is with the hydrometer. As far as the airlock for your first ferment, keep it on, it's exciting.
     
  14. Oct 21, 2019 #14

    Scooter68

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    When you mention the different steps, are you going to try to follow their guidance as to when to do different things?

    Reason I ask that is that their (Kit Manufacturer's) 'schedules' are all too often just plain DEAD WRONG. Fermentation times, clearing times, degassing etc. All of that happens when it happens. Even if you use clearing agents, those are only assistants not guaranteed - "3 days until clear" actions. You should ALWAYS let the hydrometer guide you as to fermentation progress. Degassing and clearing - There again, it happens when it happens. You can use different degassing methods but none will guarantee you success in a certain time frame.
     
  15. Oct 21, 2019 #15

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Scooter68 my plan was to keep an eye on it with my hydrometer to know when I want to go to stage two. I am also planning on aging it in a carboy for at least nine months. I will rack it to a fresh carboy every three months and add 1/4 tsp of meta every time I rack. From what I have been reading I shouldn’t have to degas because it will happen on it’s own over that time. Sounds like I should keep an airlock on it then. I will degas before I bottle to make sure it is all out. Does that plan sound good or am I missing something? Depending on taste I might add the oak stick you can buy to put in while aging.
     
  16. Oct 22, 2019 #16

    Scooter68

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    Whenever you have it in a carboy you should have an airlock on it even when aging. That way degassing can occur naturally.

    Sounds like you are on track. Those directions are OK for the actions to take, normally, but as to their timing - that's where they miss the mark by trying to call out specific times. Like a doctor telling a woman the day and hour when she is going to give birth - when he tells her she is pregnant.
     
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  17. Oct 22, 2019 #17

    Intheswamp

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    Why is there a difference between a carboy and a 750ml bottle in regards to having an airlock on it while aging? If the wine gets to a point where you say "This is good" most people then bottle it. But, if it's at that "good" stage and you want to leave it in the carboy (for whatever reason) why not put a solid plug in it? I'm not arguing against using an airlock on the carboy and personally I *would* use an airlock (my 7 year old mead attested to that) but I'm curious about the difference.

    Why would bulk aging require an airlock and bottle aging wouldn't? Greater gas volume/pressure build-up possibly in the carboy? Danger of having a MOAB versus a hand grenade? Easier for the carboy to expel gas through the airlock than do an exchange through a solid bung or a big cork?...I don't even want to think of laying a carboy on its side with a cork in it!!!:slp

    I understand we'd want the natural degassing that an airlock would allow but what is the criteria that says "degassing phase is over, it's now ok to bottle"? If you get to the point of bottling...but you don't bottle, why not seal the carboy?

    What about on a 1-gallon glass jug? Keep an airlock on it?

    I'm not arguing the point about keeping an airlock on large vessels, I'll definitely be keeping an airlock on anything larger than a magnum (and might even keep one on some magnum bottles).

    (Gee, did my scattered thoughts make any sense???)

     
  18. Oct 22, 2019 #18

    Scooter68

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    1) Atmospheric pressure changes - Yeah a real thing. I've seen all my airlocks change levels when a really high or low pressure front comes through. If it was just one or two carboys but ALL of them. With a solid bung that means a popped bung and wide open to air/oxidation.
    2) Gassing off can still occur when you are 'certain' it's over and again - a Popped bung can ruin your day and your batch.

    Guess it's a matter of how secure you are that the bung will not come loose for any reason. Playing safe.
     
  19. Oct 22, 2019 #19

    Rusty Nesmith

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    I just went and checked it and the airlock is bubbling like crazy. Should I wait for it to slow down before I check it with the hydrometer? Is there such a thing as disturbing it too much while it’s fermenting? I guess you can see my excitement is overriding my patience.
     
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  20. Oct 22, 2019 #20

    Rusty Nesmith

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    It is holding a steady 72 degrees.
     

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