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KCCam

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I'm actually not 100% on the volume, but I have a 6 gallon carboy and it's filled up to what I'm guessing is about 5 gallons.
I’m guessing you’re probably close to done. Check for the next 3 days and if SG is the same, you’re ready to stabilize and clear. Nice colour. Looking forward to seeing it clear!
 

AJH89

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I’m guessing you’re probably close to done. Check for the next 3 days and if SG is the same, you’re ready to stabilize and clear. Nice colour. Looking forward to seeing it clear!
As I let it sit to clear do I need to add anymore campden tablets or should I just add the sulphites right before bottling? My plan was to let it sit maybe 2 months. Rack 2 more months and then add sparkalloid, let sit for a week and then K-meta and Potassium Sorbate and then rack to bottles. Just making sure it'll be alright while it sits there for the months of clearing out
 

Scooter68

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What sort of ABV were you originally looking to have in the wine? Typically high ABV's tend to bury the flavor especially if the flavor is a lighter one like strawberry or peach. I think I posted previously that a sweeter wine with a high ABV is more tolerable so if your wine has quit fermenting anywhere between 1.020 and 1.005 you may not have to do much or any back-sweetening. BUT it really comes down to making it something YOU like.


As to campden tablets (It's just a tablet form of Potassium Metabisulifite / K-Meta) Normally that is added at the end of the fermentation when you do the first racking off the lees and into a carboy to start aging the wine. Rate is 1 tablet per gallon or 1/4 tsp of K-Meta power / 6 gallons. Then if you rack every 3 months you dose the wine at those 3 month intervals. The last doseage should be usually within a month or less of when you do the bottling.

So.... assuming you just finished fermentation and have racked it into a carboy (With minimal headspace) if you dosed it with K-Meta/Campden tablets you should be good to let it age for 2-3 months before dosing it again. If you just age it 2 months I'd go a little less than a full dose of K-meta before bottling. Clearing ... that just takes whatever time it takes. Sometimes a month or two, sometimes over a year in some stubborn cases. Fining additive can help but sometimes I had wines so stubborn they took more than 14 months to be anywhere near clear enough to bottle. Bottling before that wine is clear will get you a wine that might taste good but have very little eye appeal in the bottle or glass. Again some folks don't sweat that but others... just wait it out.

As to sparkaloid... I'd add that sooner rather than later. It won't hurt to rack the wine again if sparkaloid drops out a lot of sediment. Add sparkaloid, wait the recommended time, rack it (won't need more K-meta at that time) and let it keep aging and clearing. Then if you let it age a full 3 months, rack again adding the K-meta and Sorbate and you are ready to bottle. I often let it set a few days to a week after that last dose of K-meta and Sorbate just in case something decides to drop out of the wine. Easy to let that happen before it's in the bottles.
 
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AJH89

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What sort of ABV were you originally looking to have in the wine? Typically high ABV's tend to bury the flavor especially if the flavor is a lighter one like strawberry or peach. I think I posted previously that a sweeter wine with a high ABV is more tolerable so if your wine has quit fermenting anywhere between 1.020 and 1.005 you may not have to do much or any back-sweetening. BUT it really comes down to making it something YOU like.


As to campdent tablets (It's just a tablet form of Potassium Metabisulifite / K-Meta) Normally that is added at the end of the fermentation when you do the first racking off the lees and into a carboy to start aging the wine. Rate is 1 tablet per gallon or 1/4 tsp of K-Meta power / 6 gallons. Then if you rack every 3 months you dose the wine at those 3 month intervals. The last doseage should be usually within a month or less of when you do the bottling.

So.... assuming you just finished fermentation and have racked it into a carboy (With minimal headspace) if you dosed it with K-Meta/Campden tablets you should be good to let it age for 2-3 months before dosing it again. If you just age it 2 months I'd go a little less than a full dose of K-meta before bottling. Clearing ... that just takes whatever time it takes. Sometimes a month or two, sometimes over a year in some stubborn cases. Fining additive can help but sometimes I had wines so stubborn they took more than 14 months to be anywhere near clear enough to bottle. Bottling before that wine is clear will get you a wine that might taste good but have very little eye appeal in the bottle or glass. Again some folks don't sweat that but others... just wait it out.
I was looking for a wine at about 18% alc/vol. I'm not huge into too much sweetness but like you said with the high abv I may just wanna backsweeten. It's gonna be a last second add for me. But from tasting the excess off the hydrometer it taste perfectly sweet so I don't think I'll be adding anymore.

So the campden tablets I have are K-meta. I didn't realize theres 2 types of campden tablets and didn't realize the ones I have are k-meta. I did add the dosage as recommended In the base recipe I was using on day 1or 2 in the primary. Can't remember. Hopefully that's fine to do.
 

Scooter68

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Yeah there are Sodiuim Meta... tablets but those aren't recommended. If you have Potassium Metabitsulfite Campden tablets - that's what you want to use. I used to use only the Campden tablets but now that most of my batches are 3 gallons I just use the K-meta powder. It's pain to crush and dissolve Campden tablets. Since I do 3 gallon batches 1/8 tsp of K-meta is just right for my batches. My measuring spoon set has a 1/8 tsp measure so...
 

AJH89

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Yeah there are Sodiuim Meta... tablets but those aren't recommended. If you have Potassium Metabitsulfite Campden tablets - that's what you want to use. I used to use only the Campden tablets but now that most of my batches are 3 gallons I just use the K-meta powder. It's pain to crush and dissolve Campden tablets. Since I do 3 gallon batches 1/8 tsp of K-meta is just right for my batches. My measuring spoon set has a 1/8 tsp measure so...
So adding the k-meta to primary on day 1 was alright to do? Will it last from the time of my primary plus the time of my secondary that it's currently in before I rack and add some more? So 2 months plus the 5 days of primary.
 

AJH89

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So SG for today was like 1.005 Does it drop that dramatically by day? It's a little tough for me to get the best reading right now with the hydrometer. I'm dropping it in the carboy with a rubberband and a string. I did it multiple times though so I'm confident with todays reading. I'll just measure it every day so I can get the feel of it especially when it's jerry rigged to drop down
 

KCCam

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So SG for today was like 1.005 Does it drop that dramatically by day? It's a little tough for me to get the best reading right now with the hydrometer. I'm dropping it in the carboy with a rubberband and a string. I did it multiple times though so I'm confident with todays reading. I'll just measure it every day so I can get the feel of it especially when it's jerry rigged to drop down
You don’t have a wine thief? Putting any weight on the hydrometer will change the reading. Do you have a test cylinder for your hydrometer? You could siphon some wine into it (carefully). You’re going to need to get rid of that headspace once fermentation is complete. Do you have a 5 gallon carboy?
 

AJH89

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You don’t have a wine thief? Putting any weight on the hydrometer will change the reading. Do you have a test cylinder for your hydrometer? You could siphon some wine into it (carefully). You’re going to need to get rid of that headspace once fermentation is complete. Do you have a 5 gallon carboy?
Ahhh. See these are all things I did not now about that will help me out immensely. What is a wine theif? I do not have one. And as for the headspace I did not know that it shouldn'thave any headspace. I'll have to buy a 5 gallon glass carboy tomorrow. Why no headspace though? And does it really effect anything that much?
 

KCCam

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Ahhh. See these are all things I did not now about that will help me out immensely. What is a wine theif? I do not have one. And as for the headspace I did not know that it shouldn'thave any headspace. I'll have to buy a 5 gallon glass carboy tomorrow. Why no headspace though? And does it really effect anything that much?
I’m on my phone, maybe I’ll PM you later. In the meantime read the Dragon Blood recipe. There is some really good info in it about the whole process that applies to pretty much any wine, but especially fruit (country) wines. It’s only a few pages long. DangerDave's Dragon Blood Wine
 

sour_grapes

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Ahhh. See these are all things I did not now about that will help me out immensely. What is a wine theif? I do not have one. And as for the headspace I did not know that it shouldn'thave any headspace. I'll have to buy a 5 gallon glass carboy tomorrow. Why no headspace though? And does it really effect anything that much?
It is kind of like a turkey baster, but without the squeeze bulb. It has a hole on the ass end instead of the bulb. You put it into the wine, cover the hole with your thumb, and you can then draw out a sample. Here is a three piece one from Northern Brewer: 3 Piece Thief - plastic


 

AJH89

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It is kind of like a turkey baster, but without the squeeze bulb. It has a hole on the ass end instead of the bulb. You put it into the wine, cover the hole with your thumb, and you can then draw out a sample. Here is a three piece one from Northern Brewer: 3 Piece Thief - plastic


I could definitely make that happen with an actual Turkey baster, drop it in a cylinder and get a true SG reading. Honestly though it's coming up on 3 weeks so I'm thinking just racking it over to a 5 gallon carboy early so theres no headspace like @KCCam Was talking about just to be safe and drop a dose of K-meta in there. What are y'alls thoughts on that idea?
 

KCCam

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5 gallon carboy is a good idea, I think. You can never have too many (as long as you plan on doing this a fair bit more), and a variety of sizes is also good. But NO to the k-meta. You need to understand why you are doing it. It comes after fermentation is complete. Right now you have no idea if it is or not. If you have a test cylinder that your hydrometer will float in, that's good. If you have a turkey baster that will reach the wine in you carboy, that's great. Sterilize everything and take a reading.
 

Johnd

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I could definitely make that happen with an actual Turkey baster, drop it in a cylinder and get a true SG reading. Honestly though it's coming up on 3 weeks so I'm thinking just racking it over to a 5 gallon carboy early so theres no headspace like @KCCam Was talking about just to be safe and drop a dose of K-meta in there. What are y'alls thoughts on that idea?
You can take reading in carboys, just tie a piece of very light fishing line to the top of your hydrometer, even faster than a wine thief, which you really should have. With this one, you can take your sample, read the hydrometer, and return the sample in just a few seconds: Wine Thief - Plastic - "The Thief" | MoreWine
 

AJH89

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Alright, I did the fishing string tied to the hydrometer and it's right at 1.000. Still bubbles about ever 2 minutes. If I had to assume the fermentation is done or extremely close to it.
 

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Alright, I did the fishing string tied to the hydrometer and it's right at 1.000. Still bubbles about ever 2 minutes. If I had to assume the fermentation is done or extremely close to it.
my self i just leave the hydrometer in the carboy have one for each carboy
 

KCCam

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Alright, I did the fishing string tied to the hydrometer and it's right at 1.000. Still bubbles about ever 2 minutes. If I had to assume the fermentation is done or extremely close to it.
I would wait until you get the same reading 3 days in a row below 1.000. If the reading is dropping, then it is still fermenting.
 

Johnd

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Man, I was thinking about just doing that too. Wasn't sure if it's alright to do that or not
what @KCCam said above is the proper way to decide if you’re done or not. As far a leaving the hydrometersitting in the carboy, CO2 bubbles will accumulate on it and cause it to float higher, and make your readings too high. Spinning the hydrometer like a top as you put it in will keep the bubbles off long enough for you to read it as it stops spinning.
 

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