Strawberry wine help

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JakeJeckel

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Hi there, new to forum and on my first batch of strawberry wine. So I just started a batch on the 21st. Using a 5 gallon glass jug i put in about 24lbs of strawberries(cut up not mashed) and 10lbs of sugar. Let that sit for a few hours then added in water to about 4 inches from the top and added in 5tsp of North Mountain Acid Blend, 2.5tsp of Pectic Enzyme, 1.25tsp of Tannin and a pack of Red Star Premier Classique wine yeast. I unfortunately didn't have my hydrometer for a starting SG but after 2 days I was at 1.105 and as of the 29th I was at 1.025 and as of today its at 1.010 SG. I'm almost 2 weeks into my fermentation and I'm wondering what to do if the yeast does not stop fermentation in the next few days? Is it ok to let it continue to ferment longer than 2 weeks? Should I buy something to stop fermentation? Thanks ahead of time for any and all advice. Also if you need more information feel free to ask.
 

VinesnBines

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You are right on track. The yeast will quit and fermentation will stop on it's own. You may end up dry, below 1.000 but that will be fine. You can rack to a carboy at any point now but don't try to stop fermentation. If you end up dry and tart, a little back sweetening will bring that lovely strawberry to the front.
If you don't have a spare carboy, rack off to a bucket and then back into you clean carboy (5 gallon jug). If you have much headspace left, more than a couple inches or so, add some commercial wine to top up. Add either five crushed Campden tablets or 1/4 tsp of potassium sulphite dissolved in a little water, top with an airlock, keep in a cool dark place or covered with a bag. When it starts to clear, you may want to rack again (three weeks maybe). Then leave it to completely clear for a couple months. You need to rack once more, add some sorbate and sweeten just a bit, leave for another week then bottle.
This will be a lovely summer rose.
 

JakeJeckel

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You are right on track. The yeast will quit and fermentation will stop on it's own. You may end up dry, below 1.000 but that will be fine. You can rack to a carboy at any point now but don't try to stop fermentation. If you end up dry and tart, a little back sweetening will bring that lovely strawberry to the front.
If you don't have a spare carboy, rack off to a bucket and then back into you clean carboy (5 gallon jug). If you have much headspace left, more than a couple inches or so, add some commercial wine to top up. Add either five crushed Campden tablets or 1/4 tsp of potassium sulphite dissolved in a little water, top with an airlock, keep in a cool dark place or covered with a bag. When it starts to clear, you may want to rack again (three weeks maybe). Then leave it to completely clear for a couple months. You need to rack once more, add some sorbate and sweeten just a bit, leave for another week then bottle.
This will be a lovely summer rose.
It has already been put to a carboy when it hit 1.025, I figured it was enough and racked it to the carboy to leave the fruit behind. And a taste test shows it to still be very sweet but I'm sure that sugar will burn off when fermentation is done. Guess I'll need to buy some of that tablets and more things lol. Now given that it has a very prominent strawberry taste would it be ok to just add water to top off with some sugar now to sweeten or will that just make fermentation continue?
 

VinesnBines

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It has already been put to a carboy when it hit 1.025, I figured it was enough and racked it to the carboy to leave the fruit behind. And a taste test shows it to still be very sweet but I'm sure that sugar will burn off when fermentation is done. Guess I'll need to buy some of that tablets and more things lol. Now given that it has a very prominent strawberry taste would it be ok to just add water to top off with some sugar now to sweeten or will that just make fermentation continue?
You are still fermenting some since the SG is still dropping. Keep checking the SG every day and don't worry about topping up until the SG doesn't change for three days. Once your SG is not changing, then add the Campden. Don't add any more sugar. You can add water to top up the carboy if you aren't adding much more than a cup or two. If you need to add more than a pint, I'd suggest a commercial strawberry or a very neutral white (Pino gris maybe).

Just keep check on that SG and don't fret. Your wine is doing what it should.

You will want to rack it again within a couple weeks after the fermentation stops. You may have quite a bit of suspended fruit solids that will start to fall out and you want to get the wine off those lees.
 

JakeJeckel

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You are still fermenting some since the SG is still dropping. Keep checking the SG every day and don't worry about topping up until the SG doesn't change for three days. Once your SG is not changing, then add the Campden. Don't add any more sugar. You can add water to top up the carboy if you aren't adding much more than a cup or two. If you need to add more than a pint, I'd suggest a commercial strawberry or a very neutral white (Pino gris maybe).

Just keep check on that SG and don't fret. Your wine is doing what it should.

You will want to rack it again within a couple weeks after the fermentation stops. You may have quite a bit of suspended fruit solids that will start to fall out and you want to get the wine off those lees.
Thanks again, any opinions on Brand for tablets? I was thinking to stick with North Mountain like my acid and tannin and stuff.
 

JakeJeckel

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You need to rack once more, add some sorbate and sweeten just a bit, leave for another week then bottle.
This will be a lovely summer rose.
I thought that the sorbate was not needed if I'm going to be adding more sugar to sweeten the wine (right now its a bit dry and tart since I used dry wine yeast) but from what I've read most people suggest skipping the sorbate if you're going to add sugar.
 

Scooter68

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On the Campden tablets. They are handy for 1 gallon batches but if you move up to 3, 5, or larger batches the K-Meta powder is much easier to deal with. Crushing multiple tablets is no fun.

As to Sorbate 1) Make sure it Potassium not Sodium (In fact that true with any additive - If it has sodium in it like Sodium Bentonite - don't use it.
2) You don't need to add sorbate until just before you are going to back-sweeten the wine. It can age out on the shelf and in your wine so leave it out until you need it. Even a wine that doesn't ferment all the way dry.. say it stops at 1.000 - I would not add it. If the wine ferments starts again it should not be a problem. If a wine stops above that SG, then you might want to add sorbate at the same time you add your first dose of post-ferment K-Meta.
 

sour_grapes

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I thought that the sorbate was not needed if I'm going to be adding more sugar to sweeten the wine (right now its a bit dry and tart since I used dry wine yeast) but from what I've read most people suggest skipping the sorbate if you're going to add sugar.
I think you have been misreading, missing an important "not": We usually say, you can skip the sorbate if you are NOT going to add sugar. (Which is frequently the case -- many of us like dry wine.)

If you are going to backsweeten, add sorbate.
 

JakeJeckel

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Well I have 100 Camden tablets and a pound of potassium sorbate ordered. Will be here in a few days so I should be good. I think I will just crush the tablets since I have a mortar and pestel anyways. Thanks again guys
 

JakeJeckel

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If you bought your Campden on Amazon you might want to double check to see if you're getting K-Meta or Na-Meta. Hopefully you're sharper than I was.
I got the sodium metabisulfite camden tablets
 

Scooter68

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Oh Oh Better use the SODIUM Tablets for sanitizer. Unless you want to add salt to your wine.

Any wine additive should be checked to be sure it doesn't have sodium.

For Wine making Potassium = GOOD - Sodium = BAD
 

JakeJeckel

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Oh Oh Better use the SODIUM Tablets for sanitizer. Unless you want to add salt to your wine.

Any wine additive should be checked to be sure it doesn't have sodium.

For Wine making Potassium = GOOD - Sodium = BAD
Ok ill order the right stuff then lol. Thanks for the heads up.
 

JakeJeckel

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Ok so I took another SG reading and have a few questions as I'm a bit confused but think I have it right. My potassium sorbate will be here Sunday and my k-meta will arrive tomorrow. Not given the SG in the photo should I wait for the sorbate and add it on Sunday? Then wait a few weeks to add the k-meta or how does that work out? I want the wine to stay sweet but as of now its dry and has a bit of tart to it. I also plan to backfill it with a bottle of Barefoot Fruitscato Strawberry because it has a nice taste and is sweet itself. Any other things I might have missed and I'm also not sure on how much k-meta or sobate I should be using for a 3.5 gallon batch. Also sorbate is powder and k-meta is tablet form. Thanks guys and gals.
 

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VinesnBines

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You can add the k-meta as soon as it arrives or wait for the SG to drop below 1.000. You use one tablet per gallon so 3 1/2 tablets. You will need to crush them and dissolve in a bit of warm water anyhow so dividing a tablet shouldn't be a problem. Four tablets won't hurt...no need to stress.

Leave the sorbate until you are ready to sweeten or add your Barefoot Fruitscato Strawberry; at least a few weeks until it clears and stabilizes. Depending on how much lees or trub/drub/gunk (whatever) you get at the bottom of your carboy, you can leave it 3 or 4 weeks. More junk at the bottom means you will want to rack it sooner to get it off the junk or lees.

When you get it nice and clear, you add the sorbate. I think 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. After you add the sorbate you can back sweeten. You you will to do some bench testing to see how much to sweeten. You use simple syrup to back sweeten. After you sorbate and sweeten, you leave it another week or two before bottling.
 

JakeJeckel

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You can add the k-meta as soon as it arrives or wait for the SG to drop below 1.000. You use one tablet per gallon so 3 1/2 tablets. You will need to crush them and dissolve in a bit of warm water anyhow so dividing a tablet shouldn't be a problem. Four tablets won't hurt...no need to stress.

Leave the sorbate until you are ready to sweeten or add your Barefoot Fruitscato Strawberry; at least a few weeks until it clears and stabilizes. Depending on how much lees or trub/drub/gunk (whatever) you get at the bottom of your carboy, you can leave it 3 or 4 weeks. More junk at the bottom means you will want to rack it sooner to get it off the junk or lees.

When you get it nice and clear, you add the sorbate. I think 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. After you add the sorbate you can back sweeten. You you will to do some bench testing to see how much to sweeten. You use simple syrup to back sweeten. After you sorbate and sweeten, you leave it another week or two before bottling.
Thank you so much, when you say simple syrup do you mean like corn syrup?
 

VinesnBines

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Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water. You heat the water and sugar to simmer until the sugar is dissolved and clear. Cool and use to back sweeten. To bench trial, take a couple samples of wine, say 2 ounces each and add 1/2 teaspoon syrup to one sample. Dissolve well and taste. If sweet enough, multiply the test amount to your wine volume and add. Not enough, add more to the next sample.

Be aware that the wine will get sweeter over time so when you have it sweet enough, use a little less for the whole batch.

Or you can do what I do and bottle it dry and sweeten when you open a bottle. This makes sure you don't have to mess with the back sweeten or possible refermentation.
 

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