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Au7umnRa1n

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Hello all!

I started a wine about 3 days ago. I'm doing it with a balloon and gallon jug just to test some flavors. Right now it is Apple Cherry concentrate with an added half a cup of sugar. I used Active dry yeast and hydrated it first. Now my question is that my balloon has already gone down, should I shake it or add more yeast? It's in a relatively warm spot. 76 degrees usually. But I could put it outside in the storage on the patio. However, I live in Texas so it can get pretty hot in there. Should I do any of these things to save it, or just start new? (I do not have the money to buy any new supplies like tubing, capsules or an actual airlock right now.)
 

Val-the-Brew-Gal

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Hello all!

I started a wine about 3 days ago. I'm doing it with a balloon and gallon jug just to test some flavors. Right now it is Apple Cherry concentrate with an added half a cup of sugar. I used Active dry yeast and hydrated it first. Now my question is that my balloon has already gone down, should I shake it or add more yeast? It's in a relatively warm spot. 76 degrees usually. But I could put it outside in the storage on the patio. However, I live in Texas so it can get pretty hot in there. Should I do any of these things to save it, or just start new? (I do not have the money to buy any new supplies like tubing, capsules or an actual airlock right now.)

About the only way to really tell what's going on is to have a hydrometer. They're very inexpensive and will save you a ton of worry and questions.

Now, I've never tried making wine with active dry yeast. Wine yeast is very cheap and it will definitely make all the difference so spend the couple dollars for a package.

76 degrees is definitely good so you're fine there. I wouldn't put it any place that is going to get warmer than that.

And finally, small batches can ferment very quickly so it may simply be done. I wouldn't toss it until you at least taste it.
 

MustyMike

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I agree with Val. With only a half cup of sugar added into a gallon batch the yeast probably ate through the sugar pretty quick. Especially at a warmer temp. The hydrometer really tells the true tale though, even though the balloon deflated it may still be fermenting.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi, Au7umnRa1n - and welcome. Bread yeast is the same strain of yeast as wine yeast but it has been cultured to produce CO2 and that's about all - the alcohol it produces is boiled off when you bake with it. Unlike wine yeast bread yeast does not flocculate well (does not collect together and fall out of solution) so any wine made with that yeast will taste a lot like yeast. Wine yeasts have been cultured to fall out of suspension and so when we bottle a wine there are very few yeast cells in the liquid - you can then taste the fruit or flowers or honey (or malted grains) from which you have made your wine or beer. Horses for courses. But this is a great hobby. Have fun.
 

Au7umnRa1n

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Thank y'all so much for the replies! I'm going to invest in a hydrometer and some actual wine yeast soon. (I didn't know the bread yeast made it taste like that, I really don't like the smell or taste of yeast so really, thank you!)

So it could be done. Hmm. I pushed on the balloon and it did rise a bit after. It's not completely deflated but another batch I made had the balloon up for well over a month. It must be the sugar content then.
But for the other questions when doing wine this way, is it okay to shake it and see what happens? Should you ever add more sugar or yeast?

Thanks again and can't wait for more responses. I appreciate the welcoming feel you get here.
 

Val-the-Brew-Gal

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Thank y'all so much for the replies! I'm going to invest in a hydrometer and some actual wine yeast soon. (I didn't know the bread yeast made it taste like that, I really don't like the smell or taste of yeast so really, thank you!)

So it could be done. Hmm. I pushed on the balloon and it did rise a bit after. It's not completely deflated but another batch I made had the balloon up for well over a month. It must be the sugar content then.
But for the other questions when doing wine this way, is it okay to shake it and see what happens? Should you ever add more sugar or yeast?

Thanks again and can't wait for more responses. I appreciate the welcoming feel you get here.

A lot of the advice I would offer would be dependent on that gravity reading from the hydrometer.😊 I will say that i don't think it will hurt at this point to shake it gently. As for the sugar and yeast question... the amount of sugar you added at the beginning was pretty small. I add 22 cups to my 6 gallon from scratch batches. If you took the same ratio, that would be almost 4 cups for yours. Granted there is some sugar in the juice so you could account for that. So, in my opinion only, I don't think it would hurt to add more sugar but I don't recommend adding more yeast, especially bread yeast.

This is just my opinion so hopefully someone who has been making sure longer than me will jump in.
 

Au7umnRa1n

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A lot of the advice I would offer would be dependent on that gravity reading from the hydrometer.😊 I will say that i don't think it will hurt at this point to shake it gently. As for the sugar and yeast question... the amount of sugar you added at the beginning was pretty small. I add 22 cups to my 6 gallon from scratch batches. If you took the same ratio, that would be almost 4 cups for yours. Granted there is some sugar in the juice so you could account for that. So, in my opinion only, I don't think it would hurt to add more sugar but I don't recommend adding more yeast, especially bread yeast.

This is just my opinion so hopefully someone who has been making sure longer than me will jump in.
Thank you for the advice. Gave it a little shake and now it's back to work. I was just nervous I'd ruin the whole thing lol. And I'm definitely just using 1 can of concentrate next time and at least 3 cups of sugar. Appreciate it!
 

DizzyIzzy

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Hello all!

I started a wine about 3 days ago. I'm doing it with a balloon and gallon jug just to test some flavors. Right now it is Apple Cherry concentrate with an added half a cup of sugar. I used Active dry yeast and hydrated it first. Now my question is that my balloon has already gone down, should I shake it or add more yeast? It's in a relatively warm spot. 76 degrees usually. But I could put it outside in the storage on the patio. However, I live in Texas so it can get pretty hot in there. Should I do any of these things to save it, or just start new? (I do not have the money to buy any new supplies like tubing, capsules or an actual airlock right now.)
I have a receipe for 64 oz (half-gallon) bottled juices that call for 1 1/2 cups of sugar, so with that ratio I think your sugar addition is really too low....Dizzy
 

Au7umnRa1n

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I have a receipe for 64 oz (half-gallon) bottled juices that call for 1 1/2 cups of sugar, so with that ratio I think your sugar addition is really too low....Dizzy


Turns out that is most definitely the problem Dizzy! Thanks. :)
 

KCCam

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Gave it a little shake and now it's back to work.
Shaking will also "degas" the wine, so seeing the balloon inflate might just mean it is getting rid of CO2 already there and not necessarily from further fermentation. TASTE it! That will tell you A LOT. You can taste quite a small concentration of sugar. If there is any sweetness at all, then there is still potential for more fermentation. If not, it is very likely done. I agree with everyone else here about the hydrometer so I'm glad you decided to get one.
 

G259

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I agree, hydrometer is one of the first things to get, get 2 because you WILL break one eventually, and will need a backup pretty quickly! Wine yeast is a must ($.99 to $1.50), each packet does UP TO 5 gal., but you use a whole packet for 1 gal. Give a search online for a wine making supply store in your area, or use Amazon if you can't find one.
 

BernardSmith

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But here's something to think about: if you were making hard apple cider you would not really want to add any sugar to the juice you expressed from the apples. Most fruit (including apples) that we enjoy have the equivalent of about 1.25 lbs of sugar in every gallon of juice expressed from the fruit. In other words, you can use as a rule of thumb that your fruit (if properly ripe) will have a starting gravity of about 1.050 or thereabouts. My point is that a starting gravity of 1.050 (no added sugar) can make a wonderful session drink (you can drink this by the pint and not necessarily by the glass. (an SG of 1.050 has a potential ABV of about 6 or 7%. (beers are usually 3-4%) . Now, a wine of 7% will not have a long shelf life but at 6 or 7% ABV you COULD simply ferment store bought juice. The wine will not be as good as wine made from whole fruit where you macerate the skins on the fruit for a few days or longer and so extract tannins and other flavor compounds not found in the juice itself but the wine is still very drinkable and your "brew day" is even shorter than a normal short wine making (brew) day compared to the hours brewers of beer spend making wort from grains..
 

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