To carboy or not to carboy

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bluedart

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I do just gallon batches and go through the same regimen of 5 days in the bucket (2 gallon) and then a few weeks in the carboy. However, the pyment I am making now is frothing like crazy and so I don't really want to rack into the carboy yet or I will lose a lot. How long can I leave it in the pail for?
 

Arne

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You don't have to rack it now. wait for the ferment to settle down. You will probably get quite the messif you try racking it now. Use your hydrometer and when it gets down to 1.010 or less you can rack it. Arne,.
 

Scooter68

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I would NEVER NEVER go by a certain number of days or even just the SG numbers for a racking decision.

For me racking is done based on TWO criteria:
1) SG at or below 1.010
2) Little to no foaming going on. (No solid cover of foam on the surface.)

Both criteria have to agree before I rack. I've had a couple of close calls early on in this hobby and fortunately I lost at most a couple of ounces.

In one case the SG was about 1.020 (A number one bit of guidance gave me as the racking point) There was still a light layer of foam and I no more than got the wine into the carboy when the overflowing fountain started.
The second time I was a little luckier. The foam layer was all but gone and the SG was almost down to 1.005. When I racked I had the carboy filled almost to the neck when the foam began to rise. I stopped racking and waited. Fortunately it calmed down after about 30 minutes. I put the carboy inside of a big plastic pan and left it overnight - no more foam. It might just have been a fast release of CO2 but then again what are the bubbles during fermentation - CO2.

Bottom line be very careful about following hard fast 'rules' about racking especially with an ongoing fermentation.

Others may disagree but I've found that most directions about fermentation times that give hard fast timelines are not wise to follow. There are way too many variables even with a kit wine.
 

bluedart

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Thanks for this good advice. I will wait for the foaming to calm down.
 

bluedart

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Yes, quite. Should I continue to stir each day? I am worried about introducing too much oxygen. Thanks.
 

Scooter68

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The fermentation is producing a good amount of CO2 Gas. Unless you are under a blowing vent or have fan pointed at the bucket, the short time you are doing the stirring and SG check isn't a problem.
 

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