Too much water

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Crognale

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I was making my very first batch of Costco's Chateau private collection - Merlot.
In error I added two litres of water (25 vs 23 litres)
My starting S.G. is 1.06. Instructions state that it should be between 1.08-1.095
It's been 24 hours since I began the primary fermentation and I don't see any bubbles yet.
Have I ruined the batch by adding the additional two litres of water?
Any help would be appreciated

Thanks

Frank
 

Arne

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It is not unusual for a ferment to take a few days to take off. If your initial s.g. was that low your a.b.v. is going to be fairly low. You need to add enough sugar to bring it up to 1.085 or so to get 12% a.b.v. or so. Did you happen to taste the juice after you added the water? You diluted it a little, but it should still have a decent flavor. If it was me, I would stir it up good, check the s.g. again and add sugar to 1.085. Make sure the temp. is in the mid 70's or so to get it started, after it is going, you can let it cool down a bit if you like. The ferment will take longer if it is cooler. Think it should take off fine. Good luck withit, Arne.
 

Crognale

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Hello Arne

A few minutes ago I remembered that I had another Merlot kit, so I decided to add more concentrate before reading your post. I added enough concentrate to bring the S.G. to 1.082. I stirred it and put the lid back on. The temperature is 68 degrees. Not sure how to increase the temperature in the room that I have it in..
 

Johnd

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Hello Arne

A few minutes ago I remembered that I had another Merlot kit, so I decided to add more concentrate before reading your post. I added enough concentrate to bring the S.G. to 1.082. I stirred it and put the lid back on. The temperature is 68 degrees. Not sure how to increase the temperature in the room that I have it in..
If you don't have a brew belt or control of the temps in the room, get an electric heating pad, secure it around the bucket with some duct tape, and warm it that way. Just make sure to monitor the temperature so it doesn't overheat. At 68F, you should be able to ferment your batch, it just may take more time.................
 

Crognale

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Found a heater in the house. Just turned it up to 85 degrees and closed the door in the room. I'll let the room heat up for an hour or so and then turn it down to 70 degrees. Trusting that this will increase the temperature of the juice soon
Any thoughts would be appreciate it.
 

Madhampster

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I am making the same kit and mine took 24 hours to get going. The problem I am having is now it is going so strong it is foaming out of the air lock. i used a heat belt to get the temp up on the carboy.
 

Crognale

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The heater has warmed up the room and the primary juice to approx. 74 degrees.
I can see the early signs of fermentation now although no bubbles yet but a thick froth happening on the top surface
I only have about 1.5" to the top of the plastic primary container which has a loose plastic lid
I sure hope that it doesn't froth over the edge and spill on the counter
I'm tempted to take some content out..
 

Madhampster

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After 48 hours that is when I saw the full fermentation. I dont use a primary bucket to ferment. I use a glass carboy to ferment both stages. I did add more oak to the kit.
 

Crognale

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Juice has begun to froth quite a bit.
After much consideration, I decided to remove one gallon in fear that the juice would spill over.
Geez.
Now, I've got a $5.00 bet going with my youngest son that this will be the best batch ever produced on earth.
How's that for not starting the batch on the right track
We shall see what happens over the next couple of days.
 

Madhampster

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I have the same companies chardoney sitting in the carboys clearing and it taste really good. Costco had the 60 bottle kit on sale for $60. I should be bottling in 2 weeks.
 

Spikedlemon

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I've made the Merlot twice now. Once with some added raspberries and a second time filling only to 19L. Both turned out to be well liked by my dad.

I've got the Amarone kit still in a carboy - it should be bottled sometime but I've been doing basement renos and avoiding touching the wine until the dust settles.

I did their Peach Chardonnay early this year and it was well received by my wife and her friends - I made it half-sweet (I fermented the first half of the flavor pack - and only used the second half for sweetening). I should have made it even less sweet as my wife often cuts it with juice or water.

I have the Cab Sauv kit as well waiting for the basement to settle down too.
 

Crognale

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Well, things are looking good. Fermentation is well underway. Now I just need to be patient and wait the 10 days.
Found what I think is a pretty good deal and 150 green used bottles (all Amaroni branded) for $20. Have more than enough for me and my two boys are are also in winemaking
I feel like a little kid in a candy store even though I'm 57 years young
 

Madhampster

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Dont follow the directions to close. Follow the sg readings. My chardoney took longer then the directions recommended.
 

Arne

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When you are close to the top of the fermenting bucket, put the bucket, carboy or whatever in another container, think tub, tray, or a big garbage bag. Set it in the bag and kind of pull it up the sides a little bit. If it overflows, you should catch the mess and not have such a big cleanup. You don't have to ask how I know. LOL, Arne.
 

Spikedlemon

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Dont follow the directions to close. Follow the sg readings. My chardoney took longer then the directions recommended.
A lot of it comes down to fermentation temperature.

When my basement is warm (20-24C): I'll be nearly dry in 5-7 days.
When it's colder (~18C): 10-12 days.
 

wineforfun

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When you are close to the top of the fermenting bucket, put the bucket, carboy or whatever in another container, think tub, tray, or a big garbage bag. Set it in the bag and kind of pull it up the sides a little bit. If it overflows, you should catch the mess and not have such a big cleanup. You don't have to ask how I know. LOL, Arne.
Great advice by Arne.

For now I have not had a "You don't have to ask how I know" moment but I always put my primary inside a Rubbermaid container................just in case.
 
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