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rayh53

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I've been making my own for about 4 years. Kits and usually a Welches mixture.

My concord batches are ok, not great, but I'm not fussy. But like most of us we want to make it better.

I tried the blender trick with my latest batch and it improved it wonderfully. So what am I missing in the process? My first thought is degassing. I use a wand on my drill and mix it for some time, usually till it doesn't come bubbling out the top anymore.

I've varied the recipe over the years and keep a good log book.
 

Julie

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What do you feel is wrong with it? It is hard to help if we don't know the problem. Also, can you give us your steps and what sg, FB, ph and what all did you add including quantities.
 

rayh53

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The blender trick, is putting a bottle of substandard wine in a blender and pulsing it for 30 seconds or so. It foams up pretty good. As I had stated, it improved what I've been making. My complaint is that its not (not exactly sure how to describe it, other than its much better after blending) smooth. The flavor is ok, I like semi-sweet, grapey. But its a bit... harsh? drinkable, improves somewhat over time. I'd expect this at first, but even after 6 months there is little improvement. Its stored in a cool dark room, temperature is stable.

My basic method is to add the recipe to the primary fermenter. I wait until the bubbling slows down to about a blip per minute, usually 5-7 days.
I rack it out to a glass secondary, then wait till the bubbling stops completely, usually a couple weeks, but it usually waits till I have time to get back to it.
I'll add a couple tsp of potassium sorbate, and degass for a couple minutes. Then it sets for a few more weeks to clear. It usually clears ok. Then when I get around to it its bottled.
As you can see, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the secondary fermenting time. My hydrometer readings appear normal with a final ABV of 12-15% depending on the specific recipe and yeast used. Its consistent and I've had no cleanliness problems. I have some that are two years old and its fine.

I've varied the recipe, getting several from various sources. They aren't too much different from each other. I'm wondering if my technique needs some tweaking. Granted, I understand I'm working with Welch's grape juice and white sugar (two cans and one pound per gallon ~)

I was hoping that the blending "fix" would point to somewhere in my technique that was out of wack.

The kits I make come out fine, and I use a similar technique if not the same.

I only check the SG, i've never checked pH.
 
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Tnuscan

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The blender trick, is putting a bottle of substandard wine in a blender and pulsing it for 30 seconds or so. It foams up pretty good. As I had stated, it improved what I've been making. My complaint is that its not (not exactly sure how to describe it, other than its much better after blending) smooth. The flavor is ok, I like semi-sweet, grapey. But its a bit... harsh? drinkable, improves somewhat over time. I'd expect this at first, but even after 6 months there is little improvement. Its stored in a cool dark room, temperature is stable.

My basic method is to add the recipe to the primary fermenter. I wait until the bubbling slows down to about a blip per minute, usually 5-7 days.
I rack it out to a glass secondary, then wait till the bubbling stops completely, usually a couple weeks, but it usually waits till I have time to get back to it.
I'll add a couple tsp of potassium sorbate, and degass for a couple minutes. Then it sets for a few more weeks to clear. It usually clears ok. Then when I get around to it its bottled.
As you can see, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the secondary fermenting time. My hydrometer readings appear normal with a final ABV of 12-15% depending on the specific recipe and yeast used. Its consistent and I've had no cleanliness problems. I have some that are two years old and its fine.

I've varied the recipe, getting several from various sources. They aren't too much different from each other. I'm wondering if my technique needs some tweaking. Granted, I understand I'm working with Welch's grape juice and white sugar (two cans and one pound per gallon ~)

I was hoping that the blending "fix" would point to somewhere in my technique that was out of wack.

The kits I make come out fine, and I use a similar technique if not the same.

I only check the SG, i've never checked pH.
I see where you use Sorbate, I don't know if you add Potassium Metabisulfite (K-Meta) if not, it could be oxidizing. If so using the blender would add lots more oxygen (not good). You'll need to keep a check on the pH and add SO2 accordingly.
 

rayh53

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I double checked and yes it is Sorbate only. You're suggesting that I use K-Meta as well?
The 'blending' is done when it comes out of the bottle and into a decanter, so its not done prior to storage.
I'll look into how to check pH and SO2. Thank you for the feedback.
 

freqflyer

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I think the blending would be to cause the sulphites to gas off, but if you're not using k meta then you don't enough sulphites to worry about. Blending would help to get co2 out as well.
 

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