When is it done?

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Dec 12, 2007
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I am severely new to wine making and have many DIY web sites on the topic that are extremely advanced, snobby and never offer the same results. I really just want to know does the "cap" I think its called (the fruit mash floating on top) does it have to sink for the wine to be done? I tasted a bit from a siphon tube today and it has a good flavor and an overly high alcohol content but is still producing Co2 and the cap is still floating. How Do You Know When Its Right? Any help would be awesome. Thanks.:)
The cap doesn't have to sink but should be pushed down 2-3 times a day so it doesn't dry out and you can get the maximum amount of flavor extracted from the fruit. Once the SG has dropped to 1.010 remove the fruit and place the liquid in a container fitted with an air lock.
Do as Muscadine says and make it easy on yourself and strain the cap through a nylon stocking and then you are able to press that stocking by hand or by press depending on how much it is.

Should you continue the secondary fermentation until air no longer comes through the airlock? Also how can you differ wine from vinegar? The wine is strong in alcohol now but Taste tart.
Wait until no CO2 bubles come through the airlock anymore.
Then wait some more.

Then after 2 weeks rack the wine to a new sanitised carboy.
Then wait again for some weeks to see if fermentation re-occurs or if there is new sediment. If the lastest is so rack again.

Wait again and then if no fermentation occurs and no sediment is thrown than you bottle.

Tart is something different as vinegar. You will smell vinegar and taste it immediately.
Tart means that it is still a young wine, and remember it is still fermenting which will give also some tartness.

Patience is the secret of winemaking.

I would highly recommend buying a Hyrdometer. A hydrometer measures the sugar content in the fermenting wine. In order to really know when the sugar is converted to alcohol. When all the sugar is converted the fermentation is completed. Without a hrdometer you really never know except when the cap drops, which is more messy than anything because the cap gets mixed in with the wine.

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