Will low temp hurt my batch?

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jimnjan

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My 1st batch is now 5 days into the 10 day secondary ferment. I don't know what the temp of the wine is, but the room it's in has been 60-64 degrees for two days. To heat up that room, I'd need to really raise my gas bill.
Should I be concerned, or can I let this slide?
Jim of Jim & Jan
 

cpfan

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Jim:

I forget what you are making, but that is too low for most kits. Can you put a small heating blanket around it?

Steve
 

Wade E

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I would get that temp up with a lamp on it or better yet get a brew belt.
 

jimnjan

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I'm making the California Trinity Red (Sorry, should have specified).
I do have a brew belt, but the instuctions said not to use it on a glass carboy. Has anyone done this?
If anything, I will get a heating blanket on it. Thanks.
Jim
 

cpfan

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Jim:

You're right about the instructions, but MANY people use the brew belts on glass carboys. I understand that carboys sometimes break when subjected to a rapid change from cold to hot. So If you can warm it up somehow before putting the brew belt on, you may be better off.

Steve
 

twissty

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It really depends on what kind of yeast you are using. Generally lower temps will just translate into longer times for fermenting.

EC 1118 is probably the most common wine yeast in kits and it will work down to 50ºF , althouh the optimum range is 59º to 77ºF.
Your right in that range, so I'd let it go. Personally, I'd be more worried about excessive temps.

I keep my winemaking area in the garage at 50 in the winter. Wine kits take longer, but there's no problem with quality because of it.
 

jimnjan

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Steve & Twissty,
I compromised & hung the brew belt from the carboy handle so it's barely touching the carboy. Another thing that I did from the start is having the carboy in a big plastic bin that could contain the whole 6 gal. if it were to break. This makes a buffer area of air around the carboy to help with temp. changes (I hope!).
Hopefully I'll get a good sg reading in 4 more days.
Thanks All!
Jim
 

Wine4Me

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{ Can you put a small heating blanket around it? }
Do you mean a regular heating blanket that you use on a bed??
 

Wade E

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Ive put brew belts on glass carboys at that temp many many times. If it were in the low 50's I wouldnt though. I have been using brew belts on glass carboys for 5 years now with no problems at all.
 

cpfan

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{ Can you put a small heating blanket around it? }
Do you mean a regular heating blanket that you use on a bed??
YES. Even a small one to sit the carboy on.

Steve
 

jimnjan

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Steve & Wade, The brew belt has been hanging on the carboy handle, in contact with the glass, for 2 days now. All is well. I did turn up the house thermostat a bit to get that room up to 66 degrees. Next batch I'll just put the belt on the carboy right away.
I'm thinking that the warning on the brew belt instructions are more of a disclaimer for the rare instances when a carboy does break.
Jim
 

Wade E

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Exactly! Like I said, Ive used them for just about 5 years now every winter into spring on glass.
 

jimnjan

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I'm feeling pretty reassured that nothing is wrong with my batch so far.
To quote Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part!"
Tonight will be 10 full days in secondary ferment, so at least I'll get to DO something beside wait & worry. I'l be checking & recording the SG tonight. Hopefully it will be .996 or less and have the same reading the nexy day. Really want to get to step 3!
Jim
 

Wade E

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Just remember that its not the sg you go by, its a stable sg(1 that is not going down).
 

jimnjan

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Gotcha Wade. The SG was .992.
Hoping for the same tonight. We had to try a sip, & were pleasantly surprised! It's smelling & tasting like it's going to be a decent wine.
Jim
 

Wade E

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You should be good as it cant go much lower then that!
 

jimnjan

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SG looked like it moved a hair to .991; Decided to wait one more day.
It may have been the same reading & I just saw it 2 different ways on 2 different nights. I'm sure it will be a "go" tonight & I can add packs 2 & 3 then stir the gas out with my power drill. Sounds like fun!
Jim
 

Wade E

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Yeah, you will be fine at that sg to move forward.
 

jimnjan

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Degassing took forever! Wine temp was 68 degrees. Every time I thought I was almost done, I'd whip it 1 more time (with a mix-stir) & get more foam. Also asked a question in another thread started by SpritO about low fluid level in carboy ( also in Beginners Wine Making Forum).He and I have the exact same question.
Jim
 

Wade E

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Degassing will take longer at that temp. 74* is a good temp to degass out as cooler temps will hold C02 in more. This is why when making sparkling wine we chill it to almost freezing to get rid of the plug so when we open the bottle we dont lose all the carbonation. As for topping up you really should not need more then 1 or 2 bottles (750ml) If you need more then that then you really need to be less careful and import more wine over even if you get some muck and just rack a few more times.
 
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