wine from juice buckets

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outbackmac

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We,ve been making wine from juice buckets, and all we,ve been doing is adding yeast for fermintation. then when S/G gets to o.990 or less we add sorbate to stop fermintation. they say these are balanced buckets. Is there anything else to check before or during the process?
 

VanMkr

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I would still check total acid. You should also take a hydrometer reading before, just so you've got an idea where your wine will go and whether you need to add some sugar to hit your final abv.
 

Johnd

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If your SG readings are getting to .990 or less, and you don't intend to add anything to the wine to sweeten it, you don't even need the sorbate, many believe that it adds a funky taste to the wine.
 

Ajmassa

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One of the great things about juice buckets is how easy they can be for the occasional hobbyist. And you can literally just add yeast to the bucket and rack to glass a week Later and a few times over the next 6 to 12 months and you got wine.
Obviously more things can be done to make a better wine. I've had buckets with high/low pH and TA- but not the norm. Knowing acid levels and what to do with em can help make a better wine, but not necessary.
 

Ajmassa

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I think it's a gradual process. But I can say this: the wine I've made from juice buckets the last few years has been better than the wine made by my family years ago.
But it's from a number of factors. Their process was as basic as it gets and how I learned. And I've gradually implemented:
Hydrometer readings (and adding sugar for higher abv if desired)
Keeping topped up
Yeast selection
Yeast nutrients
Sulphites
Longer aging
Routine racking
MLF
Ph/TA monitoring and adjusting if needed
And Detailed note keeping is a huge benefit.

These have all played a part in making a better finished product. Not to mention my growing passion.
I found a discarded bottle cab Sav Aged 3+ yrs made before implementing most of that list. And it was better than any other. Telling me all those things help, but aging can make a huge difference all by itself.
They also got very comfortable in the same routine, content with the process. Making the same boring blend every year. 2 Muscat buckets and 1 Alicante. And drinking it over the course of the following year while a new batch bulk aged. Whereas I, with the benefit of the internet, have been able to submerge myself in the hobby with a never ending desire to learn more and more.
 
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