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Wine Making Talk

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Schmaffy

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OK gang - my first batch of wine appears to be a bust. I'm wondering if it's at all salvagable.

You may recall that I posted last week (when you all thought I was a man for some odd reason) about my concern that my honey wine must was showing no visible signs of fermentation...I was patient, and after a week transferred into a 5-gallon glass carboy, and attached a fermentation lock, which has shown nary a bubble in three days. Also, much to my chagrin and thanks to an ill-placed thermometer, I realized that my must had been sitting around at an approximate average temperature of 59 degrees.

Even I can figure out that it's obvious that the yeast didn't "take" because it's too cold. So I have three questions:

1) Can I salvage this batch?
2) How???
3) What can I do to warm up my must?

We keep a cool house - lower than 65 in winter. Is there any way of safely warming up the carboy, or should I just wait until summer? What about shining a lamp on the carboy 24/7?

HEEEELLLLLPPP!!!!

Schmaff
 

wingnutooa

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a heat lamp would work but i would keep a close eye on it untill you get the right distance so you can fine tune your temp. be sure and get a red one or something that wont harm your wine.

also once fermentation starts it will put off some of its own heat. not much though.
 

cpfan

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Some folks use a small heating blanket set to low. As wingnut already suggested watch the temperature just in case.
 

jbullard1

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Another option that I use is the top of an upright freezer
The cooling coils keep the temperature of the outside skin at close to 74 degrees on mine in our minimally heated utility room. Now 5 gallons is a lot to lift to this height but is an option
 

Wade E

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If you plan on making wine in that house then you will need to get brewing belts, 1 for each batch of wine you will have going. I have been using these for years no on primary and glass carboys. They recommend not using them on glass carboys but I have a few going all winter long as my cellar gets pretty cold also.
 

bein_bein

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....So I have three questions:

1) Can I salvage this batch?
2) How???
...

Schmaff
It depends on what was transferred from the primary. Since it didn't ferment did you transfer pretty much everything to the secondary? If that is the case I would think you could transfer back to the primary, get things up to temp, check your sg and make sure the numbers are where you want them and then pitch another package of yeast....or am I way off base here guys...?

I have the same problem in my house since we keep it at 65 in the day and about 58 at night. Fortunately I have a very small bathroom I can put the wine in. Then I have an electric/oil space heater with a thermostat so I could put that in there,tweak it until it's the right temp and make sure the family knows...KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED at all times. Plus there's always the added benefit of a nice warm bathroom for those middle of the night trips :D



If you plan on making wine in that house then you will need to get brewing belts....
You know what Wade...that looks just like the 'heater tape' we used to use in the barn on the farm. We'd wrap it around water pipes that tend to freeze. I had thought about trying that idea....I wonder if my 'heater tape' and your 'brewing belt' are essentially the same thing??? If they are, I'll lay odds that the heater tape is a whole lot cheaper. Kinda like getting spark plugs for your inboard boat motor..." Oh, you wanted Marine Grade spark plugs?" says the friendly salesman." That'll be $10 more":eek:
lolol
 
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Wade E

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Honey is a presrvative in itself so I would say its safe and to try and get it going but do so fast. Put it in a bathtub full of warm water and slowly warm it up more. You dont want to change the temp super fast or the carboy might crack from the temp change. Get a brew belt though as you will need it to keep this fermentation going, especialy with a honey wine(Mead).
 

Schmaffy

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These are some great ideas guys, thanks! I'll have to see what I can come up with. If it doesn't work, it won't break my heart to throw it out and try again - it's only a two-gallon batch, so I have all of about $5 in supplies invested in it.

I have to say, though...this is killing me:

Fortunately I have a very small bathroom I can put the wine in. Then I have an electric/oil space heater with a thermostat so I could put that in there,tweak it until it's the right temp and make sure the family knows...KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED at all times. Plus there's always the added benefit of a nice warm bathroom for those middle of the night trips :D
I can't stop thinking of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer installs a garbage disposal in his bathtub and grosses everyone out by tellig them that he prepared dinner while he was in the shower. I can just see it now: my whole family comes over for Easter dinner and I serve my very first batch of homemade wine..."Great wine, Kathy!" "Thanks! Do you like it? I made it in the bathroom!" LOLOL
 

Wade E

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The brew belt will raise the temp approx 10 degrees. And will keep it there without shutting off like a heating pad will.
 

peagen

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If you have a room where your furnace is you can put it in there. I put mine a couple feet away from the wood stove in the winter an it stays warm some times up to 80 degrees.
 

arcticsid

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I just posted about a wood stove. temperature flucuates alot, this brewing belt we talk about in here seems to be a good viable option, and it doesnt seem all that expensive. Turn your heat up in the room you want to ferment in, or wrap it in a blanket. try a "space blanket". Heat tape is DANGEROUS, look into a bre belt or just turn up your heat a lil bit.
 

bruno

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I have two heating pads, one with an automatic turn off after 1,2 or 3 hours, and the other that stays on all the time. Both work good.
 

Wade E

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A brew belt uses very little electricity compared to an electric heating pad. The brew belt costs approx $20.and will typically hold a temp of 75*.
 

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