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Old 05-13-2013, 08:40 PM   #1
MSBeyers
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Default After Stabilization...

I am looking forward to try some new home Fruit Wine making, but have a question about the steps after the wine has stabilized.

Many recipes have you stabilize the wine and then Rack reveral times and discard the leads. Obviously when you do this you will be removing volume from the fluid. Several have mentioned to "Top off" to within 1-2" of the top of the carboy and let sit.

"What" is to be used to top off? Water?

I thought that once you ferment, you needed to keep all water away from the Must.

Your thoughts?

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Old 05-13-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
FlyinDan1017
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You'll usually rack to a fresh carboy at the same time as stabilizing. Then, wait a few weeks (I usually forget and let it go a month or two) to make sure it's completely finished, and rack off any lees. If no new lees are present you may back sweeten, if desired, wait another few weeks to make sure no new fermentation has started, and bottle. As for fluid loss during rackings, try to make about a 1/2 gal more in primary than you'll need. Put the remainder in another bottle with an airlock for topping later. E.g. a 1 gal batch plus a 1.5 ltr bottle, then after topping at the first racking, transfer whatever's left in the 1.5 ltr into a 750ml and airlock, and then to a 375split, and so on.

If you don't reserve the same must after primary for topping, it can be done with any similar finished wine (even store-bought). Some folks here will use fruit concentrate to top, but I try not to introduce new sugar or fermentables during secondary. Of course you can also top up with water. It will dilute the wine somewhat, but the amount may be negligible depending on the amount of fluid loss from racking. Even with reserved must from primary for topping, I usually end up using a little water at the final racking.

Good luck !!!!

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Old 05-14-2013, 03:09 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for the well thought and complete response. Not only did it assure that I was heading in the right direction, but it also gave me things to think about in the future.

Cheers!

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Old 05-14-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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Do not forget when stabilizing (with k-meta in the case of a dry wine or in case of backsweetening you use k-meta plus sorbate) it is assumed the wine is already degassed, clear and lee free.

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