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Old 09-14-2012, 01:15 AM   #1
Tritonal
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Default First 2 batches

I just started my first 2 batches of wine and I realized I don't really know what to do next... Here is where I am so far...

I decided after reading a bit to take 1quart of pomogranete juice 12/3oz of sugar and a pinch of yeast. Mixed all together in a 640z glass jug put a cork and an airblock on it and let it sit in a dark room. It started fermenting almost right away and has been doing well for 5 days now.

At the 4 day mark I decided to open her up and have a small taste just to see if it was any good, it was fantastic. I can't wait for it to finish.

Now, I thought I have read plenty enough to start my adventure into wine making but now on this forum I am finding all sorts of new terms such as second fermintation and racking. Do I need to ferment it a second time?

Last question is finishing her up. I plan on waiting until the airblock stops bubbling then straining it into a second sanitized jug where it will be kept for consumption. Is this right or did I miss a step?



One final thing!! I am attempting to make a cider type as well but I fear I rushed to much into and it will turn out terrible. This is what I used

1qt of Simply apple juice
12/3oz sugar
1tsp yeast

Think it will be bad? After reading some of the recipes here I feel very...trashy..with the ingrediants used lol. My next batch will be a pumpkin one if these turn out ok and hopefully I'll get better equipment and a real recipe

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:31 AM   #2
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haha you sound like me starting out. I had jugs hidden in closets all with makeshift airlocks and craziness. Over time you'll pick up on the terms, and accumulate the equipment you need.

Totally don't mean to talk down to you, here but not sure where you start knowledge wise so here's a few things...

As far as "second fermentation" I think you're talking about "secondary fermentation". The jug you start with (that is bubbling in your closet now) is called your primary, after about 5 days when bubbling has come to a near halt you move the liquid into another jug. The act of moving your wine from one vessel to another is called racking. You want to siphon it off the accumulated yeast on the bottom (this is called the lees) into the new jug and minimize splashing so that oxygen in the air doesn't get mixed into the liquid. Fermentation will continue at a much slower pace in the secondary jug and is hence called secondary fermentation.

Often times recipes call for you to rack when the wine has hit certain gravity readings. You measure the specific gravity of your wine with a device called a hydrometer. Specific gravity is the ratio of the density of your wine to the density of water. As the yeast eats the sugar and burps out carbon dioxide the density of your wine goes down. Wines will bottom out at about 0.990 specific gravity at the lowest.

Also I posted a how-to response on another thread and really tried to break down each step for another newbie. It might be worth a look over at: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/newb...p-step-347214/

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:47 AM   #3
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My first batch of wine. Started back in Feb. only had two batches of cider under my belt. Bottled today and it tasted great. Not good wine but something great for catching a buzz.

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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Braze - Thanks for the help! I'll look more into siphoning today as I think my first batch (the pomegranate) is ready for that. I already know about hydrometers. As of right now in the first batch there is a considerable air gap which as I have read is fine for now due to the co2 build up but will be an issue in the secondary fermentation. Should I get a smaller jug or will displacing the difference with water be ok? I'm afraid going that route will water down the mix ruining the taste. I have also read marbles can be used to displace water as well.

Would you recommend running the wine through a filter while siphoning it to secondary?

Mark - grats on the first batch of cider, did you use a home brewed recipe or one found online? Would you care to share it?

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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A) When you get to the secondary you need a smaller jug or you can top up with some of the original juice. If I'm making a cider I'll just top-up the secondary with some apple juice. If you get a thing of pom-juice you can just top up with that.

B) I have no experience with filtering wine. If you filter going to the secondary you risk filtering out a lot of the yeast you need for secondary fermentation and the risk of adding air (depending on your filtering method). I just wait until it's clear. There are things you can add to it to help it clear faster, but I normally just wait it out. Once I can clearly see my hand through the jug on the other side I call it good and prepare to bottle.

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice! I didn't think about adding more pom juice. I think ill go today to pick up the stuff to siphon it on Monday. Can't wait for my first glass

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Old 09-14-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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Sounds great! Let us know how it goes!

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Old 09-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #8
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As your batches are small do you plan on keeping your container in the refrigerator? Otherwise, if you plan on backsweetening your finished ferment you need to get some chemicals in stock: sodium benzoate and Campden aka k-meta. These two when added together to a wine that fermented dry (less than 1.000) and then backsweetened (adding sugar to sweeten it back up) will prevent refermentation--maintaining a sweeter than dry wine that you can then bottle and keep on shelf in wine cellar!
May want to research other winemaking additives like various wine yeasts, yeast nutrient and energizer, tannin, pectic enzyme.

Best of luck! And have fun.

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:40 AM   #9
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After work I ended up going to me homebrew shop around the corner and picked up some campden but didn't think about the sodium bezoate. I'll get that tomorrow. I also a 5g bucket and 5g secondary for my next batch

Thanks for the tips!

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tritonal View Post
After work I ended up going to me homebrew shop around the corner and picked up some campden but didn't think about the sodium bezoate. I'll get that tomorrow. I also a 5g bucket and 5g secondary for my next batch

Thanks for the tips!
I"ve never seen benzoate at a homebrew store. They do always have potassium sorbate, though, and if you're going to sweeten a wine when it's finished you need that.

You don't want a bucket for your secondary! The whole point is to minimize any headspace, so you must have a carboy and airlock once fermentation slows down. You top up the carboy to within an inch or two of the bung, so that there isn't any headspace except for that little one inch wide area.

If you're making small batches, 1 gallon jugs (like those Carlo Rossi wine jugs) work great. A size #6 stopper fits a 1 gallon jug. I have a few 1.5 liter wine bottles that I use to hold excess wine for topping up, and they use a smaller stopper (#3 or 4, but your homebrew shop can help with that). Growlers also use a #6 stopper. So you can use a variety of sizes to make sure your wine is always topped up in a carboy with no headspace, and use the smaller bottles/containers for overflow.

You "lose" wine each time you rack, and if you top up with water each time you will water down your wine. To combat that, either top up with a commercial similar wine, or start with a bigger batch at the beginning. Typically, if you make a 5 gallon batch of wine at the beginning, you'll end up with about 4 gallons of finished wine. So I always start a bit bigger and use those other vessels I mentioned to hold the excess and use them for topping up my 5 gallon carboy with each racking.

You will need to rack the wine several times over the course of making it, so it's really nice to have two carboys. You rack whenever you have lees 1/4" thick or more, or every 45-60 days if you have any lees at all. And top up. Again.
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