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Old 04-13-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
klcramer
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Default First two batches of wine

I have made many batches of beer over the past few years and had great success. Only was was less than drinkable. My father has been making wine for a while now and has had some degree of success also. I have decided to try my hand at this. Around Christmas I made 2 batched of mead. One was peach the other is a mixed berry. Just bottled them and put them away at tasting the berry was good the jury is still out on the peach we will see at Christmas this year. Anyway back on topic. I have a grape wine and a blueberry wine both fermenting beside me right now and they don't seem to be fermenting like the other things I have done. These are simple batches. I mean I took 100% juice add sugar until the Starting gravity was 1.1 and add my yeast. They bubble about every 30 seconds and they bubble hard I have had to refill the air lock many times. There is plenty of head space so nothing is going into the airlock just the gas. Is this a normal thing? If these turn out to be consumable I think I will move on to a recipe a bit more interesting than juice sugar and yeast .
Thanks to all ahead of time. This group has been great with my beer questions. I don't post much but I lurk in the background often.

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Old 04-13-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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It sounds fine. Every batch is a bit different, and so I don't think I've really had a "normal" fermentation! Right now, I've got a crabapple wine in secondary that is going slowly and doesn't seem like it'll ever stop. Right next to it, I have a chokecherry wine that fermented out in less than a week, and is sitting there already clear! As long as it's fermenting, don't worry about it!

I like to rack every 30-60 days at first, as long as lees over 1/4" thick are still forming. If you don't have a ton of lees yet, then you don't even have to worry about racking. Once the bulk of fermentation is done, make sure you top up with more liquid, as to not have any headspace, and just wait it out. It sounds like everything is going well.

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Old 04-13-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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What is the temp range for fermenting wine? I want to put my wine in my basement to keep my wife happy but it's a bit cooler down there. I just put a thermometer there a few min ago so I will check it in a while and see what the temp is.

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by klcramer View Post
What is the temp range for fermenting wine? I want to put my wine in my basement to keep my wife happy but it's a bit cooler down there. I just put a thermometer there a few min ago so I will check it in a while and see what the temp is.
Most wine yeast strains have a very wide temperature range- some from 57 degrees to 95 degrees, for example! Check the yeast manufacturer's website (or look on jackkeller.net and click on his yeast strain page) for specific details. Most of my wines do fine in the mid 60s and higher, but not so well at colder temperatures. Colder temperatures are great for clearing and aging, though!
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #5
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Basement seems to be a steady 60 degrees. Think thats a bit chilly for fermentation but not bad for aging. Now I just need to find an inexpensive way to take the small room down there and heat it up a bit. Let the ideas roll.

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