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Old 07-31-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
wdenton
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Default HELP ME is something wrong

I have a batch of Raspberry wine that I am not sure about.
This is only my second batch of wine so bear with me.

Here is the recipe
12 lb raspberry
21 pts water
6 3/4 lbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp acid blend
1 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
3 tsp nutrient
3 campden tabs
2 pkg wine yeast

I crushed froze the berries and then we unthawed and crushed them in the water in a mesh bag

24 hours later I added the 2 pkg yeast

That night is started fermenting.
I left for vacation and cam back 7 days later and it was not fermenting (which I thought should be ok)
I stirred and lightly smashed the raspberry bag for 2 days

Last night I removed the raspberry bag and lightly squeezed the juice out.
I did a reading and it showed .999 on the hygrometer.

Shouldn't this be higher?
Does this mean there is no alcohol?

I smelled the batch and it smells like there is alcohol in it.
I see no mold or infection.

Should I restart fermentation or leave it?
Will the level increase.



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Old 07-31-2008, 03:09 PM   #2
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It sounds fine to me. I think wine is supposed to stop around that FG or possibly even lower.

Did you measure the OG?

Did you ever add the campden?



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Old 07-31-2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wdenton View Post
I did a reading and it showed .999 on the hygrometer.
Shouldn't this be higher?
Does this mean there is no alcohol?
It means exactly the opposite. The yeast have consumed all of the sugar you've provided for them (or nearly all) and produced alcohol. Usually you take a reading before fermentation begins (and it would have been higher, such as 1.100). As the sugar is consumed and alcohol produced, the number falls closer and closer to 1.000 (or below).

It sounds like your fermentation is going fine. Just leave it be.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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If you have some thick lees (sediment), let it settle and then rack (siphon) to a clean and sanitized carboy. Leave all the lees and stuff behind, then top off with water or a light white wine to within an inch or two of the bung, fill the airlock with some water or vodka, and place it in a dark place for about two months. I use old beach towels to cover mine, also. Check the airlock occasionally to make sure it's not evaporating, and fill as needed. In two months, you can look at it again and see if there are thick lees. If there are, you can rack it again the same way. Check it every couple of months, untill no new sediment forms.

(Don't forgot to take an SG sample when you rack, and then drink that sample!)

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Old 07-31-2008, 03:33 PM   #5
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I am confused.
I added the campden tabs when we crushed the berries.
The only think I added seperate was the yeast.

If the gravity is 1.00 or under doesn't that mean the alcohol is zero
On the hygrometer next to the gravity there is a alcohol scale that says zero.

I was planning on racking to a carboy not and getting it out of the ale pale

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Old 07-31-2008, 03:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdenton View Post
I am confused.
I added the campden tabs when we crushed the berries.
The only think I added seperate was the yeast.

If the gravity is 1.00 or under doesn't that mean the alcohol is zero
On the hygrometer next to the gravity there is a alcohol scale that says zero.

I was planning on racking to a carboy not and getting it out of the ale pale
You're fine with campden and yeast procedure.

The gravity measures potential alcohol. Since your yeasties have eaten all the sugar, there is no more available and hence, no more potential for alcohol.

For example, if when you first started if you had measured BEFORE fermentation, you may have gotten a reading of something like 1.100 (giving your wine a POTENTIAL alcohol of 12.5%).

As the yeast consume sugar and produce alcohol, the gravity reading drops, meaning there is LESS potential alcohol to be produced (i.e., down to 1.050, so potentially 6.3% more alcohol could be produced).

When you reach 1.000, there is basically no (or very little) sugar left, and therefore, 0 potential alcohol.

Do as you planned and Yooper suggested. Rack to secondary, fit with airlock and leave it alone for a few months (other than to refill the airlock as needed).
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdenton View Post
I am confused.
I added the campden tabs when we crushed the berries.
The only think I added seperate was the yeast.

If the gravity is 1.00 or under doesn't that mean the alcohol is zero
On the hygrometer next to the gravity there is a alcohol scale that says zero.

I was planning on racking to a carboy not and getting it out of the ale pale
I don't understand the last sentence? You still have it in an ale pail? Better rack it ASAP then, since now that the wine is about finished, oxygen is a danger to your wine.

You are misunderstanding the use of the Hydrometer. The alcohol scale you're looking at is the potential alcohol scale. That really is meaningless. You need to look at the SG scale. First of all, the PA scale tells you the potential alcohol content of an unfermented must. Now that the wine is fermented, it should be 0. Since there is no potential alcohol left- it's fermented into alcohol anyway, if that makes sense.

Your SG scale is where you look- you said it's .998? That means the wine is about finished. Depending on the yeast you used, it might drop to .990-.994 or so, but that's about it. How you determine alcohol content is by using the SG scale. You take the original gravity (OG) less the final gravity (FG) and then multiply the difference by .131.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:57 PM   #8
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I'm confused!

His recipe calls for Campden (potassium sorbate?!?) tablets at the outset, with the yeast.

Isn't potassium sorbate a preservative?

Won't potassium sorbate inhibit fermentation?

Doesn't almost every Apfelwein thread caution against using juices containing potassium sorbate?

Like I said...I'm confused!!!

Pogo

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Old 07-31-2008, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogo View Post
I'm confused!

His recipe calls for Campden (potassium sorbate?!?) tablets at the outset, with the yeast.

Isn't potassium sorbate a preservative?

Won't potassium sorbate inhibit fermentation?

Doesn't almost every Apfelwein thread caution against using juices containing potassium sorbate?

Like I said...I'm confused!!!

Pogo
Yes, all wine recipes utilizing fresh fruit (and unpasteurized juices) call for campden. NO, campden is NOT potassium sorbate. Yes, potassium sorbate inhibits fermentation, that's why it's not used on things you wish to ferment.

I also use campden tablets at 1 per gallon of wine every other racking, with a goal of keeping the sulfites at 50ppm.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:07 PM   #10
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AWEsome
Thanks for the education on how to read the hydrometer that clarifies a lot of confusion with my wine and beer making.

I will rack to a carboy tonight.
Should I add another couple campden tabs for every other racking too?



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