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Old 09-26-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
Ratler5
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Default My first batch of wine, please help :)

Ok, so a bit of a disclaimer, I am COMPLETELY new to home brewing and home wine making, but am loving it so far.

I have been reading the forums here a fora bout a week and an half, but this is my first post.

The recipe i used is:
15 LB plumbs stoned and quartered
5 US Gallons water
12 lb sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
2 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
7 tsp acid blend
5 1/2 tsp yeast energizer

CY17 yeast

Starting SG 1.084 on 9/11/12

Fermentation took about 72 hours to be noticeable but then took off like a rocket. I sired the fermentation bucket daily as the recipe I was given said to, and everything seams to be going great.

I just racked my first 5 Gal batch of plumb wine into its secondary, well I guess I should say my 3 secondary's. The plumbs completely dissolved into the must (?) other than the skins and I had 7 gal to rack into a 5 gal carboy not counting the sediment. So the remainder ended up in 2 1gal glass bottles(carboy?). I know it probably should have been racked sooner but i didn't have the extra 1gal containers for the extra and when I went to rack it there was NO sediment at all. So I called my LHBS and asked what they thought I should do, they told me to wait till some sediment falls out before racking so that I would not have to do it again right away, and that gave me time to go get the 2 extra bottles. They also said I should keep the extra for topping off the main carboy after racking, to replace what is lost as the sediment is left behind. (is that advisable?)


I took a SG reading today 9/25/12 and it was 0.998

From what i understand the taste at this point is to to be expected, dry and a bit harsh, and that leads me to my questions, how do i back-sweeten it and when do i do this? My wife likes wines to be a little sweet but not super sweet, not really sure how else to put that. ( next time we find one she likes I'm seriously thinking of taking a SG reading on it lol )

sorry if this is a dumb question

Thanks

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Old 09-26-2012, 04:02 AM   #2
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No dumb questions there. We are all happy to help here.

Don't worry about how long the primary or secondary is. My last wine sat in primary just letting sediment drop for just over 8 weeks. That particular one is my favorit to date too. With a good wine yeast there should be little threat of off flavors as long as it is only 2-3 months.

Back sweetening is easy. You need two ingredients, Potassium sorbate and Camden tablets. They should come with instructions on additions per gallon so follow that. Only add these when you are pretty sure 95+% of all sediment has dropped out. In my opinion 2-3 months from the start of fermentation. But whenever you believe it is as clear as it will get. Once you add that then add sugar to your preferred gravity.

A semi-sweet wine would have a gravity of about 1.015. That is what I put my wine at and it is just enough to bring out the fruity character and add a little sweet.

Feel free to use the 1 gallon batches to top off your 5 gallon. But you will probably only need partial of one of those.

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Old 09-26-2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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Testing a wine she likes is a great idea, but I did this for a moscato and it ended up WAY too sweet. The moscato tested to 1.010 and when I got my wine up to 1.010 it tasted like sugar water. I think things get sweeter as they sit. Next time I'm only going to 1.000 and try it in 2 months.

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply, and the support. I have Camden tablets, so i went and got a bag Potassium sorbate so i have those on hand now for when the wine has cleared. thanks for the suggestion on the gravity readings I'll do a few sample batches when the wine has finished to see about the sweetness that we can agree on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorCAD View Post
Testing a wine she likes is a great idea, but I did this for a moscato and it ended up WAY too sweet. The moscato tested to 1.010 and when I got my wine up to 1.010 it tasted like sugar water. I think things get sweeter as they sit. Next time I'm only going to 1.000 and try it in 2 months.
Thanks for the warning I'll make sure to take it slow when sweetening.


I have another question/concern, with my SG at 0.998, fermentation should have stopped right? The reason I ask is that I can see a steady stream of small bubbles rising in the wine and the airlock is bubbling slowly in both the 5 gal carboy and the 1 gal carboy, though a lot more in the 5. Is this just residual CO2 being released or could it still be fermenting?
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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Ive had batches ferment to 0.990, so it could be still working.

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:52 PM   #6
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So the wine is going along great, it is clearing up nicely and is starting to develop a nice flavor. (Sampled for some left over from racking) But I just had something happen which I hope has not ruined all of my wine. I have a small room heater in my guest room where I keep the Wine to be in a dark out of the way place. Well somehow that heater got turned on. Since we don’t go in there often it was on for about 2 days and the room was at around 90 degrees. I caught it this morning, so I turned it off and opened the window. Is my wine ruined? i had about 16 Gal of diffrent wines in that room....

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratler5
So the wine is going along great, it is clearing up nicely and is starting to develop a nice flavor. (Sampled for some left over from racking) But I just had something happen which I hope has not ruined all of my wine. I have a small room heater in my guest room where I keep the Wine to be in a dark out of the way place. Well somehow that heater got turned on. Since we don’t go in there often it was on for about 2 days and the room was at around 90 degrees. I caught it this morning, so I turned it off and opened the window. Is my wine ruined? i had about 16 Gal of diffrent wines in that room....
It might be ok. As long as your wine was in bulk (5 gal carboys), it would take a while for the volume to reach 90.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:16 AM   #8
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Should be fine if only 2days. It's the rapid/frequent temp changes you gotta watch out for (50 to 70 and back to 50 every day over 2-3 weeks).

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