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Old 01-13-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Need some help....New WineMaker!!

Hi Everyone....This is my first post, lets see what kind of help I can get. I am brand new to winemaking, I just bought a wine kit so on and so forth...I am making a Cabernet from concentrate....The place where I bought it told me to add 5.5 lbs. of sugar, I did that and some. My hydrometer reading on the first night was 1.007 with an alcohol content of 9%, my understanding is that it should be higher, 24 hours later, right now, my wine is fermenting well with a bunch of foam on the top and air bubbles are starting to escape from my water lock and my reading is 1.006 starting to lower which means my process has begun....My question is, should I add more sugar to raise my levels to where most books say 11-12% alcohol or should I trust what the guy said and go with it...I dont want just Grape Juice.....Please advise ASAP! Thanks!

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:13 AM   #2
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At 1.007, I'm certain your reading was wrong. It's fermenting now, so I'd suggest waiting a bit.

The hydrometers you get usually go from .990 to 1.120 or so. Maybe the reading was really 1.070? Or 1.107? The decimal points are tricky, but you'll get better with practice! (I'm nearly certain that your OG was 1.070). The potential alcohol scale (the 9% you mentioned) really isn't all that useful, but can give you an idea of the potential alcohol that you may have. I like to glance at it to ensure enough alcohol to preserve the wine, but that's about all it's good for. Use the SG scale that gave you the 1.070 reading.

Wait about 5 days, and you should be in the 1.010 to 1.020 range. That's a good time to rack to secondary.

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:29 AM   #3
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Default Well....

Thanks for the help...It is fermenting but I just dont want it to be Grape Juice when all is said and done...My hydrometer reads from .990 to 1.170 so I guess my reading is at 1.060 and I am just a little concerned that the level is low...If you think I am OK than I will leave it alone for 5 days and give another test...Can I add more sugar at that point or is it too late??

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:34 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help...It is fermenting but I just dont want it to be Grape Juice when all is said and done...My hydrometer reads from .990 to 1.170 so I guess my reading is at 1.060 and I am just a little concerned that the level is low...If you think I am OK than I will leave it alone for 5 days and give another test...Can I add more sugar at that point or is it too late??
Well, you can do whatever you'd like- it's your wine. But keep in mind that you want a drinkable product that won't take years to mellow. If you boost the ABV with more sugar, you could be making rocket fuel. You'd like it to taste good, I'm sure.

What have you already added, and what is the batch size?
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:37 AM   #5
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It might be a little weak, but I doubt it will taste like grape juice. Follow the instructions, because if you fiddle with it too much, you could ruin it. Since it is your first wine, I would also follow the instructions because they are written in a way that hopefully ensures the wine turns out fine, and to deviate from that could make it worse. Like jet fuel.

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:39 AM   #6
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It might be my wine but I am certainly an amateur...I am making a Cabernet Savaugion (sp??) from a concentrate that I bought online. The owner of the shop I bought it from directed me to add 5.5 lbs of sugar, I probably have added 6 and I stopped there. My process is only 24 hrs old as well, I started last night. Rocket Fuel might not be good :-) I am making the common 5 gallons of wine!

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:40 AM   #7
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It might be my wine but I am certainly an amateur...I am making a Cabernet Savaugion (sp??) from a concentrate that I bought online. The owner of the shop I bought it from directed me to add 5.5 lbs of sugar, I probably have added 6 and I stopped there. My process is only 24 hrs old as well, I started last night. Rocket Fuel might not be good :-) I am making the common 5 gallons of wine!
Do you have a link to the kit?
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:45 AM   #8
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I bought the concentrate at www.HomeWinery.com and got the Cabernet...They sent me all ingredients needed for my wine and if you click on Wine Concentrate, and click on the wine set up sheet, I am following those directions, word for word...here is a link:
http://homewinery.com/concentrate.pdf

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Old 01-13-2010, 03:27 AM   #9
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Oh, good. Thanks for the link. I've never seen that kit before, but it seems fine.

I think you're fine where you are with the sugar, but you could add up to 2 pounds more if you wanted a higher ABV wine. I'd be inclined to leave it alone, and try it in a month and see how it tastes.

You can add sugar later on, if you want to. As long as you do it before you add sorbate, you're fine.

You can also sweeten the wine later, if it's too dry. That would be at the end, before bottling.

So, at this point I think I'd let it go and finish fermenting. I think it'll be better than having a sugar-boosted rocket fuel. You want the wine to taste like wine, after all.

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Old 01-13-2010, 03:44 AM   #10
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OK that sounds good. Why are the directions I am following seem to be so much easier or different than others with primary/secondary fermentation...I am done and letting my wine sit for 6 weeks and then add the sorbate and then the kleer and then I bottle...Does it make a difference that all of this is going on in my galss carboy ascompared to a pail and that my wine is water locked but some recomend leaving it open for air???

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