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Old 11-14-2009, 03:02 PM   #1
dishwalla
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Default Not clear yet and nothing happening anymore

I've gotten this far without any assistance, but I do believe I'm stuck now.

I'm making apple wine, and here's a quick overview of what I've done so far:

1) Filled a 5-gallon bucket 3/4ths full with quartered apples, added a gallon of water, 1lb of raisins, and 1tsp of pectic enzyme. Covered for 24 hours, and then added a champagne yeast packet and 1tsp yeast nutrient. Covered for about a week (until the airlock stopped bubbling).

2) Strained all the liquid from bucket into a 3-gallon carboy. About 1.5 gallons of liquid total. Added 3 lbs of sugar into the carboy and stirred to mix. Fit with airlock/bung, and left for two weeks (until the airlock stopped bubbling).

3) Racked to remove an inch of sediment at the bottom using a syphon. Added 2 crushed campden tables. Fit with airlock/bung, and left for three weeks. (The airlock never bubbled again after step two)

4) Racked again to remove a half-inch of sediment at the bottom using a syphon. Fit with airlock/bung, and left for another 7 weeks.

My carboy has been sitting there for 7 weeks since the last racking, there is no sediment at the bottom, but the liquid is still not clear. It looks like apple juice.

What should I do? This is my first ever attempt, so any advice whatsoever is appreciated. Feel free to explain it to me like I'm a 4 year old.

I followed this course of action loosely from a recipe I found online. One thing that concerns me is that I've read you shouldn't have any air in your carboy (my carboy is only half full), but I've also read that it shouldn't really hurt it that much. It doesn't smell like vinegar, so I don't think that's my problem...

Cheers.
DB

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Old 11-14-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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Continue to let it sit and it'll clear eventually. If you don't want to wait, try some Super Kleer. Oxidation doesn't provide vinegar notes - it's more like Sherry, or "nutty" notes while the fruity tastes and aromas diminish.

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Old 11-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #3
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Ok, thanks. I'll just keep waiting I guess. Does the oxidation make it undrinkable, or just not taste very good?

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Old 11-19-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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Wines can be bulk aged for years in containers, however your primary concern is all that extra headspace. First and foremost I would suggest not opening the carboy any more until it is clear (in other words don't introduce any more oxygen to the situation). Secondly for bulk aging you should relocate your carboy to a cool dark place such as a basement. I have also read some accounts of actually moving the carboy to a fridge much like lagering a beer. This is done to clear the wine. I would say that if your wine is somewhere that's room temperature and you can move it to your basement, do that and wait a few weeks. If it has been in the basement, or you don't have a basement then move it to a fridge. It should take a few weeks but hopefully it will clear up. Hope it works out.

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Old 11-19-2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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You were right to add pectic enzyme to the batch at the beginning, but the 1 tsp may not have been enough. A general rule of thumb is about 1/2 tsp. pectic enzyme per gallon. Without enough pectic enzyme, you may experience this type of clarifying issue.

As some of the other people have stated, you can try a few different things. First, I would try a fining agent such as gelatin or even bentonite. These will help capture some of the left over proteins and particles in your batch and will help bring them to the bottom. You can also try crash cooling your batch for a few days. You're in Minnesota, so I'm sure it is starting to get down there in temps. If you can bring this to a basement, unheated sunroom, or even a fridge, you will hopefully start to see this batch clarify in 3-5 days. 2 weeks in a fridge should really drop out anything remaining in the batch.

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Old 11-20-2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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Great info, thanks! My carboy is indeed sitting here at room temperature. I'll bring it down to the basement and see how that goes, and take extra measures after that if it's still not clear.
Thanks again.

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Old 11-30-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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My first batch from juiced apples was a slow dingo. I don't recall exactly how long it took, but it was at least February (I juiced in September and October) before it was what I would call "crystal" . Even then, I stored a 2nd batch made from the same apples that was juiced around the same time from the previous fall. The following June, I bottled it. Today, I see sediment in the bottles as a result of further clearing.

So based on my experiences, I suppose I will wait a year with periodic rackings and SO2 measurements with the '09 apple must/wine in gallon jugs before I bottle again. I'm in no rush to drink it, especially since the '08 stuff is just about ready now and I can brew beer in the mean time that is ready as quickly as a month from brewday.

YMMV !

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