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Old 04-15-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
Hedley
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Default Rapid fermentation? (and topping up)

I am making dandelion wine for the first time. I put a fair bit of yeast into it. After the 3 day fermentation in primary I added to demijohn with airlock (adding the raisins to the demijohn too, as per the recipe) and the airlock was bubbling a lot. However, after just one week the bubbling has stopped and there is about half an inch plus (!) of sediment in the bottom already. The recipe I'm following says to rack after 60 days or when there is quarter of an inch of sediment. So it appears I have to rack (and will remove the raisins in the process) already. Does this sound like the right thing to do?

Also, after the boiling down stage I seem to only have about 2 thirds (if that) of a gallon of water/wine left, so will it be okay to top up with water to an inch from the top, or will that water it down too much?

Any help gratefully received.

Ross

P.S...I posted these queries under my 'Dandelion wine' thread but have reposted here as the subject may be of use to people making all sorts of wines. Sorry about the double posting.

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Old 04-16-2012, 03:49 AM   #2
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it depends on how high you want your alcohol content....If you set your must up for 13% alcohol and then dump water into it, then the gravity will go down and you might end up with 10% alcohol. I would let it ferment dry then either bottle it/drink it/ or top it up with another alcoholic beverage...

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Old 04-17-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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Thanks.

By 'let ferment dry' do you mean let it ferment without adding water? I think I'll probably just add the 1 pint of water recomended by the recipe.

What about the racking aspect - that is, I've never seen such a quick build up of sediment - so I'm keen to rack but that would also mean I remove the rasins (when I rack for the first time) after just a week and a half.

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Old 04-17-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
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do whatever the recipe says and it should turn out fine, if it turns out with a small amount of alcohol then you need to modify the recipe next time. you should rack when you can see a good amount of sediment at the bottom, like an inch.

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Old 04-20-2012, 05:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedley View Post
By 'let ferment dry' do you mean let it ferment without adding water?
No, "let ferment dry" means let it go as-is until the yeasts have eaten all the sugars, so that it tastes dry (versus sweet or "off-dry", i.e., there should be no residual sugar left).

If you have a hydrometer, it typically means fermenting until readings on three subsequent days all stay the same, and usually those readings are around 0.995 or less.
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:28 AM   #6
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I do not like to add water to my wine after the yeast has been pitched. I set my starting gravity and go without considering the addition of water. You can add water, It will lower your alcohol %. Like I said it depends on your starting gravity. If your gravity was set for 15% dry, you can probably get away with adding water and still be okay. personally I think adding water to fermenting wine is a bad practice, make enough to fill your carboy and leave it alone....just my opinion, take it or leave it.

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