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Old 11-25-2007, 05:45 AM   #1
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Default Should I be worried about pressure?

Intermediate beer brewer, relative newbie to wine. I started a Shiraz from a kit tonight (Heron Bay).

There's 6 gallons of it in my 6.5 gallon plastic primary fermenter. The instructions say "cover loosely" but this is not possible due to two curious cats who have the run of the house. (Also I'm not sure what exactly "cover loosely" means -- just lay the lid on top with no seal??)

Right now I have the plastic lid on tightly, with a 3-piece airlock in place. Is this enough or should I be doing something else to avoid a popped airlock/lid or explosion? Are blowoff hoses appropriate for wine? I've never used one and I'm a bit concerned about that approach (again, the cats will get into it).

Thanks,
chris.

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Old 11-25-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
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You don't have to worry about the pressure, but the reason they have you cover loosely is so that oxygen can get to the must.

Could you take a clean dishtowel and cover the opening and secure with a rubber band?

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Old 11-25-2007, 03:24 PM   #3
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Old pillow case would work well too

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Old 11-25-2007, 03:50 PM   #4
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I'll try a towel or pillowcase -- isn't there a worry that dust/lint/etc from the pillowcase will fall in and infect the (do you call it 'wort' when you're making wine?).

How do I sanitize a pillowcase?

It's been under tight seal for over 12 hours now, is the lack of oxygen hurting my wine?

Thanks,
chris.

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Old 11-25-2007, 05:12 PM   #5
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Ok, I removed the lid from the primary fermenter and replaced it with a pillowcase (fresh from the laundry, but I didn't do anything special to sanitize it).

I'm concerned because I've never left a wort so "open" before. Can bacteria get in through the pores? Can they "climb" up the side of the bucket and into the bucket, since there is obviously not a tight seal?

I placed the lid loosely on top of the pillowcase--will this allow enough oxygen in?

Also, a tiny bit of my pillowcase dipped into the wort as I was putting it on... Should I be worried?


Sigh.

chris.

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Old 11-25-2007, 06:35 PM   #6
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Relax. It'll be fine. One of the ingredients you added (well, I assume you did with your kit) is campden also know as potassium metabisulfite. It basically sanitizes the must for you, allowing your wine yeast (which is not susceptible to k-meta) to take hold and make wine before any wild yeasts and bacteria can grown. I mean, don't keep it in a dirty icky place or where you have obvious mold growing, but a normal kitchen or brewing area is fine!

Follow the directions as far as stirring and transferring to secondary and you'll be golden!

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Old 11-25-2007, 08:37 PM   #7
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I do have some potassium metabosulphite, but I haven't added it yet -- I don't have the directions in front of me but I think it is added during racking. Am I ok to leave it out in my kitchen pantry under nothing but a pillowcase for 7 days?

Thanks for the reassurance,
chris.

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Old 11-25-2007, 08:47 PM   #8
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Well, I'd really recommend following the directions- but yes, that would be ok. Most kits don't have you rack to secondary in 7 days exactly- they have you rack to secondary when the sg is a certain level usually. So, when the sg is under 1.010 for example.
It's always best to follow the kit directions because they manufacture them to be made a certain way.

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