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jsbiral 06-28-2009 06:23 PM

Strawberry wine questions...
 
Hi everyone, I'm a bit of a newbie here so please bear with me. I made a batch (5 gallons) of strawberry wine which has been in my secondary for about 65 days. I'm getting ready to re-rack it but am wondering if I should be adding Campden to the mix and if so, how much? Also, although bottling is a ways away, I would like to save some of this wine for my 15th anniversary which is 4 years away. Any advice on which corks I should use and does waxing the bottle help? How long is it okay to keep the wine in the secondary? Should I always plan on re-racking every 60 days or so?

Sorry for all of the questions, just want to make sure I get thsi right...

Thanks!

Wade E 06-28-2009 06:49 PM

If you havent added any sulfites(campden) since fermentation finished then by all means add 1 tablet per gallon crushed well and dissolved in small amount of water or extrac some of your wine to do so in. If you are using a dble lever hand corker then #8 x 1.75" corks are what to use cause the #9 corks will give you trouble getting them in. If you have a floor corker the #9 x 1.75" corks. Sealing the cork with wax is a good thing to do with these bottles if you dont have good cellar conditions cause temp changes will make your wine breath too much causing oxidation of your wine. You do not have to rack every 60 days. I rack when there is about 3/4" of sediment on the bottom and add sulfite every 3-4 months and once there is no more sediment to rack off there is no reason to rack any more. Are you going to sweeten this wine cause if so you should also add potassium sorbate to prevent renewed fermentation. This is done only once and better to do in the presence of good sulfite levels.

jsbiral 06-28-2009 08:46 PM

Thanks for the info. Not sure if I'll sweeten it or not, depends on how it tastes. Is there a limit on when I can do that (time wise) or can it be sweetened after 7 or 8 months? I'm assuming that it is probably "okay" to taste now but will probably be "hot" so I may not get a true representation of what it will taste like. Also, am I understanding you correctly that once there is no sediment, the wine can remain in the secondary indefinately?

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.

Jason

Yooper 06-28-2009 09:22 PM

You can keep in the carboy indefinitely. Just keep it out of light (wine can get lightstruck) and in a moderate temperature. I bulk age either in my laundry room, or in the basement, away from direct light sources.

You can also sweeten when ready. There is definitely no rush to stabilize (adding sulfite and sorbate) or to sweeten. You can wait as long as you'd like.

One thing that I'd like to mention is that the wine always seems to get sweeter later on. When I sweeten wines, I like to pull out samples and taste them at different SGs. So, I might make one sample 1.006, one is 1.008, etc. If I like 1.010, then I sweeten the whole batch to just under that level. I've sweetened wines in the past to exactly how I wanted them, but six months later they are a little to sweet. So, if I like it at 1.010, I'll sweeten the whole batch to 1.008.

jsbiral 06-28-2009 09:40 PM

Thanks for the info Yoop, I was kinda hoping you might see my post, you seem to have a lot of really good advice on these forums. :) I do keep mine in the basement, out of the light so hopefully, all is good. I'll probably re-rack this afternoon and see where we are in a couple of months, right now there is only about 3/4" of sediment at the bottom of the secondary but it's been sitting for 65 days. Can't wait to finally try some of this stuff. I thought it was tough waiting 6-8 weeks for my beer to develop, sheesh, this 8-10 months thing is for the birds! :(

Yooper 06-28-2009 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsbiral (Post 1404275)
Thanks for the info Yoop, I was kinda hoping you might see my post, you seem to have a lot of really good advice on these forums. :) I do keep mine in the basement, out of the light so hopefully, all is good. I'll probably re-rack this afternoon and see where we are in a couple of months, right now there is only about 3/4" of sediment at the bottom of the secondary but it's been sitting for 65 days. Can't wait to finally try some of this stuff. I thought it was tough waiting 6-8 weeks for my beer to develop, sheesh, this 8-10 months thing is for the birds! :(

I was a winemaker before starting on beer. After waiting a year (or three!) for wine to be ready, 2 months for beer is NOTHING! That's why I started brewing- quicker gratification!

I rack whenever I get lees after about 60 days or so. After this racking, though, you may not get much more in the way of lees.


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