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Old 10-01-2010, 06:29 AM   #1
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Default First wine making attempt

Hello everybody.

I recently bought a house that has a nice grapevine growing in the back garden, so decided on attempting to make some wine. Im about halfway through the process and need some advice to check all is going well, as I am a complete novice and have never tried this before.

Following advice from a local homebrew company, i followed this procedure...

To start, i picked and cleaned all my grapes (about 6kg of them), and put them in a large 10 gallon bucket. I added boiling water, sugar (standard kitchen sugar 500g), 1 crushed campden tablet and some sort of stabilising powder and mixed it all together.
The next day I then added my packet of wine yeast and left the bucket loosely covered in a spare bedroom.
After about a week i checked this "must" and discovered lots of large bubbles and foam, it also smelt very "winey".
I left the must for about another month or so, until all the bubbles had dissappeared and the grapes were floating on the top of the juice.

I transfered a gallons worth of the juice into a plastic demijohn, straining it through a cheesecloth to remove all the grapes and pulp. I then fitted a plastic airlock and half filled the airlock with water.

Since then this demijohn has been sat in the spare room for a few months, but I was expecting to see bubbles coming through the air lock as the fermentation continued. This hasn't happened though, the wine just sits there and looks exactly the same as the day I strained it into the demijohn.

Does anyone know what sort of state my wine is in? Is it drinkable or ruined? If so, im not too bothered, as like I said it was my first attempt, however I'd like to know what went wrong (if anything) so I don't make the same mistake again.

Many thanks in advance.


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Old 10-01-2010, 12:09 PM   #2
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Well, you have wine!

The only thing I see wrong is that you should have stirred the "foamy" cap back into the liquid for the first week or so.

As long as the airlock remains half full of water, the wine is safe.

Its probably time to rack it off of whatever solids settled out and let it sit under airlock for another few weeks. You might want to taste it to see if it needs sweetened, since you saw no bubbles in the airlock, it probably fermented ALL the sugar out of it and it will be very dry.

Bottle it and let it sit another 9 to 12 months.
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