First Time Making Wine - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Winemaking Forum > First Time Making Wine

Thread Tools
Old 05-01-2011, 04:13 PM   #1
Jota21's Avatar
Dec 2010
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 317
Liked 15 Times on 11 Posts

I have made a few batches of extract beer kits, and it seems that over on the beer forums, the general consesus is that a long primary is just as good as racking it to a secondary, unless you're dry-hopping or something...

SWMBO wanted to give wine a try, so we bought a box-kit of ingredients, and an 8 gallon primary. I have a 5 gallon carboy for beer, but if it's at all posssible, I would like to avoid buying a 6.5 secondary for the wine. Here are the instructions that came with the kit:

1) Add a half gallon of hot water to pirmary. Stir Bentonite into water.
2) Pour bag #1 of juice into primary, add a half gallon of warm water to the bag to rinse any remaining juice, and add that to the primary also.
3) Top off to 6 gallon mark with lukewarm water and stir
4) OG should be 1.048-1.052 (ours was 1.042 somehow)
5) Sprinkle yeast on top without stirring when temps are between 65-75*F
6) Fermentation should start in 24-48 hours.

This is where we are right now. We added the yeast last evening, and I'm now on the fence as to how to proceed. If you have the patience, please read the rest of these instructions and advise how to proceed. Thanks!

Secondary Fermentation:
After 5-7 days in primary, and if SG is below 1.010, rack to 6.5 gallon carboy and leave it between 65-75* for 10 more days.

Stabilizing and Fining:
1) If, after the 10 days in the carboy, the SG is .996 or less, verify the stable gravity by checking again the next day. If unchanged, proceed.

-Do not rack the wine before stabilizing and fining. This kit requires the sediment to be stirred back into suspension. Racking the wine off the sediment prior to fining may permanently prevent clearing. Please be sure to stir all of the sediment up from the bottom.
-Vigorous stirring is required during this stage. Without vigorous stirring, gas in the wine will prevent clearing. At each stirring, whip the wine until it stops foaming.

2) Dissolve contents of metabisulphite and sorbate in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Add to carboy and stir vigorously for 2 minutes to disperse the stabilizers and drive off CO2. Again, be sure to stir up the yeast sediment from the bottom of the carboy.

3) To ensure room in your carboy for the contents of the f-pack, remove one liter of wine. Reserve this for topping up the carboy.

4) Shake the F-pack bag. Carefully remove the cap and gently pour contents into the carboy. Stir vigorously for 60 seconds. The SG will be between 1.010 and 1.018, depending on the style of the kit

5) Shake contents of chitosan and pour into carboy. stir for 2 minutes to drive off CO2.

6) Top up carboy to within 2" of the bottom of the bung with reserved wine from the F-pack addition. Add cool water if necessary. Add bung and airlock and leave for 14 days.

7) After 14 days, check for clarity by drawing a small sample and examining it in good light. If not completely clear, leave for 7 more days. Do not bottle cloudy wine.

I want to make sure that this turns out good so that SWMBO continues to enjoy the hobby, so I guess we should just buy another carboy and follow the directions, but I just want to justification.


Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
/bɪər nɜrd/
MalFet's Avatar
May 2010
NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,632
Liked 1474 Times on 975 Posts

I'm not completely clear on what you are hoping to do, but the consensus seems to be that you generally don't want to leave your wine in the primary bucket for it's whole life. Whether or not that's a good approach to beer making, wine's mechanics and concerns are different.

Typically wine making involves a series of rackings and topping-offs. Some people on this board advocate for doing fewer racking steps, but everything I've read suggests that first racking is important. If nothing else, all that headspace seems like bad news for bulk aging.
"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
Sep 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 1,171
Liked 20 Times on 20 Posts

You'll probably want the next size carboy, unless you want to dump a gallon of the wine you've already paid for, away down the drain and put it into the 5 gallon carboy. Even then, the addition packages were designed for the 6 gallon batch.

If you attempted to leave it in the primary, then you can't correctly do the additional steps, since the stirring involves bringing up a bunch of stuff, and you'd get way too much yeast if you did this with a primary.

Also, there's the whole situation of oxidation involved since the primary will wind up having a larger surface area compared to the carboy.

If you were going to age in a primary for an extended aount of time (not stirring, additions, etc) then it's a bit more up in the air and to what the research says, or what others have tried, or trying yourself.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
May 2009
Washington ST
Posts: 239
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

You need to get it off the gross lees or they will leave a bad taste in the wine. If all you have is a 5 gallon carboy then use it and put extra in gallon jug.You can use it as topping off and taster later. You are going to loose some of you volume. Until you have some experience, follow the directions on the kit. From the direction it appears you are using a wine expert kit. These kits are designed to get max taste by people without a lot of experience.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First time wine making r6543 Winemaking Forum 6 09-07-2014 03:44 AM
first time posting and first time making wine enyaw-1 Winemaking Forum 14 09-06-2014 04:27 PM
first time making wine mendozer Winemaking Forum 9 04-30-2011 03:18 PM
First time wine making chrisdeeley Winemaking Forum 1 10-17-2007 12:36 AM
first time wine making CoolB Winemaking Forum 3 11-05-2006 03:28 AM

Forum Jump