"so far i have created the must which is one or two days into primary fermentation. it is currently foaming up. i have added 2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp pectic enzyme 1 tsp yeast nutrient as it said. but i read so much other info on websites that talk about all of these other chemicals and stuff i need such as campden tablets which leads me to my first question.
do i need campden and if so when exactly should i add it?
If you used shelf stable/pasteurized product you will not need Campden initially, but I personally would dose with 1 crushed tablet dissolved in just enough water when I transfer to secondary, or the first 30-day racking and then every 90 days until you bottle. You will also use Campden plus sorbate if you plan to backsweeten. Those two work together to prevent refermentation of the wine when you add your backsweetening sugar. Unless, you use a non-fermentable sugar like stevia or sucralose. If you plan on bottling dry (S.G. 1.000 or below) then you just use Campden before bottling. You can also purchase potassium metabisulfite
(aka k-meta) instead of Campden...there are some, myself included, who have used Campden who have found it leaves minute white flecks in the wine (could be from formulation of tablet, etc). It is important to date any chemicals once you open them. I actually keep all my additives in an airtight container in my refrigerator.
also, should i stir my wine during primary fermentation.
I try to stir at least once a day, though twice a day is ideal (allows perfect time for assessment). If there is a "cap" of pulp floating I make sure to "punch it down" into the liquid. If any fruit is in a straining bag, I give it a gentle
squeeze at the same time.
i have my wine in a food grade bucket which is covered and secured with cheesecloth
perfectly fine option
when i go from my primary fermentation to my secondary fermentation (about5-7 days after start) should i put all the juice, and all the must or pulp into the secondary and airlock. or should i just rack the juice into the secondary and leave the pulpish stuff behind? also should i top up at this time?
When transferring from primary to secondary I transfer the liquid component and try to leave as much sediment as possible behind. You can top up with Concord juice, try to not use water, or you can use clean/sanitized lead-free clear glass marbles (3# will equal 1 liter). In future, try to make 1 gallon plus at least 2-3 cups, that way you have enough for topping up. If just a gallon batch then the excess liquid will need to be stored in a wine bottle (with smaller bung + airlock, or balloon in emergency)...so try to keep various sized bottles on hand, they do come in handy.
after i put the stuff into the secondary, how many times should i rack before bottling? i want it to be quality rather then fast.
My teacher advised to rack 30d after you put in secondary container/airlock and then rack every 30d AS LONG AS YOU STILL HAVE SEDIMENT DROPPING. Though, if you have "gross lees" dropping you will want to rack sooner since this pulp/sediment can quickly contribute off flavors to the wine. Review what JackKeller has to say about gross lees: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/qa2.asp
what exactly should i do to stabilize? do i need any chemicals?
Campden vs k-meta. If you plan to backsweeten with a "fermentable" sugar you will need Campden/k-meta + sorbate. You CAN learn to low heat pasteurize if you do not want to use chemicals (I believe there is a "sticky" on the process).
when do i bottle and store. and should i store in a fridge or at room temp.
You bottle when wine is clear, completely degassed. For this batch, 6 months is usually fine, but 9-12mos even better. If you store Concord in the refrig for any extended length of time you are going to have globs of tartaric acid in the bottom of you bottle. I personally do not refrigerate a non-dry Concord until I need to prep it for serving. Try to store your finished wines (in carboy or bottles) in the coolest, darkest, stable [no shaking, vibration, etc] spot you have. Wine cellars are commonly around 53F, controlled humidity, all that jazz. You can store your bottles in cartons, you can wrap your carboys with dark t-shirts/cloth. I have been accumulating the silver colored "emergency blankets" and wrap my carboys in them.
when do i degas. if i should at all
After the wine is clear and no longer has sediment you can work on degassing. THOUGH, you may find the wine has degassed naturally, especially if you bulk age for 6 months or longer. The CO2 just works its way out. You definitely need to make sure the wine is degassed otherwise you may have corks pop when you bottle. Manually degassing the wine with a "whiz stick or the like" takes some time, for sure. You can search threads on the various degassing techniques (brake bleeder, the bottle vacuum sealers, true vacuum setup, time, etc.)
sorry for all the questions. idk if this is the proper way to do this as i am new to forums and wine making. thanks in advance tho and im looking forward to learning as much as i can about wine making.
Hope my answers helped, and keep in mind it is my point of view. Out of curiosity, did you use 100% juice or did you use actual grapes? You mention pulpy stuff, which made me wonder. Are you using a hydrometer? If not, get one ASAP if you plan to make more wine...this will take guess work out of determining alcohol content and determining when to transfer wine to secondary container, add certain additives, determining if ferment is complete or stalled, etc.