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Old 11-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
ShepFL's Avatar
Jun 2012
Sanderson, FL
Posts: 319
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I have brewed several beers with good success. I have done 3 batches of Upstate Mike's Caramel Apple Cider and now have a batch of WGPA fermenting.

Given this experience I had 10# of huckleberries and decided to make a blended merlot. With a cheap kit (last Christmas) & my fruit I adapted this recipe.

4 lbs huckleberries
1-3/4 lbs sugar
1-1/2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 crushed Campden tablet
7-1/4 pts water
1 pkt Champagne wine yeast

During primary fermentation I shook bucket 2x daily. Once fermentation died down I racked it to secondary but failed to drain the "must". Now I have 3 gallons of huckleberry wine in an airlocked 5 gallon carboy.

My 2 questions are this?

1) I have read on HBT that I need to eliminate headspace by topping off. What is recommended - buy some bulk wine and top off or put into 1 gal bottles?

2) What did I lose by not draining must into secondary?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #2
Feb 2011
suburb of Louisville, KY
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Use a three gallon , or three one gallons. Three pounds sanitized leadfree clear marbles will offset one liter if you ever need topping up marbles. As long as your SG is above the 2/3 sugar depletion you can add juice....blueberry juice is commonly substituted in this wine.
I do not top up with water, but will use related nice wine but only after wine is fermented dry.

By not including the must in your transfer to secondary you are avoiding major gross lees development which can send off flavors into your wine, and have been known to ruin wine.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:52 AM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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Right- all you need is a three gallon carboy (or three one gallons, but that's a pain) and you'll be all set. You don't want to top up 2 gallons! Plus, then you'll have to rack, because it'll restart fermentation, and lose 1/2 gallon so you'll have to top up, etc.

I always make extra must and just use a growler or wine bottle or something to hold it and then use it for topping up each time I rack.

The first time, I'll go from a 6 gallon batch in a bucket to a 5 gallon batch in a carboy with maybe a wine bottle left over. You really lose alot to lees in fruit ones due to the pectin and solds.
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