I'm new here and new with wine making. I have a fresh batch of apple cider and grapes fermenting. The grapes are about a month old and the apple cider is about a week old. All fruit was harvested from my family farm.
A bit about the cider background:
I started with fresh farm apples that I crushed and pressed using an antique cider press. I should have taken a few pics of the press while I had it out, LOL. Anyhow, I immediately filled the carboy with the cider. I added the campden and pectic enzyme and let it sit for 2 days while I waited for the other ingredients that I wanted to add. After the 2 days, I started the Red Star Cote De Blanc yeast and yeast nutrient in some warm cider. At the same time, I added some acid blend and wine tannin. Within 24 hours, there was activity with the airlock. Now, 4 days later, the thick cap formed and there is vigorous airlock activity.
I have a couple questions about the apple cider. See the foam at the top of the carboy, is that called the yeast cap? Will it dissipate on its own or take care of it when I rack it? When and how often should I rack it? Will racking it clear it up? I know when I had the crushed grapes in the primary fermenter, they formed a very thick cap that I stirred once or twice a day. How many months will this cider ferment?
As for the grapes, they are fresh farm grapes as well. The grape wine is my absolute first attempt at making wine. I did not know much about wine making when I started with the grapes. I read a bit about wine making on the web and took some advice from a local brew supply store. I think I added way too much sugar and I hope it turns out OK. There is still airlock activity, maybe a bubble every minute or two. It smells good though, lol. I started out with crushing 2, five gallon buckets full of concord grapes. While in the primary fermenter, I added the campden tablets and pectic enzyme. Twenty four hours later, I added Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast and nutrient. I let them sit in the primary fermenter for a week with a towel covering the buckets. Using the trusty cider press, I pressed the grapes and filled up the carboy and 2, one gallon jugs. I took a hydrometer reading and the OG was 1.075. This is where I got confused or got some bad advice and added about 10+ cups of sugar trying to obtain a target SG of 1.090. Well, that didn't happen and added more sugar, LOL. Taking what I know now, I think I added too much sugar and don't think I would add any if I had the opportunity to do it over again. Live and learn I guess. The grapes seemed to be a bit sweeter this year for some reason. Maybe it was the dry summer PA had? As of today and one racking, its still working, so I guess that is a good sign.
Now for the cool part, pictures...