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Old 07-11-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
DutchK9
 
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I have been trying to read up and learn something about wine making. One article I read stated that for the first 48-72 hrs of the must going into the primary, you should not use an airlock but instead cover the carboy opening with a fine cloth or put cotton in the bung hole. Then after this amount of time, put on the airlock. Another said to use this method through the whole primary process. Which is more accurate?

Also, do you strain the wine kit when putting it into the primary? Or just when it goes into the secondary?

And finally, when racking to the secondary do you use a smaller carboy or just top off with some store bought wine? My six gallon carboys actually can hold 7 gallons of water. Is this too much head space? Do I need a 5 gallon carboy and if so, do you still top it off or is the head space okay?


 
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:58 PM   #2
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Dutch -

Check the article and determine if they are specifically talking about using a kit.

Most likely, they are not.

Making wine the traditional, non-kit, way doesn't use a carboy for a primary. When using crushed fruit, instead of concentrated juice, one needs a large mouthed, open top primary, such as a bucket, tub, vat, crock, churn, etc.

This type of primary fermentation requires oxygen, and the cloth covering is to allow air/oxygen access to the must while filtering insects, dust, debris out until it's ready to rack into a secondary fermenter, usually a carboy.

Also, during the primary fermentation, the winemaker needs daily access to the pulp in order to push it down to the bottom of the primary, which enhances the fermentation process.

Pogo

Reason: To see what the 'Go Advanced' button does.

 
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:36 PM   #3
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That makes sense. I hope I didn't ruin my batch by doing this for 1 1/2 days now. I will switch it over to an airlock.

 
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
KiRbY29869
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You didn't ruin it I let all my wines open to air for 5 to 7 days whether its fresh fruit wines or a kit and I haven't had a bad batch yet.

 
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiRbY29869 View Post
You didn't ruin it I let all my wines open to air for 5 to 7 days whether its fresh fruit wines or a kit and I haven't had a bad batch yet.
That makes me feel better! Now I can RDWAHAHB.
When fermentation started on it yesterday, it looked like mold was forming. It made me think I messed up, but later that night it was looking more like krausen. I was planning on putting the airlock back on tonight which would give me 24hrs. Should I do that, or wait a little longer?

This is my first attempt at wine.

 
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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Thats up to you. I dont think it will hurt anything either way. But if there is no airlock then just make sure you get it into secondary at the gravity it tells you to. those kits come with pretty specific directions if you stick to those you should be just fine.

 
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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Okay Thanks!

 
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:05 PM   #8
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I always primary in an open pail, with plenty of stirring. Most fruit wines form a "cap" that has to be kept from drying out, so it's stirred a couple of times a day. Oxygenation is needed, too at that time. The key is then to transfer to secondary when active primary slows down, at about 1.020 or so. Then, it's racked to a carboy, and airlocked and then always protected from oxygen.
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