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  1. R

    Calculating %ABV Without the Initial Specific Gravity

    You can't calculate the %ABV from just the final SG. You need to have the initial SG as well. In my case, I didn't have that number so I couldn't calculate it as is normally done: %ABV = (SG_initial - SG_final)/0.0074 If you know the initial SG, then you can calculate the %ABV in this way...
  2. R

    Calculating %ABV Without the Initial Specific Gravity

    Yes, you can measure Brix with a refractometer to calculate specific gravity, but only in the ABSENCE of alcohol, i.e., before fermentation starts. If you use a refractometer later when fermentation is well underway, there will be substantial alcohol present. The value of specific gravity...
  3. R

    Some Useful Devices for Winemaking

    In making wine, after fermentation, one typically stirs the wine to remove dissolved CO2. This is known as sparging. I find that a sterilized paint stirrer works quite well for this in an open container such as a plastic 1 – 5 gallon fermenter. However, this does not work when sparging wine...
  4. R

    Calculating %ABV Without the Initial Specific Gravity

    One likes to know the final alcohol content after making a batch of wine. Typically, one can calculate this from the initial and final specific gravity. The initial specific gravity can be measured directly or from the Brix number from index of refraction measurement. %...
  5. R

    Dixie Peach Concentrate Wine

    When I made wine using Dixie Peach, I used 2 C of sugar at start. The initial SG of the nectar was 1.052 and 1.083 after adding the sugar. I also tossed in 0.5 lb of dried apricots (to get rid of them). After 4 days, added another 2 C of sugar for new SG of 1.074. I used K1-V1116 yeast along...
  6. R

    Cherry/Grape Wine from Juice

    The main reason for adding the metabisulfite after back sweetening is to prevent further yeast activity in the presence of sugar. If fermentation were to restart, CO2 pressure would build up and could case the bottle to explode later during storage. Potassium metabisulfite serves to prevent...
  7. R

    Cherry/Grape Wine from Juice

    CHERRY/GRAPE WINE • 1 gal of Langer’s organic white grape/tart cherry juice (try Costco or Trader Joe’s) • 13 oz. sugar • ½ t acid blend • ½ t pectic enzyme • 1 t yeast nutrient (DAP) • ½ t yeast energizer • ½ t GoFerm • ½ t Sparkolloid • ½ t potassium sorbate • Sugar syrup or...
  8. R

    Dixie Peach Concentrate Wine

    One of the problems that I've run into using nectars (e.g., peach or mango) is that the final wine tends to be cloudy and one may need to filter it to remove finely suspended fruit particles. Pectic enzyme helps but is not the cure-all.
  9. R

    Favorite 1 Gallon Recipes

    I agree with lukebuz regarding too much water. I found that when I made a 6-gallon wine kit that the wine was weaker than I liked. I found that using 5 gallons of water instead of the 6 gallons recommended gives much better results. You can always add more water later, but you can't take out...
  10. R

    Using Spigot on Primary Fermenter

    In making over 30 different batches of wine, I have only had one or two instances where the lees were more than 1/2" thick. Typically, the lees for those wines did not consolidate well. So, this has never been an issue for me.
  11. R

    Using Spigot on Primary Fermenter

    During the making of wine, one has to rack must from the primary fermenter container into a secondary fermenter container. Typically, this involves siphoning liquid from one to the other. While this does work well most of the time, at times, one ends up siphoning some of the lees which makes...
  12. R

    Using liquor to flavor wine

    Just add some vodka.
  13. R

    Favorite 1 Gallon Recipes

    First, I would note that wines made from fruit will NOT always taste as you might expect. The distinct fruit flavor that you expect might not be there although the wine will still be satisfactory. To avoid the hassle of using fruit with Nylon sacks, crushing, etc. I would recommend a number of...
  14. R

    SG and Secondary Fermentation

    Since the SG is already below 1.00, the wine is basically done fermenting. If you leave it leave in the carboy for another week, it will just age a bit and there should be no problems.
  15. R

    Adding spice?

    Should be no trouble. I even made a sage wine but not for strictly drinking, but to use in cooking. Since I live in Nevada, I used the sage from the native plants.
  16. R

    Heaters - belts or pads?

    During the winter months, I keep my house at 65F, which is a little cool for some yeasts to ferment effectively. I took care of the issue by wrapping a blanket heater (heating pad) around the 1-gallon fermenter followed by a thick towel and bungie cord to hold everything in place. The heater...