kit wine noob question

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dwells

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So I started a Grand Cru Valpolicella on 10/23 and followed the instructions (as far as I could tell) to a tee. Starting SG was 1.082 (right in the range it should have been. I used a 6 gal bucket as for the primary and sealed up tight and used an airlock. The instructions say to rack on day 14 into a carboy. Until yesterday the airlock was bubbling away nicely and then at some point during the day it just stopped dead in its tracks. There seem to be mixed opinions on air vs. no air on here. So I'm at 7 days and the fermentation seems to have stopped. Is this normal? I opened it to check it out and SG is currently about 1.004 (instructions say it'll be at 0.998 on day 14). So am I on the right track or should I worry.
Also of note, after popping the top and taking an SG reading it's a bit more foamy right now.
Thanks for any advise or reassurances you give.
 

pdbreen

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No need to worry - fermentation is likely still taking place, just at a slower pace. And popping the top to check gravity is fine as well - will actually give you better insight into what's happening and how fast so you'll have more confidence with future batches.

So, let her sit and check the gravity in another week or so.
 

Nurmey

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Welcome to HBT!

Go by the gravity not the time line the instructions give you. Yeast can't read a calendar and goes at its own pace. As stated, the yeast is still working but just a little slower. (Apparently the yeast didn't read the instrustions. :D)

I've found with the kits that the times stated on instructions push the times faster than is realistic.

Not to worry though, I've never had a kit that didn't come out tasting good.
 

Emerald

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I've only been making wine a short time but have noticed that, Now that the temperatures are going down outside, and our house is set on a timer to control the heat, 60 at night and 65 to 68 during the day, the wine slows down to almost nothing at night and then starts bubbling as the house warms up. Are the temperatures in your home cooling off? When I bake and the house really warms up the bubbling gets faster. Just an observation from a newby wine maker.:eek:
 
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dwells

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Not so much with house temp fluctuations. The room my wine stuff is set up in stays between 65 - 70. When I last checked gravity it started perking up a bit for about 12 hours but it's died down again. I'll probably check it again in a day or two and rack into secondary.

Another thing I've been wondering about (maybe the wrong forum, sorry) is that with all of the recipies for mead and fruit wine it's supposed to make 1 gallon but once it gets into the secondary it's 3 - 4 inches below full. I guess fruit and lees aren't being considered in these recipes? Should I worry about too much head space? My persimmon wine ended up with maybe 3/4 gallons in the secondary. should this be filled with water or just let it ride?
Thanks again for all the advice. I LOVE THIS PLACE!
 

Emerald

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6 gallons of liquid shouldn't change temperature that fast.
I should have been a bit more clear- it really doesn't start bubbling till mid afternoon and then only about 1 to 2 in a 10minute time frame. While at night it has positive pressure but not really bubbling. When I bake it is an all day thing and it bubbles once a minute when the house is that warm. And I only have 5 gallons going.
Besides, all the reading I have done here and other places says that cooler and slower are the way to go for good flavor. So I am not worried in the least.
 
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dwells

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I dig what you're saying. The inlaws were here for a 4 day weekend (house had to be a bit warmer) and there was a bit more activity on the airlocks. Right now it's just keeping positive pressure and the room temp is back down to a (wonderfully comfortable) 69 degrees. I've had a lot of wine but never even heard of Valpolicella. It sounded like an interesting first kit so I'm looking forward to giving it a taste when it's ready to bottle and again when it's aged a bit. Right now it seems a bit under-done but I can taste the potential. Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

Way2pass

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Not so much with house temp fluctuations. The room my wine stuff is set up in stays between 65 - 70. When I last checked gravity it started perking up a bit for about 12 hours but it's died down again. I'll probably check it again in a day or two and rack into secondary.

Another thing I've been wondering about (maybe the wrong forum, sorry) is that with all of the recipies for mead and fruit wine it's supposed to make 1 gallon but once it gets into the secondary it's 3 - 4 inches below full. I guess fruit and lees aren't being considered in these recipes? Should I worry about too much head space? My persimmon wine ended up with maybe 3/4 gallons in the secondary. should this be filled with water or just let it ride?
Thanks again for all the advice. I LOVE THIS PLACE!
How did your persimmon wine end up ?
please and thank you
 
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dwells

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The persimmon is still bubbling away. Must be some hungry yeast! It's a pale yellow and smells very hot. Looks like it'll be some time before it settles down. Sweet potato wine is already quite clear and I'll probably rack it again this weekend and get a reading. The Valpolicella is bottled now and so far tastes very good. Can't wait to open the first bottle in a few months. Oh, and the blueberry mead is going to great in a year or so! It'll make a nice holiday treat next Thanksgiving.
 
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