New to wine making have a few questions

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usmc0811

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My wife and I have started to make our own beer and have had great successes, now we are getting into wine. I have a couple questions, first does it make any difference on what color glass bottles I use, we are making a red wine and I have collected clear bottles and dark bottles. Second I'm having trouble keeping my wine between 72-75 degrees like the instructions say. The sticker thermometer on the outside of the fermenter says about 69-70 degrees, now when fermenting the beer I read that the actual temperature inside the fermenter will be about 5-10 degrees warmer than the outside air, is this the same with the wine and if not do I have a problem with it being this low or will it just take longer to finish? Lots and Lots of questions sorry but all the help would be appreciated big time. Cheers.
 

pumpkinman2012

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Usually red wines are bottled in the green bottles, colored glass blocks out this sunlight, which in turn preserves the wines natural antioxidants which will protect the wine from oxidation as it ages.
You want to try to maintain at least 75° or higher when fermenting a red wine in order to extract more color and tannin from the skins, and to get better color retention, to be honest, I usually let my fermentations get to the higher end of the yeasts temperature tolerance, each yeast is different; I highly recommend downloading the Scott Labs Fermentation Handbook, it is a wealth of knowledge!
As far as the temp of the must being warmer than the glass, absolutely, but by how much will vary from one fermentation to another, too many variables to guess, my suggestion would be to get a thermometer.
You asked if the lower temps would result in slower fermentations, yes, too low and the yeast will slow down and at the extreme low temp it can go dormant.

I hope that this helps.
 
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usmc0811

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Ok thank you for the information I will bump up my heater some and try to collect more dark bottles.
 
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usmc0811

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You asked if the lower temps would result in slower fermentations, yes, too low and the yeast will slow down and at the extreme low temp it can go dormant.

I hope that this helps.
So what would be the extreme low temp you are talking about? The directions say keep between 72-75 degrees.
 

Mismost

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Bottles are my bottleneck! I never seem to have enough! Also, short on storage space in my house....this has actually turned into a kinda plus!

Most of my wines end getting stored in cardboard boxes in the closet, under the bed, or under my desk. So, no light exposure....color makes no difference, just get it a bottle.
 

pumpkinman2012

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Usmc0811 -
Each yeast has its own temperature range, which yeast are you using?
In my last wine, I used a yeast that had a recommended temp range of 59° - 86°, things started slowing down around 7 days into fermentation, I checked the temp which was at 66°, once I brought the temp back up to 72° fermentation regained some of its momentum.
To increase temps you can use a seedling heat mat, a heat mat used sometimes to get heat to a sore muscle, I've seen fermentation boxes made out of thick insulation boards with a heat lamp in it heating things up and so on, I use seedling heat mats.
 
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usmc0811

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Usmc0811 -
Each yeast has its own temperature range, which yeast are you using?
In my last wine, I used a yeast that had a recommended temp range of 59° - 86°, things started slowing down around 7 days into fermentation, I checked the temp which was at 66°, once I brought the temp back up to 72° fermentation regained some of its momentum.
To increase temps you can use a seedling heat mat, a heat mat used sometimes to get heat to a sore muscle, I've seen fermentation boxes made out of thick insulation boards with a heat lamp in it heating things up and so on, I use seedling heat mats.
I don't know what type of yeast we used because I tossed the package. I now have moved my fermenter to our small laundry room and put my electric space heater in with it. The space heater heats up the small room fast then I turn off the heat for a little so the temperature of the wine will raise slowly and I don't have to heat my whole house to do so. So far so good have the temp up a few degrees now and is in the range it should be, now just to keep it there. Ill look into that mat.
 

TasunkaWitko

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Hi, USMC, and thank you for your service.

I just finished the primary fermentation of my first batch of wine (chokecherry), and I also used a space heater to regulate temperature. With mine (it is one of those industrial-looking gray ones), I am able to set the dial on the heater so that if works kind of line a thermostat; one I hit the temperature that I want, leaving the dial in that position will make it so that the heater turns on only when it needs to, keeping the area within a couple-three degrees of the temperature that I want.

Mine is in a closet in our bedroom, but the same idea might work for your laundry room.

Hope this helps.

Ron
 

pumpkinman2012

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Usmc0811,
First and foremost, I apologize for not thanking you for your service.
It appears that you have the fermentation temps under control!
Having a heat mat is really convenient and an easy way to heat things up. A really good thing to do from this point on is to take notes when you add anything or make any changes, this way, if you love the wine you can replicate it, and if it develops any faults you can determine what went wrong and how to avoid it again.
 
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usmc0811

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pumpkinman2012 and TasunkaWitko thank you for the kind words, yes I was in the Marines for a few years and then got out to be with my family more often, man do I miss it at times lol been out since 2002. Tomorrow will be about a week and a half in the secondary and time to take a test reading of my gravity. It might not be where it needs to be as it was under temp. for the first week or so, but now that I have it more regulated well see. TasunkaWitko that's sounds like the same type of heater I am using as well, I just adjust the knob and let it go for a little and keep adjusting it until it seems about right and keeping a constant temp. of the small room, much better than trying to heat my whole upstairs. Pumpkinman2012 I am still looking into the heat mat would be good to have it, might even use less electric than my current heater. You guys rock :rockin: :mug:
 

TasunkaWitko

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Let us know how it turns out! I'm still a completely raw newbie at winemaking, so reading about the experience will be helpful for me, and Pumpkinman has some great advice and information, if you have any questions! :mug:
 
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usmc0811

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Ill keep ya both up to date. Today we added our other ingredients and mixed very well to degas. I might make a degasser attachment for my drill next time to make that process smoother. It will now sit for another 14 days or so then bottling time, which we still need about 15 more bottles, told my sisters and mom to start drinking theirs faster so I can get their empties, lol. My final gravity was .994 and the original was 1.096 so my ABV. should be about 13.5 percent give or take if I did it right. We also tasted it and I thought it was kinda on the sweet side, it is a Cabernet now that I remember. I also cant wait to make some more beer!!
 
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