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Primary Fermentation, How Long?


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#1 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 02:41 AM

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I have just made my first batch of wine. Its a Rice and Raisin wine and it is right now bubbling away in its bucket. What I am wondering is how long should I leave it in the bucket before I put it into the airlock vessel?
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#2 Shane Arthur

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 04:22 AM

QUOTE (enchantedbrewer @ Jul 30 2008, 04:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
smileyhelp.gif

I have just made my first batch of wine. Its a Rice and Raisin wine and it is right now bubbling away in its bucket. What I am wondering is how long should I leave it in the bucket before I put it into the airlock vessel?


How long has your wine been brewing? Have you taken any measurments and if so please post them. Give as much detail as you can and we can certainly help you. WELCOME!


Thanks Y'all

Shane


Everything i say is my way, not the only way. I've been wrong before, will be again soon!


Recipes Ive Used

5 Gallons Strawberry Red Wine
5 Gallons Welches Juice White Wine


#3 Little Blind Guy

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 05:02 AM

Enchanted - Hello and welcome to the forum! You have found a great place for answers to all your wine making questions.

As Shane asked, what was your initial specific gravity (S.G.) and where is it now? Each fermentation has a mind of its own. Some go fast while others take quite a bit of time. Let your hydrometer be your guide on fermentation. As a general rule of thumb, when your S.G. gets to 1.000 or just a little above, you should probably move it to your carboy with airlock.

Again, welcome to the forum. Please take a minute or two to add your location to your profile. This helps others in your area connect with you and can also make a difference in the advice you are given on some questions. Thanks!
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#4 Curt

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 05:06 AM

There are two ways you can come at it. If you have taken hydrometer measurements you can wait until the specific gravity (SG) drops to around 1.010 and then transfer to a carboy and waterlock it. If you are just following a recipe you can wait until the fermentation visibly slows down and is less active and then transfer to a carboy and waterlock it. Either way will work but the first is much more precise and certain as to the end results.

what's brewing; 6gal local plum  6gal strawberry/rhubarb  6gal pinot noir  6gal blueberry/grape  6gal old vine zin  9gal local apple


#5 Wade's Wines

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 06:56 AM

Enchantedbrewer,
Welcome to the Forum and to a great hobby!
All good and accurate advice.
Here's what's happening: The yeast is converting sugars into alcohol and CO2 (the bubbles). The CO2 is heavier than the general air in the room, so it sits on top of the fermenting sugar mix that's becoming wine. Once it's done fermenting (bubbling), the CO2 will not be enough protection from air, which will oxidize your wine, turning it brown and leaving it tasting a little like prune juice.
So, that's why and when you put it under an airlock to protect it. If you put it in a carboy too early, it'll blow the airlock off and paint your ceiling. Happens to all of us sooner or later.
When you put it in the carboy, fill it nearly to the stopper, eliminating as much exposure to air as possible. (If it's half-full, there's a lot of surface in contact with air)
One other note: Keep it covered snugly with a cloth or a lid that fits tight enough to keep fruit flies out when in the primary fermenter. Fruit flies carry spoilage bacterias and can't resist fermenting wine!
Have fun!
Wade
p.s. If you don't have a hydrometer, get one right away! They're only about $5 and they give you control of the whole process like nothing else can. You've GOT TO HAVE ONE TO CONSISTENTLY MAKE WINE!
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#6 dhudson

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 07:20 AM

Lots of good comments and advice so far. The answer to your question is to leave the wine in the bucket until it is mostly done fermenting. As a ballpark estimate, that is usually about a week or so, give or take a few days, depending on the yeast, temperatures, etc. Watching the bubble activity and/or measuring the S.G. will give you a more accurate idea of just when that is, but it's usually somewhere between 5 and 10 days.

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#7 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 02:14 PM

Thank you everyone! I am extremely new and this is my first batch of wine ever. And it has only been fermenting for 24 hours. I will go out and get a hydrometer today and will report back with my numbers as soon as possible. For the moment I think it is okay though I can still hear it bubbling like crazy! Thanks for the advice everyone!
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