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#1 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:17 PM

So, today after about 6 days in the airlock my wine went into rapid fermentation and started to fill up the airlock. It has now mellowed out just a little and there is a little gap between the bung and the level of my wine. But the water in my airlock is discolored and there is gunk (for lack of a better word) in my airlock. Is this something I should be worried about? unsure.gif

Also, there is a thick layer of lees at the bottom of my demijohn but my wine is still unclear. Should I rack it off of the lees on the bottom? Will this result in it clearing faster. We are about to move house in 2 weeks and I want this wine to be done fermenting by then. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

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#2 MinnesotaMaker

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:00 PM

I would remove the airlock, clean it up, refill with clean liquid and replace. If you have lots of flying critters around, it may be a good idea to put a little chunk of paper over the carboy's mouth while you're cleaning the airlock.

As for the sediment. I wouldn't worry about it until the majority of fermentation is done.

Good luck.

#3 MinnesotaMaker

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:06 PM

We all get an unexpected rapid ferment now and then. It sounds like yours wasn't too bad. Sometimes it gets so bad that the foamy crud overflows the airlock and makes a mess all over the table.

Here is what I do if this ever happens. Remove the airlock but keep the rubber bung in the carboy. Insert one end of a length of hose into the rubber bung and place the other end of the hose into a half filled glass of water. This way, if any foamy wine is ejected, it goes down the hose and into the glass of water. It would take a lot of overflow to fill up the glass and make a mess.

Make sure to keep the glass at a low level so that there isn't a way for a siphon to start up; you wouldn't want that contaminated water to get sucked back into your carboy.

#4 Bunghole

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:42 PM

QUOTE (enchantedbrewer @ Aug 11 2008, 10:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, today after about 6 days in the airlock my wine went into rapid fermentation and started to fill up the airlock. It has now mellowed out just a little and there is a little gap between the bung and the level of my wine. But the water in my airlock is discolored and there is gunk (for lack of a better word) in my airlock. Is this something I should be worried about? unsure.gif

Also, there is a thick layer of lees at the bottom of my demijohn but my wine is still unclear. Should I rack it off of the lees on the bottom? Will this result in it clearing faster. We are about to move house in 2 weeks and I want this wine to be done fermenting by then. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Cheers smileytoast.gif



How long ago did you start the wine?

What is the SG at?

Are you doing primary fermenting in a carboy under airlock?

Depending on the SG of the wine you might want to leave the heavy lees at the bottom. Your yeast is there working its magic.

In Wine clearing their is no magic number that says the wine will be clear in x number of days, weeks or months.

I have had wine sit for 3 months in what I thought was clear only to find a small trace of dust on the bottom

If the wine went into a rapid fermentation then that sounds like the yeast fineally decided to start working its magic.

I myself do the primary fermentation in a bucket with the lid sitting on top not tightly sealed and covered with a towel until the Sg drops to under 1.035.

Once the SG drops below 1.035 then I transfer the wine to a carboy and add an airlock

Just my 2 cents

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#5 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 04:44 PM

QUOTE (Bunghole @ Aug 13 2008, 09:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How long ago did you start the wine?

What is the SG at?

Are you doing primary fermenting in a carboy under airlock?

Depending on the SG of the wine you might want to leave the heavy lees at the bottom. Your yeast is there working its magic.

In Wine clearing their is no magic number that says the wine will be clear in x number of days, weeks or months.

I have had wine sit for 3 months in what I thought was clear only to find a small trace of dust on the bottom

If the wine went into a rapid fermentation then that sounds like the yeast fineally decided to start working its magic.

I myself do the primary fermentation in a bucket with the lid sitting on top not tightly sealed and covered with a towel until the Sg drops to under 1.035.

Once the SG drops below 1.035 then I transfer the wine to a carboy and add an airlock

Just my 2 cents

John wave.gif


Hmm, I let it ferment in a bucket for about 1 week and its been in the airlock for another week today. Last night my hydrometer read 1.000. Does that mean its eaten all the sugar. There are still bubbles coming up but not as fast. Also its very dry tasting. I think I would like to add some more sugar or honey. But I dont think I want it any hire in alcohol I like it were it is. What can I do?
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#6 Bunghole

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:25 PM

QUOTE (enchantedbrewer @ Aug 12 2008, 07:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmm, I let it ferment in a bucket for about 1 week and its been in the airlock for another week today. Last night my hydrometer read 1.000. Does that mean its eaten all the sugar. There are still bubbles coming up but not as fast. Also its very dry tasting. I think I would like to add some more sugar or honey. But I dont think I want it any hire in alcohol I like it were it is. What can I do?


Your in the ball park of a dry wine .990 to 1.000

The bubbles rising is either fermentation is moving the last leg very slowly or its SO2 and will continue for a while.

You want to add sugar or honey and before you do that you need to stabalize the wine to prevent it from converting any more sugar or honey to alch

Sorbate and Sulfite need to be added and let that sit for about 10 days. Take a SG reading to make sure there is no more fermentation. I myself would wait about 30 days before adding any sugar or honey and then when I did it would be added to a 4 oz glass of the wine to check the sweetness. When you got the taste then do the math to adding sugar or honey to the whole batch

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#7 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:32 AM

Does it need BOTH campden and the sorbate? And should I dissolve the sugar in water or maybe in some of the wine before adding it?
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#8 Briankos

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 02:28 AM

Rack if you want to get it off the lees, and then Yes, it needs BOTH campden and sorbate! and you can definetly either make a simple syrup, but some suggest this "waters the wine down" , or I would take some of the wine and add 1 cup of sugar at a time until you like it... no one can tell you how much to add, because it is all your taste. Good luck

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#9 Bunghole

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 05:54 AM

QUOTE (enchantedbrewer @ Aug 13 2008, 04:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does it need BOTH campden and the sorbate? And should I dissolve the sugar in water or maybe in some of the wine before adding it?


To be the most effective at stopping a fermentation you need to use both

Potassium Sorbate disrupts the reproductive cycle of the yeast and Potassium Metabisulfite (Campden Tablets) is used to kill off any micro organisms like bacteria.

Adding sugar water will thin out the wine.

Drawing off some of the wine and adding sugar to it and then mixing it back into the wine prevents thining out the wine with sugar water. I have added sugar to juice that was not fermented and then mixed into the wine to add sweetness and flavor.

I have an apple wine going now that i am gonna add sugar to 1/2 gallon apple juice and add that back into the wine to give it some sweetness and flavor

Its your wine and you can do what you want. wink.gif

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#10 Wade's Wines

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 08:03 AM

Enchanted,
If you're planning on moving the wine in the carboy, and it's fermented dry, you don't HAVE TO do anything but move it. You normally don't add sorbate until close to bottling. If you're going to bottle it very young before moving, definately add Potassium Metabisulfite and Potassium Sorbate. BUT if you bottle it this young there will be lots of sediment in your bottles in no time at all. You'll probably regret it every time you look at the bottles, especially when you open one.
I'd suggest before moving, racking it off the sediment, then top up the container with wine and K-Meta. Definately clean out that airlock and put it back on (throw a towel over the carboy opening while you're cleaning the airlock). You could top it up with water (thinning wine flavor and alcohol), Juice or Sugar Water (either will re-start the ferment unless you add Sorbate and K-Meta), or pick a nice Wine that matches what you hope this wine will be. The wine's the best choice, especially since you're about to move it.
Rack it again in a month or so after your move, then at least once more before bottling. I like to rack about 4 to 6 times over a year then bottle. I know this is one of your first wines and it won't age a year, but two rackings will have it alot more clear before bottling.
When you move, sit the carboy in a box on top of a towel, then wrap it in towels. Load it in a way that nothing will disturb the airlock, and check the airlock often while moving. If you had it, a waterless airlock would be great while the wine's being moved.
One more note: Your wine may get a little bottle sick from moving. (If you tasted it before moving, it may not taste as good after moving). Give it a month and it will correct the problem on its' own.
Good luck with the move! Is this from NZ to Canada, or just locally in NZ? If it's the big move, you should probably have it bottled first rather than shipped in carboy. Carboy stoppers are a little slippery when sitting still, let alone traveling 10,000 + or - miles.
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