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Newbie! First ever batch of wine

My first batch of wine is currently fermenting. I harvested @ 10 lbs. of wild grapes and purchased the master vintner kit (from Northern Brewer) to get the batch going. Primary fermentation was very vigorous and since I had all the grapes macerated but in a nylon bag in the big mouth bubbler, I had to open the top and punch down the bag (several times) as it would rise and plug the airlock. Some of the grape seeds and solids got out of the bag and when I went to rack off the ferment, they plugged the siphon. I had to pour the wine into the secondary fermenter, was able to get the bag and most of the solids separated but still have some seeds and skins floating at the top of the wine. So, should I rack the wine again to remove the rest of the seeds etc… or just let it continue in the secondary fermenter? Also, any activity through the airlock ceased shortly after the transfer (@ 24-48 hrs.). Does that mean that fermentation has ended?
Thanks for your help!

It may have ended. Generally you would rack it off the skins after a few days. What kind of grapes are they ? Are you going for a wild fermentation or did you pasteurize the grapes? Just curious

I soaked the grapes in metabisulphite solution for 24 hrs.(to kill off wild yeast) and pitched it with EC118. That was my approach since Tim Vandergrifte suggested, in another post, using that particular yeast. Not sure what type of grape we harvested. They were more prolific this year due to abundant moisture through the summer.

Thats a good way to do that… I crushed mine up by hand before I added campden tablets… I had purple gloves for a few day… Ours turned out just fine… Could you sanitize a fine, small strainer, put the end of your reckoning cane in it, and follow the head of your must down? Sneezles61

Thanks for the reply Sneezles61. I’m not sure I follow your recommendation. If it makes a difference, you should know that I purchased the glass jug option that Northern Brewer offers for the secondary fermenter. So, the jug has a narrow neck.
As an aside, when I poured into the secondary container I strained the ferment through a funnel lined with an old white T-shirt. Its not white anymore!

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So, I’m thinking I should rack again. The fermentation, it seems, is complete and I can separate the last of the grape residue. From another posting, Tim Vandergrifte suggests adding sulphite as well. I have sodium metabisulphite grains on hand. How much should be added?
Thanks again!

The metabisulphite I haven’t a clue…Thought that to be at the tail end of the process… It seems as I did was to rack once a month… trying to eliminate/remove it off its lee’s… wine word for junk… Sneezles61
Look back at the other posts in this category… Tim gives you lots to read and ponder… After all, he’s the wine expert!

How long has this been fermenting? Leave I alone for a month. Then rack. Then leave it for a couple more months and rack again then just leave it untill you bottle which will be a few more months.

I started primary fermentation on 10/24/17. I can leave it until the end of this month and rack again then.
Thanks brew_cat!

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I have not done any grape wines, but follow Jack Keller’s recipe’s and recommendations (along with Yooper) for my fruit wines. Basically, put the fruit in a BIAB-type bag and let it ferment in a bucket with a loose top for 7-10 days, stirring or agitating a couple times daily to help degas. After primary fermentation( that 7-10 days), rack off less into a glass bottle, with 1 Campden(potassium metabisulphite) tab per gallon, making sure to fill to the top of the neck. Rerack every time the lees settle out to an inch or so, using Campden every other racking. Top off as necessary after racking. My understanding is that in this case the campden is more for oxygen scavenging than for sanitizing. Bottle when there are no more lees settling out and the wine is clear. Mine have taken 2-4 months and 2-3 rackings.

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What’s the purpose of all the Camden tablets?

Brewcat:[quote=“jimrmaine, post:10, topic:25173”]
My understanding is that in this case the campden is more for oxygen scavenging than for sanitizing.
[/quote]

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