Newbie Questions


The very first wine I made was the Vintners Reserve Chardonnay which only yielded 26 bottles. Is it common to yield less than 30 bottles? If not, where could I have gone wrong? I didn’t spill any wine and every time i used the wine thief, I made sure to return the tested wine.

Also, I just transfer my World Vineyard California Trinity Red from primary fermenter, the the glass carboy. I’m storing it on my garage which is a constant 70 degrees. The instructions say to store it at a minimum of 72 degrees. Is this difference enough to make a difference? If so, what happens (ie will I need to keep it in the carboy a bit longer, will it change the flavor, etc.)?

When making my home wine in the future, should I store my Big Mouth Bubbler (Primary Fermentor) and my Glass Carboy (Secondary Fermentor) in a dark area to similate it being in a barral? Or is it ok to store in in an area where there is daily indirect light?

After I open a bag of corks, is there a timeframe in which they need to be used (ie, do they dry/crack if not used within 6/months)?

Finally, I’m using both used wine bottles which still has the gummy residue from the removed label. What should I use to remove these residue? I’m told to use nail polish remover, but want to whether or not there is less toxic way of doing this.

Thank you in advance.

Lots of questions, hope I can help you with some of them.

The “lost bottles” are due to one of two things: either the jug you used to measure water when adding to the concentrate was off, or you lost wine when transferring from carboy to carboy and didn’t replace it. Typically, you want to add some similar wine to the carboy to minimize head space, which in theory could lead to oxidation.

Not sure about the 70 vs. 72 issue. Some yeasts need to stay warm to finish properly, so if you have the wine too cool at the end of the fermentation process, it could come out sweeter than it is suppose to. But that said, it is likely the kit maker put a bit of safety margin in the instructions, so close will likely be good enough.

The wine doesn’t need to think it’s in a barrel, but it should be kept in a dark place. Sunlight and fluorescent lights can cause chemical changes in the wine. No need to go overboard with this, but at least make sure they are not in direct sunlight.

Corks do eventually go bad (after several years), but there is no way to know how old a batch of corks you are buying is. So just use them until you start having problems.

Good luck with the glue. Different wineries use different glues. Some come off easy with just a soak in water, others are almost impossible to remove.

+1 to rebuitcellars.

  1. The temperature can have a significant effect on how the wine finishes. I’m not too worried about the Tr.Red, because most of the fermentation would be done in the primary. But be carefull in the future. Even the low end of the recommended temp range can be low for certain wines.

If this is where you intend to store your wine, invest in a heating belt.

  1. 26 bottles of wine sounds fine. If you are not topping up you should expect 26-28. You make to 23 litres (30 bottles) and lose a few due to sedimentation and general processing. To get to 30, you would have to add wine or water at the backend.

Unless you plan to age the wine in the carboy (not recommended by winexpert) you don’t really have to top up the carboy. The chance of major oxydation occurring in 5-8 weeks is low. Just try not to remove the airlock once you have degassed the wine. Degassing should allow CO2 to push out most oxygen. After that there is a little more risk.