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Wine Secondary Question

My wine started at 1.082 OG. This is a Stag’s Leap Merlot kit from Winexpert. My first wine.

After 7 days of fermentation in the vat, I’m at 0.994 SG. I just racked off the lees into a carboy. The recipe says to stay in the carboy for 10 days in secondary fermentation until the gravity is below 1. Since I’m already there, how long should I stay in secondary?

I’m a little concerned about my carboy sanitation. My water was too cold so the sanitizer crystalized. I believe it crystalized after I had racked the sanitation mixture out of the carboy and while it was sitting in my sink in the bottling vat (which I use to hold the sanitation mixture while I’m soaking various tools). So I think the carboy is sufficiently clean, but I’m not certain.

So far the wine smells pretty good. It was a little sulphury during primary, but now it smells fairly wine-like. I think things are going well, but it’s my first try so I’m not sure.

When I racked off the lees, I left most of the sludge behind but the racking cane picked up some of it.

About when should I move to clarification? Right away since my SG is good or should I let it sit for a bit longer? Or the full 10 days the recipe calls for?

Also, should I top this off with a bit of water to fill the carboy more?

Okay read some other threads. Carboy level sounds fine. Extra headroom for degassing later. Also seems like I should let the wine go the whole secondary period.

Yup. Let it sit for the full 10 days (even longer if you like). Never be too hasty with wine.

I doubt sanitation is an issue - especially in the secondary. By that time the alcohol content as well as the active yeast and the preservatives you add, will protect your wine from a lot of stuff.

Good sign is that you fermented out very nicely. Sometimes with some of the bigger grape skin wines, FG can be an issue.

So you are looking pretty solid.

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