Fresh Juice Instructions
NOTE: Yeast has not been added; be sure to add the packet of yeast that came in your envelope.
Our juices are completely balanced and adjusted; the wine yeast packet must be added to your juice when you get it home. Tear off the safety seal and remove the lid. Once the juice gets to approx. 60 degrees, take a hydrometer reading and record. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the juice and stir with a clean sanitized spoon. Set the lid lightly on top of the bucket. If you prefer, transfer the juice into a regular fermenting bucket with an airlock (optional). The pail should be kept in an area that will maintain a temperature of 65-75 degrees. If you are unable to maintain that temperature, you may want to use a Brewbelt. During the first several days, stir your juice once or twice a day until your wine starts to ferment. Don't panic if it does not start right away. However, if it has not started after several days, be sure to contact us. You will know it is fermenting when foam and bubbles are on the top of the juice. You should also take a hydrometer reading to see if it has changed from the initial reading.
After 7-14 days or when your S.G. is 1.020 (or lower), rack (transfer) your wine into a clean and sanitized six gallon carboy. Many red wines as well as Chardonnay benefit from adding oak chips. If you want to add oak to your wine, you may add it as this point. We have a wide selection of oak available.
After the wine has fermented for a total of 6 weeks and the S.G. is below 0.990 rack the wine one more time and add 1 teaspoon of potassium metabisulphite. Be sure to record your final S.G. reading below. If you plan to sweeten your wine, be sure to add potassium sorbate.
You now have two options for finishing your wine:
Option 1 (recommended method): Degas the wine by stirring vigorously for several minutes or until the wine stops foaming to drive off the CO2 gas. Allow to settle for approximately two weeks and bottle when the wine is clear.
Option 2: Allow the wine to sit in carboy for several months to allow the CO2 gas to naturally dissipate. This method does not ensure that the wine is free of CO2 - you may still want to stir the wine prior to bottling to be sure there is no fizziness. If you bottle wine with excessive CO2, there is a possibility that the corks could pop out.
Cold Stabilizing: Some wines contain high levels of tartaric acid which can cause tartrate crystals to form in bottled wine. Cold stabilizing is a method to avoid this from happening. You can easily test your wine to see if it would benefit from cold stabilizing.
See links below to learn more about cold stabilizing. Most of the time, our fresh juices will clear on their own, however, if they do not, you may need to add a fining (clearing) agent. We recommend Dual-Fine.
If you are using a hydrometer (recommended), record your readings here:
Date____________Starting S.G. ___________
Date____________Ending S.G. ____________
To determine the alcohol in your finished wine:
Starting S.G. - Ending S.G. x 131.25 = ______%
Example: Your starting S.G. was 1.090 and your ending S.G. was .995: 1.090 - 0.995 = 0.095 x 131.25 = 12.5%
Cold Stabilization Instructions