Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 8:13 PM
On my first ever attempt at making wine, I misread the given instructions and didn't add the proper amount of acid blend. I didn't realize my mistake until after the first racking. What should I do now? Is it too late to add the acid blend? If not, how should I add it and how much?
Please take a look at my log and the instructions/recipe I used. That may give you some more information:
Thanks for any help you can give,
Subject: RE: HELP: I didn't add enough acid
Many, many comments, but you can see I am hopelessly behind in my email (I have 116 after I answer yours) so I will be brief and encourage you to read http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/basics.asp (and the 5 linked pages).
Adding any solid (sugar, acid blend, yeast nutrients, Campden tablet) to a just-fermented wine causes foaming because there are billions of molecules of CO2 gas in the spaces between the wine molecules too small to see; when a grain of anything falls through them, it knocks them loose and they float upward, bumping other molecules out and growing larger as the bubbles combine. You need to either degas the wine first, or dissolve the solids in a 1/2 cup of the wine and then pour that into the secondary.
You degas by stirring very forcefully. Use your racking cane or a wooden dowel.
Siphoning is REAL easy. The secondary with the wine sits on a countertop and the empty on the floor. Put the end of the hose in the secondary (I haven't used a racking cane in years) about halfway down. Stoop down to the empty and suck quickly but forcefully on the end of the hose. IMMEDIATELY put the end of the hose in the empty secondary. Wine will flow.
You are rushing everything. Allow TIME to pass between steps. This isn't beer you're making. It's wine.
If wine sits still on lees for 3-4 months, that is bad. Anything less is okay.
Transfer to secondary when the s.g. drops to 1.020-1.010. Lower is okay. Higher is bad.
After entering secondary, leave the wine alone for 30 days. Just walk away and forget about it. It will do what it has been doing for 15,000 years. If you fiddle with it, you can muck it up. After 30 days, rack it. That means leave the lees behind, top up, and put the airlock back on. Then LEAVE IT ALONE for another 30 days. The wine will probably be clear by then, or nearly so. Rack it gain. Now fiddle with it. Degas it. Add the acid blend. Stabilize it if you want to. Then leave it alone.
I never bottle a wine until it has sat, perfectly clear, for at least three months -- usually six. Wine gets better with time. It changes chemically and smoothes out.
Gotta go. Too many others wanting answers too.
Good luck and keep at it. The best thing to do while waiting is start another batch.