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FAQS

Below is a list of Frequenly Asked Questions (FAQS). This list is furnished to help you find answers to some of the more commonly asked questions regarding wine making. If you can not find the answer to your question or if you need more information, please send us an contact us.

  1. During primary fermentation, I noticed a strong smell coming from the bucket. What is that smell and does it mean my wine is no good?
  2. In order to keep the carboy topped off, I have to keep adding more water. Am I diluting my wine?
  3. I have read about toping off. What is it and when do I need to do this?
  4. You have so many different brands of wine kits. Does price really make a difference? If so, which kits are the best?
  5. Campden Tablet are very hard to crush. Is there something I can use in place of the Campden Tablets?
  6. The instructions tell me to "clean and sanitize" everything that touches my wine. Is there a difference between cleaning and sanitizing?
  7. I need to add some sugar to my fresh fruit wine. Do I just add it to the must?
  8. I am confused. Do the wine kits make 5 or 6 gallons of wine?

During primary fermentation, I noticed a strong smell coming from the bucket. What is that smell and does it mean my wine is no good?

The smell is produced by the yeast converting the sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide. The smell should be similar to those created by baking. Rest assured it will go away in several days and that there is nothing wrong with your wine.

In order to keep the carboy topped off, I have to keep adding more water. Am I diluting my wine?

The wine kit manufacturers anticipates that you will add approximately 1 liter of water to top off your carboys. Anything more than that will start diluting your wine. It is for this reason that I don't worry about transferring too much sediment in the first racking. You need the liquid, so if you bring along some of the sediment, it will not hurt your wine and will reduce the amount of liquid required later to top off.

I have read about toping off. What is it and when do I need to do this?

Topping off is the process of adding more liquid to your carboy to reduce the amount of oxygen in your carboy. This is necessary to prevent your wine from aging too fast and becoming flabby or worse, spoiled. Once you have stabilized your wine, you need to keep your carboy topped off. The general rule of thumb is no more than 2 inches of air between the wine and the bottom of the stopper.

You have so many different brands of wine kits. Does price really make a difference? If so, which kits are the best?

As with most items offered for sale, price does make a difference. In this case, the higher the price, the more fresh juice included in the kit. Use the following link to learn more about our wine kits:

Guide to Selecting a Wine Kit

Campden Tablet are very hard to crush. Is there something I can use in place of the Campden Tablets?

Campden Tablets are used to add sulfites to your wine to protect it from spoilage. Potassium Metabisulfite does the same job. In place of a Campden Tablet, use 1/8 tsp of Potassium Metabisulfite.

The instructions tell me to "clean and sanitize" everything that touches my wine. Is there a difference between cleaning and sanitizing?

Yes, there is a difference. You clean the bottles to get rid of all of the dirt, dried wine or other foreign matter in or on your wine making equipment and supplies. You sanitized the same items to eliminate items that could spoil your wine, i.e., mold. You do not want to lose a batch of wine to mold just because you did not sanitize properly.

I need to add some sugar to my fresh fruit wine. Do I just add it to the must?

No! If you just add it to the must, it may not dissolve. The recommended way is to add your sugar to some boiling water to dissolve the sugar. After the water has cooled, you can add it to your must.

I am confused. Do the wine kits make 5 or 6 gallons of wine?

All of the wine kits sold by finevinewines.com make 6 US gallons or 30 bottles of wine, except the Port, Sherry and Ice Wine Style kits that make 3 US gallons. If you use a bucket sold by finevinewines.com, the ridge on the inside of your primary fermenting bucket is the 6 US gallon mark.

 

 

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