RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Update Day 6:

With a little help from my friends

Time to check in again! I checked the SG on the Pumpkin Wine again last night as I stirred. It was at 1.016 down from the original SG of 1.090. This means that my yeast friends have done a stellar job so far. In a little under a week, they've converted most of the sugar to alcohol. On the scale of Specific Gravity, or SG, 1.000 has no sugar in it. Between the natural sugars in the pumpkin and the 11 pounds of sugar I added, 6 gallons of liquid had the original SG reading of 1.090 (13% Potential Alcohol (PA).) You must check this at the beginning to know what the alcohol percentage will be, because as soon as the SG starts dropping, you can no longer be sure.

The fermenting is definitely slowing down, the airlock was not bubbling that much which means that less CO2 is being released by the yeast. But there is still some fermenting to go on (as the SG is not down to 1.000.) The wine must ferment out dry or there could be problems in the future - regular wine bottles and corks don't like a whole lot of built up pressure!

As I said in an earlier post, Kat and I are going out of town this weekend. So there will be no one to stir the must as it continues to ferment out. What to do?

The answer is obvious: go to Winepress and start a discussion topic asking for advice! I asked if I should just leave the must sitting, or if I should go ahead and transfer it to the secondary fermenter. Everyone suggested I go ahead and transfer it, saying that the SG had reached a low enough level that it should cause any problems in the big Carboy with an airlock. So that's what I'm going to do tonight.

I also tasted the wine last night just to see how it was going. It still tasted pretty good, the cinnamon and ginger were still evident, though not quite as much. It was very fruity, but still a little "orange juicy". I guess what I mean by that is it didn't have a lot of body in the mouthfeel - it tasted very young (which it is.) I think this is something that will correct itself in the aging process - whether I do sur lie or not. The color was kind of a light orange, which I imagine will clear to the normal color of a white wine - except maybe slightly golden or amber.

Someone suggested that I taste it frequently to see when the ginger flavor is enough, and then be sure to take the ginger out immediately. I didn't think the ginger was overpowering or anything last night, so it's till in there, but since there was a hint of it, I reckon I'll just take it out tonight during the transfer.

I'll let you know how the transfer went tonight or tomorrow. Later!


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