If you recall, Day 8 of the primary fermentation for my Gewurztraminer came and went with not much fanfare. According to the instructions, secondary fermentation should start on Day 8 IF the specific gravity was less than 1.010 on the wine hydrometer. Well, mine was not quite that low — almost, but not quite. It was 1.016 to be specific.
I waited one more day and checked the specific gravity again. This time, it was even closer at just over 1.010. I thought for a second if I should go ahead and move forward, but decided to turn off the heating pad and let it go one more day. It was SO close to 1.010 but since it was hovering just over that value, I decided killing the heat and let it slowly go for one more day would probably be the best thing to do.
So, Day 10 came and I checked the specific gravity on the hydrometer again. The temperature had dropped down to 64.5°F. since I didn’t have the heating pad on, and the specific gravity was….drum roll please….1.006! Perfect! That’s less than 1.010, so it was ready to move onto the secondary fermentation stage!
I had previously cleaned and sanitized all the wine making equipment I needed to prepare for secondary fermentation, so today’s step took hardly any time at all. I kept the tubing in the solution overnight just to make extra sure any travel dust or whatnot was gone and done for.
I hooked up the sterilized tubing to the spout on my primary fermenter, and let the wine flow into my glass carboy. I tipped the fermenter a little at the end to get as much wine transferred as possible without letting too much sediment in there. I think I did a fairly good job on that, because there was a nice amount of sediment left on the bottom of the fermenter when it was all said and done.
Finally, I cleaned and sterilized all the equipment I used and put them up to dry.
- It smells great! I didn’t taste it this time, as I was drinking some herbal tea and I knew I wouldn’t be able to taste the wine very well, but I did give it a nice sniff and it smelled wonderful. Smells like fermentation—a healthy fermentation!
- Remember how I said it was really cool in the finished basement where I am now making my wine? Well, turns out that in the haze that was unpacking the house and getting everything set up, I neglected to notice that every single vent was actually closed! No heat was even getting in there! No wonder it was so cool! I ended up opening up the vent in the small winery room, so if all goes well I won’t actually need the heating pad unless absolutely necessary! Score!
My name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.