First time from kit: cloudy = vinegar?

PaulNS(NS zone 6a)January 22, 2009

We're making Sauvignon Blanc from a kit. After we started it the outdoor temperature plummeted, the room got down to 60F or so and the yeast wouldn't work. So after a few days we moved the bucket near the wood stove (our only heat source). The yeast started working. The ambient temp went up to 75-80F. The wine went very cloudy. Not wanting to keep disturbing the bucket we waited a couple days then moved it to a cooler place, 60-70F. The wine is on day 12 of the 14 recommended in the primary, and it is super cloudy. Does this mean it's turning to vinegar?

Two other possible mistakes: I used a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients, not plastic as suggested, because we don't have one. Along with all the other equipment I had washed the wooden spoon in bleach water and rinsed it.

And we're using a borrowed glass carboy which only holds 19 litres, and the kit makes 23 litres. So we only put 19 litres water in the bucket, which leave a lot of headroom.

This kit is supposed to be foolproof. Does that make me a fool? :) I suppose time will tell, but if there's something I can do now to correct the wine, or not do in the future to prevent problems, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

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fedup321(7 NC)

Are you following the instructions that came with the kit? Did you use a hydrometer to read the wine as directed? What brand is the kit?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 12:37PM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

Aside from the above mentioned things we followed the instructions to the letter. It's a Heritage wine kit from British Columbia - cheap ($46) but not super cheap.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:00PM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

They're online

Here is a link that might be useful: heritage wine

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:29PM
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fedup321(7 NC)

Paulns, I read the kit instruction from the site you gave me and Other than not doing the extra gal of water I think you have probably still have a good wine. The cloudness it probably due to that. I also have the contact person you should email and talk to. Take a hydrometer reading before talk to her ,as I am sure she will ask you for it.They will let you know if not putting enough water in it will cause the problems.
contact... bernadetter@brewerylane.com

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:37PM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

Thanks for finding that address fedup - I was looking but missed it - and for the optimism. I did talk to the guy at the shop we got the kit at - he's in town, 2+ hours away - and he didn't think there would be a problem using less water - said it would make a more full-bodied, though maybe not stronger, wine.

I'm more worried now about all that air space in the bucket, but the chemicals that come with the kit help prevent it turning to vinegar, right? What I'll do is wait until the 14 days are over (Jan. 29), take a reading and email that lady. The wine is looking clearer at the top now than it was two days ago.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:05PM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

Update - the wine's in the carboy now, topped up, looking amazingly clear and smelling like wine.
First-timer panic. :)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 10:43AM
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