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how to make wine

Posted by svanessa (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 15, 07 at 10:33

Hi all,

I'm new here but a reg on the fig forum. I've just started a batch of fig wine. This is my first attempt at making wine and I have a couple questions.

1) The wine kit I bought came with Camden tablets, no other sterilization chemicals. Can I use this to sterialize all my other equipment? What is the best way? Do I dissolve one or two (?) tablets in hot water in a large pot then stick in the tubing, siphon, and all other items that will come into contact with the must? Should I buy another chemical to sterilize? Do you wear rubber gloves when handling the sterialized equipment?

2) This is day 2 of the fermentation process. In 3-4 days I'll be ready to rack (?) in into the secondary fermentation carboy. How do you get the solution to start moving from the primary to the secondary unit? Do you suck on one end of the tubing to get a flow? That's not sanitary but how else do you do it?


Sue in San Diego

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: how to make wine

Svanessa, I don't wear rubber gloves, I wash my hands first.making sure all the soap is off...disolve the camden tablets with warm water to sterlize equipment Maybe a couple per gallon water?.And I do use a siphion hose (tube) to rack my wine. Yes Suck to get started. It is as sanitary as you gonna do it.

RE: how to make wine

The Camden tablets are to sanitize your equipment and to kill unwanted yeast strains that can ruin your wine. They allow you to introduce a known strain of yeast to the must, as opposed to all of the wild yeast that are on your fruit and air born. Notice I used the word sanitize as opposed to sterilize. There are no harmful pathogens in properly fermented wine because the 5-15% alcohol will kill them.
I always rinse my mouth with whiskey before siphoning, but if putting your mouth on the transfer hose bothers you get a siphon starter. They cost about $10...but it's just another thing you'll have to clean.

RE: how to make wine

Another way to get the suction started in the siphon hose is to fill the hose with water by placing one end of the hose under the tap and the other end of the hose directed at the sink. Water will start flowing through the hose and into the sink. Once there's enough water in the hose, cover both ends with a finger from each hand, to try to keep the water in the hose (some air pockets along the hose are okay).

Then put the rigid hose end into the primary container (container with the wine), taking your finger off the hose end just before submerging. Of course, depending on which racking you are doing, you may want to be careful not to let the hose touch the sediment on the bottom, so maybe you have to hold that end a bit up in the liquid.

Then, place the other end of the hose into the secondary container, taking your finger off the end right before you put it in.

This should start the water flowing into the secondary carboy, and the wine will follow right along with it. The water is of such a minor amount you don't have to worry about it diluting your wine.

I hope I explained it well. Basically, you fill the hose as much you as you can with water ahead and try to keep the water in the hose until you place in the vessels. Then, once the water starts flowing it sucks the wine right after it into the container as well.

This works quite a bit of the time, but I have been known to do the "mouth" siphon method as well.


RE: how to make wine

I'm a newbie as well. I've done similar to Glen's method for siphoning. I use a bucket for prim. ferm. What I do is submerge my hose in the bucket ensuring all air escapes the line, except the small bit where I'm holding it. Then I put my thumb over the line and slowly pull the tube up until I have enough to make it down to the carboy. The line will be full so when you let go it siphons on its own. Works good for me.

RE: how to make wine

THe BEST way to siphon wine is purchace a Auto Siphon from your local beer and winemaking supplies store. It well worth the 12.00 price (MORE or less depending on location)


Requires a 5/16" hose. Starts siphon with a single stroke in as little as an inch of liquid. Includes a 24" racking tube.

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