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The instructions in my wine and beer kits talk about number of days and also hydrometer readings, which do I follow?
Posted by Paul Sass, August 9th, 2012 | 0 Comments
One of the most important tools in your wine & beer making process is the hydrometer. The principle of the hydrometer is to measure the density of your wine & beer. As the wine & beer ferments creating alcohol, the hydrometer will sink deeper into the wine & beer, giving you important readings as to the progress of your fermentation.
Over the years The Home Vintner has educated over 10,000 wine & beer makers through our classes, stressing the importance of taking readings. It is essential to take a reading BEFORE you pitch the yeast; BEFORE stabilizing; & BEFORE bottling.
Our wine & beer kits contain a lot of natural sugars, making them very viscous and difficult to dissolve. It's very important that you stir, stir, stir your wine & beer at start-up in the primary and take a reading with your hydrometer. If it is lower than the recommended specific gravity, go back and stir, stir, stir again until you reach the proper specific gravity. If this step is skipped, the yeast will "top ferment". A lot of the sugars will settle to the bottom and you will lose a substantial amount of character and weight, creating a wine or beer of lesser quality.
Before each stage of wine & beer making the hydrometer reading must obtain the correct reading indicated in the directions before you move on. The number of days suggested are an approximate indication but the hobbyist must not move on until the correct hydrometer reading is reached. Yes, with Calgary’s altitude it is going to take longer than indicated. Time, time, time, don’t be in a hurry!
Post filed under: Ask The Vintner
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