Stabilizing & Clearing FAQ

Q. I forgot to add the bentonite on day 1, is my wine ruined? Should I add it now?
A. If you forgot to add it on day 1 do not add it on day 14, it won’t help the wine clear and it will react with Kieselsol and Chiotosan causing them to curdle. Your wine will be fine.

Q. I tested my wine with a hydrometer on day 14 and it says the wine is 0% alcohol, what happened?
A. A hydrometer does not give you a reading of what percentage alcohol your wine is, it tells you the potential alcohol. You need to have the specific gravity reading before and after fermentation, and you can then calculate your wine’s alcohol. To do this take your original specific gravity and subtract the specific gravity of the finished wine. Multiply the result by 131, this gives you the percent alcohol by volume. An example:
Day 1 SG = 1.085
Day 14 SG = 0.998
1.085 – 0.998 = 0.087
0.087 x 131 = 11.397
The wine’s alcohol content is approximately 11.4%

Q. I don’t want to add sulfites to my wine, is there an alternative? What do they do?
A. Sulfite protects the wine from spoilage causing microbes and oxidation, you need to add it to the wine otherwise it will go bad. A wine made without sulfites needs to be consumed as soon as one month after bottling. Also you’ll need to find an alternative sanitizer to clean all your equipment.

Q. What about potassium sorbate, do I have to add that?
A. Potassium sorbate inhibits the yeast from re-fermenting in the bottle. If your wine starts to re-ferment in the bottle gas will build up inside and they can push out the cork or burst the bottle.

Q. The instructions say to top within two inches of the carboy, what should I top up with?
A. The best choice is a similar wine, either kit or commercial. Topping up with water is not ideal because it will water down the wine.

Q. What temperature should I store the wine at during stabilizing and clearing?
A. It is best if it is a little cooler than fermentation, 60°-65°F/15°-19°C, it will clear better at lower temperature, if it is warmer than this the wine will clear a little slower.

Q. I added all the ingredients on day 14 and now the wine has stopped bubbling, is something wrong?
A. No, after the first 14 days all fermentation is complete, there should be no bubbling in your wine. All the sugar has been converted into alcohol and potassium sorbate killed the yeast.