First thanks for having me on your awesome sight. I have read quite a bit and learned a lot already. I have been making wine for about 6 months using a one gallon jug with stopper and three piece airlock, currently I have three such setups plus racking gear, sanitizer, etc, etc, So far I have had a fair amount of success and continue to learn as I go. I have read multiple times on multiple sites where they suggest the primary fermentation take place in a 5 gallon bucket, I imagine to expose the yeast culture to more oxygen. The issue I have is none mention moving the liquid into a different vessel nor do they talk about or show any design for doing so with a air lock attached(a few mention air locks as well). How much does oxygen do for the yeast culture and fermentation in general? Should I continue with using my current method(Which works fine but I wouldn't mind stepping up my game)? How often should yeast energizer or supplement be added? Should I mix the energizer and nutrient into the yeast as I prepare to pitch it into the must? How important is pasteurizing the must? As far as raw seasonal fruit what fruits lend their properties to the wine more then others and which should I stay away from? Thanks, Frisco B
Beats the hell out of me. Hopefully someone will chime in, or you can find answers from some other resources.
Yeast can ferment both with or without oxygen.
Yeast energizer is basically just more sugar. Your source of sugar (grapes) should be sufficient enough depending where you bought your grapes, but if you're using the standard off the shelf grocery market, then you will probably need an energizer to bring the alcohol up.
Pasteurization of the must is not necessary if you are immediately innoculating it with a yeast + yeast energizer + nutrients (though, I'd be surprised if you dont get any potential off flavors by doing this). The general idea is that you'd want to get the yeast starting to produce ethanol, add that with a low pH, it should inhibit most pathogens from growing.
For Beer this is a different story, we always boil the must because the pH might not be low enough and you dont want to drink sour beers.
I believe that some wine makers will use absorbic acid and sulfer later on to help stabilize the wine too. Details, unfortunately I'm short on.
in a 5 gallon primary fermenter with a spout, it can be your primary way of doing that first racking. Getting rid of all the other junk in the bottom of the container. You'll see alot of murky yeast cells hanging around the bottom when fermentation happens and it starts to settle. Good for nutrition if you eat it, but not to pleasant looking with some cloudy wine. (not to mention gas when you eat too much of it) You can transfer it to another container to undergo secondary fermentation (like a heavier malolactic fermentation with bacteria) or I believe you can put it into a wooden barrel for aging too.