If you are still getting several bubbles/min then it is not yet time to
rack. Two weeks is still early and fermentation is still too active.
That is why your sediment has not settled down to the bottom. It keeps
getting stirred up by rising CO2. In _another_ 2 weeks maybe it will be
ready. The bubbles through the airlock should slow to less than one/min
and the lees will pack down, probably to 1/2 inch or less. Then it is
time to rack into clean bottles (still under airlock) for another month
or so. By that time you should have relatively clear wine and a _thin_
layer of sediment to rack the wine off of. After another month or two,
your wine should be sparkling and there should be no more than a thin
film of sediment. Of corse, if you have lots of fruit pulp in your
wine, or pectin haze, then other measures may be nesessary to get the
wine really clear.
BTW topping off with 1/3 water would be a disaster!!! For the first
racking, if you need to top off with for than a couple of ounces it
should be with the same (or similar) fruit juice that you used to start
> When would you rack a country fruit wine that has been fermenting 2
> weeks (on Monday) in 1 gallon jugs? The bubbles are down to a couple
> a minute. There is a distinct layer of sediment on the bottom, but it
> almost 1/3 of the volume. Should it settle more? Or do you just
> rack and top off with water?
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--Dr. Ferenc Androczi, Winemaker of the Little Hungary Winery