Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

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Old 15-03-2006, 06:21 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

These are just my comments and others will report different experiences.

I have made several red wine kits from high priced kits (not the one you
named) and have consistently been disappointed in them. Now white wine kits
are a different mater. I am consistently impressed by what I get.

Ray

"Thomas T. Veldhouse" wrote in message
t...
Hello all! I am new to this group, but I am not new to winemaking. I
originally started making wine in 1990 after making a concord grape wine
in my biology class in college. Later, I made fruit wines and melomels.
At somepoint I migrated over to brewing and haven't really looked back
... until now.

Recently, I have been greatly enjoying read wines with my wife. We
haven't ventured into really fine wines yet, but have enjoyed wines like
Rosemount Estates Shiraz and Mark West Pinot Noir. Nothing really
special, but OK for evening consumption.

Anyway, I decided to buy a wine kit. I bought the Napa Valley Stag's
Leap District Merlot from Northern Brewer in St. Paul. Supposedly this
is a good kit, but I have never tasted a kit wine to know what to
expect. So, can anybody indicate the quality of wine I might expect
from this kit as compared to the above wines mentioned (obviously,
neither are Merlot, but I am asking about quality and not similarity).
I have experience with brewing and winemaking and followed the
directions very well. I used Starsan (surface spray) and Idophor for
sanitization. Original gravity is 1.099. I intend to let this wine
age for one year before sampling.

Thanks in advance!

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Thomas T. Veldhouse
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--

Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.




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Old 15-03-2006, 07:28 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

I can't speak to the kit quality but would mention Idophor may not be
approriate for winemaking; that is all I would add to Droopy's comment
on sanitation which echos my thoughts exactly.

Joe

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Old 16-03-2006, 03:10 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

Joe Sallustio wrote:
I can't speak to the kit quality but would mention Idophor may not be
approriate for winemaking; that is all I would add to Droopy's comment
on sanitation which echos my thoughts exactly.


Idophor won't hurt winemaking, as long as no significant iodine gets into the wine. My fermenter was allowed to drip dry before use. I will add sulphites as is appropriate, but that time has not yet come.

Thanks!

Tom Veldhouse
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Old 16-03-2006, 04:06 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

A friend uses an iodophor sanitizer, and I worked with him last week
while he used it to clean racking equipment and carboys. Was surprised
at how well it rinses (unlike bleach). Did thorough flush of wine
transfer tubing, and triple-rinsed everything else. The only thing he
doesn't sanitize with it is his oak barrels; used stronger potassium
metabilsulphite for them.

I was intitially concerned with getting 'corked' wine from TCA
(trichloroanisole) when using iodine sanitizer, but he's been doing this
5 years and no corked wine. His wines are VERY high quality. So, like
all things, YMMV, but good rinsing seems to control the risk adequately.

Gene

Tom Veldhouse wrote:
Joe Sallustio wrote:

I can't speak to the kit quality but would mention Idophor may not be
approriate for winemaking; that is all I would add to Droopy's comment
on sanitation which echos my thoughts exactly.



Idophor won't hurt winemaking, as long as no significant iodine gets into the wine. My fermenter was allowed to drip dry before use. I will add sulphites as is appropriate, but that time has not yet come.

Thanks!

Tom Veldhouse

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Old 16-03-2006, 04:28 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?


gene wrote:
A friend uses an iodophor sanitizer, and I worked with him last week
while he used it to clean racking equipment and carboys. Was surprised
at how well it rinses (unlike bleach). Did thorough flush of wine
transfer tubing, and triple-rinsed everything else. The only thing he
doesn't sanitize with it is his oak barrels; used stronger potassium
metabilsulphite for them.

I was intitially concerned with getting 'corked' wine from TCA
(trichloroanisole) when using iodine sanitizer, but he's been doing this
5 years and no corked wine. His wines are VERY high quality. So, like
all things, YMMV, but good rinsing seems to control the risk adequately.

Gene



He rinsed it? that is kind of defeating the purpose isn't it?
Iodophor is a no rinse sanitizer.



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Old 16-03-2006, 04:53 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

Droopy wrote:

gene wrote:

A friend uses an iodophor sanitizer, and I worked with him last week
while he used it to clean racking equipment and carboys. Was surprised
at how well it rinses (unlike bleach). Did thorough flush of wine
transfer tubing, and triple-rinsed everything else. The only thing he
doesn't sanitize with it is his oak barrels; used stronger potassium
metabilsulphite for them.

I was intitially concerned with getting 'corked' wine from TCA
(trichloroanisole) when using iodine sanitizer, but he's been doing this
5 years and no corked wine. His wines are VERY high quality. So, like
all things, YMMV, but good rinsing seems to control the risk adequately.

Gene




He rinsed it? that is kind of defeating the purpose isn't it?
Iodophor is a no rinse sanitizer.


Don't think this is defeating the purpose, my friend. Use the iodophor
to knock out the bad bugs, then use K-meta to control regrowth without
the risk of TCA. Iodophor is a more effective sanitizer than K-meta.
Methinks there is method to his madness.

Gene
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Old 16-03-2006, 07:37 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

Hi Tom,
I did a Google search on iodophor and came up with some interesting
results; this one echoes your thoughts:

http://cyberwerks.net/brewing/iodophor.html

It does look like the amount of iodine remaining upon draining is
minuscule; I will start using it myself for brewing. This level of
sanitation isn't necessarily required for wine with it's lower pH, but
it doesn't appear to be an issue either. (Of course I emailed National
Chemical just to play it safe, I'll post the results.) I liked the
look of that WLC too, Wine Line Cleaner.

Here is a link to the homepage for anyone interested.

http://www.nationalchemicals.com/index.php

To your original question, if the grapes that kit started with really
came from Napa you should be very happy with the results. I can't
imagine someone starting with high quality grapes and butchering them;
I think you will be OK. Waiting a year sound like the right thing to
do, but plan on tasting regularly so you can track it's evolution.
Just top up with some store bought as necessary. Reds really evolve
quite a bit over the first year.

Thanks,

Joe

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Old 16-03-2006, 08:38 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

Droopy wrote:

gene wrote:

Don't think this is defeating the purpose, my friend. Use the iodophor
to knock out the bad bugs, then use K-meta to control regrowth without
the risk of TCA. Iodophor is a more effective sanitizer than K-meta.
Methinks there is method to his madness.

Gene




So you take a piece of equipment, rinse it out with water and you have
(some arbitraty number) maybe 10^5 organisms in the water you have.
You use iodophore and knock it down to 10^2. The you take the water
you originally had (10^5) and treat it with sulfite (still 10^5,
although they can no longer reproduce).

Instead, rinse it out with sulfite in the first place and have the same
number of organisms that you started with. Since iodophore is more
effective of a sanitizer than sulfite solutions, following a strong
sanitizer witha weak one makes the whole process only as strong as the
last sanitizer.

Of course,those numbers are not so significant if you are going to use
fresh juice or fruit that is loaded with microorganisms (a quick
google search yielded values of about 1X10^4 cfu/g (colony forming
units per gram, a 23 liter batch would then have 23x10^7 or 230,000,000
microbes in it) on fresh fruit, but more extensive searching might find
better numbers).

So you could completely sterilize your equipment and everything, but
the limiting factor is the fruit. That was the original point I was
trying to make.

ahhhhh... I follow your thought now... You are right on for during
crush. My brain presently stuck in racking time now.
The 'whole process only as strong as the last sanitizer' seems to assume
same bad bugs whole time. Are you sure that is correct assumption?

Gene
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Old 16-03-2006, 09:02 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?


gene wrote:
ahhhhh... I follow your thought now... You are right on for during
crush. My brain presently stuck in racking time now.
The 'whole process only as strong as the last sanitizer' seems to assume
same bad bugs whole time. Are you sure that is correct assumption?

Gene




Well, the things that can infect your wine will be present in your
winery microenvironment to begin with. The relative concentrations can
change, like it has been established that you should not make vinegar
in the same place that you make wine.....even if you have dedicated
equipment.

But say you have a carboy that has some contaminant microbe in it. You
wash it out with fairly clean tap water. Then you nuke it with bleach.
Then you rinse it out with sulfite and lets assume that it is not in
the water. Then you make up your must, pitch yeast and stir it a
couple time daily.

Well whatever microbe was present in your microenvironment just got in
to your wine. The only time I would ever worry about such strict
sanitation is if it had becoma problem Liek a batch really got skanked
up. Then I would pour the stuff down the toilet and bleach the crap
out of teh carboy. Which is along the lines of what a winery would do.
You can take action after you get an infection, but you cannot really
prevent it from occuring by up front sanitation. You always get back
to the fact that you are bringing in something that has the
contaminating microbes on it. As long as your equipment is clean it
will assuredly have less microbial contaminants on it when compared to
the fruit. Especially if you use tap water, which has to be relatively
clean.

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Old 16-03-2006, 09:15 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

Droopy wrote:

gene wrote:

ahhhhh... I follow your thought now... You are right on for during
crush. My brain presently stuck in racking time now.
The 'whole process only as strong as the last sanitizer' seems to assume
same bad bugs whole time. Are you sure that is correct assumption?

Gene





Well, the things that can infect your wine will be present in your
winery microenvironment to begin with. The relative concentrations can
change, like it has been established that you should not make vinegar
in the same place that you make wine.....even if you have dedicated
equipment.

But say you have a carboy that has some contaminant microbe in it. You
wash it out with fairly clean tap water. Then you nuke it with bleach.
Then you rinse it out with sulfite and lets assume that it is not in
the water. Then you make up your must, pitch yeast and stir it a
couple time daily.

Well whatever microbe was present in your microenvironment just got in
to your wine. The only time I would ever worry about such strict
sanitation is if it had becoma problem Liek a batch really got skanked
up. Then I would pour the stuff down the toilet and bleach the crap
out of teh carboy. Which is along the lines of what a winery would do.
You can take action after you get an infection, but you cannot really
prevent it from occuring by up front sanitation. You always get back
to the fact that you are bringing in something that has the
contaminating microbes on it. As long as your equipment is clean it
will assuredly have less microbial contaminants on it when compared to
the fruit. Especially if you use tap water, which has to be relatively
clean.

Good points.

I'd not used iodophor myself before this time... so new experience for
me... I'd only done K-meta. Is cross-contamination so rapid that
re-inoculation guaranteed? I didn't think so if one keeps open top of
container covered right after sanitize. Dunno. Suppose a lot depends
on air circulation and general cleanliness of work area.

Gene


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Old 16-03-2006, 10:24 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Wine Kits and Wine Quality?

we've only used idophor for our smaller (carboys or smaller) wares for 9
years with no known side issues. we do RTFM and follow it . Our guru at our
LHBWS recommended it exclusively back in '97 & we've used it ever since.
We're not Felix Unger (nor Monk) when it comes to sanitation, but idophor
seems to have done us well. We do, however use clorox on the crusher, press,
and 90 gal primary tubs due to inordinate cheapness.


"gene" wrote in message
et...
Droopy wrote:

gene wrote:

ahhhhh... I follow your thought now... You are right on for during
crush. My brain presently stuck in racking time now.
The 'whole process only as strong as the last sanitizer' seems to assume
same bad bugs whole time. Are you sure that is correct assumption?

Gene





Well, the things that can infect your wine will be present in your
winery microenvironment to begin with. The relative concentrations can
change, like it has been established that you should not make vinegar
in the same place that you make wine.....even if you have dedicated
equipment.

But say you have a carboy that has some contaminant microbe in it. You
wash it out with fairly clean tap water. Then you nuke it with bleach.
Then you rinse it out with sulfite and lets assume that it is not in
the water. Then you make up your must, pitch yeast and stir it a
couple time daily.

Well whatever microbe was present in your microenvironment just got in
to your wine. The only time I would ever worry about such strict
sanitation is if it had becoma problem Liek a batch really got skanked
up. Then I would pour the stuff down the toilet and bleach the crap
out of teh carboy. Which is along the lines of what a winery would do.
You can take action after you get an infection, but you cannot really
prevent it from occuring by up front sanitation. You always get back
to the fact that you are bringing in something that has the
contaminating microbes on it. As long as your equipment is clean it
will assuredly have less microbial contaminants on it when compared to
the fruit. Especially if you use tap water, which has to be relatively
clean.

Good points.

I'd not used iodophor myself before this time... so new experience for
me... I'd only done K-meta. Is cross-contamination so rapid that
re-inoculation guaranteed? I didn't think so if one keeps open top of
container covered right after sanitize. Dunno. Suppose a lot depends on
air circulation and general cleanliness of work area.

Gene





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