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 25-08-2006, 05:46 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Extended Instructions for Making Wines from Kits

Hi,

I've made over a half a dozen wine kits over the last few years and I
recently decided to see if I can improve on my successes by following
the instructions in the archives of Jack Keller's blogs dated 12/18/03:

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/wineblog2.asp

I'm making a Barolo and a Valpolicella from kits by Vineco.

I follow instructions explicitly from day 1 until today. I haven't
changed anything yet, but I'm wondering if I should.

The kits were started on 8/14. When vigorous fermentation subsided on
day 7, I added back the gallon in reserve. Fermentation continued, by
has now stopped on day 11. I check SG and both are around .994. Here's
my question:

I am used to racking and topping off when fermentation ceases. Should I
forget the norm and let them sit until day 28 as instructed, or should I
rack and top off with similar wine? I'm mainly concerned because my 6
gallon carboy leaves way too much room below the neck.

One other quick question...On day 30 is says to rack into a 5 gallon
carboy. Shouldn't this be a 6 gallon as in the start on day 1?

Regards,
Nick


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Old 25-08-2006, 08:20 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Extended Instructions for Making Wines from Kits


"Nick" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I've made over a half a dozen wine kits over the last few years and I
recently decided to see if I can improve on my successes by following
the instructions in the archives of Jack Keller's blogs dated 12/18/03:

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/wineblog2.asp

I'm making a Barolo and a Valpolicella from kits by Vineco.

I follow instructions explicitly from day 1 until today. I haven't
changed anything yet, but I'm wondering if I should.

The kits were started on 8/14. When vigorous fermentation subsided on day
7, I added back the gallon in reserve. Fermentation continued, by has now
stopped on day 11. I check SG and both are around .994. Here's my
question:

I am used to racking and topping off when fermentation ceases. Should I
forget the norm and let them sit until day 28 as instructed, or should I
rack and top off with similar wine? I'm mainly concerned because my 6
gallon carboy leaves way too much room below the neck.


I try to rack only as often as necessary. Of course each racking looses
some wine to I try to minimise this. No uncessecary racking. If the wine
has been fermenting well under an airlock the head space is not problem and
the wine can remain for a few weeks waiting for it to clear better so there
will be less racking.

But if the wine is not fermenting or very little fermentation and you opened
the carboy to test it, as I assume you did since you know the SG, then the
head space is full of air rather than CO2 and you need to top up right away
or rack into smaller carboys where you do not have to top up.

One other quick question...On day 30 is says to rack into a 5 gallon
carboy. Shouldn't this be a 6 gallon as in the start on day 1?

They are probably recomending a 5 gal carboy so you do not have to top up so
much. This is where having a variety of carboys is very handy. Go from a 6
to a 5 and you will probably fill it and not need topping. I like to have
some 1/2 gal carboys to take any overage or I put it in wine bottles, let it
set in the fridge for a day or more and drink a bit of Neuvo Wine. Just
decant of the sedement. In France you can buy Neuvo Wine.

Ray


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Old 25-08-2006, 08:37 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Extended Instructions for Making Wines from Kits

...Should I forget the norm and let them sit until day 28 as
instructed, or should I
rack and top off with similar wine? I'm mainly concerned because my
6
gallon carboy leaves way too much room below the neck.
One other quick question...On day 30 is says to rack into a 5 gallon

carboy. Shouldn't this be a 6 gallon as in the start on day 1?

Nick-
Racking at the end of primary fermentation really does two things -
it gets the wine from a vat or plastic tub into a container that is
more easily sealed (to prevent spoilage by exposure to air), and it
removes the wine from contact with the gross lees (grape
skins/seeds/stems, etc.). Following Jack's instructions, you don't
need to rack again at day 7, because the wine is already in a carboy
and (because this is a kit wine) you really don't have gross lees,
since you are starting with just juice. Your lees are only yeast
cells, and there is no special urgency to rack the wine off them. If
you still have too much airspace after adding the gallon of reserved
juice, by all means, top up with water or a similar wine.

Yes, on day 30 you do want to rack into another 6-gallon carboy. The
instructions on day 30 currently (as of today, August 25) refer to a
6-gallon carboy - perhaps this was a recently-corrected typo? In any
event, you want to rack into one or more containers that can be
properly sealed (with an airlock). If you are starting from actual
grapes or other fruit, you can sometimes get so much sediment that
racking from a 6-gallon container to a 5-gallon container makes sense.
In the case of kit wines, you shouldn't lose nearly that much volume,
so it generally makes the most sense to rack into a same-size carboy,
and top up with water or similar wine.

Doug

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Old 25-08-2006, 09:35 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Extended Instructions for Making Wines from Kits

Ray Calvert wrote:
"Nick" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I've made over a half a dozen wine kits over the last few years and I
recently decided to see if I can improve on my successes by following
the instructions in the archives of Jack Keller's blogs dated 12/18/03:

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/wineblog2.asp

I'm making a Barolo and a Valpolicella from kits by Vineco.

I follow instructions explicitly from day 1 until today. I haven't
changed anything yet, but I'm wondering if I should.

The kits were started on 8/14. When vigorous fermentation subsided on day
7, I added back the gallon in reserve. Fermentation continued, by has now
stopped on day 11. I check SG and both are around .994. Here's my
question:

I am used to racking and topping off when fermentation ceases. Should I
forget the norm and let them sit until day 28 as instructed, or should I
rack and top off with similar wine? I'm mainly concerned because my 6
gallon carboy leaves way too much room below the neck.


I try to rack only as often as necessary. Of course each racking looses
some wine to I try to minimise this. No uncessecary racking. If the wine
has been fermenting well under an airlock the head space is not problem and
the wine can remain for a few weeks waiting for it to clear better so there
will be less racking.

But if the wine is not fermenting or very little fermentation and you opened
the carboy to test it, as I assume you did since you know the SG, then the
head space is full of air rather than CO2 and you need to top up right away
or rack into smaller carboys where you do not have to top up.


Ah...damn. I should have know better than to open the carboy. I only
did it to take an SG to make sure the fermentation didn't stop. I'll
top them up tonight with similar wines.


One other quick question...On day 30 is says to rack into a 5 gallon
carboy. Shouldn't this be a 6 gallon as in the start on day 1?

They are probably recomending a 5 gal carboy so you do not have to top up so
much. This is where having a variety of carboys is very handy. Go from a 6
to a 5 and you will probably fill it and not need topping.


Again, I'll top up with similar wine and then on the day 30 rack, maybe
then I'll go down to 5 gallon carboys.

Thanks!
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Old 25-08-2006, 09:40 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Extended Instructions for Making Wines from Kits

Someone claiming to be Doug wrote:
...Should I forget the norm and let them sit until day 28 as
instructed, or should I
rack and top off with similar wine? I'm mainly concerned because my
6
gallon carboy leaves way too much room below the neck.
One other quick question...On day 30 is says to rack into a 5 gallon

carboy. Shouldn't this be a 6 gallon as in the start on day 1?

Nick-
Racking at the end of primary fermentation really does two things -
it gets the wine from a vat or plastic tub into a container that is
more easily sealed (to prevent spoilage by exposure to air), and it
removes the wine from contact with the gross lees (grape
skins/seeds/stems, etc.). Following Jack's instructions, you don't
need to rack again at day 7, because the wine is already in a carboy
and (because this is a kit wine) you really don't have gross lees,
since you are starting with just juice. Your lees are only yeast
cells, and there is no special urgency to rack the wine off them. If
you still have too much airspace after adding the gallon of reserved
juice, by all means, top up with water or a similar wine.

Yes, on day 30 you do want to rack into another 6-gallon carboy. The
instructions on day 30 currently (as of today, August 25) refer to a
6-gallon carboy - perhaps this was a recently-corrected typo? In any
event, you want to rack into one or more containers that can be
properly sealed (with an airlock). If you are starting from actual
grapes or other fruit, you can sometimes get so much sediment that
racking from a 6-gallon container to a 5-gallon container makes sense.
In the case of kit wines, you shouldn't lose nearly that much volume,
so it generally makes the most sense to rack into a same-size carboy,
and top up with water or similar wine.

Doug


Thanks for the detailed clarification and further insight into this
initial process, Doug. I'll hold off racking and top up with a similar
wine tonight. Yes, I agree with you that the first racking should be
into a 6 gallon carboy and the link I listed must have been a typo.
Even if it isn't, I can't see the harm in racking to the same size
carboy if topping with wine.



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