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Old 05-31-2017, 08:13 AM   #71
biscmc
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I started my Kookaburra kit last night and pitched BM 4x4 this morning. Measured 1.080 @ 71F, but I didn't bother to stir it up with the skins at the bottom of the pail before I pitched this morning.

The juice in this kit smells great, but the skins smell/taste amazing. I'm super excited for this one. Since my cellar is getting full, I'm thinking about bulk aging this one 9-12 months and letting it clear naturally. This would be my first attempt to clear a kit with time instead of clarifying agents.
I started my Kookaburra about 8 weeks ago, with extended maceration on the skins. I racked the wine off the lees a few days ago. The wine smells and tastes great.

I think you will be pleased if you bulk age this one for a year. This wine is really heavy; I would watch for protein build-up -- you may have to add clarifiers whether you want to or not.

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Old 05-31-2017, 10:03 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by biscmc View Post
I started my Kookaburra about 8 weeks ago, with extended maceration on the skins. I racked the wine off the lees a few days ago. The wine smells and tastes great.

I think you will be pleased if you bulk age this one for a year. This wine is really heavy; I would watch for protein build-up -- you may have to add clarifiers whether you want to or not.
Good to know! I'm okay with adding clarifiers if I need to, but I figure I'd give it a shot to do it naturally. I'd just plan to use less clarifiers than the instructions call for.

Did you add any k-meta during the extended maceration? Since I am going to wait this one out, I've considered racking with the skins over to my 6.5gal wide mouth to finish fermenting and then letting it sit for some extra time.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:08 PM   #73
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Grabo:

I did not add extra k-meta yet, though I normally add 1/4 tsp every 6 months during a racking (I bulk age my wines 2-3 years until no more sediment collects).

I should invest some cash and find a reliable way of measuring free SO2.

 
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:43 PM   #74
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I checked on the Kookaburra today, which is in secondary. SG: 0.994, which is drier than any of my other wines. I pitched D254. Next weekend, I'll rack and degas and let it sit quietly while I stress my way through a graduate summer class. (2 classes left till graduation, I can do this!) From the few drops I tasted, this one's going to be good, and I'm already giddy excited!
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:21 AM   #75
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My Kookaburra is degassing. But developing a white film on the surface (protein overload). I would watch how long you keep your wine on the gross lees on this one.

 
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:03 PM   #76
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For those who have done the Kookaburra, how is the body on yours? The description says full-bodied, but after secondary, the sip I tasted doesn't strike me as full-bodied (yet?). We had a 2014 Paso Robles Syrah tonight with dinner that didn't seem full-bodied either, reminding me of the sip of the Kookaburra, but it was more tannic.

- How is the body on your Kookaburra?
- Did or will you add tannins to your Kookaburra?
- Did or will you oak your Kookaburra?

I like tannic, oaky wines, but I'm trying hard not to make every wine I make oaky and tannic since what's the point of different varietals if I'm going to make them all similar? But then I have a tannic wine and think, "mm, mine should be like this!"
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:56 AM   #77
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If you are looking for full bodied, I would recommend using as few clarifiers as possible, and let the wine naturally clarify itself. It will take several months, but I imagine you would be happier with the product.

As for the oak, the kit came with a large amount of oak chips already. I would be leery of adding any more.

 
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:34 AM   #78
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I've only tried a couple GSM blends and Syrah/Shiraz over the years, so I don't know what I'm looking for. My expectations were set by the Vineco description, so I suppose I'm confused because the Kookaburra doesn't seem full-bodied like the Eclipse Cab or Showcase Carmenere I bottled last month, which were also listed as full-bodied. I don't mind the Kookaburra being more medium-bodied if that's how it's supposed to be, I just didn't expect that.

Because the Kookaburra seemed lighter, I only used one package of the kieselsol and chitosan when I racked it this weekend, and I'll rack it again in 5 weeks (a little longer than the instructions recommend, but I need to get through a summer class) and let it sit for another 3 or 5 months before I bottle it. Hopefully that's enough time for it to clear, because I have a kit waiting in the closet for this carboy.

@biscmc, so I gather that you plan to leave your Kookaburra as-is, other than bulk aging it for f o r e v e r ?
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:11 AM   #79
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@lilvixen: Ideally, I would like to leave my Kookaburra as-is, however I am faced with a few challenges since I deliberately strayed from the instructions.

The biggest impact is that I added dried currants and black cherries to the secondary, and I kept the wine one the grape skins for an extended maceration for about 8 weeks. I should have added pectic enzyme to break down the proteins earlier, however I now have a wine that is very cloudy, and is developing a creamy film on the surface.

I am watching closely, but I reckon in a matter of a few weeks, I will have to choice but to add the kiesosol and chitosan in order to bring the proteins under control.

 
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:03 PM   #80
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I racked the Kookaburra tonight; it's about 2 months old and has a gorgeous garnet color.

After racking, I stirred and tasted it, and it was still gassy, despite degassing when I added the clarifiers and sitting at a constant temp of 74* for the last 5 weeks, bummer. I was sadly underwhelmed and disappointed by my thiefed sample: it had that same off-taste I taste in the 10L and 12L kits I've made, and I was really bummed. I bumped the carboy (it's plastic) when I tilted it to get the last bit during racking and mixed up the sediment, so I didn't end up racking as much as I'd hoped. I poured the leftover sediment and wine in a large glass to settle so that hubby could sample it when he came in from working on his project car. That glass sat for at least an hour after I tasted the thiefed sample, and hubby tasted it and said it tasted good, why was I disappointed? So I took a sip, and it was quite different and that weird flavor I've associated with midlevel kits was gone. I'm hoping that with aging (and/or breathing?), this will be a good wine. I still have the glass settling on the counter, so I've been sipping samples to see how it changes each hour. I'm more hopeful now than I was when I racked that this will turn out good. At this point, it doesn't seem as awesome as the Eclipse Cab or Showcase Carmenere I started in Jan and bottled in Jun, but I'm holding out that it will taste better than the WV Trinity and Sterling Malbec I learned winemaking on last summer. And yes, I know, youth and all, but I remember the En Primeur Super Tuscan, Eclipse Cab, and Showcase Carmenere being good at each racking and lacking that off flavor. The Kookaburra finished at 0.994, and I did not use sorbate. I'll leave it to bulk age 4 months before I bottle it.

I previously asked about additional tannins and oak, and I'll be doing neither. I think it's fine as-is from the settling glass and doesn't need any more tweaks for my tastes. I'm wary but hopeful about this one.
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