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Old 04-21-2014, 08:02 PM   #1
aryoung1980
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I purchased the Reserve du Chateau Pinot Nero 55lb kit to try as my first varietal grape wine. I'd like to post what I've done and planning to do for feedback. I feel like the kit's instructions are written to get the wine finished quickly instead of making it the best it can be.

On day one I filled my fermentation bucket with the 23L of juice and mixed in the package of bentonite provided with the kit.

I swapped the kit's yeast out for two 5 gram packets of Lalvin Bourgovin RC212. I read on Northern Brewer that this yeast works well with Pinot Noir. I rehydrated the yeast per Lalvin's instructions and pitched it into my 1.084 must at 62F.

I have been stirring the must multiple times a day. I do not have any grape skins or fruit to punch down. I read it is good to aerate until I hit an SG around 1.020.

After more research today I decided to add 60 grams of French oak slivers. Too large to be called powder, too small to be chips.

48 hours later I'm at 1.066 fermenting at 75F.

Moving forward I plan to continue with one to two stirrings per day until the 1.020 mark. At this point I will seal my bucket's lid and add an airlock with StarSan in it. I will leave it alone until I am below 1.000

Once I'm below 1.000 I will rack the wine into a carboy. I may add 1/2 ounce of medium toast French Oak cubes at this point. All depends on the flavor at racking time.

I'll need to rack into a 5 gallon carboy. Not sure what to do with the other gallon of wine. I don't want to dump it. I brew beer once a month so I don't want to tie up my 6 gallon Better Bottle.

From here on I plan to bulk age the wine for a few months; maybe 6. How long would you recommend? My kit says 20-25 days in secondary. That seems too short.

I will also rack it off of the lees as I see it build up.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.






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Old 04-21-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
sour_grapes
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I am not the most experienced winemaker out there, but I don't see any problems with your plan.

You could put your other gallon of wine into a 1-gallon jug. Northern Brewer has them for about $4 or $5. Or you could use four 1-qt Mason jars (although you'd probably suffer some oxidation).

And yes, most folks here would agree with a lengthy bulk aging period of 6 months to a year.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
kevinlfifer
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I have done 4 of this kit with 3 different tweaks and all 4 are a very nice wine. The best tweak is adding a lb of raisins and 3-4 TBS of tannin to secondary. (Joe's method). Other tweaks were to add Alexander conc to beef it up, and to add Margette skins as a grape pack, that turned out well but dropped allot of diamonds.

I would be careful of over-oaking with both slivers and cubes.

Use 2 liter pop bottles for your overflow. When the fermentation is done, simply squeeze the bottle until there is zero head space and screw on the cap. Every once and a while check for head space and re squeeze.

 
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:33 PM   #4
aryoung1980
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I was considering adding raisins to it so I'm glad to hear that is a viable option. Did you use regular raisins or the golden?

The second oak addition would only be done if after tasting the wine it seemed lacking. I'm definitely leery of over doing it.

EDIT: would I need to add pectic enzyme with the raisins?


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Old 04-24-2014, 03:08 PM   #5
ShaunDanz
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I made this kit 610 days ago. Last weekend when I was moving my wine into my new wine cellar I found the very last bottle of Pinot Nero. I bought this wine as an early drinker and I thought I had drank it all within 6 months but was wrong. My wife and I shared the bottle and both agreed that it was the best Pinot Noir that I've ever made. Crazy, huh, for a cheap wine?

Looking at my notes, I made this wine to 5.5 gallons instead of 6 gallons. I added 1/2 tsp Tannin, 2 tsp Pectic Enzyme, 1lb raisins, and threw in some French oak chips. I bottled on day 86.

 
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:01 PM   #6
aryoung1980
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Awesome. My wife and I don't drink a lot of wine so I may be able to keep a few bottles around until day 610 also.

I'm sold on adding a pound of raisins with pectic enzyme.


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Old 04-24-2014, 04:36 PM   #7
wildvines
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well share your extras with people like us that do drink all the time lol


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Old 04-26-2014, 10:07 AM   #8
aryoung1980
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There shall be no extras, haha.

Originally I was going to ferment dry in primary but I decided today to rack off of the lees and oak slivers.

I'm on day 7 and SG is at 1.002. I racked my wine onto 1 lb of raisins with a tad under a 1/2 tsp of pectic enzyme into a 5 gallon carboy. The rest went into a 2 gallon make-shift PETE fermentor without raisins. My plan is to blend this back in later.

After this ferments dry, I'll rack it again to age.

When should I add my kit's clearing agents and stabilizer? At the start of bulk aging or after?




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