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Old 04-13-2014, 10:21 PM   #1
ramfan13
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Hi. I am new to the forum and winemaking, but very excited about making wine. I actually have started with two kits I have in primary and secondary, the Chocolate Raspberry port and orange port. Why I started with these I dont know but hope they turn out. Well I bought a couple of cheap kits and would like some advice. I have a Vino Italiano Barolo I want to start, but have read a lot and there is a lot of different advice. I have some Zante currants and french oak to add but have seen different things about when to add them. Any advice on adding to primary or secondary and any other tweaks anyone would recommend. Dont want to do too much to start with. I also have a Riesling I will start soon, so any advice on that would be appreciated.
One question I have is will the raisins add to the aging time. I know I need to age it as long as possible, but am anxious to have some to drink. Thanks in advance for any advice.

 
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:47 AM   #2
Boatboy24
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The Barolo was my first attempt at winemaking and I did a few tweaks (not recommended, but I did it anyway). First thing I'd say is not to make it to the full 6 gallons. I made mine to a little over 5 (hoping to finish with 5) and it's still a little thin. I also added hungarian oak while aging for a couple months. Both of those tweaks I'd recommend. I also changed out the yeast. I got lucky and had a good ferment, but in retrospect, wouldn't recommend that to newer winemakers. The wine was pretty undrinkable to me for 6 months. It did improve up until about a year. But I still have 6 or 7 bottles left (started it over 2 years ago). Keep your expectations in check, and I think you'll end up with a decent table wine that is a little better than it's cost would imply. Don't expect a $50 bottle of Barolo though.

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Old 04-14-2014, 06:53 AM   #3
sour_grapes
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I am not the most experienced winemaker, but let me give a first try. Let me take the easy one first. You say you have French oak. What physical form is it in? I.e., small and fine, like chips or sawdust, or larger, like 1/2" cubes? If it is chips/sawdust, use it in primary. If it is larger, use it in secondary; you can also rinse them off and use them AFTER secondary, if you don't yet have enough oakiness at that point.

As for the currants, well, some say put in primary, some say secondary. Personally, I don't imagine it can matter all that much, considering there is no fundamental difference between primary and secondary. (It is really ALL the primary fermentation, just two different vessels to accommodate two different rates of fermentation.) If I were doing it, I would put it in the primary fermentation, just to get as much skin-contact time as possible.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:03 AM   #4
ramfan13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatboy24 View Post
The Barolo was my first attempt at winemaking and I did a few tweaks (not recommended, but I did it anyway). First thing I'd say is not to make it to the full 6 gallons. I made mine to a little over 5 (hoping to finish with 5) and it's still a little thin. I also added hungarian oak while aging for a couple months. Both of those tweaks I'd recommend. I also changed out the yeast. I got lucky and had a good ferment, but in retrospect, wouldn't recommend that to newer winemakers. The wine was pretty undrinkable to me for 6 months. It did improve up until about a year. But I still have 6 or 7 bottles left (started it over 2 years ago). Keep your expectations in check, and I think you'll end up with a decent table wine that is a little better than it's cost would imply. Don't expect a $50 bottle of Barolo though.

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Thanks so much. Those were the tweaks I was thinking about. I have the french oak cubes and I guess I will put in secondary. I have another yeast Lalvin BM4X4 which I heard was good for this, but I may just use the yeast that comes with it since I heard the BM4x4 can be a little tricky. Luckily, I have never had a $50 Barolo so I won't expect that. I hope it will be a drinkable house wine. It is fun just to try. Thanks again, appreciate the help.

 
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #5
ramfan13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sour_grapes View Post
I am not the most experienced winemaker, but let me give a first try. Let me take the easy one first. You say you have French oak. What physical form is it in? I.e., small and fine, like chips or sawdust, or larger, like 1/2" cubes? If it is chips/sawdust, use it in primary. If it is larger, use it in secondary; you can also rinse them off and use them AFTER secondary, if you don't yet have enough oakiness at that point.

As for the currants, well, some say put in primary, some say secondary. Personally, I don't imagine it can matter all that much, considering there is no fundamental difference between primary and secondary. (It is really ALL the primary fermentation, just two different vessels to accommodate two different rates of fermentation.) If I were doing it, I would put it in the primary fermentation, just to get as much skin-contact time as possible.
Thanks so much for your help. I will try the currants in the primary. I have the french oak cubes so I guess in the secondary, just not sure how much or how long, but that is why I got a cheap kit to start.

 
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
goldbrewer
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The guy who turned me onto paklab kits is that guy on youtube called "sicilianprince".

He has side-by-side videos of the paklab borolo and a Winexpert high-end borolo kit. You may want to check him out. I do know he likes to add oak powder & chips to the paklab kits.

 
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:42 PM   #7
ramfan13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldbrewer View Post
The guy who turned me onto paklab kits is that guy on youtube called "sicilianprince".

He has side-by-side videos of the paklab borolo and a Winexpert high-end borolo kit. You may want to check him out. I do know he likes to add oak powder & chips to the paklab kits.

Thanks, yes I actually have found him and watched a lot of his videos including the RC Port which I am also doing now. I think I am going to make to a little over 5 gallons, add raisins and oak, maybe some tannin and see what I got. What have I got to lose with how cheap it was. Thanks again

 
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