Recent content by Bts

Wine Making Talk

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    Blending Alicante

    Last year I did some alicante straight. Early results are promising, if you like big reds. This year I'm not doing much, but I am picking up a bucket of barbera juice and a lug of alicante. They're both inexpensive and I'm hoping to get acidity from the barbera, and body/color/tannin from the...
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    How many of you don't check sulfite levels before bottling?

    I'm curious if you(or anyone for that matter) ever tasted "too much sulfite" and can describe what it tastes like. I've heard metallic, and I've tasted metallic in a number of my wines, but some of those wines were juice buckets being racked out of primary having never seen a single dose of...
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    How many of you don't check sulfite levels before bottling?

    And the question was about checking sulfite levels, not using sulfites at all. I have never checked sulfite levels because I don't have the equipment. However I always add sulfite at approximately the traditional dosage/schedule, including before bottling. Not the most precise method, but I've...
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    Fall juice buckets

    Don't be _too_ concerned about the already started fermentation thing. 2 years ago I got several extra buckets half off because my local shop had some leftover buckets that didn't sell and had been sitting in the fridge for a month. Hydrometer readings suggest they were all at least half...
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    Bottling into small format bottles

    I bottle part of each batch in beer bottles for exactly this reason. I'm fairly new to winemaking and the beer bottles tend to get drunk earlier, but I've had some 2 years old that were fine. For headspace, just top them up real close to the cap by pressing the filling wand against the side of...
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    "being a noob, and diving in head first with a 100L barrel, im concerned that i will mess it up"....I'd say you should be kind of concerned with just this much. Barrel aging is kind of looking for trouble if you don't have a couple batches under your belt. Adding an experimental fortification...
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    Kit Wine Experiment - Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) Part 1

    I've never heard of a kit that had sorbate pre-mixed with the juice. My understanding is that sorbate will inhibit yeast reproduction at the cost of producing off flavors after a year or two. That's a reasonable tradeoff for a sweetened white but not for a kit that could spend a year on a shelf...
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    Kit Wine Experiment - Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) Part 1

    or if MLF really does wreck kits, the manufacturer could always just add a little lysozyme to their juice and problem solved. Seems like cheap insurance against unhappy customers.
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    RJS Super Tuscan - Skunky

    My very first batch of juice buckets I tried 212 on one. Even with nutrients it developed h2s, and I was too inexperienced to catch it early so it turned into mercaptans and disulfides. With help from the other members I tried basically everything. Ascorbic and Redulees made a pretty dramatic...
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    My 1st Go at Wine and RC 212

    They sink but it can take several weeks. In your place I'd (A) abandon EM, (B) buy the larger size fermentation bucket, or (C) use the bucket you have and split the batch if necessary to make most of it fit. You could start in the pot, then rack it just before it's finished fermenting. I kinda...
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    My 1st Go at Wine and RC 212

    I've only done EM twice, so take this with a grain of salt, but skins in the carboy was a raging PITA. Need to have a way more headspace than you think because the skins trap bubbles and expand, and the bubbles push wine up through the skins and out the airlock. You can have several inches of...
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    Best wine recipe and/or kit made?

    The best wine I ever made was my first all grape batch. Niagra/white concord I think(got the grapes from a friend's grandparents back yard) . Had no clue what I was doing so I fermented them on skins. Made a sparkling white that tasted kind of like a sparkling unoaked chardonay, but the really...
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    Miserable PH Meters

    This is why I was thrilled to find out about the cream of tartar trick. A PH of 3.56 is close enough to my target PH that I can mostly just interpret the meter as high, low, or reasonable. It might be wildly inaccurate outside wine range, but it's reasonably OK at the one spot I care about...
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    Making my first all grape batch really drove home why some of the more experience/traditional guys are fairly relaxed about sanitizing. By far the dirtiest thing in the whole process was the grapes. So by all means, spend the few extra minutes to sanitize your equipment just in case it...
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    What is best to top off a carboy if I have too much headspace

    I was assuming a pint or three. I figured a wine coming out of primary in January is probably a kit wine that's in the general vicinity of 6 gal. In which case it doesn't matter all that much what its toped with, just as long as long as it's topped off. If it's like half a gallon or a gallon...