Recent content by tjgaul

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  1. tjgaul

    RJS En Primeur vs WE Private Res with skins

    Whenever I have a skins kit I punch down/stir twice a day during the most active fermentation, cutting back to once per day once the SG gets down to about 1.010. I skip the bag most of the time and, as of late, generally go with an extended maceration. Once the wine is around SG 1.000 I put...
  2. tjgaul

    Wood Aging: alternative species to oak?

    I know the scotch makers sometimes use alternative wood and/or alternative pre-use applications (sherry/port barrels), but I don't know about wine makers. I personally have a couple mesh bags of wood splits that have been hanging outdoors for 2 years now. The plan is to cut/split them into...
  3. tjgaul

    WineXpert Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot

    Update on kit #2. Started in June 2019 and racked regularly on a 3-4 month cycle until recently. Racked 7-25-20 and then sat undisturbed until 4/24/21. I had a period of exceptional procrastination from Dec 2020 thru April 2021. My only efforts were aimed at checking the seals on the...
  4. tjgaul

    Petit Ruby Cabernet - WE LE17

    This is the long and winding saga of a 2017 LE kit. I bought this because, at the time, my wife was mostly a white drinker and only liked reds that were off-dry and fruit forward. Started this 4/15/18 and went through 4 rackings (June 2019) with minor tannin and oak additions along the way...
  5. tjgaul

    WineXpert Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot

    My first batch of Stag's Leap Merlot just turned 3 and is excellent. The 2nd batch just hit one year and will remain in the carboy until it either hits 2 or the first batch runs out, whichever comes first. My bet is on bottling at 18-20 months. This is one of the best kits I have made so far...
  6. tjgaul

    Back sweetening: Wine conditioner or SS with sorbate?

    In my experience, the wine appears to gain sweetness over time after back sweetening. Knowing this, after doing bench tests I tend to back sweeten to about 80% of whatever blend tasted best, let the wine sit for a month or more and then taste again. If it needs more SS then I can easily give...
  7. tjgaul

    Why does 6 gal = 3 gal in the end?

    I understand some wine loss, but 50% would be extreme even with multiple rackings. Here are my techniques to deal with this issue. - As Cmason said - tilt your container during racking using a board or wedge. The supply stores sell wedges or you can make one like this - start with 6+...
  8. tjgaul

    Post a Meme, any Meme! (no politics)

    Got a new pillow from my sister . . . I guess she knows me pretty well.
  9. tjgaul

    What’s wrong with whipping to degas?

    I thought I didn't need a vacuum pump . . . until I finally bought one. Degassing is a big benefit and you naturally degas on every transfer, but for me the side benefits outweigh this feature. Being able to make transfers with carboys on an even level (no gravity concerns) and the ease of...
  10. tjgaul

    Post a Meme, any Meme! (no politics)

    The firing of Dave reminded me of one of my favorites that runs in the same vein . .
  11. tjgaul

    Post a Meme, any Meme! (no politics)

    Bob Ross / Will Ferrell and more cowbell . . . how can you got wrong - totally made my day!
  12. tjgaul

    About To Try the RJ Spagnols Super Tuscan

    Aging really helps any big bold red and I think it is especially true for this wine. I fermented this in April 2018 and bulk aged it until Nov 2019 (about 18 months). It is very good right now, but I think it will still improve quite a bit with a year in the bottle. I know that's a long...
  13. tjgaul

    About To Try the RJ Spagnols Super Tuscan

    SG 1.102 @ 72 degrees on 4/28/18 FG .993 @ 61 degrees on 5/24/18 Used RC-212 and gave it some Fermax to start and Fermaid-O on 5/3 (SG 1.034) According to the FermCalc app this should be about 15% ABV.
  14. tjgaul

    About To Try the RJ Spagnols Super Tuscan

    Just throwing my 2 cents in. I made this same kit last year and just bottled it about a month ago. I made it to 6 gal +/- after the initial racking (ie: a little over 23L in primary). Even with the primary being in excess of 23L the starting SG was over 1.100. The end result is a fairly hot...
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