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    Oaking an unwooded Chard

    I made Winexpert's Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay. I bottled 3g of it as directed and transferred the rest to a 3g carboy with 2 oz. of toasted American oak chips (boiled for 3 minutes in a muslin bag and submerged with several glass marbles). I check it's level of "oakiness" every week...
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    Re-bottle due to sediment?

    I recently bottled a WE Estate Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay. Rookie mistake: when racking to my bottling bucket, I picked up a little sediment, which made it into each bottle. The wine was (and is, but for the sediment) crystal clear. Should I transfer the bottled wine back to the...
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    WineXpert Which Chardonnay Kit?

    I'd like to make a versatile California Chardonnay. I'm considering a few more expensive kits and one cheaper. I'm looking at a few Selection Estate kits: the Sonoma Dry Creek Valley and the Small Lot British Columbia. The Sonoma Dry Creek Valley is unoaked. The (much) cheaper kit I'm...
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    Cellar Craft Wine conditioner for Zinfandel

    The instructions to the CC Old Vine Zinfandel I'm making indicate that I can add "wine conditioner" just before bottling if I prefer a sweeter wine. I tend to like zins a little sweet, so I'm considering it. What is wine conditioner? Any tips on its use?
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    Cellar Craft Rack before 1.000 SG?

    I have an Cellar Craft Old Vine Zin in the primary now, on at its 8th day. The SG is at 1.010. The instructions direct to rack when the gravity is down to 1.000. I don't want to rack it too soon, but I don't want off-flavors from being too long in the primary. Should I rack it now or wait a...
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    Weighing Down Grapeskins

    I'm making a Cellar Craft Old Vine Zinfandel 12L (with grapeskins). The instructions direct to either stir 2x daily or weigh down the grapeskins (in a muslin bag) to keep them wet. Because I'm lazy and don't want to risk infection, I don't really want to stir the mix. What can I use to hold the...
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    Portugese Double Lever Corker

    I'm looking for a corker to bottle no more than two batches (<60 bottles) per year. I see most forum members lean toward preferring floor models. However, finewines.com, which many WMT members rave about, "highly" recommends a portugese double lever corker...
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    Cellar Craft Dry or liquid yeast for Old Vine Zin

    I just ordered the CC California Reserve Old Vines Zinfandel (12L) as my first foray into winemaking. Should I use the dry yeast that comes in the kit or sub with a liquid yeast alternative? I've been brewing beer for a few years and generally have better results with Wyeast or White Labs...
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