Cellar Craft 1st Post / 1st Attempt!

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Jaggz, Jan 4, 2013.

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  1. Jan 6, 2013 #21

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

    No longer a newbie, but still clueless.

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    My kits with grape packs get stirred twice a day in primary. I gently press the grape bag against the side of the fermenter with the spoon when I'd stir. This helps extract some of the grape-y goodness and gets the CO2 out of the bag, helping it stay submerged. No worries if its floating, but don't let it do that more than a day or so without "punching it down" or stirring.
     
  2. Jan 7, 2013 #22

    RickC

    RickC

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    I use the spoon to trap the bag with skins under the surface using the lid to hold it down. Will need something on the lid to hold it down as the bag will push upward a bit. I still stir twice a day as well.
     
  3. Jan 8, 2013 #23

    Jaggz

    Jaggz

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    Taking Baby Steps

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    Hey all! Things are looking pretty good...still have fermentation rolling & finally this morning, I was able to keep the grape-pack submerged...for a little while at least. Anyhow, quick question...CC instructions say for the primary fermentation to go until days 10-12, then check SG...if at or below 1.000, then rack to secondary. This is only day #6 for me in primary and my SG this morning was already 1.005. I am assuming that it will reach 1.000 relatively soon...so go until days 10-12 or rack once stabilized at 1.000?!? Trying my hardest not to screw my first kit up! Thanks in advance!
     
  4. Jan 8, 2013 #24

    tonyt

    tonyt

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    I usually rack to secondary at 1.000 and add any extra days to time in secondary under air lock. That is if I rack on day five at 1.000 I akk five or six days to the time in secondary. If there is a graoe pack I try to stay in primary as long as possible for better extraction.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2013 #25

    robie

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    Always leave the wine in secondary at least the number of days specified in the instructions.

    Although the wine might finish fermenting to dry sooner, nice things happen to the wine while it is resting on the lees in secondary.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2013 #26

    Jaggz

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    Hey Robie - thoughts on the primary fermentation? Let it go the full 10-12 days or just watch for SG to stabilize? I'm pretty close to 1.000 already, on day #6?!?
     
  7. Jan 8, 2013 #27

    robie

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    I am surprised your instructions say to rack to secondary at 1.000, rather than something a little higher, like 1.010 to 1.020. The rate of fall of the SG level slows as it nears 1.000, o you may have more time to 1.000 than you think.

    I always recommend you follow the instructions, especially if you are just starting to make kit wines.

    However, I will give you something to consider.
    You kit has a grape pack. The longer the grape pack is exposed to the wine, the better and the more the extraction of its good qualities. Of course this can be overdone, but 10-12 days is not over doing it.

    If you can completely seal your fermenter bucket and install an air lock on it, you can leave the wine in the bucket for the entire 10-12 days. However, if you have placed the grape pack contents in a bag, you need to find a way to keep the grape pack submerged. A good plan is to push the pack down with the spoon and trap the spoon in place with the lid. Or, put a sanitized, heavy mug inside the grape bag to hold it down.

    Once the SG reaches 1.000, don't open the bucket again until you are ready to rack to secondary. Keep the wine at room temperature after the bucket is sealed. At that time, sanitize your hands, remove the grape pack, and squeeze all the liquid out of the pack and into your wine. Discard the grape pack; rack the wine to a carboy, top it off (since the SG is going to be so low) and seal it with an air lock for the number of days specified for secondary.

    If you have any doubts, when the SG reaches the instruction's limit, just go ahead and squeeze out the grape pack, rack to secondary, and leave wine in there for the number of days specified for secondary.

    Hope I haven't confused you.
     
  8. Jan 8, 2013 #28

    Jaggz

    Jaggz

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    Awesome post Robie! :r

    Here's what my CC instructions say, "Days 10-12"..."the SG reading should be 1.000 or less, if SG exceeds 1.000, leave wine alone & repeat daily until the result is 1.000 or less".

    Thanks to your post, I think once I reach 1.000, I'll do as you mentioned, weigh the grape-pack down, seal the lid, add the airlock - wait 'til the day 10-12 mark, then rack to secondary. Thanks for all the tips....I was worried that perhaps I jumped-in a little too quick with this kit, but I'm trying to follow the directions & keep referencing George's videos & it has been a blast so far! I'm already browsing his site, looking for the next kit to start!
     
  9. Jan 8, 2013 #29

    robie

    robie

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    This hobby can be loads of fun. Expensive to start, but after you have all your necessary equipment, you can enjoy good, but inexpensive wine for years to come.

    I must warn you that:
    1) Carboys tend to multiply. You start with one or two but in a year or two, you end up with 10 or 12.
    2) Hydrometers break easily. As luck will have it, if you always have two on hand, you never seems to break one. But if you only have one... (It is one of the unexplainable mysteries of our universe)

    I initially learned kit making from watching George's videos, also.
     
  10. Jan 8, 2013 #30

    ShaunDanz

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    I started 2012 with one carboy. I now have 5. Addictive is right. The hardest thing is letting the wine age. Jaggz, I'd recommend you buy a cheap kit or two to make after this one. The cheap kits age quicker and you can sip on those while you wait for your good kit to age properly.
     
  11. Jan 8, 2013 #31

    robie

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    I agree. If you and your sig. other like sweet wines (even if you don't!), look into some of the summer wines (Mist wines). They are not fancy or high quality wines, but lots of fun to make and drink at parties. They also are ready to drink within a few weeks after they are clear; no aging required.
     
  12. Jan 8, 2013 #32

    Jaggz

    Jaggz

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    So my wife and I are more fans of the reds rather than the whites. We seem to keep buying pinot's, cabs & Shiraz wines...so with that in mind, any recommendations for the next kit, that perhaps won't have to age quite so long? I think we could probably manage 6 months or so, but after that I'm betting we'll be itching to open some up! Also, my wife is a huge sangria fan...thoughts on a kit that would be ready to use this summer for sangria, poolside?!?
     
  13. Jan 9, 2013 #33

    ShaunDanz

    ShaunDanz

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    For reds, Pinot Noirs usually age a little quicker. I have a cheap, 10 liter kit is already drinkable and it's only 5 months old. I plan on letting it age to 9 months before drinking though. I also have a 16 liter Pinot Noir that I won't touch until after it's a year.
     

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