5 Different Kits, 5 Different Yeasts

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vinny

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I have posted questions, and I have posted pictures of 5 6 gallon batches in primary, but I didn't post specifically about the process.

I currently have 5 different kits in primary. A Global Passport including grape skins, all the way down the list to a Twisted Mist 'fun' kit. I have used a different yeast for each to enhance the characteristics of the specific varietal/blend, minus the Mist kit which is the EC-1118 included in the kit and only mentioned so I don't have to explain why I am not commenting on primary #5.

I am very interested to see how this experiment turns out. I am on day 4 and I have 5 distinctly different tasting musts. I am hoping that will continue to carry on to the final product, but only time shall tell.

Kit 1, Vineco Global Passport- Cab Sauv, Shiraz, Montelpulciano SG 1.100, RP-15 yeast

Kit 2 Vineco Signature Series- Pinot noir, SG 1.110, RC 212 yeast

Kit 3 WinExpert Classic series - Sangiovese, SG 1.100, BM4x4 yeast

Kit 4 WinExpert Classic series - Malbec, SG 1.100, D254 yeast

And no my hydrometer is not broken, there was some chaptalizing and I added a flavor pack from an already bottled kit to the sangiovese. I figure same (ish) ABV should help in discerning similarities/ differences.

Tasting kits 1-3 I was getting VERY different flavors, 3-4 close enough I tasted them again side by side and they do not hold nearly the degree of varietal difference as the expensive kits.

I am very interested to see how the yeasts are going to accentuate the varietals, but I am also stacking the series against each other to see if the lower end kits are going to be more limited to a 'nice tasting' wine that doesn't scream out merlot, etc. I have a feeling the classic series will be daily drinker and kits 1 and 2 will be my 'try this' wines until I get more interesting wines in the rack.

I intend to update when fermented dry, to racking, and all the way along. Just for anyone as interested in the results as I am.
 
This evening things have improved greatly. Having 5 6 gallon batches on the go at one time gets... Fragrant. I also had a gallon of banana going just to make sure it was blended and fruity smelling. 😬

The house was quite, uh.. Bright. My room, with the door closed, felt pretty thick in the lungs.

Glad to have the air quality back to the level of not getting looks that say more than you want to hear when you open the door to check on things! :p
 
I made 2 out-of-curiosity wines just using the wine yeast in the air of my room. I wonder how much exploring the little guys will do and if they'll make any impact.

Might be interesting to set up a batch with inexpensive juice or fruit and see if it takes off.
 
Might be interesting to set up a batch with inexpensive juice or fruit and see if it takes off.
Might be? MIGHT BE? Hahah. Ya it's on the list.

I think it would be like native yeasts in a must. A heavy dose added, especially of a dominant strain, will overpower the stragglers. I made sure everyone is well fed and happy, so hopefully no one has any reason to go sniffing around the others turf. Then again, maybe to get the same results in the future I will need to use the same yeasts in the same configuration. 🤔
 
Did some reading today and I'm curious about you results with BM4x4.

(Does a day go by where I don't read about wine making for at least a couple minutes? Uh, no.)

Did a little quick searching and it isn't as widely available as the other yeasts - which makes me even more curious!
 
I just got home, but had to inspect everything. I am assuming after an SG reading tomorrow I will be transferring. I intend to rack by vacuum, but would you transfer? Siphon seems cleaner and simpler, other than lifting all the pails.
 
Personally I transfer all my wines. By transfer I mean pour into brew bag, strain, pour into secondary. For my 3-gallon batches I use a glass 4 cup measure until I can easily lift the bucket. I didn't my first time, what a mess. Live and learn.

Five 6 gallon batches? Someone's going to be busy!
 
I rack everything using vacuum. I'm not lifting anything I don't have to lift.
Using a pump makes a lot of sense. Last week I lifted a Brute containing 9 gallons of wine from the floor to the counter -- while I was ok doing that, it's not the wisest choice, and I should have got the pump out.
 
In my head it seems there will be more lees transferred with a pump, but its a transfer, not a racking. I'll give it a try, what's the worst that happens, I don't drop a pail? I'll have to rack off the lees again either way.
I have a stainless steel racking cane that goes into the source container, so it's a racking.
 
I got delayed in racking these over, but today is only day 8 or 9. I plan to do it today. I was jus reading the post on EM. I do not intend to try for EM, but kit #1 has a skin pack in it. I have squeezed it out twice and plan to wring everything out of it that I can before racking. Kit directions, as always, say to give it 2 weeks. I am just wondering if I rack early will I risk forfeiting some of the effects of the skins. Should I give them the full 2 weeks to make sure they break down or is it likely the yeast has already had their way with them?
 
Should I give them the full 2 weeks to make sure they break down or is it likely the yeast has already had their way with them?
The short answer is that you can rack/press any time you want.

The longer answer is that if you want a heavier red, rack/press after fermentation is done. Kit instructions stating "2 weeks" helps ensure the ferment is completed, especially if the winemaker doesn't have a hydrometer or doesn't know how to use it. As you may have surmised, this has nothing to do with EM. Kit vendors simply want every customer to have a successful ferment.

I can't say if you'd notice a difference between 2 identical kits, one racked/pressed on Day 9 and one on Day 14. If today is a good day for you, go ahead.

The studies I've read state the color, body, aroma, and flavor are mostly extracted by Day 5. More time on skins does produce more extraction, but the amount levels out, so more than a week nets little extra. OTOH, tannin continues to extract for the full duration of EM, so you get a more tannic wine.

The authoritative studies of EM have been done on red grape -- NOT kits. Kits with skin packs have a much lower pomace to liquid ratio, so I question if EM studies directly apply to kits. A bit of interpretation may be required.

The second paragraph of this report is both frightening and amusing.

https://www.awri.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/s2045.pdf
 
Hmmm... bloody interpretation. 😄

I've left it for now just because I have decided to run to town for some Pinot Noir. That kit was higher end so I am going to top it with a good wine just to see what I get. I topped up the sangeovese with my wines and I'll do the Malbec with store bought as well just as another comparison, 'cause, well.. I never seem to get bored of them.

Thanks for the reply. It's my first kit with skins. Tomorrow is another wine day and I will likely start with that. I have the Pinot Grigio and Gris kits to bottle. I have to pick up my filter for those today, too.

4 6 gallon kits racked today with the vacuum pump. It's nice to have. I didn't lift anything other than empty carboys and pails. I did another 2 1 gallon batches, but just siphoned those.

It's a good time for a break.
 
I have posted questions, and I have posted pictures of 5 6 gallon batches in primary, but I didn't post specifically about the process.

I currently have 5 different kits in primary. A Global Passport including grape skins, all the way down the list to a Twisted Mist 'fun' kit. I have used a different yeast for each to enhance the characteristics of the specific varietal/blend, minus the Mist kit which is the EC-1118 included in the kit and only mentioned so I don't have to explain why I am not commenting on primary #5.

I am very interested to see how this experiment turns out. I am on day 4 and I have 5 distinctly different tasting musts. I am hoping that will continue to carry on to the final product, but only time shall tell.

Kit 1, Vineco Global Passport- Cab Sauv, Shiraz, Montelpulciano SG 1.100, RP-15 yeast

Kit 2 Vineco Signature Series- Pinot noir, SG 1.110, RC 212 yeast

Kit 3 WinExpert Classic series - Sangiovese, SG 1.100, BM4x4 yeast

Kit 4 WinExpert Classic series - Malbec, SG 1.100, D254 yeast

And no my hydrometer is not broken, there was some chaptalizing and I added a flavor pack from an already bottled kit to the sangiovese. I figure same (ish) ABV should help in discerning similarities/ differences.

Tasting kits 1-3 I was getting VERY different flavors, 3-4 close enough I tasted them again side by side and they do not hold nearly the degree of varietal difference as the expensive kits.

I am very interested to see how the yeasts are going to accentuate the varietals, but I am also stacking the series against each other to see if the lower end kits are going to be more limited to a 'nice tasting' wine that doesn't scream out merlot, etc. I have a feeling the classic series will be daily drinker and kits 1 and 2 will be my 'try this' wines until I get more interesting wines in the rack.

I intend to update when fermented dry, to racking, and all the way along. Just for anyone as interested in the results as I am.
Checking back to see how this project going?

Cheers!
 
The twisted mist went down the drain... Vile stuff. 😄 wasn't for me.

The Sangiovese is all drank. The Malbec took longer to come around and is in the rack now. I oaked it and it came alive at about 7 months.. I just made another post about the Montepulciano blend and the Pinot Noir. Both were in my top favorites, but either I like the punch of younger wines, or these are declining. They lost a lot of the interesting qualities that I was really enjoying. I have some more sampling to do to make a decision on these.

All in all the yeasts have proven to be the biggest game changer for cheap kits. The were all pretty similar to my palate and they get a distinct flavor with a yeast that can compliment flavors.

I haven't done enough playing with yeast to say I have a favorite from any of these, but I will never use 1118 in a kit again. This is how I choose which ones I want to try with each varietal.

I didn't read through the entire thread... Any specifics you want answered. Ask away!
 

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but I will never use 1118 in a kit again
This was an interesting trial, and your takeaway on yeasts I'm taking to heart. So far, I have always used the yeast that came with the kit...even after reading some comments which suggested to change from the 'normal' EC118, but your comment cemented it. I also need to review the yeast guide to find what to use in a new FWK Australian Red Cab S/Syrah blend I'm waiting on. Great guide by the way.
 
The twisted mist went down the drain... Vile stuff. 😄 wasn't for me.

All in all the yeasts have proven to be the biggest game changer for cheap kits. The were all pretty similar to my palate and they get a distinct flavor with a yeast that can compliment flavors.

I purchased two of the twisted mist last year at a crazy cheap price but found it wasn't for me either Dave. The advantage was it gave me an opportunity to make more wine, (cheaper wine for the experience), and give it away. Guessing we've both learned something here! 😁

Thanks for sharing your yeast experience with the kits .... interesting for sure.
 
This was an interesting trial, and your takeaway on yeasts I'm taking to heart. So far, I have always used the yeast that came with the kit...even after reading some comments which suggested to change from the 'normal' EC118, but your comment cemented it. I also need to review the yeast guide to find what to use in a new FWK Australian Red Cab S/Syrah blend I'm waiting on. Great guide by the way.
The only thing to keep in mind is that some yeasts require more nutrient. There is no harm in adding extra in steps, but you can run into trouble if you are short. I Just use boiled bakers yeast because I have expired bricks, and add a little as fermentation progresses to make sure they are all happy little yeasties. I wouldn't use DAP personally, it is described as yeast junk food, but there are lots of other options. Fermaid O or K are 2 I know of.

RC-212 is a nutrient hungry yeast and 1118 is on the other end of the spectrum, you can also make yeast choices based on nutrient requirements, too.

Guessing we've both learned something here! 😁
Honestly, I bought the kit because I tasted one in store. This one was supposed to be similar, but instead of a white wine base it was berry. I knew as soon as I poured it into primary I wouldn't like it. More of a spiked fruit punch, where the other one had a nice white base with a pina colada twist. Way more subtle and likable.

I don't know how quick I will be to try another, but don't discount them completely. I believe @Jovimaple made the kit I wanted to make, and could possibly offer an opinion to balance the scales?
 
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