WineXpert Anyone tried 2 weeks in primary for skin kits?

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RiderEh

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I'm just wondering if this is possible. My local home brew shop recommended trying 2 weeks in primary to get more exposure to the skins. I'm thinking of trying this with the Eclipse Merlot kit I just bought. Has anyone tried this? We usually do 1 week in primary (for all kits) and squeeze the grape skins around 5 of those nights with big gloves to get the juice out, and a final squeeze when we rack.
 
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Tim Vandergrift did something similar, but subtly different and did a series of videos about it. He fermented fairly normally, but then left the skins in place after moving the wine under airlock, he did this with a big mouth bubbler, I don't know that it could be done with a normal opening carboy. Here's the videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdpy02-JGSI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ub7jTYqp-k


If that name doesn't mean anything to you, he is pretty much the father (maybe grandfather) to all the wine kits out there today, he was a long time employee of WineExpert and some of the other kit manufacturers.
 

lilvixen

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There's a big thread on here on Extended Maceration, if you're interested.

If that process seems too long or you don't want to get a Fermonster, the Cellar Craft Showcase instructions call for 10 days in a primary bucket for skins kits, which I did for a CC Showcase Carmenere and an WE Eclipse Lodi Cab back in Jan. Both kits still tasted young in July, but I expect greatness from them.

The skins bags sank around day 9 or 10, which is when I got a little nervous, so if you do 14 days, I'd recommend an airlock and stop stirring when the skins sink.
 

ehammonds

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I have a super tuscan that spent 6 weeks on skins in primary. It’s now in the barrel but is tasting excellent. I also have the Eclipse Old Vines Zin on week three in primary. I plan to extend maceration from here on out for all reds with skins. I think the difference is incredible
 

Smok1

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Ive gone 2 weeks in the primary on the skins but after it finished fermenting i replaced the oxygen in the bucket with nitrogen and snapped the lid on with an s-type airlock.
 

RiderEh

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Ive gone 2 weeks in the primary on the skins but after it finished fermenting i replaced the oxygen in the bucket with nitrogen and snapped the lid on with an s-type airlock.

So did you only squeeze the grapes until the fermentation finished?
 

Hordak

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I have just recently done the full two month extended maceration on my last two reds per Tim Vandergrifts blog but in a wide mouth fermenter. Prior to that I was doing 30-45 days in the wide mouth fermenter. I also did some reds in a standard bucket style fermenter and left them 30 days on the fermenter and there was no issue and they tasted way better earlier than doing the same red per kit instruction time lines. The key is after about ten days is to leave them as undisturbed as possible so that CO2 layer can remain in place and protect the wine.
 

Smok1

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So did you only squeeze the grapes until the fermentation finished?


Ya you bet. I bought a box of nirtile gloves, like those gloves doctors wear, 100 pairs for 8$ from the pharmacy, i put a pair on and squeezed the living daylights out of it 2 or 3 times a day during fermentation. Also i didnt pitch my yeast until 24 hours after adding the grape pack which i had sitting in the fridge for a few days prior to making the kit. I find the starting gravity changes quite a bit in the first 24 hours after putting in a grape pack, so hard to get an accurate measurement if u take on the first day, so i started refrigerating my grape packs so it cooled the juice down a bit and i left it 24 hours squeesing the juice out 3 times and letting the juice come back to room temp before taking an sg reading and then i rehydrate yeast and pitch.

After about 7 days fermentation is done and i have drilled 2 holes in my fermenter lid, one fits a 6.5 bung with airlock, the other is a half inch hole. With airlock removed i put the nitrogen tube in the 1/2” hole and let nitrogen run for 30sec to a minute pushing oxygen out of the bung hole then quickly attach an airlock and put a piece of tape over the nitrogen hole.
 
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Sourgrape

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Late reply here, but I've done it with a Cellar Craft Showcase Shiraz kit. Used RC212 yeast, and fermented slightly cooler (about 68-70) for two weeks before transferring to secondary. It was on the skins for the duration of the two weeks. I bulk aged for 3 months with an extra pack of French Oak Medium cubes before bottling, and it is by far the best kit I've done. And it's still young - only 5 months in the bottle.
 

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