RJ Spagnols Chardonnay kit tips

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Rtrent2002

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Will be purchasing a RJS en premier chard kit and noticed the instructions don't call for a sur lie or MLF which are the processes that give chard its signature taste. I'm guessing these processes aren't typically compatible with kits or they are risky processes that the manufacturer doesn't want to warranty.

Anyone have success with extended time in the secondary, stirring the lees regularly, MLF, etc?
 

StBlGT

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I wouldn't do either to any kit. They aren't made that way.
 

jburtner

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You shouldn't introduce MLB to kits because they are already acid balanced - Sur lie or battonage though is a good processing procedure to use or expirement with to vary the outcome. I enjoy that flafor so Usually rack off gross lee's fairly quickly for a chardonnay and age on the fine lee's for nice flavor.

Cheers!
-jb
 

Mismost

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A bit of grapefruit zest in the primary brightens the flavor up. A BIT is not much at all...you can always add more later.
 

Rtrent2002

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Thanks for the comments. I've have heard that MLF is a bad idea on kits but think I will try the sur lie in the secondary and extend a few extra weeks.
 

cmason1957

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Many times folks ask about why no Mlf in kits. I read this on Facebook a week or so ago from non other than the Godfather of kits Tim Vandergrift :

That is an excellent question, Tim Hawley!

The answer lies in the reason why MLF is conducted. Foremost, it's to reduce malic acid content: the bacteria convert it into lactic acid. Diacetyl is a (usually welcome) side effect.

Wine kits are already stabilised and acid balanced. Reducing their acidity will not improve them in any way--not ever.

In addition. whenever a kit is low in acid, malic is the acid of choice for additions. Unlike tartaric it's utterly stable in temperature swings. So if you remove the malic, you're aggressively unbalancing something a winemaker did on purpose.

Mostly moot, however: kits tend to start off less than 3.2 pH, and have minimal solids and bare-bones nutrient levels. You could waste a lot of malolactic culture trying to get one going, and never succeed.
 

sour_grapes

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I have done sur lie aging on a Chard kit, and have been pleased with the results.
 

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