WineXpert Crushendo kit - using mesh bag for skins

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Senior Member
Jun 2, 2009
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Hey all,

I'm going to start the WE Sonoma Cab w/crushendo tonight. I noticed that the kit includes a strainer thing you put in your racking tube for the racking to avoid transferring the skins from the primary. Has anyone just put the skins in a mesh bag instead? It would seem to be easier but then the skins really won't be floating around as much and I want to make sure the skins add something to this kit.
I'm a newbie as well and my first skins kit I put them in loose. Major hassle to rack into the secondary though. My next one I bought some 5 gal paint strainer bags from the local paint shop (as learned from in here) and put them in that. Way easier to clean up and there is a lot more room than the supplied mess bag.
Thats what I was thinking of doing as well but I'm worried about not letting the skins free and float around. I saw the strange little racking filters they gave me and I thought that racking might take a long time if these skins clog them up.
I don't to risk affecting the wine so I will let them float if others feel I need to.
Thanks for the reply.
You can talk to different people about whether or not the skins should be free floating and get a multitude of answers. It comes down to a personal preference.

I always put the skins in a mesh bag. Some say if you use a bag, you get less absorption of the goodies in the skins. IMO, the current produced by the fermentation process keeps the wine flowing through the skins continually.

If you don't weight the bag down to remain below the surface of the wine, you MUST MUST punch it down once or twice each day. I place marbles in the mesh bag in such a manner that the bag is held below the surface of the wine at all times. That way I don't have to worry about the skins lying on the surface too long.

The bag also give you an opportunity to squeeze the bag in your hands to get all the remaining goodies and juice out of the skins at the end of fermentation. It sure makes racking a lot easier, too.

Regardless of which way you go, everything will be fine.

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