WineXpert Deviating from kit instructions

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Monty Knapp, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. Jan 16, 2018 #1

    Monty Knapp

    Monty Knapp

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    I'm getting ready to start a new kit (6 gallon). WineXpert Eclipse Shiraz, Barbarossa Valley, Australia.
    I'm thinking about deviating from the instructions a little. I came across an article named "Extended Instructions for Making Wine From Kits". These instructions take a 28 day kit and stretch it out to 180 days. I don't plan to go that long, but several weeks longer than 28 days, then let it bulk age.
    • The biggest deviation is to hold back 1 gallon of must, then add it back in when the fermentation in the primary fermenter slows down.
    • Another deviation is to add tannin. It suggested 1 to 1 1/2 tsp.
    Does anyone have experience with this? Or any tips or suggestions?
    I was also reading a thread that mentioned adding chocolate. This sounds like a good idea for this wine, but I will probably try chocolate in a small batch first.
     
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  2. Jan 16, 2018 #2

    DoctorCAD

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    I only use the 180 day instructions. Makes a world of difference.

    I don't hold back anymore since I bought an 8 gallon conical fermenter. It does help in smaller fermenter. Also, I use soft tannins from FT
     
  3. Jan 16, 2018 #3

    cmason1957

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    I follow something very close to those directions when I make wine kits. I don't hold back that gallon and add it back in later. That is done so that you can ferment in a carboy. Ferment in a bucket and start at full amount of liquid. I would encourage you to come as close to that 180 days as you can. It will really help the long term taste of any kit.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2018 #4

    Monty Knapp

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    I got the idea that adding the gallon later was to extend the fermentation time and develop more complex flavor.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2018 #5

    cmason1957

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    If has been a very long time since I read the actual article (more than last week, at least) I could be wrong, but I thought it had you start out in a carboy, then at the well point add the gallon back in. Leave it alone for several weeks. I always started in a bucket, then into a carboy at about a week leave it there for about three weeks
     
  6. Jan 16, 2018 #6

    Monty Knapp

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    The instructions I have leave a bit to be desired. I assumed you started in a primary fermenter bucket, but there is a point where they are clearing/stabilizing but haven't racked to a carboy yet. So it makes more sense now. They started in a carboy.
     
  7. Jan 16, 2018 #7

    Doug’s wines

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    I just read what I think are the instructions. They are designed to extend a 28 day kit ( ie a cheaper one than the Eclipse). I haven’t done the Shiraz yet, but the other eclipses I’ve done have more tannic punch to them than the 28’s. I don’t think I would tannin in primary, I might oak or add some ft rouge tannins afterward if I thought it needed it. Other than that, the 180 day process seems good for this kit to me. Let us know how the process goes.
     
  8. Jan 16, 2018 #8

    Monty Knapp

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    Thanks. I wondered if there were already tannins. I'll wait then.
     
  9. Jan 16, 2018 #9

    Hordak

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    I did the Eclipse Zinfandel per instructions a few years ago and I think it needs more tannin up front. If it was me I'd add a tsp of FT Rouge and a tsp of regular wine tanning in the primary and do an extended maceration ferment of anywhere from a month to two months depending on your fermenter. Then toward your last couple months add oak sticks or cubes and maybe even some oak finishing tannins if you can get them.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2018 #10

    Boatboy24

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    Unless you're fermenting a 6 gallon batch in a 6 gallon container, I see no purpose in holding back a gallon. In fact, I see that as introducing unnecessary risk into the process - but that's just me. Primary fermentation is primary fermentation. Once you are through that, you want that wine in a container that can minimize headspace and exposure to air. Once in secondary, I almost always go longer than recommended - sometimes a month. This is sometimes laziness or schedule and sometimes by design. But you run the risk here of H2S. I tweak in a few other ways as well: almost always add tannin during fermentation and again during aging, and 3-4 months in a barrel. I'm not afraid to use additional oak either. I've tried other things like adding bananas, raisins, etc to enhance body/mouthfeel. I'd say the results there are mixed at best and I no longer do that.
     
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  11. Jan 16, 2018 #11

    pillswoj

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    Note that these instructions were devised in 2000 and they several times reference 'Wine Art' which was one of the original kit manufacturers, I made a lot of there wines back in the 80's and 90's. Much has changed since then both in equipment and in quality of kits and ingredients. If you truly want to up your game on an eclipse kit get a 7 gal fermonster and read up on Extended Maceration.
     
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  12. Mar 28, 2018 #12

    Monty Knapp

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    Well it's bulk aging now. In the end, I pretty much followed the instructions. This kit has you add oak cubes at the same time you add the finning agent. At that point you are supposed to wait 8 days and then rack the wine. I waited 20 days just to make sure I got plenty of oak. That was probably the biggest deviation from the instructions.
    Looks good. Tastes good.
    Looks very clear. Thinking about not filtering this at all. Any thoughts on that? Don't want to filter out any of the deep color or flavor.
    20180327_1.jpg
     
  13. Mar 28, 2018 #13

    Brian55

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    No point in filtering if you're bulk aging for more than a few months, it will clear on it's own.
     
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  14. Mar 28, 2018 #14

    Trick

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    I hold up to 1 gal or 2 at the beginning and add it incrementally in order to consistently produce CO2 for extended maceration which lasts for 8 weeks. It worked in my last batch. It is easier than starting one batch to feed another with CO2.
    I tired chocolate powder but it generate an oily layer on the top and was hard to remove.
     

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