Quantcast

WineXpert Deviating from kit instructions

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Monty Knapp

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
52
Location
Central Illinois
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.
 

DoctorCAD

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,797
Reaction score
525
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
 

cmason1957

CRS Sufferer
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
4,056
Reaction score
3,265
Location
O'Fallon, MO - Just NorthWest of St. Louis, MO
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.
 

Monty Knapp

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
52
Location
Central Illinois
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.
I got the idea that adding the gallon later was to extend the fermentation time and develop more complex flavor.
 

cmason1957

CRS Sufferer
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
4,056
Reaction score
3,265
Location
O'Fallon, MO - Just NorthWest of St. Louis, MO
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
 

Monty Knapp

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
52
Location
Central Illinois
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
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.
 

Doug’s wines

Making (or Drinking) Wine
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
221
Reaction score
154
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.
 

Monty Knapp

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
52
Location
Central Illinois
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.
Thanks. I wondered if there were already tannins. I'll wait then.
 

Hordak

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2015
Messages
51
Reaction score
17
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.
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
13,990
Reaction score
10,668
Location
DC Suburbs
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.
 

pillswoj

Canadian Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
480
Reaction score
271
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.
 

Monty Knapp

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
52
Location
Central Illinois
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
 

Brian55

Senior Wino
Joined
Jul 27, 2014
Messages
987
Reaction score
408
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.
View attachment 47631
No point in filtering if you're bulk aging for more than a few months, it will clear on it's own.
 

Trick

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
185
Reaction score
47
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.
 

Latest posts

Top