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dyqik

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I've been homebrewing beer for several years, and am venturing into my first wine. I've bought a WInExpert Selection Australian Grenache/Shiraz/Mouvedre kit (my wife lived in Australia for a couple of years where this blend is popular, and it's very hard to find much commercially here). I have fairly advanced equipment from homebrewing - temperature controlled fermentation chamber, pH meter, refractometer and hydrometers, yeast starter gear, various brewing chemicals and test kits, so I'm looking to go a little bit beyond the basic kit instructions if it's a good idea to.

So, I have some questions:
What is a good yeast selection for a GSM blend? Should I replace the kit yeast with a fresh pack?

What's a good fermentation temperature for any recommended yeast? I can hold the must temperature to within 0.5F and control temperature profiles.

Should I look at the acidity, or just trust the kit the first time?

Reading around, it seems that extending bulk aging and bottle aging time beyond the kit instructions is a good idea generally, particularly for reds.
 

ceeaton

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I've been homebrewing beer for several years, and am venturing into my first wine. I've bought a WInExpert Selection Australian Grenache/Shiraz/Mouvedre kit (my wife lived in Australia for a couple of years where this blend is popular, and it's very hard to find much commercially here). I have fairly advanced equipment from homebrewing - temperature controlled fermentation chamber, pH meter, refractometer and hydrometers, yeast starter gear, various brewing chemicals and test kits, so I'm looking to go a little bit beyond the basic kit instructions if it's a good idea to.

So, I have some questions:
What is a good yeast selection for a GSM blend? Should I replace the kit yeast with a fresh pack?

What's a good fermentation temperature for any recommended yeast? I can hold the must temperature to within 0.5F and control temperature profiles.

Should I look at the acidity, or just trust the kit the first time?

Reading around, it seems that extending bulk aging and bottle aging time beyond the kit instructions is a good idea generally, particularly for reds.
@dyqik, welcome to the forum. There is an "Introductions" thread you should post on and give us some of your other background, if you'd like (not a necessity).

Your homebrewing background should serve you well in the wine world, that's sort of my upbringing. Beer needs a bit more in the way of sanitary conditions compared to wine, so if you use your beer making practices as far as cleanliness, you should do well. The hard part is that a batch of beer can be ready to drink rather quickly compared to wine, so get ready to have your patience tested, again and again.

Can't recommend to many things, since I haven't made a GSM blend yet (but others here have and will chime in). But I can give you a nice link to a resource that will help you pick yeast if you want to swap them out (http://www.lallemandwine.com/north-america/products/catalogue/). You can use the yeast that comes with the kit and it should turn out pretty well. A lot of us swap it out because it makes us think we are improving on the kit, but in all reality, I feel most of the differences using one yeast verses the other are diminished the longer the wine ages. Now, if you use a yeast that doesn't stall, etc, it's worth the price of admission.

Hope you enjoy the "wine" side of things, and again welcome to WMT!
 

rustbucket

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Welcome to the forum, dyqik. Since this is your first foray into home wine making, I recommend that you follow the kit instructions and use the yeast that came with the kit. Doing these two things will increase the likelihood that you are successful with your first batch. Once you've made a few kits and have a wine supply in your cellar, then you can start experimenting.

I've made two GSM blends to date, a Winexpert Selection Vieux Chateau du Roi and an Winexpert Eclipse Nocturnal Wine Making Kit. The first one has been aged a little over two years and is very enjoyable. The second GSM was just finished and is in the bottle.

GSM blends are one of my favorite. Good luck with yours and keep us informed of your progress.
 

DoctorCAD

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Follow the directions, except for time.
Heres my timeline first fermentation 2 weeks minimum then rack. Second fermentation 3 to 4 weeks then rack. 5 months under airlock then bottle.

Temperature is nowhere as important on wine as it is in beer. Plus or minus 10 degrees is acceptable.

Oh, and dont stress over oxygen exposure, unlike beer, it wont rwally hurt the wine unless you let the airlock go dry for several weeks.

Good luck.
 

dyqik

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Thanks.

I'll check the date codes on the yeast in the kit, and decide from there if I want to get fresh yeast. I think the kit may come with EC-1118 (based on one other thread on here from five years ago), which I wasn't too sure about for a red. I have to go the local homebrew shop anyway at some point for bottles and a corker, plus some beer supplies.

I've made sour beers which took up to 18 months in bulk fermentation, so patience is possible. But then I also do a bitter which is drinking in 14 days.

I've also made ciders and mead (BOMM method), which I guess are a bit closer to wine making than beer is.
 

Trevor7

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Welcome to the forum Dyqik! As you can see, there is an abundance of knowledge here, and all are very generous with sharing. I also tried my hand at brewing, but the time-sensitive steps were my downfall. Something that needed to be done on Tuesday, didn't look very good come Thursday. Winemaking is much more forgiving. Enjoy the hobby.
 

dyqik

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I'm thinking if the kit does come with EC-1118, I'll swap it out for 71B-1122 or RC-212, whichever I can find at the LHBS. Both sound like they are more suited for a berry fruit forward style.
 

Ajmassa

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Follow the directions, except for time.
Heres my timeline first fermentation 2 weeks minimum then rack. Second fermentation 3 to 4 weeks then rack. 5 months under airlock then bottle.
Good luck.
Minimum 2 weeks? Whenever I see someone talk about their primary fermentations going multiple weeks I’m always curious. If your SG is reading under 1.000 after 5 days (which is typical for me) are you leaving your wine in your fermentor for 10 more days still? Or do you ferment in a sealed vessel?
 

dyqik

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I'm thinking if the kit does come with EC-1118, I'll swap it out for 71B-1122 or RC-212, whichever I can find at the LHBS. Both sound like they are more suited for a berry fruit forward style.
It arrived yesterday afternoon, and yes, it is EC-1118 in the kit. Looks like a package date from 6 months ago (BBD Oct 2020), so I will be swapping it out.

Actually starting the kit has to wait until I'm allowed to put weight on my right foot following surgery though. Should get permission tomorrow.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi dyqik - and welcome. I offer this as wine/mead maker but not of kits. I would have to assume that the kit manufacturer has made the kit for novice wine makers. That means that they have checked and adjusted the pH and all other critical factors such as nutrients etc. If they supply EC-1118 and you feel confident enough I would swap that yeast for something more appropriate for the wine you are making: EC -1118 (IMO) is a journeyman yeast that is given to every rank novice as it does its thing no matter the temperature but it is a sledge hammer and not a scalpel.
 

DoctorCAD

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Minimum 2 weeks? Whenever I see someone talk about their primary fermentations going multiple weeks I’m always curious. If your SG is reading under 1.000 after 5 days (which is typical for me) are you leaving your wine in your fermentor for 10 more days still? Or do you ferment in a sealed vessel?
Yep, I let it ride in the covered bucket, 2 weeks may even be short, if something comes up. Ive got a batch to bottle April 1, but its way past that date. Wont hurt a thing...might wash some bottles tonight. Or maybe not.
 

heatherd

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Welcome @dyqik I have used RC212 on a GSM kit with good results. The kit is the Selection Australian Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre. I added the oak dust in primary. This is a good-tasting wine.
 

dyqik

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Thanks, I got RC-212 today. I assume the kit has sufficient nutrients for EC-1118, but I understand that RC-212 is quite a bit hungrier, so I'll give it a half dose of Fermaid K, just in case (I have Fermaid K and O for mead making on the new BOMM protocol).

More importantly for making the wine, I got permission to put weight on my right leg, albeit still in a cast. Now I can walk around while carrying stuff instead of with crutches, which is rather important for wine making...
 

Zintrigue

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I've been homebrewing beer for several years, and am venturing into my first wine. I've bought a WInExpert Selection Australian Grenache/Shiraz/Mouvedre kit (my wife lived in Australia for a couple of years where this blend is popular, and it's very hard to find much commercially here). I have fairly advanced equipment from homebrewing - temperature controlled fermentation chamber, pH meter, refractometer and hydrometers, yeast starter gear, various brewing chemicals and test kits, so I'm looking to go a little bit beyond the basic kit instructions if it's a good idea to.

So, I have some questions:
What is a good yeast selection for a GSM blend? Should I replace the kit yeast with a fresh pack?

What's a good fermentation temperature for any recommended yeast? I can hold the must temperature to within 0.5F and control temperature profiles.

Should I look at the acidity, or just trust the kit the first time?

Reading around, it seems that extending bulk aging and bottle aging time beyond the kit instructions is a good idea generally, particularly for reds.
Hi there! Everyone else probably already tackled your questions, but I'll throw my two cents in for fun.

For yeast selection, I have this thread bookmarked. Great, simple list: https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/how-to-select-a-yeast-for-your-must.12160/

Must temps. My understanding is that generally between 68 and 74 are ideal. The warmer, the faster the ferment, but excess heat can also stress the yeast and make off smells. I always ferment around 78 or 80, just because that's the temperature of my house. My only complaint is that I always need to add extra yeast nutrient to the must half way through fermentation, no matter what kit it is, which I think is due to temps.

I have yet to bother with acidity because most kits balance that out well, but Joe's tweaking thread goes into more detail about it (https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/tweeking-cheap-kits.51904/). Also other fun things you can do with your kits.

As for aging, most of the kits I've done say that the wine is meant to be drank young, but I think that aging is always helpful no matter what. I've seen people go back and forth on here about kit aging times and how some kit reds are at their best at 6 months while others need a minimum two years. I think all have valid points. Really, it's your call. Taste and decide if it needs mellowing out. I will say that I bulk age mine for three months because, for reasons I have yet to identify, they begin dropping more sediment at the three month mark. Obviously it's not fun to serve wine to family and friends if it has a fine pink dust floating around the bottom of the glass (the fontanas are the worst at this), so having it sit for 3 months in a carboy does a world of good in many aspects.

Like I said, everyone else probably gave a lot of great advice. Hope I offered something useful, too. Cheers.
 

dyqik

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Well, I made the kit up yesterday, and it's been in the fermentation chamber all night, warming up from an initial temperature of 66F to 69F now.

It started a bit cold because the jugs of spring water I bought were at about 60F, while the juice had been warming for a day in the fermentation chamber before I assembled the kit.
 

dyqik

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Fermentation went well, seemed to be done in about 10 days, but I left it 13 to rack for clearing so it got enough oak from the chips.

Moved to my 6 gallon Better Bottle and degassed today. Finished at 0.991, from 1.096. The hydrometer sample was perfectly drinkable, even without clearing or any age.
 

Zintrigue

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Sounds like a success! Do you like your product so far? Or I suppose a better question is: does the lady of the house like it? I'm a big Shiraz fan myself, but not too familiar with the other two varietals.
 
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