Now that is an excellent idea! I bet dental floss would work well, and perhaps provide a better seal under that o-ring. I’m gonna steal your idea, if I may! Thank you.I'm on my 3rd EM Red wine kit with grape skins. My first two I used Red Star Premier Cuvee (same as EC-1118) and it only took 5 days at 83 to 78 deg (I'm in Florida). My 3rd kit (RJS Super Tuscan) I switched the Red Star Premier Rouge and it's on day 11 and still just getting finished - fermenting much slower this time.
What I do with the grape skin bag is after it sinks and stays down, I stop stirring/squeezing it and I tie cotton strings to the ends and gorilla tape them to the sides of the plastic bucket so that the bag sinks but is suspended about half way down the bucket (not sitting on the gross lees). I seal it up and let it EM untouched another two weeks, for a total of 4 weeks in primary. The day before racking I'll pull up the bag and squeeze it dry and toss it, then let the bucket sit another 24 hours to settle any disturbed lees and then rack for clearing.
I share your pain on a LE16 Cab/Gren blend. It's surprisingly light. And like you, I mostly followed the directions minus the additives. I've tested 2 bottles and I hope it will develop into something more than it is now. My plan is to leave it undisturbed until next summer. Wait and see...Thanks, must is made up sans bentonite, rehydrating BM4x4 now.
Weird, I wonder why the LE18 came out like that. Welp, it's in the carboy now, will just see what happens in 8 months or so. Worst case it will make some fancy red wine vinegar