WineXpert Extended Maceration WineXpert Lodi Ranch11 Cab Kit

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Greg Teegarden, Jul 18, 2019.

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  1. Jul 18, 2019 #1

    Greg Teegarden

    Greg Teegarden

    Greg Teegarden

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    Hey all,

    So it's been about 34 days now into EM. Primary fermentation was over after about two weeks in at which point I racked it out of the bucket, reserved the skins and put it all into a big mouth bubbler, put it under airlock and have more less left it alone since. I used a small metal straw to siphon a little out the opening where the airlock goes into the bung to get a reading on it and one I thing I noticed is that it's completely clear, so I'm inclined not to add any of the clearing agents that came with the kit as they don't seem necessary at this point. Maybe save them for some of Danger Dave's DB I'm thinking of making next. There is about a quarter inch of sediment on the bottom of the bubbler so another racking is in order.

    Something else I also read on another website was about not adding the sorbate at the next racking. The consensus was that if you're making a dry red and as long as you keep everything clean that the kit makers on that site have learned to skip the sorbate as they feel that it can add some off putting flavors. Some claim they never use it for dry reds anymore and haven't had any problems. So, add it or not, assuming I'm keeping everything clean? I know I can view it as an insurance policy, but I'm wondering how much it'll alter the taste of the wine.

    Next, I also read from someone at UC Davis regarding EM who said that after about 33 days you don't really get any more bang for your buck time wise, which is where I am now. I know Tim V went a full 60 days on his video, but does anyone else have an opinion or had experience with these variable time frames, ie 30ish days vs 60?

    Finally, once I do get it racked and add the oak cubes that came with the kit, how long does one let it bulk age before bottling? 6 months? A year? Less? Since I've already significantly deviated from the kit instructions timeline wise I'm going more on what I've read here on the forum and elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance

    -Greg
     
  2. Jul 19, 2019 #2

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

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    That is very much the consensus on THIS website, as well.
     
  3. Jul 19, 2019 #3

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

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    Perhaps I’m reading it wrong but I think you indicated that after primary fermentation was over in two weeks and you removed the skins all in the same sentence you said you were 34 days in the EM. From my understanding, EM involves the skins on the must through primary and secondary fermentation. You’d only want to remove the skins when you’re ready to clear the wine and rack for bulk aging.

    Did you remove the skins after two weeks? If so, that’s not EM from my understanding.
     
  4. Jul 19, 2019 #4

    Greg Teegarden

    Greg Teegarden

    Greg Teegarden

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    Hi George

    I did not remove the skins. I dumped whatever had settled to the bottom of the bucket, which was some seeds and a few skins but everything that stayed in the bag and still free floating went into the bubbler where it’s been sitting now since June 22. The prior two weeks was all in the primary. So now I’m wondering how to best proceed as I’m off the kit instructions at this point.

    Thanks
     
  5. Jul 19, 2019 #5

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

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    Greg, to be clear. The skins have been on the must for 34 days? Your options are these, in my opinion: Since it’s in a big mouth bubbler, you could leave it alone for a couple more weeks. The escaping CO2 is leaving a nice oxygen barrier so you don’t have any fear of oxygenation. I have nine kits, all in EM, started the same day (June 1) that I will move to the clearing phase on July 27th (Saturday). For me the clearing phase is when I remove the skins, press them with my fruit press, add the specific liquid back to the wine from which it came, mix in 1/2 tsp of K-meta and let stand for three months in a 6 gallon carboy. This will begin to clear the wine. I DO NOT use clearing agents - only time. And I do not use Sorbate.
     
  6. Jul 19, 2019 #6

    jgmann67

    jgmann67

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    Welcome to the EM club. I have the same timing question - how long is long enough. Next red kit I do with be a 5 week EM.

    You’re doing it right skipping sorbate and clarifier. Basically, if your wine doesn’t need it, why add it?

    As for bulk aging. I’m a fan of bulking my wine 9-12 months. Your wine should be perfectly clear, absolutely degassed and taste like you want your wine to taste like... then bottle.

    Rack, dose with kmeta and age... three months at a time until your wine is ready.
     
  7. Jul 19, 2019 #7

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

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    To answer the remaining questions on your original post: Bulk aging can be whatever time you have equipment for or time for. Today, I bulk age for 12 months. Since I have yet to taste wine bulk aged for that long, I don’t have a taste comparison to test the prudence of the decision. Add the oak cubes once it hits the carboy. They will loose their ability to impart oak to the wine after a few months but there is absolutely no harm in letting them chill on the aging wine until bottle or rack again.
     
  8. Jul 19, 2019 #8

    dmguptill

    dmguptill

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    My opinion on EM is this: for almost everything else we do in winemaking the recommendation is don't rush it. Why would we do that with EM? It doesn't make sense to me. The kits have few enough skins you don't really have to worry about over extraction, and Tim V has suggested you might need that extra time for all the necessary biochemical reactions to take place that smooth out the wine. Plus if it's well sealed there is no concern of oxidation in that time. Not to mention more time to clear and degas.

    Seems to me it can't hurt to leave it in there, it can only help. Why rush this when we exercise patience with everything else?

    All that said, the scientist in me would love to see the data comparing different EM times for the same kit...
     
  9. Jul 19, 2019 #9

    pillswoj

    pillswoj

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    I am also on the don't rush it side. I have settled on 8 weeks for my EM time. I bulk age 9 - 12 months depending on if I need the carboy / have the bottles available.
     

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