Other Finer Wine Kits new process white wines

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Matteo_Lahm

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Kross, I assume that you followed the directions in the kit and had the wine in your primary fermenter for about 14 days before racking to the carboy. Can you tell me, what was in the bottom of the primary fermenter when you racked to the wine out of it? Can you describe the sediment? e.g., its color, consistency, amount, etc. Also, do you have your date of purchase of the kit, and may I know it? Lastly, am I correct that this kit had the "bentonite" fix in it?

Thank you.

My Muscat is a little ahead of your Chardonnay and here is what it looked like today. It is clearing, in that it is becoming more translucent, but there is a gray cast to the wine. I am calling it "Moscato Grigio."

View attachment 86805 View attachment 86806

Looks good! Any remaining sediment will clear in the final polishing stages or if you filter.
 

Matteo_Lahm

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My FW Chardonnay is clearing and all the carbon is in the bottom. I’m attaching a photo of day 3 after racking. My concern is that the wine is not as light as I was expecting on the top area where it’s clearing.

It looks good. It might look dark in the picture because that area behind the carboy is dark. Any remaining sediment will clear during the polishing stages.
 

Kross

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Kross, I assume that you followed the directions in the kit and had the wine in your primary fermenter for about 14 days before racking to the carboy. Can you tell me, what was in the bottom of the primary fermenter when you racked to the wine out of it? Can you describe the sediment? e.g., its color, consistency, amount, etc. Also, do you have your date of purchase of the kit, and may I know it? Lastly, am I correct that this kit had the "bentonite" fix in it?

Thank you.

My Muscat is a little ahead of your Chardonnay and here is what it looked like today. It is clearing, in that it is becoming more translucent, but there is a gray cast to the wine. I am calling it "Moscato Grigio."

View attachment 86805 View attachment 86806
I purchased the FW Chardonnay kit in the middle of March sometime. I followed the directions except fermentation ceased in less than 14 days with a SG reading of .994 so I racked the wine then. I really didn’t see anything in the kit that looked like the normal bentonite I have used (gray tan colored). I don’t recall exactly what all was in the bottom of the Big Mouth when I racked it. It was late at night, but I remember the big change the next morning.
‘The first photo is just before racking in the evening. The second photo is the next morning. The last photo is like 2 to 3 days later.
 

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Rocky

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I purchased the FW Chardonnay kit in the middle of March sometime. I followed the directions except fermentation ceased in less than 14 days with a SG reading of .994 so I racked the wine then. I really didn’t see anything in the kit that looked like the normal bentonite I have used (gray tan colored). I don’t recall exactly what all was in the bottom of the Big Mouth when I racked it. It was late at night, but I remember the big change the next morning.
‘The first photo is just before racking in the evening. The second photo is the next morning. The last photo is like 2 to 3 days later.

That sounds about like my experience with the Muscat. The main difference is when I moved it from the primary fermenter to the secondary (carboy), there was about 1/8" to 1/4" of a black was tar-like residue at the bottom of the fermenter. Took a lot of scrubbing to remove it. I assumed that was mostly the charcoal because after moving to the carboy and adding Kieselsol and Chitosan, it looks like this:

100_1903.JPG

There is a yellow color as I would expect but there is also a residual gray color. Also, the sediment at the bottom contains nothing black. When I took this shot, I put a white background (actually one of the Styrofoam tops from the FWK shipping containers) behind the fermenter.

One question I continue to have concerns the bentonite, for the following reasons:
a. I did not see anything in the packet which looked like bentonite I have used, and the starter packet appeared to be the same as all the others I have used in FWK kits, i.e., no larger, no difference in color.
b. The contents of the packet dissolved immediately. This has not been my experience with bentonite.
c. Every other time I have added bentonite, I dissolve it in warm water per the instructions. The wine at the time of the addition of the packet was just out of my refrigerator and probably in the 40 to 50-degree F range.

I will rack this wine shortly and see what happens.

Thank you for your response.
 

QuiQuog

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Finer wine kits are marked 35% off. Buy one this week and follow the instructions in my message. Label Peelers will give you a code that you can use for all future finer wine kit purchases for an additional 10% off any sale price for life.
Thanks. The buzz about FWK is making me want to try one. Unfortunately I’ve got too much in the pipeline right now, given that I’d need to start it right away. Perhaps this fall though, or later in the summer.
 

Rocky

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Thanks. The buzz about FWK is making me want to try one. Unfortunately I’ve got too much in the pipeline right now, given that I’d need to start it right away. Perhaps this fall though, or later in the summer.
You really don't have to start it right away if you can keep the juice in a refrigerator and the grape skins in a freezer. Just a thought.
 
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One question I continue to have concerns the bentonite, for the following reasons:
a. I did not see anything in the packet which looked like bentonite
Thanks for the updates and pics, Rocky and all. I'm with you on the Bentonite, I didn't notice anything different from the 'normal' pre-ferment procedures and enzyme packets, so I don't think there is any.

That stated, I'll be racking a Riesling from primary in one to two days, so we'll see how this goes. I've already learned a few things here, so it is nice to follow this thread....translucent coloring effects in the carboys, black must makes golden wine, and FWK was customer focused and offered us 10% discounts for working through this. And one more thought to @winemaker81 (regarding another thread) , I won't be trying any 'Sur Lie' experimentations at this time due to the carbon in the lees.
 

Rocky

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I feel that I have been clearly seen as the voice of doom or at least contrariness in the FWK white wine issue. First, let me say I would love for these wines to be the best option out there. I think the FWK red wines I have made so far (Cabernet Sauvignon, Super Tuscan, Merlot, Zinfandel and a Petit Sirah on the way) are some of the best wines I have ever made at this point in their development. My first two were the Cab and the Super T and they are 'drinkable' now at 4.5 months. They should be outstanding in a year or two.

That said, I think that there is clearly an issue with the white wines, and they do not measure up to the reds. I understand that many people are working diligently to find a fix for this and so far, they have given us a band-aid, the efficacy of which, in my opinion, is TBD. Be that as it may, I feel the issue is being attacked from the wrong direction. We are treating the symptoms and not curing the sickness, or as we used to say when I was in industry, we are putting the ambulance at the bottom of the hill rather than a guard rail at the top.

There is something in the process that causes the white juices to brown. This is not uncommon in white wine production which is why white grapes are usually crushed immediately and the juice is protected from oxidation. Also, it is my belief that it gets worse with time, which would explain why people have had varying degrees of "brown-ness." We need to find out what, in the process, is turning the juice brown and protect against it or change the process. It may be that there is nothing that can be done, and we will have to live with "fixes" for the problem. To me, this would be unfortunate because there are many other excellent alternatives out there to choose from without such issues.

Lastly, and paradoxically, it is all the more exasperating because it has been my experience that white wines are easier to make than red wines.
 

Swedeman

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I understand that many people are working diligently to find a fix for this and so far, they have given us a band-aid, the efficacy of which, in my opinion, is TBD. Be that as it may, I feel the issue is being attacked from the wrong direction. We are treating the symptoms and not curing the sickness,
I have been thinking the same way, solving the root cause of the browning, if possible, has to be the goal. Perhaps FWK has a catch 22 scenario on their hands:

Low heat treatment is the reason their kits has no kit taste (as it has been claimed) but leaves the browning enzyme active.
Increased heat treatment would inactivate the enzyme but that might go against the concept of being "not conventionally pasteurized".

Perhaps there is a sweet spot where the enzyme is inactived but where the "maintain as much freshness and integrity as possible. This preserves more of the grape's authenticity and produces a superior wine. " is maintained.

Developing new concepts isn't always an easy walk in the park for sure. Been there, done that. I feel for @Matteo_Lahm and his team.
 
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@Rocky,

Patience, Grasshopper. The new treatment of whites is less than a month in the field. AFAIK, no one has completed the K&C regimen yet. The process is not completed -- we have nothing to base any comparison on. The first kits will be clear in another week or so, and a month from now we can view the wines to see what the color, flavor and aroma are.

Charcoal, and more recently activated carbon, have been used in Europe for decades. We know what it does and what the expected result is. It's been available for home winemakers for at least 30 years -- when I owned a LHBS, it was on the list of things we could buy.

From all appearances, Matteo & crew have tested this. I'll be starting my SB soon, and I'll find out.
 

Rocky

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I am reminded of an old story that I heard long ago about a man who was trying on a suit off the "irregular" rack. The salesman wanted to get rid of it so he was doing everything he could to convince the man it looked good on him.
The customer said, "The left leg is too long!" and the salesman said, "All you need to do is bend over to your right and that will pull the left leg up."
The customer said, "The right sleeve is too long!" and the salesman said, "All you need to do is fold your right arm across your chest and that will pull the sleeve up."
The customer said, "The buttons on the left sleeve are in the wrong position!" and the salesman said, "All you need to do is twist your left arm in the sleeve and the buttons will be in the right position."
The customer said, "The coat feels loose in back!" and the salesman said, "All you need to do is hunch over and bend your shoulders inward and that will tighten up the back."
So, he bought the suit and was wearing it, doing all the things the salesman suggested.
As he was walking down the sidewalk, he passed two gentlemen. One of them turned to the other and said, "Did you see that? Poor guy all twisted up like that."
And the second one said, "Yes, it is a real shame, but did you notice how well that suit fit?!"
 
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Rocky

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I added a second dose of Kieselsol and Chitosan to the Muscat to see if that will clear it. Fingers crossed. Hope it works.
100_1911.JPG
If it does not, I have an ace in the hole.
100_1912.JPG
 

Swedeman

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Here's one more article explaining why white grape juice will turn brown. It's not unusual, not unexpected and there are proven ways to deal with the phenomenon.

Brown Colored White Wine - WineMakerMag.com
I think the point was that, to the best of my knowledge, neither RJS nor WE have browning issues. And as several have noted here (for instance @She’sgonnakillme and @sour_grapes if not mistaken), kit taste is only felt in red wine kits. The additional active carbon might strip good stuff from the wine (over-fining).
 

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