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Rocky

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There’s an enzyme in the fruit matter that browns exactly the same way as fresh fruit. The concentration process does not deactivate it. Traditional kits don’t have this issue because they’re cooked to be stable at room temperature. The carbon bonds with those enzymes and pulls them out. Without the carbon, the wines are darker. All the residual carbon eventually drops out. This is why we recommend two additional polishing stages each a minimum of two weeks after the initial racking or filtering.
Matteo, I may be way off base on this but did you try any kind of acidulation when looking for a remedy? I don't know what the process is, but grapes are mainly water and introducing something like a measured quantity of, say, lemon juice could help. That is what is used when prepping fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them from browning with exposure to oxygen. If it is the same reaction, it could help.
 

G259

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. . . an excellent assumption, I wonder if they explored that, I'm going to say 'probably', but ideas are like that- they pop up!
Maybe an early (extra) acid addition is warranted?
 
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Matteo_Lahm

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Matteo, I may be way off base on this but did you try any kind of acidulation when looking for a remedy? I don't know what the process is, but grapes are mainly water and introducing something like a measured quantity of, say, lemon juice could help. That is what is used when prepping fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them from browning with exposure to oxygen. If it is the same reaction, it could help.

Lemon juice would lower the pH.
 

Rocky

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Not necessarily. What is the pH of the juice in the FWK Tavola Muscat, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling? I have always believed that white juices were higher in acid (i.e., lower pH, say 3.3 or less) than red juices. I suppose a massive amount of lemon juice could make a wine that is too sour, but I am not talking about a massive amount. Incidentally, I have made wine from pure lemon juice.
 

Matteo_Lahm

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Not necessarily. What is the pH of the juice in the FWK Tavola Muscat, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling? I have always believed that white juices were higher in acid (i.e., lower pH, say 3.3 or less) than red juices. I suppose a massive amount of lemon juice could make a wine that is too sour, but I am not talking about a massive amount. Incidentally, I have made wine from pure lemon juice.

The other issue is that citric acid has a very distinct taste. It’s not really a dominant acid in grapes. The amount of lemon juice you would need to change the color would alter the flavor profile and make the wine more acidic.

We are going to start including additional Bentonite with the kits. Process will tweak a little bit more to mix Bentonite and carbon together first before adding the juice. This will help pull it out faster.
 

Vlabruz

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What if you lower the acid but than include sodium bicarbonate ? I'm not worried about the carbon, doing a reisling now and trust your research. Just joining the convo
 

Rocky

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The other issue is that citric acid has a very distinct taste. It’s not really a dominant acid in grapes. The amount of lemon juice you would need to change the color would alter the flavor profile and make the wine more acidic.

We are going to start including additional Bentonite with the kits. Process will tweak a little bit more to mix Bentonite and carbon together first before adding the juice. This will help pull it out faster.
Again, to me, that is putting the ambulance at the bottom of the hill. I am suggesting finding a measure that would keep the wine from oxidizing, or "enzyme browning" if you prefer, at all.

Making a slurry out of the charcoal is more like what is done in Europe, and it is added slowly to the wine on a case-by-case basis. From what I have read, the addition of activated charcoal should be carefully calculated and performed and is not a "one size fits all" proposition. Lastly, I do not get the impression that it is the way it is done in Europe and some US manufacturers, rather it is a way to address a specific issue.

When I lived in Rochester, New York, I had some experience in commercial wine making at a local vineyard. They made a great deal of white wine and I never saw use of or heard mention of the use of charcoal. White grapes were picked, moved to the crusher/de-stemmer, pressed and piped directly into the fermentation vats.
 

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I hate to be negative, but I’m not sure how much help the carbon was to my Chardonnay?
 

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Rocky

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I hate to be negative, but I’m not sure how much help the carbon was to my Chardonnay?
My Muscat was like that and then I hit it with a second dose of K and C. That dropped more of the charcoal out of the wine, but it is still not fully cleared, and I suspect more charcoal is to come.
 
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I have followed the directions and went through primary and secondary in my fermentation bucket for a Riesling. I racked off the gross lees and into another ferm bucket and after degas and adding/mixing clearing agents, racked into a carboy and a little excess into 750ml bottle. After almost 3 days here is my view. Clearing is happening, and the carbon is settling. I did not do a taste..yet.
 

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What if you lower the acid but than include sodium bicarbonate ? I'm not worried about the carbon, doing a reisling now and trust your research.
IME, going up and down with acid is a mistake, the result won't be good. Regarding acid, go gentle and make no more correction than is needed.
 
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Packet A was missing from my SB kit, and that arrived today.

Read your blog and I wish I had taken a picture of my ingredients upon opening, as your 'Packet A' looks to have Bentonite, while I didn't notice any difference in my packet "A" from other FWK kits, I don't think it had any (don't put me on the witness stand). Matteo above said they were going to start adding it, but that was after my purchase. Interestingly, there were pictures in this thread which showed a greyish wine coming out of the fermentation vessels, while mine was still black. Not needing a response from anyone, just something I noticed. It will be interesting to follow your experience knowing it has the bentonite.

If mine doesn't clear as expected. I am thinking about using Sparkolloid as a second clearing agent since I have it on hand. I won't use it immediately but will evaluate in 2 weeks and then maybe in another two weeks. Anyone see an issue with this thinking?

On a side note, I've had a couple of items left out of my FWK from LP too. LP has been nice to replace them, no hassle at all, and once (since I'm really local), dropped an item off on my porch from someone going home from work. That! Is customer service!
 
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My niece texted a picture of her SB last night -- this is 1 week in the carboy after adding the K&C.

shannon sb.jpg

Mine went gonzo last night, foaming up with a thick foam that resembles sea foam -- very stiff. It subsided some time between stirring last night (4 PM) and stirring today (3PM).

2022_sb_fermenter_mess_01.jpg

It made a mess on the bottom of the towel, with a lot of the chips plus solids adhering to the towel.

2022_sb_fermenter_mess_02.jpg

I don't see a problem with this -- sometimes the wine foams up, sometimes it doesn't. In this case it did.

So I replaced the towel and shook the chunks on the old towel outside. SG is down to about 1.030. The foam made it impossible to get an exact reading, but IMO only the OG and FB matter. Everything in between is simply an indicator that will change.

My son & I topped barrels last night, and he sniffed the SB. "Smells like Sauvignon Blanc" was his remark. The aroma, even during fermentation, is good. The color -- as expected -- is Goth. ;)
 
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FYI, after stirring I wet a clean paper towel with K-meta solution and use it to wipe the inside of the fermenter above the wine. In this instance, it took 3 to get the fermenter clean. Note that this removes material that could host unwanted microbial life. Additionally, I suspect that as the K-meta evaporates, the SO2 above the must protects the cap for at least a short while.
 
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I received the Grenache Rosé kit today. Looks like every thing is there including the carbon powder. The juice does look dark for a rosé but honestly it is less of a concern than with a white wine. I’m planning on starting it tomorrow evening. It may be a game day decision about wether to use the carbon or not.
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oppyland

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I received the Grenache Rosé kit today. Looks like every thing is there including the carbon powder. The juice does look dark for a rosé but honestly it is less of a concern than with a white wine. I’m planning on starting it tomorrow evening. It may be a game day decision about wether to use the carbon or not.

Mine showed up yesterday. I'm debating on whether or not to use the carbon as well - leaning toward not.
 

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