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Gilmango

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Interesting, as I would not have thought Merlot would be the largest share.
Merlot has gotten a ton of hate ever since Sideways (the movie which extols Pinot Noir and hates on Merlot) came out, but it is definitely the dominant grape in Bordeaux.

In Bordeaux the "Left Bank" wines are typically Cabernet Sauvignon dominant, balanced with Merlot. Right Bank wines are generally Merlot dominant, balanced with less Cabernet.

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pacific_red

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I’m hoping someone can give me some advice on here.
I’m considering making the FW Super Tuscan with double grape skins and doing an extended maceration. I have a 7 gal Fermonster and would like to know if anyone has tried this, and is it big enough for primary fermentation? I would like to avoid it bubbling over during the primary fermentation.
I'm 2 months into something similar, with 2 skin packs on the FW Super Tuscan. I set up the RJS EP Super Tuscan at the same time for comparison. Both are coming to the end of an extended maceration. I've done enough kits over the last couple of years to resist the urge to intervene - my best results have been obtained by letting things sit and forgetting about them. The FW kit came with RC212 yeast (I skipped the EC-1118 packet) and I liked how the FW kit had me preactivate the yeast overnight, so I used RC212 and rigged a similar setup with sugar and GoFerm for the RJS kit. The RJS kit had an SG of 1.102 and the FW kit had an SG of 1.092 (measured after soaking the skins overnight). Room temperature was 68 degrees. The FW kit definitely fermented at a much higher rate than the EP kit - the FW kit was more or less done after 5 days, while the EP kit took 10 days. If you are using a 7 gallon fermenter, I don't see why you couldn't short the water addition by up to 1 gallon, and add it back when fermentation slows down. The volume of the kit was accurate, so just be accurate in measuring how much water you add. I'm actually wondering if the FW kit would benefit from slightly shorting the water addition due to the lower starting SG - that will be a future experiment.
 

G259

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Just transferred my Finer Zin kit (w/ double skins) to carboy after extended maceration of 6 weeks. A small sample revealed a pretty tasty wine already!
SG was 0.999, so sorbate and sulfite went in. That was right about where I wanted it, bonus! All that is left is adding the oak cubes 2 weeks before bottling, smaller oak chips were use during ferment + maceration.
 
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JohnW

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What type of oaking do ya do 4 the RJS Sangiovese? Thx!
I don't like a lot of oak so I toss the oak chips that come with the kit. After the first rack I add maybe 20 medium toast oak cubes, either French or Hungarian, and let it set for 3 months before I rack again. Hope this helps.
 

bstnh1

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Just an observation... After my third FW kit, I haven't been able to get the wines below a SG of 0.996. Anyone getting them down to 0.990?
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Same here. I always ferment down to .990 or .992. I have only done one FW kit - Merlot - and the best I could do was .996.
 

Gilmango

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Yup, just re-measured and my only Finer Wines kit (a Super Tuscan) is at 0.997. However, it tastes good and not sweet. Whereas my first kit, an RJS Nebbiolo is at 0.993 but tastes a tiny bit sweeter, perhaps that is the 'kit taste' from pasteurization?
 

Gilmango

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Maybe the Finer Wines kits have more TDS (total dissolved solids)?
Good point, especially for those of us who used double skin packs (I even did a short EM, and added no fining agents) both of which, I think, could easily up the TDS. But tell me, would the increased TDS keep the Final Gravity from getting lower (makes sense to me - suspended solids show impact hydrometer readings, but love confirmation), and/or keep it from tasting sweeter than it might otherwise as those solids are often tannic and help counterbalance sweetness (also makes sense)?
 

sour_grapes

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Good point, especially for those of us who used double skin packs (I even did a short EM, and added no fining agents) both of which, I think, could easily up the TDS. But tell me, would the increased TDS keep the Final Gravity from getting lower (makes sense to me - suspended solids show impact hydrometer readings, but love confirmation), and/or keep it from tasting sweeter than it might otherwise as those solids are often tannic and help counterbalance sweetness (also makes sense)?
I am not sure I am parsing your question correctly. But let me just say that any dissolved solids, not just sugar, tend to increase SG. And, for that matter, they do not have to be dissolved, a suspension or slurry will also register on a hydrometer as an increased SG. Think watery mud -- obviously not sweet, but will measure a higher SG.
 

Gilmango

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I am not sure I am parsing your question correctly. But let me just say that any dissolved solids, not just sugar, tend to increase SG. And, for that matter, they do not have to be dissolved, a suspension or slurry will also register on a hydrometer as an increased SG. Think watery mud -- obviously not sweet, but will measure a higher SG.
Yeah, that was the first and main part of my question. Whether higher TDS registers as a higher SG, and you have confirmed that it does. I figured that was where your original comment was coming from, and it makes sense to me though I had not realized or read that before.

The secondary question was just if higher TDS might not also register as less sweet, other things being equal, if the solids were astringent? But I realize that question might be flawed insofar as if the wine would register at an SG of 0.992 but for the TDS or just total solids (but registers at 0.996 for instance with the higher TDS/TS) then it would already taste as dry as a normal 0.992 wine. So other things are not equal in that case.
 

jgmann67

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Yeah, that was the first and main part of my question. Whether higher TDS registers as a higher SG, and you have confirmed that it does. I figured that was where your original comment was coming from, and it makes sense to me though I had not realized or read that before.

The secondary question was just if higher TDS might not also register as less sweet, other things being equal, if the solids were astringent? But I realize that question might be flawed insofar as if the wine would register at an SG of 0.992 but for the TDS or just total solids (but registers at 0.996 for instance with the higher TDS/TS) then it would already taste as dry as a normal 0.992 wine. So other things are not equal in that case.
i also skip the fining agents in my wines. I prefer to let time do it’s job. But, to add to this - if the higher TDS prevents the SG from reaching “absolute zero” isn’t the inverse also true? I mean that the original gravity would be lower but for the TDS. In the end, I think it all washes out in the math. It’s just that the potential ABV wasn’t as high as originally anticipated.
 

johnkelsall

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i also skip the fining agents in my wines. I prefer to let time do it’s job. But, to add to this - if the higher TDS prevents the SG from reaching “absolute zero” isn’t the inverse also true? I mean that the original gravity would be lower but for the TDS. In the end, I think it all washes out in the math. It’s just that the potential ABV wasn’t as high as originally anticipated.
Think of the Dead Sea, the extra salt is higher TDS and less sweet!
 

Wayne Freeman

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I think it will all work out in the end. The initial SG of my FW Zinfandel was 1.095, higher than the usual 1.092. If I plug in an ending SG of .997 (mine isn't quite finished yet, so I'm just estimating based on others' experience) into my spreadsheet, I get an alcohol percentage of 13.4, which is perfectly acceptable to me, normal for a good Zin.
 

Bmd2k1

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Just received an email that the FW kit intro pricing ends as of end of July. From the email...

......
FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T PURCHASED A FINER WINE KIT.

If you haven't purchased a Finer Wine Kit, yet, you still have time to get in the lifetime 10% discount group. We are offering the discount to anyone who purchases a kit before August 1st 2021, and emails their request to [email protected]. Be one of the first to make the best wine from a kit you can make, and secure a lifetime 10% discount!
 
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Which red FW kit do you think would be best to make with no skins. Just want something to drink sooner rather than later.

Thanks!
 

G259

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Just an observation... After my third FW kit, I haven't been able to get the wines below a SG of 0.996. Anyone getting them down to 0.990?
I'm not sure, but maybe they are designed to ffinish around a specific sg. My red Zin finished at 0.999, and I had previously measured a commercial brand at 1.000 (Woodbridge). Although I do know that, for instance, acidity can be adjusted to refine sweetness. It would be the same SG, however would not taste as sweet to the palate.
 
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