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I hand squeezed the 4 bags of skins and got maybe a bottle out of them.
I hard pressed 6 bags and got 1.5 liters out of it (same about for two triple kits), so your extract from the bags with hand pressing equaled mine with a hard press.

I have downsized kits for decades, but recently stopped. I go through a lot of effort in getting all the right bottle sizes, and have a sea of airlocks on my counter. And when I have to rack? I expend a lot of effort in doing all the containers, and because of the inefficiencies in racking, I lose more wine.

Starting with my FWK, I'm topping to 23 liters. It's easy to do, and it greatly reduces my hassle at racking time, as I have only 1 container to mess with.

So far I've used about 1.5 bottles per kit. I'm ok with this, as I'd buy that wine anyway. It's really a matter of drinking that 1.5 bottles on their own, or blended into a kit. Either way, it goes down the hatch.
 

joeswine

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Winemaker 81, always keep in mind that a lot of the people that are in this site don’t have the equipment or the space That some of us have nor the experience, so when I say ( less is more ) it pertains to all aspects of wine making .
Taking it slow and easy is a better teacher .
 

FredTheNuke

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Some of us have all of the equipment and quite a bit of space. I am using 6 gallon Carboys is the reason I need to top up so much because I’m getting about 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 gallons from each kit depending on how much I squeeze the grape skin bags. With 3785.412 ml in a gallon that’s 5 bottles - so a top up of 2 to 3 bottles.

I have decided that I’m going to go ahead and bottle my three whites once they’re done clearing.

For the Reds I’m going to sacrifice my Merlot kit as a top up kit and top up the other seven Reds to 6.0 gallons. That will leave me with about 2 1/2 or so gallons of Merlot which I’ll bottle early. I could put it in some one or 2 gallon glass but I’ll probably just go ahead and bottle it based on Matteo’s kit instructions. After a trip through #2 pads in the Super Jet….
 
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For the Reds I’m going to sacrifice my Merlot kit as a top up kit and top up the other seven Reds to 6.0 gallons.
I beg to differ -- you are not sacrificing a kit, you are strategically reallocating resources. :r

The other night I wrote a post regarding how I reduce my wine losses -- you may find it useful.


@joeswine, you have me confused. If you are referring to my post about topping the carboy rather than using a bunch of bottles? It's a lot easier to simply top the carboy, and it takes less resources and space since only 1 container, stopper, and airlock are used. If you're referring to something else, please clarify.

This is not a beginner's thread. Fifty-five pages in, we have gotten very deep into the weeds. If our beginning winemakers don't understand something, they are asking questions and learning.
 

Lukaswine

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Yes I am super stingy when I rack in getting every single drop out that I can!

The bottle to bottle consistency definitely makes sense.

What I have learned when you do 8 red kits Is to buy an extra Merlot kit as a top up. It would’ve actually ended up cheaper with the extra kit versus the commercial. Although I am buying commercial wine that’s normally 12 to 15 a bottle in a Food Lion grocery store but is on sale for nine and some change. I could probably buy the seven dollar bottles and it would be just fine….
I use a good box wine to fill up my carboys. A box equals 3-4 bottles of wine.
 

FredTheNuke

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Spot on Rocky! So many different ways to accomplish close to the same thing. Too bad we can't have a Tasting where everyone starts with the same kit on the same day and does it Their Way and then independent folks judge how different or alike the results are!!!!

Well - I have to dump these 5 kits I have in primary.... I have been punching down the grape bags once per day (twice is too much for me to keep up with sanitizing etc in mind). I haven't been measuring gravity daily because.. well... i'm lazy and it's bubbling so I know it's heading in the right direction. So today is day 7 in the primary - you are supposed to stop punching down at 1.010. Mine made it to 0.994 - almost fully dry.... LoL.

Punching down released enough CO2 from the must to re-blanket - the air locks are producing every 10 to 15 seconds with the lids back on for about 5 minutes.... 7 more days until first rack to secondary! Time to get more proficient with my vacuum transfer kit in the meantime.
 
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Fred, I finally took others advice and purchased a FWK Forte Merlot to top off my other wines. I was going with boxed and bottled wine, however, I finally realized that I enjoyed making the wines and why buy commercially when I can top off with something I made.

Just an idea. Sounds like you have plenty on your plate at the moment. Enjoy and success to you!
Here’s a suggestion, if you don’t want to change the character of the wine rack it into a 5 gallon carboy? No wine needed, rack what’s left in an appropriate glass bottle with an air lock for topping after each racking and down size what remains.
God bless
 
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We had our plans for this week changed for us so I decided to go ahead and bottle the two FWK whites yesterday. Ran them through the AIO filter (1 micron). The Riesling was crystal clear and beautiful but the Sauvignon Blanc still had a light haze. I chose to not put the SB in bottles yet. I should have taken a picture of them side by side but too late now. These have needed only minimal topping up and I yielded 28 750ml bottles and 4 splits of dry Riesling.

I also bottled the RJS coffee dessert wine using @heatherd recipe of adding 1.5 cups of brandy. It’s pretty amazing. 35 375ml bottles.
 

Joecmk

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Here’s a suggestion, if you don’t want to change the character of the wine rack it into a 5 gallon carboy? No wine needed, rack what’s left in an appropriate glass bottle with an air lock for topping after each racking and down size what remains.
God bless
That's what I do as well. I either use a smaller carboy and if I still have some space I add the glass marbles to reduce the space. Or, I just rack into a 3 gallon and then use one gallon jugs for the remainder. Works for me.
 

joeswine

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Imagine that Racking down, makes good sense, no marbles,no marble chips ,
One of the best tools to learn how to use is invert gases , nitrogen and other gases used in the wine making process.
Think about it , and Keep thing Outside the Box.
 

Joecmk

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Imagine that Racking down, makes good sense, no marbles,no marble chips ,
One of the best tools to learn how to use is invert gases , nitrogen and other gases used in the wine making process.
Think about it , and Keep thing Outside the Box.
I've used Wine Preserver gas for one of my carboy that has a lot of space left over. Just makes me nervous because you can't tell how much you actually put in and not sure how long it actually lasts. Seems to work though.
 
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I've used Wine Preserver gas for one of my carboy that has a lot of space left over. Just makes me nervous because you can't tell how much you actually put in and not sure how long it actually lasts. Seems to work though.

It lasts for approximately 10 seconds (perhaps less). The "blanketing" effect is very short term and whatever gas you use to protect your wine from oxygen mixes with all the other gases very quickly. Wineries that purge wine bottles with some gas generally have a means to keep oxygen out of the airspace.
 

joeswine

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you need to look it up, I think.
winemakers use nitrogen gas.
  • Nitrogen gas is preferred because it is cheap and the least soluble of all the gases. This method of transfer has the advantage of limited oxygen contact, making it very gentle on the wine. Winemakers also use spargers (porous stones) which are efficient in diffusing all types of gases in a tank during transfer.
Let’s Talk About Gases… in Winemaking
www.wineshopathome.com/lets-talk-gases-in-winemaking/
See all results for this question
 
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I've used Wine Preserver gas for one of my carboy that has a lot of space left over. Just makes me nervous because you can't tell how much you actually put in and not sure how long it actually lasts. Seems to work though.
This is why I don't use insert gases. You will not know that it's not working until it's too late, and that's beyond my risk tolerance. When you top up, use marbles, downsize containers, etc. -- you know exactly what is in each container.
 

ratflinger

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I use argon in my kegs. I've had wine in them for a month or so, depending on how many kegs I'm using. I've never had degradation, yet. I have thought about using the gas instead of topping, but I have 2 things already ready to go - several pounds of clear, USA made marbles, and usually 4 - 9 gallons of wine in kegs that's easily used for topping up.
 

Joecmk

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Marbles and racking to a smaller carboy obviously is best. Using gas is new to me. I bought a bundle pack so I have a lot to play with. Testing it on one carboy with a decent amount of headspace so I'll see how that one goes.
 

FredTheNuke

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If you really want to push the limit age them in 5 or 10 gallon kegs. Purge the headspace with carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Then pressurize to 5 or 10 psi. Degas later by vacuum transferring a few times.
 

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