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jgmann67

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I can't quite get the math right. $3.50 a bottle come to $105.00 for a kit, with shipping. Haven't bought one in years but thought they were more than that. Just checked last year's prices and $40.00 per lug was the high end. So it would be $120.00 for 3 lugs which usually give me more than 6 gallons. But being able to make it year round may have it's advantages.
Plus yeast, nutrients, mlb, oak, etc... I’m going from memory, but the point is wine from grapes is more expensive than wine from kits by about 50%. Certainly, I’m not saying it isn’t worth it. I do both.
 

cmason1957

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I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way but I often wonder why people who make wine from grapes still do kits. It's much less expensive to make it from grapes and even more economical to make it from juice buckets. I usually save all my money for grape season.
Where I live (MO) Vinifera Grapes are outrageously priced. I just looked back at the Chilean cost $46/18 lbs lugs. I didn't find the California pricing, but I remember something like $75/ 30 lb lugs. So at those prices, if I am doing grapes, I'm not making very much. Locally grown hybrid grapes are much more reasonably priced.
 

MarcOlivetti

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24 hours after pitching the Yeast Starter and WOW both batches are cooking😄 away. The twin Skin Packs look more like pillows and the foam has soaked the sanitized cotton dish towels I cover the 7.9 fermentation buckets on both batches. The fermenting area is set at 74* and the Super Tuscan must is at 80.7* and the Cab is a smokin 81.3*, couldn’t be happier 👍 I went ahead and set the plastic lids on both with a folded towel to soak up anything that comes through the airlock grommet (no airlock). I’m thinking I should be punching & stirring 3x a day until the agressive foaming slows. Thoughts?
 

David Violante

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24 hours after pitching the Yeast Starter and WOW both batches are cooking😄 away. The twin Skin Packs look more like pillows and the foam has soaked the sanitized cotton dish towels I cover the 7.9 fermentation buckets on both batches. The fermenting area is set at 74* and the Super Tuscan must is at 80.7* and the Cab is a smokin 81.3*, couldn’t be happier 👍 I went ahead and set the plastic lids on both with a folded towel to soak up anything that comes through the airlock grommet (no airlock). I’m thinking I should be punching & stirring 3x a day until the agressive foaming slows. Thoughts?
Which yeast did your kit come with? Just watch the temperature~ Scott Labs spec sheet indicates the RC212 high range is something like 86F. Mine did the same as yours... ended super fast too, keep an eye on your SG to make the 1/3 break as it happens fast.
 

Gilmango

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24 hours after pitching the Yeast Starter and WOW both batches are cooking😄 away. The twin Skin Packs look more like pillows and the foam has soaked the sanitized cotton dish towels I cover the 7.9 fermentation buckets on both batches. The fermenting area is set at 74* and the Super Tuscan must is at 80.7* and the Cab is a smokin 81.3*, couldn’t be happier 👍 I went ahead and set the plastic lids on both with a folded towel to soak up anything that comes through the airlock grommet (no airlock). I’m thinking I should be punching & stirring 3x a day until the agressive foaming slows. Thoughts?
My thought is that I'd lower the temperature in your fermenting area if you can. 74F is really hot, and obviously the active ferment is adding about +7F right now. I'd want to cool that off to slow down the ferment, might help with the foaminess too. I think active fermentation is a great time, and it helps get the most out of the skin packs, so rather than do it in 4-5 days, I'd like to see it take 7 or more days (I mean you did not give gravity readings but it sounds like the yeast is racing through the sugars). Even if you plan to do extended maceration, I still think you want the AF to slow down. And while RC 212 is rated from 59-86F pushing over 80F still seems dangerous to me (might just be the beer brewer in me).
 

bstnh1

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i wondered about this too. If you look closely at the inside white plastic under the pull tab you’ll see the arrow that basically says to pull the tab in a direction away from the base of the ring (where it attaches to the tab you’re pulling off). Even doing that with my merlot, the ring still broke in my hand and I had to cut it open.

I didn’t know about the arrow with my Cab, so I just grabbed the ring and pulled. Came off no problem. 🤷🏼‍♂️
I had the same problem with the Merlot kit I started 2 days ago. Pulled the tab in the correct direction and it still broke off in my hand. I wound up having to cut the tab out. For sure, that needs to be redesigned. No one wants to deal with that every time they start a kit.:m
 

MarcOlivetti

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Both the ST & Cab came with RC212 which I used. I usually use EC-1118 where 80* is my target for primary fermentation. I’ll lower the area temp to about 71*; my workshop area is ~61*-63* which is far to cool to ferment. I do plan to do EM in 2 Big Mouth Bubblers once SG hits the 1.01-1.02 area, making sure the batches are still producing enough gas for the extra headspace. Great callouts, Thanks!
 

jgmann67

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Holy cow there’s a lotta foam once fermentation really kicks off. Worried it would spill over the top at one point.

The skins were floating so high this morning they were pushing on the fermenter top.
 

Sailor323

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I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way but I often wonder why people who make wine from grapes still do kits. It's much less expensive to make it from grapes and even more economical to make it from juice buckets. I usually save all my money for grape season.
I used to have access to grapes and made wine that way. I picked and bought hundreds of pounds of grapes a year. I still have all the equipment for processing large quantities of grapes but, sadly, my source for grapes is gone and I have to settle for kits.
 

Old Corker

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Holy cow there’s a lotta foam once fermentation really kicks off. Worried it would spill over the top at one point.

The skins were floating so high this morning they were pushing on the fermenter top.
My Sangiovese fermentation went very fast too. Started at 1.095, day 3 it was at 1.040. I think the volume of the two skins packs pushed the must up to the limit of my fermenter. I had the lid sitting on top and the foam, bags and some oak chips were touching the lid. I thought about not adding the 2nd dose of nutrient because it was foaming so much but I did add it on day 3. Day 5 (yesterday) it was at 1.002 so I racked it into the bigmouth with the skins and put it under airlock. I pulled two 750ml bottles out of it so the BMB doesn't overflow and will add back in after I take the skins out. All in all it is smelling great and humming along nicely.
 

szap

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Where I live (MO) Vinifera Grapes are outrageously priced. I just looked back at the Chilean cost $46/18 lbs lugs. I didn't find the California pricing, but I remember something like $75/ 30 lb lugs. So at those prices, if I am doing grapes, I'm not making very much. Locally grown hybrid grapes are much more reasonably priced.
Where I live (MO) Vinifera Grapes are outrageously priced. I just looked back at the Chilean cost $46/18 lbs lugs. I didn't find the California pricing, but I remember something like $75/ 30 lb lugs. So at those prices, if I am doing grapes, I'm not making very much. Locally grown hybrid grapes are much more reasonably priced.
I also live in MO. I was interested in the 6 gallon buckets of juice. I could only find one business in St Louis that carried them at a cost of around $100. Add in sales tax and we are very close to the $114 I paid for the finer kit and that included shipping and one skin packet.
 

joeswine

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View attachment 73030
View attachment 73031
This arrived yesterday. It was well packed.

They sent a follow-up email that asked me to check the temperature of the juice but I didn't get it until after I had already started it. They also mentioned that the muslin socks for the grape skins will be bigger in future kits. The juice is highly concentrated so the bag was extremely easy to handle. I did a yeast starter as they suggested, pitched it last night and put a heat pad on it to raise the temperature. The must is currently at 73 degrees, but no detectable fermentation yet.
0
 

Boatboy24

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Holy cow there’s a lotta foam once fermentation really kicks off. Worried it would spill over the top at one point.

The skins were floating so high this morning they were pushing on the fermenter top.
I just mixed my Cab up. Debated using the 7.9gal fermenter vs one of the 20gal Brutes. With the double skins, I'm glad I went with the Brute. Of course, I ripped the pull tab right off the juice bag and had to cut it open. :rolleyes: I'll read more carefully next time. Aside from that, a pretty simple process so far. Looking forward to pitching the yeast tomorrow.
 

JnLnNOVA

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Started my Zin and Merlot today. Went back to order some Cab and looks like they have some whites in stock so I ordered a Chard and Muscat also. I didn’t have the pull tab problem. My garage is around 65 right now so Im hoping I don’t get the foam over some are reporting.
 

Gilmango

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Still waiting for my kit, was supposed to be delivered yesterday. Just a bit anxious as I'm leaving in a couple hours to hear my first concert since pandemic started (backyard, socially distanced thing, where I'm guessing most attendees will have been vaxxed and will still wear masks). But if it is not here before I go I guess I can always start the yeast starter when I get back home later tonight.

I originally thought I'd start it in a bucket for the active fermentation then move it to my 7.9 gallon Speidel for EM (in order to give my current EM more time). But since my 'brew bucket' is just 7 gallons and I keep reading about foaming and giant floating sacks of skins, I think I will boot out the RJS EP old 18 Liter format Super Tuscan tomorrow, after 24 days on skins (active ferment + extended maceration). I'm guessing that will be plenty of time to get at least 90% of the EM benefits in half the time... Then I will do the Finer Wines for the same exact total time on the double skins. I think I will still make the yeast starter but plan to sub in BM 4X4 wine yeast, to better compare the 2 Super Tuscan kits (RJS EP 18L and Finer Wines 6L). It sounds like the Finer Wines folks even suggested only doing 2 extra weeks on the skins if you do an EM (in supplemental instructions included with kit) so 24 days should be about right as I plan to ferment at ambient temps (about 60-64F) for a nice long active ferment, hopefully 7-10 days even with the yeast starter and nutrient boost.
 

MarcOlivetti

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I lowered the fermentation area temperature down to 71* as recommended, and turned on the ceiling fan to bring the must temps down which worked as planned. The Super Tuscan (ST) must is now at 75.3* from 80.7* and the Cab is at 76.1* from 81.3*. David Violante was also correct to keep an eye out on SG since these are fermenting quickly; the ST is already at 1.044 and the Cab is 1.042ish so I added Packet C. This matched the 48 hours after pitching the yeast as cited in Step 3:4 of the amended instructions. Their strong yeast starting process is really working it. It sounds as if everyone is commenting on aggressive fermentation.
 

Khristyjeff

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I just mixed my Cab up. Debated using the 7.9gal fermenter vs one of the 20gal Brutes. With the double skins, I'm glad I went with the Brute. Of course, I ripped the pull tab right off the juice bag and had to cut it open. :rolleyes: I'll read more carefully next time. Aside from that, a pretty simple process so far. Looking forward to pitching the yeast tomorrow.
This is my second finer wines kit and the fermentation is much more active than the first. Both had double skins. First was cab and now Pinot. Not sure why. The first one I fermented in a Speidel in case of heavy foam and got very little. So this one I put in a 7 gal bucket and had to take out one bag of skins so it wouldn't overflow. I'll add it back after things settle down.
 

joeswine

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Finer sanginvess , now the cap is strong I'll let my hydrometer be my guide.
 
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Super Tuscan overheating! A little slow to start but now ripping. Two skin packs. No foam that others seem to report. Temperature is high. Maybe my thermometer is bad, but it says 91*. My question is the downside of overheating and should I add a sanitized bag of frozen vegetables or something?
 
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