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bstnh1

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I separated racking from kmeta schedule for my wines because I realized that they probably don't benefit from being done at the same time. So, I add kmeta every three months and rack three to four times over the course of the wine's process.
Why would you skip Kmeta when you rack? The chance of introducing oxygen and other nasties is much higher when you rack. Added oxygen can lead to oxidized wine and the extra oxygen gives all the nasties a nice meal to help them grow and multiply.
 

heatherd

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Why would you skip Kmeta when you rack? The chance of introducing oxygen and other nasties is much higher when you rack. Added oxygen can lead to oxidized wine and the extra oxygen gives all the nasties a nice meal to help them grow and multiply.
My point is that I do kmeta every three months. I rack much less often.
 

heatherd

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i do the same. For someone like me that doesn’t use fining agents in their wine, the benefits are really two-fold. First, it gives an indicationof whether the wine is still shedding fine lees. Second, I’m pretty sure Heather vacuum racks and that helps to fully degas the wine. Not so much a benefit, but it’s also a good time to taste the wine to see how the wine is progressing.
Exactly. I do rack off of the gross lees but let the fine lees stay during aging, degasing, and clearing. That allows me to do kmeta every three months on a schedule that has nothing to do with racking.
 
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I separated racking from kmeta schedule for my wines because I realized that they probably don't benefit from being done at the same time. So, I add kmeta every three months and rack three to four times over the course of the wine's process.
On first read, I thought you were saying you have a different process, but in re-reading, it appears you are doing pretty much what I do. [text is such a difficult medium for communication.] Your recent posts indicate the same.

A rule of thumb is to rack when you see some lees. So at an early stage in the process it can be 1 week, or 1 month. After that it probably is when the sulfite protection has gone away. Some people might push it farther with no problem, but could be acceptable based on the multitude of factors that would have to align. With whites you can deviate from this because you can see any sediment if it exists, so rack earlier if it’s warranted.
This is what I did for many years. However, in the past few years I've stopped racking off the fine lees as I researched fine lees, sur lie, and battonage. Since it's producing no bad results, I'm sticking with the reduced racking schedule as it reduces labor and reduces the number of times I'm exposing the wine to potential contaminants. At first, ignoring a wine where I can see a layer of lees in the carboy is difficult!

I'm slow to change, in part because I've learned I'm happier living vicariously through the mistakes of others, or in the words of Dilbert:

Change is good. You go first!​
 

Bgille6

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I just did the final polishing rack for a Forte series Super Tuscan and I just say I’m very impressed. There is no discernible kit taste or aroma. The color, aroma, and taste are all fantastic for such a young wine. Matteo knocked this one out of the park! I can’t wait to see how this will taste in 12-18 months.
 

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three_jeeps

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Step 3 instruction confusion, please clarify. Am making a Forte series Merlot. I pitched the yeast on Monday (today is Friday) and the instructions say to add the nutrient 48 hrs after pitching the yeast. I did it 72 hrs later - Is this a problem? Should I do anything to 'fix' this issue?

It has been 4 days since I pitched the yeast and checked the SG, = 1.030. Instructions say to wait till SG =1.010, then close and add airlock for 15 days, after which rack to carboy..but...First line under Step 4: "14 days after pitching yeast starter, it is time to transfer to a carboy"
It conflicts with the SG=1.010, close fermentation bucket and wait 15 days guidance in step 3. I think the 14 day after pitching text is a left over from editing and should be ignored.
Can anyone confirm this?
Thanks!
J
 

three_jeeps

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A question regarding the bag of grape skins. Am doing Forte series Merlot. I am wondering about squeezing out the skins and freezing after use. Am thinking they could be used for the next kit (merlot or cab) that may not contain skins, thinking they may add some body to the wine.
Thoughts about doing this? good idea? bad idea?
Thanks
J
 

jgmann67

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Step 3 instruction confusion, please clarify. Am making a Forte series Merlot. I pitched the yeast on Monday (today is Friday) and the instructions say to add the nutrient 48 hrs after pitching the yeast. I did it 72 hrs later - Is this a problem? Should I do anything to 'fix' this issue?

It has been 4 days since I pitched the yeast and checked the SG, = 1.030. Instructions say to wait till SG =1.010, then close and add airlock for 15 days, after which rack to carboy..but...First line under Step 4: "14 days after pitching yeast starter, it is time to transfer to a carboy"
It conflicts with the SG=1.010, close fermentation bucket and wait 15 days guidance in step 3. I think the 14 day after pitching text is a left over from editing and should be ignored.
Can anyone confirm this?
Thanks!
J

You’re fine. The timing in hours or days is simply a guidepost based on experience. Use the SG as your guide. It tells you where your wine actually is… as opposed to where it should (or might) be.

Dropping the nutrient a day later will not hurt anything. Seriously. You’re good.
 
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It has been 4 days since I pitched the yeast and checked the SG, = 1.030. Instructions say to wait till SG =1.010, then close and add airlock for 15 days, after which rack to carboy..but...First line under Step 4: "14 days after pitching yeast starter, it is time to transfer to a carboy"
Your confusion is totally understandable. Making it more difficult to understand, both instructions are actually fine -- you can open the sealed container 14 days after pitching yeast, as the ferment should be done. You can also open the sealed container 15 days after hitting 1.010.

What is happening is the wine is undergoing Extended Maceration (EM), in which the post-fermentation the pomace (skin & pulp) soaks in the wine to extract more "stuff" from it. Sealing the container at 1.010 ensures there is activity, which produces CO2, which pushes out the air in the fermenter, making a safe (little or no O2) environment in which the fermentation completes, and the EM proceeds without danger of oxidation.

Typically, fermentation takes about a week, so the first instruction allows for an additional ~2 weeks of EM. The second instruction allows for ~1 week of EM. Some folks do EM for 6 or even 8 weeks, so 1 or 2 weeks of EM is fine. Let your personal schedule decide how long to do it.

@Matteo_Lahm, if it hasn't already been addressed, this points out a glitch in the instructions.

This is not the first time it's occurred to me that the kit vendors would all be doing themselves a tremendous business service if they assigned someone to watch WMT the way Matteo & Matt do. I've read these instructions several times, and my mind just glossed over the glitch.

A question regarding the bag of grape skins. Am doing Forte series Merlot. I am wondering about squeezing out the skins and freezing after use. Am thinking they could be used for the next kit (merlot or cab) that may not contain skins, thinking they may add some body to the wine.
Definitely squeeze the skins afterward. I made a pair of triple batches, and netted about 1.5 liters of wine by pressing the skinpacks.

Regarding re-use? There's not much left in the skins, especially after a week or 2 of EM, so it's probably not worth it.

An interesting experiment would be to make 2 identical batches -- one having the skin packs from a previous batch added. While I don't expect to see much (if any) difference, I may be wrong.
 

Kross

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The FW Forte kits come 1.5 oz of oak cubes. If I’m aging for a year in a carboy how long should I leave the cubes?
 
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The FW Forte kits come 1.5 oz of oak cubes. If I’m aging for a year in a carboy how long should I leave the cubes?
As long as you want. Mine went into the barrel and will remain there until I bottle next November or December. After the cubes are expended, leaving them in doesn't matter.
 

Sailor323

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A question regarding the bag of grape skins. Am doing Forte series Merlot. I am wondering about squeezing out the skins and freezing after use. Am thinking they could be used for the next kit (merlot or cab) that may not contain skins, thinking they may add some body to the wine.
Thoughts about doing this? good idea? bad idea?
Thanks
J
Yep, I've done this. Be sure to wrap skins up tightly
 

three_jeeps

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Your confusion is totally understandable. Making it more difficult to understand, both instructions are actually fine -- you can open the sealed container 14 days after pitching yeast, as the ferment should be done. You can also open the sealed container 15 days after hitting 1.010.

What is happening is the wine is undergoing Extended Maceration (EM), in which the post-fermentation the pomace (skin & pulp) soaks in the wine to extract more "stuff" from it. Sealing the container at 1.010 ensures there is activity, which produces CO2, which pushes out the air in the fermenter, making a safe (little or no O2) environment in which the fermentation completes, and the EM proceeds without danger of oxidation.

Typically, fermentation takes about a week, so the first instruction allows for an additional ~2 weeks of EM. The second instruction allows for ~1 week of EM. Some folks do EM for 6 or even 8 weeks, so 1 or 2 weeks of EM is fine. Let your personal schedule decide how long to do it.

@Matteo_Lahm, if it hasn't already been addressed, this points out a glitch in the instructions.

This is not the first time it's occurred to me that the kit vendors would all be doing themselves a tremendous business service if they assigned someone to watch WMT the way Matteo & Matt do. I've read these instructions several times, and my mind just glossed over the glitch.


Definitely squeeze the skins afterward. I made a pair of triple batches, and netted about 1.5 liters of wine by pressing the skinpacks.

Regarding re-use? There's not much left in the skins, especially after a week or 2 of EM, so it's probably not worth it.

An interesting experiment would be to make 2 identical batches -- one having the skin packs from a previous batch added. While I don't expect to see much (if any) difference, I may be wrong.

Thank you! First time I've done a kit with skins. I usually get grapes, crush them, the discard them after they are pressed out..
 

GregT

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Hi all. I've made 4 Forte reds so far. All of them appeared to bottom out with a SG of 1.000. Even after 4 weeks of EM, it measured the same. The Merlot was the lowest at 0.998. RJS and WE kits always ended up around 0.992. Do others see the same? Does this mean they will have a little residual sugar?
 
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Hi all. I've made 4 Forte reds so far. All of them appeared to bottom out with a SG of 1.000. Even after 4 weeks of EM, it measured the same. The Merlot was the lowest at 0.998. RJS and WE kits always ended up around 0.992. Do others see the same? Does this mean they will have a little residual sugar?
I started a pair of triple batches last November, which are at 0.999 and 0.998, respectively. I don't believe it's sugar -- there are many other constituents in wine that contribute to heavier body, and my educated guess is that they are responsible for the higher final SG.
 

three_jeeps

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How much difference did the expended skins make?


Have you made a 2nd run?
I have made '2nd wine' (red, from cab or barbera grapes) on 3-4 occasions. It has turned out rather 'thin' both in color and body/mouth feel, and most ppl didn't like it. About the only use I found for it is Sangria ;)
I am thinking that given a good quality kit, + the used skins, would add some complexity to the final product. At this point, perhaps an exercise to be done in the fall.
J
 

GregT

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I started a pair of triple batches last November, which are at 0.999 and 0.998, respectively. I don't believe it's sugar -- there are many other constituents in wine that contribute to heavier body, and my educated guess is that they are responsible for the higher final SG.
Thanks, I didn't considered that. That would make sense, the SG really put the brakes on suddenly. It's just something that was bothering me. I really like a dry wine. But honestly, I'm not sure if I could tell the difference between 0.998 and 0.992 wine. I've only been making wine kits for a year.
 

my wine

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Thanks, I didn't considered that. That would make sense, the SG really put the brakes on suddenly. It's just something that was bothering me. I really like a dry wine. But honestly, I'm not sure if I could tell the difference between 0.998 and 0.992 wine. I've only been making wine kits for a year.
I made 2 both with double skin packs. The zin stopped at 0.998 and the tuscan stopped at 1.000. You are not alone!
 

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