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MarcOlivetti

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I hit 81* and several people started the RC212 yeast was viable only to ~86*. It might not be a bad idea for the fzn Veg trick. Mine foamed like @#$% at 80* and I lowered to 75s and they are slightly foaming & sizzling (small bubbles) with Packet C added. I would cover with cheese cloth/ dish towel, Fzn Veg, and perhaps a fan to cool it down.
 

David Violante

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Aside from making the room conditions cooler, you could use frozen ice containers in the must as well. I believe AJMassa used frozen milk jugs in a larger Brute container. You just have to be careful that the container doesn't leak or open. I like the frozen veggie idea, I'm just not super convinced that the bag wont leak one way or the other. You don't want veggie juice in your must that's for sure. Maybe inside a ziplock freezer bag would give you some extra protection. Cheese cloth on the top would help to let some of the heat escape (as opposed to something with a tighter weave), as would punching down the cap and aerating the must with an inert gas (sparging). I placed mine on a concrete floor and that helped to draw off some of the heat also. Of course you could cool it in a fridge but I would want to watch it and do it slowly. Just thinking of ways to move temperature by means of convection / conduction / radiation.
 

bstnh1

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My Merlot is in a 57 degree basement so I'm using a heating pad to keep it at 68-72. I'm also punching down the single skin pack 3 times a day to keep the foam from running over my fermonster and soaking the hearting pad. 3 times a day helps, but there's still a LOT of foam!!!
 

joeswine

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Why 2 skin packs take one out and add 1 cup of Sunmaid raisins. Add wine tannins 1table spoon.
 
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Removing the cover to ventilate, and a bag of frozen peas broke it's fever. I was above 90*.... The room was set at 60*, but radiant floors were more than planned for. Like a 400 sf. warming plate... need to be aware of that next time. Checked the Sg to see if I was ready for the 2nd nutrient treatment and it was .92! All activity has stopped. Looks like the RC-212 ran out of steam at 4 days. hope it's all right

Planning to bulk age for at least 6 months. How many here plan to use the enclosed sorbate pack? Any way to test or treat for an over abundance of Fermaid K?
 
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Gilmango

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@Label Peelers curious about a couple things. Not time sensitive so I'm just posting here as I know you watch this thread. First, is the whole must preparation in advance of yeast addition add anything (beyond getting must to room temp if it arrived still cold)? I have started my yeast starter and plan to prep the must and pitch the yeast tomorrow. Would o I really gain anything by prepping must now? After it took 6 days to arrive via FedEx ground the 6 liters is about room temp. already, so no issue with it getting to temp. It seems packet A seems to have some likely combo of Sulfite, acid blend, and/or additional yeast nutrient (beyond what is in packets B and C); nothing I've read about those suggests they need hours to get to work in the must.

Second, just curious, are all the skins the same, for instance all are Merlot, or all an indistinct mix of varietals? Or do they actually match the juice varietal so they vary from kit to kit?

After expecting delivery Friday (per FedEx website), then Saturday, I was surprised it made it Sunday. I know FedEx works on Sunday but figured for a lowly Ground shipment which they could not bother to get to me from Sacramento for 40 hours it would just wait till Monday. Glad I checked, everything looks great, grape juice concentrate and skins look great, no swelling on the juice bag.

Really appreciate the extra sheet of info on the instructions. Planning to follow instructions with maybe 5 deviations: (1) likely not prep must till tomorrow (bit lazy as I have to move something else out of the preferred primary), (2) subbed 8 grams of BM 4X4 for the RC 212, (3) plan to EM for about 26 days including the active ferment, (4) probably skip the packet which seems to have sorbate, and (5) I'm on the fence about the finings (may just bulk age with extra racking and hope everything clears with time).
 

David Violante

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I am not going to use the Sorbate, partly because I'm using bentonite and partly because I don't plan to back-sweeten.

I degassed under vacuum after it was s-l-o-w-l-y degassing on its own and not clearing at all. If it needs to clear more after the bentonite and 6-8 months I may use the fining agents. I've become a big fan of cold stabilization too.

I don't know how to test for Fermaid K or what it will do if there is a bit too much in the must so I sent an email out to Scott Labs and one of their representatives answered pretty quickly. He related that there may be some labs that could test for Fermaid K but that the test would be fairly expensive and not too common. He related that Fermaid K is comprised of organic micronutrients, nitrogen and DAP. It's not great to have DAP in the must after the fermentation, but the yeast will consume the DAP first and whatever remains are dead yeast fractions so there's nothing to worry about. He suggested trying to add it sooner and to keep the kit in a cooler place so it doesn't get too hot.
 

pacific_red

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A note on the Super Tuscan with double skins. Arrived last Friday (shipped last Monday). Refrigerated until Saturday when started. The must reached 1.092 on Sunday with no noticeable rise with the double (dry) skins. The pull-tab on the juice bag broke off - useless - but a snip on the corner with a pair of scissors was all that was required to empty into the fermentation bucket. Added 8 g fermentation tannins as a deviation. The yeast (RC212) was prepared according to instructions and pitched Sunday with notable activity. Fermentation clearly occurring Monday (some foaming) but no noticeable drop is SG yet. Room temperature here in SoCal is a pleasant 68 degrees without air conditioning kicking in.
 

Gilmango

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I got my pull tab to open, using the arrow even!

Then I promptly spilled a tablespoon or two of super-concentrated extract, damn, I've poured 18 liters with less of a mess. Still wound up at 1.098 after a good stirring. I tasted the skins and they had flavor but almost no sugar so I don't expect much of any gravity boost from the double pack (but I will get a bit of a boost from the 12 oz. of dried raisins and apricots I added, see below). I liked that the skins did not include seeds like the RJS EP sweet and jammy skins do.

Yeast starter from last night wanted to foam over but did not breach the fabric which covered it (as it was rubber banded in place).

Besides using BM4X4 yeast and not starting the must till just before yeast pitch I also added 8 oz. + 4 oz. of organic non-sulfured raisins + apricots (since I did the same with the RJS EP Super Tuscan which I'm trying to compare to). As I racked then squeezed then emptied the jammy skin plus raisin/aprictot muslin sacks from the RJS batch, I tasted an apricot and a raisin (which were in for 25 days) and they had both given up their sweetness to the yeast / wine.
 

heatherd

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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.
Hi @mainshipfred hope you're well!

Making red wine all year is a valid advantage, like you say. These are also great options for folks who don't have all the equipment and testing for grapes, don't have access to fresh local grapes or juice.

These new Finer Wine 6-gallon red kits have yeast, yeast starter, oak, nutrients, all chems, non-pasteurized juice, and two ginormous fresh skin packs, shipped cold to me for $114, including shipping. Everything is engineered to go together, everything is pH-balanced, and the instructions are 10 pages. That would be roughly $20 per gallon for a brand new type of kit without kit taste.

For me to do red in the off-season it would be working with 5 gallons of frozen must, like from Wine Grapes Direct and theirs are $225 including shipping, not necessarily balanced, need chems, need $20 MLF bacteria, need yeast, I press by hand, etc. So that would be roughly $59 a gallon.

Juice + All-grape pack would work, too. Walkers has 5 gallon cab juice shipped to me for $132. The grape pack shipped to me is $44. Need chems, need MLB $20, need yeast. So that's $196 for 5 gallons, or $39/gallon.

Walker's chardonnay is 5 gallons shipped to me for $119. So $23.60 per gallon.

The fresh stuff picked up locally in Spring and Fall is really the way to go. That gets your bucket into the $65 range and the lugs in the $40 range for 6 gallons. not necessarily balanced, need chems, need $20 MLF bacteria, need yeast. That's $125 or $21/gallon.

Finer added some6-gallon whites recently. Their whites again include all chems and are balanced, shipped to me for $86. That's $14/gallon.

I would normally do whites as fresh juice that I pick up locally for about $65 + chems. That's $11/gallon.

Food for thought, anyway.
 
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cmason1957

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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.
The place in St. Louis that is crazy expensive is the only place I know to get juice kits or fresh grapes. I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger on those prices.
 
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I am not going to use the Sorbate, partly because I'm using bentonite and partly because I don't plan to back-sweeten.

I degassed under vacuum after it was s-l-o-w-l-y degassing on its own and not clearing at all. If it needs to clear more after the bentonite and 6-8 months I may use the fining agents. I've become a big fan of cold stabilization too.

I don't know how to test for Fermaid K or what it will do if there is a bit too much in the must so I sent an email out to Scott Labs and one of their representatives answered pretty quickly. He related that there may be some labs that could test for Fermaid K but that the test would be fairly expensive and not too common. He related that Fermaid K is comprised of organic micronutrients, nitrogen and DAP. It's not great to have DAP in the must after the fermentation, but the yeast will consume the DAP first and whatever remains are dead yeast fractions so there's nothing to worry about. He suggested trying to add it sooner and to keep the kit in a cooler place so it doesn't get too hot.
Thank you so much for the query to Scott. Far more effort than a simple opinion or post. Yes on Scott Lab's suggestions. Lessons learned concerning air temperature vs Must absorbtion with radiant floors. All is flat lining right now, and I suppose that is good. Smells and tastes outragious! Sg is .92 for the 2nd day. Have covered it and airlocked.
The 2nd wave of Carmeniere Juice arrives tomorrow at my local supplier Al Jac's. Transferring the 2 Cab Sav. grape pac cap to the new Carm buckets to get what may be left and do an EM..
 

Sailor323

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I was surprised at the rapid fermentation of these kits. I started a Pinot Noir and Super Tuscan at the same time. Beginning SG was 1.100 on the nose. I planned to add the 2nd pack of nutrient at 1/3 sugar depletion at about 1.060 SG. 5 days after starting the kits, that would be 4 days from pitching the yeast the SG in the Super Tuscan was down to 1.020 and the Pinot was down to less than 1.000! I did notice that I somehow failed to to put the first nutrient pack in the Tuscan. Regardless, this is not the first time that I have used yeast that required additional nutrients at 1/3 sugar drop. It usually takes much longer than 4 days from pitching the yeast. Fermentation of these 2 kits took place at average room temperature of about 70 degrees. It looks like I may have to rack into secondary before I get enough maceration from the skins.
 

szap

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The place in St. Louis that is crazy expensive is the only place I know to get juice kits or fresh grapes. I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger on those prices.
I agree. I like to support local businesses (I live in Rolla so I'm not sure 100 miles one way counts as local) but paying full retail for a kit adds $30 to $40 to an online price. That is above how much support I want to give.
 

David Violante

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I have an interesting followup from Matthias at Scott Labs:

Two more recommendations, if we can assume that your wine kit got a good shot of DAP to begin with I wouldn’t suggest to used Fermaid K and just stick to Fermaid O. In this case you can add some Fermaid O at the beginning of your fermentation so it is available for the yeast from the get go.

In regards to the temperature, you could do a trial to reduce the amount of yeast by 10%-20% so you have let yeast cells in the batch at the very beginning. It is a bit of risk involved in that if your fermentation is getting warmer than 32-35C that you run in to a stuck fermentation but in my personal opinion that would reduce your heat spike. The idea is to built up alcohol with less yeast cells to slow down the yeast activity which should give you a more moderate fermentation curve.
 
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