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Gilmango

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I was actually surprised at the reading. I’m fermenting in a 7.9 gallon bucket so don’t want to add much more water. I have plenty of ec 118 on hand. When would be the best time to add? After 14 days if I noticed the gravity is still elevated? PS I knew the alcohol tolerance for 212 is 16% and an OG of 1.117 was cutting it very close.
If you opt to add EC 118 I would do so when you still have about 1/3 (or even 1/2) of your gravity/sugar left, to give the 2nd yeast (EC 118) has a better chance to get somewhat activated before it has the laborious task of getting any last gravity points down in a high alcohol environment.

But the high reading still surprises me, and if it stays that high after the overnight soak while your yeast starter gets going, then I would still suggest watering down a bit (in which case you won't need EC 118 at all). Perhaps following Old Corker's suggestion of adding some water (or reserved must) after the initial foaminess of the vigorous ferment subsides. Which is usually pretty quick with FWKs if you do the yeast starter. Usually, for me, the high foam is a day 2--4 issue only (if I add yeast the morning of day 1).
 

wineview

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If you opt to add EC 118 I would do so when you still have about 1/3 (or even 1/2) of your gravity/sugar left, to give the 2nd yeast (EC 118) has a better chance to get somewhat activated before it has the laborious task of getting any last gravity points down in a high alcohol environment.

But the high reading still surprises me, and if it stays that high after the overnight soak while your yeast starter gets going, then I would still suggest watering down a bit (in which case you won't need EC 118 at all). Perhaps following Old Corker's suggestion of adding some water (or reserved must) after the initial foaminess of the vigorous ferment subsides. Which is usually pretty quick with FWKs if you do the yeast starter. Usually, for me, the high foam is a day 2--4 issue only (if I add yeast the morning of day 1).
It’s evening and about 8 hours after my initial reading of 1.117. It dropped to 1.112. That’s only 2 points off the directions high of 1.110. I’ll take a reading before pitching yeast tomorrow. If I decide to draw out a gallon, should I store in a refrigerator for two days or leave at room temperature in a sealed gallon jug?
 

Gilmango

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It’s evening and about 8 hours after my initial reading of 1.117. It dropped to 1.112. That’s only 2 points off the directions high of 1.110. I’ll take a reading before pitching yeast tomorrow. If I decide to draw out a gallon, should I store in a refrigerator for two days or leave at room temperature in a sealed gallon jug?
Refrigerate if you draw out a gallon of must. But I'm guessing your final reading, pre yeast pitch will be 1.110 or less and you won't need to worry about drawing out any must, or adding any water, or EC-118. Keep us posted and good luck!
 

wineview

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Refrigerate if you draw out a gallon of must. But I'm guessing your final reading, pre yeast pitch will be 1.110 or less and you won't need to worry about drawing out any must, or adding any water, or EC-118. Keep us posted and good luck!
If I take out a bag of skins, refrigerate them as well? In a sanitized container of course.
 

Gilmango

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If I take out a bag of skins, refrigerate them as well? In a sanitized container of course.
I believe that FWK suggests that skins should be stored in the freezer not the fridge, if you are not using them right away (the concentrate can store in Fridge or Freezer, if Fridge should be 40F or lower IIRC).

But if the skins were already in the muslin sack and soaking with the must then I would not remove them at all. I think the skins interact most beneficially in your wine during active fermentation, when the added heat, CO2 activity, punch downs all help the skins and seeds to impart their tannins, phenolics, etc. So if you are worried about running out of room in your fermenter I would pull must out rather than a bag of skins. Or simply delay adding water if you going to do that to lower the abv a bit. Then just add the must back, or add the extra water, after the initial foamy super-active ferment (usually days 2, 3, and sometimes 4 for me).
 
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wineview

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I believe that FWK suggests that skins should be stored in the freezer not the fridge, if you are not using them right away (the concentrate can store in Fridge or Freezer, if Fridge should be 40F or lower IIRC).

But if the skins were already in the muslin sack and soaking with the must then I would not remove them at all. I think it the skins interact most beneficially in your wine during active fermentation, when the added heat, CO2 activity, punch downs all help the skins and seeds to impart their tannins, phenolics, etc. So if you are worried about running out of room in your fermenter I would pull must out rather than a bag of skins. Or simply delay adding water if you going to do that to lower the abv a bit. Then just add the must back, or add the extra water, after the initial foamy super-active ferment (usually days 2, 3, and sometimes 4 for me).
My main concern was the elevated OG on the yeast. That is holding at 1.111-1.112. I think the yeast will be fine. As far as room in the fermentor, I am using a 7.8 gallon bucket with 6 gallons of must. I pitched the yeast and am hoping for the best.
 

Matteo_Lahm

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@Brant .... hmmmm. What's going on? @Matteo_Lahm can you clarify, should it have it? should it not, some do, some don't?

Supply chain issues have been ridiculous with replacement bags. The ones we’ve been using are not our standard. Hoping and praying that we will have our standard bags back in stock in a few weeks.
 
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Supply chain issues have been ridiculous with replacement bags. The ones we’ve been using are not our standard. Hoping and praying that we will have our standard bags back in stock in a few weeks.

@Matteo_Lahm
For what it's worth (and I know you asked for our $0.02), I prefer the bags without the closure, they were easier to open and then pour, without dealing with the extra closure.
 

Brant

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My main concern was the elevated OG on the yeast. That is holding at 1.111-1.112. I think the yeast will be fine. As far as room in the fermentor, I am using a 7.8 gallon bucket with 6 gallons of must. I pitched the yeast and am hoping for the best.

@wineview
I know I'm a little late to the party on this but I have a question out of curiosity... did you use distilled water, RO, filtered, tap? Which one? I wouldn't think that it would matter but just curious.

I assume you've used this fermenter before and haven't had a similar issue. Assuming it has an indication for volume and you verified.

Obviously there is room for errors in manufacturing but that SG seems pretty high. I wonder if you just got a bunch more concentrate in your bag than you should have.

Was this a Forte or Tavola?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just curious if you determined why your kit might have been so high.
 
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sluff

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My main concern was the elevated OG on the yeast. That is holding at 1.111-1.112. I think the yeast will be fine. As far as room in the fermentor, I am using a 7.8 gallon bucket with 6 gallons of must. I pitched the yeast and am hoping for the best.

I had similar SG readings with a FW Cabernet kit I started a couple of weeks ago. Initial SG was 1.118 after adding extra water (at least 1.5 L above 23) and a lot of stirring. I should have checked the SG again after letting it sit for 24 hours. The primary ferment went fine and I ended up at .998. If the 1.118 was a true reading it would give me 16.3 % ABV. Anyone else seeing readings like this? BTW - I did the FW Bordeau kit in January and the initial SG was 1.104
 

Rocky

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I am making an FWK Forte Series Petite Sirah. I racked, degassed, clarified and stabilized it today. I netted a 5-gallon carboy and a 3-liter bottle. The wine dropped a lot of lees and was still very cloudy when I added the clarifiers. Taste seems okay, a little on the sharp side, but the wine is very young and will develop.
 

jgmann67

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My Forte Merlot showed up today. I have every reason to believe I’ll have a high starting gravity and finish in 0.995 range. The Tavola aren’t as high to start (typically 1.105) but they do have the same final gravity.

My theory - there are a ton of dissolved solids in the liquid which impacts the gravity on both ends.
 

Brant

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My Forte Merlot showed up today. I have every reason to believe I’ll have a high starting gravity and finish in 0.995 range. The Tavola aren’t as high to start (typically 1.105) but they do have the same final gravity.

My theory - there are a ton of dissolved solids in the liquid which impacts the gravity on both ends.


My Forte Petite S. started at 1.090. My Tavola Cab was 1.10. This doesn't fit that reasoning.
 

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