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Brant

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Yeah, I was surprised as well. I figured the Forte would be higher and was surprised that the tavola wasn't lower.

I'm starting another tavola and forte in a couple weeks. I'll have two more to compare.

My Forte finished at .996 (if I remember correctly). The Tavola is doing an extended EM so I don't know where it'll finish yet.
 
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My SG have been mostly consistent across kit type:

White
Chardonnay, OG 1.092, FG 0.998
Sauvignon Blanc, OG 1.092, FG 0.998

Forte -- both triple kits
Syrah, Petite Sirah, Merlot, OG 1.101, FG 0.999
3x Super Tuscan, OG 1.100, FG 0.998

Tavola
Barbera, OG 1.091, FG 0.996
Pinot Noir, OG 1.100, FG 0.996

The Pinot Noir OG is the outlier. I may have accidentally shorted the water.
 

jgmann67

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What are you calling absolute zero?

An SG of 0.990. I can routinely get a WE kit down that far. But, the FWK kits seem to pitter out around 0.994 or so. I may be wrong, but I'm attributing that higher SG to the high concentration of dissolved solids in the FWK kits and not necessarily residual sugar.
 
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An SG of 0.990. I can routinely get a WE kit down that far. But, the FWK kits seem to pitter out around 0.994 or so. I may be wrong, but I'm attributing that higher SG to the high concentration of dissolved solids in the FWK kits and not necessarily residual sugar.
As indicated in my last post, my Forte kits are at 0.999 and 0.998, respectively. I'm sensitive to residual sugar, and if there's any left, it's hiding exceedingly well. I agree with you regarding the source of the higher FG.

I did not use the K&C on these kits, although I did on the white and Tavola kits. I'm considering segregating 5 gallons of each wine when they come out of the barrels, and hitting those carboys with K&C, to see what the difference is between that and the remainder of the wines.
 

jgmann67

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Well, the Forte Merlot did not disappoint. I prepped the must last night. The initial SG came in at 1.106. Knowing it will likely finish in that mid-0.99X range, and the higher OG is likely to be attributable to something other than too much sugar, I only added a little bit more water to the mix... just enough to drop that down to about 1.104. Smells great. I'll drop the yeast starter tonight when I get home.

It will stay down in the basement where the temps are still in the mid-60's during fermentation without a brew belt. The lower temp probably doesn't do anything to slow the fermentation freight train down too much. But, it makes me feel better.

I routinely throw the clarifiers and the Kmeta/sorbate mixture aside and just use my own kmeta after primary fermentation.
 

jgmann67

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Just had a thought about the FWK instructions. The first one I got i thought it was great. Told me a lot about Matteo, how FWK came to be and gives detailed step-by-step instructions. Now that I'm on my 10th or 11th kit, I'm feeling like it's a bit of a waste. It's also not very useful to me to keep track of my process (I write everything I do and when I do it on the front cover). So, I put together a 15-step checklist of my own (knowing that I don't use the clarifiers and throw away the kmeta/sorbate combo pack).
Checklist.jpg
Thoughts?
 
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Just had a thought about the FWK instructions.
This is a double-edged sword.

I have 11 kits in production (or recently bottled), and most of the booklet is wasted on me. I skip through to the meat of the instructions and skim to see if anything is new that I may want to consider. I then use the instructions as a rough checklist, ticking off steps as I do them. I find that useful, as it avoids mistakes of omission. I keep my notes on my web site, so once I've degassed and added the K&C, the book is no longer useful.

OTOH -- for beginners the instructions are invaluable. I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with my niece -- her second kit, a Forte Merlot -- arrived today, and she and her husband were reading the instructions in preparation for starting the kit. She had a question regarding section 3, which I quickly clarified.

So while most of the book is wasted on you and me, it's critically essential for beginners, or even experienced winemakers who haven't made kits.

Unfortunately, I don't know of a good way to avoid the waste. Last night I trashed the instructions for all but my last 2 kits, which were started in the last month. I hate throwing out the plastic cover sheets and plastic binders, but I have no use for them, and they're not something I can donate to a school.
 

wineview

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Just had a thought about the FWK instructions. The first one I got i thought it was great. Told me a lot about Matteo, how FWK came to be and gives detailed step-by-step instructions. Now that I'm on my 10th or 11th kit, I'm feeling like it's a bit of a waste. It's also not very useful to me to keep track of my process (I write everything I do and when I do it on the front cover). So, I put together a 15-step checklist of my own (knowing that I don't use the clarifiers and throw away the kmeta/sorbate combo pack).
View attachment 87917
Thoughts?
I have never done step 4 with any of my wines before getting this FWK. I have plenty of nutrient but what can I use for the acid portion in the package and wild yeast killer?
 

jgmann67

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This is a double-edged sword.

Completely agree. I've relooked at the checklist, fixed typos and clarified a few things. For my purposes, I prefer the checklist.
I have never done step 4 with any of my wines before getting this FWK. I have plenty of nutrient but what can I use for the acid portion in the package and wild yeast killer?

Now, I did this list from my own memory and without the directions in front of my. So that definitely not what @Matteo_Lahm calls it. I know he’s answered your specific question before previously. Hopefully he sees this and chimes in.

I’m thinking that portion is either tartaric acid, or potassium carbonate… most likely tartaric acid. But I don’t want to steer you wrong.
 
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I have never done step 4 with any of my wines before getting this FWK. I have plenty of nutrient but what can I use for the acid portion in the package and wild yeast killer?
Most reputable kit vendors adjust the must, so there is no need to add acid. FWK has a different process, so the calculated amount of acid is added by the winemaker. Other vendors include nutrient in the must as well. Yeast Kill is (assumedly) K-meta. This step doesn't apply to non-FWK kits.

@jgmann67's checklist is a great idea, but only for FWK kits. For other brands a different check list is required.
 

wineview

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Completely agree. I've relooked at the checklist, fixed typos and clarified a few things. For my purposes, I prefer the checklist.


Now, I did this list from my own memory and without the directions in front of my. So that definitely not what @Matteo_Lahm calls it. I know he’s answered your specific question before previously. Hopefully he sees this and chimes in.

I’m thinking that portion is either tartaric acid, or potassium carbonate… most likely tartaric acid. But I don’t want to steer you wrong.
I’m asking because I’m wondering if I should include this step for fresh juice buckets. Also, are citric acid and tartaric acid interchangeable?
 

Ohio Bob

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I’m fairly certain juice buckets are sulphited, I think I’ve seen it on the bucket. It’s not necessary, but certainly wouldn’t hurt. When I know what day I’m picking up my buckets, I make the yeast starter a day ahead so I can pitch immediately after the temperatures approaches room temp. The sooner the better as it is a perishable product.
 

wineview

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I’m fairly certain juice buckets are sulphited, I think I’ve seen it on the bucket. It’s not necessary, but certainly wouldn’t hurt. When I know what day I’m picking up my buckets, I make the yeast starter a day ahead so I can pitch immediately after the temperatures approaches room temp. The sooner the better as it is a perishable product.
You are correct. image.jpg
 
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I’m asking because I’m wondering if I should include this step for fresh juice buckets. Also, are citric acid and tartaric acid interchangeable?
You don't want to add acid unless you've determined the wine needs it. FWK includes acid in Packet A if they determine the must needs adjusting.

Citric and tartaric acid are not interchangeable. Tartaric is what is mostly in grapes, while citric is in citrus fruits. I have never added a lot of citric to a wine, but it supposedly changes the flavor.

I was taught to use acid blend, but in recent years I've learned it's a lot like spaghetti sauce -- everyone has their own recipe and they are not all equally good. When I add tartaric, I know what I'm adding.

I'm using up a bag of acid blend when mixing up K-meta solution (I'm cheap, I'm not throwing the bag out!), and using straight tartaric when adjusting wine.
 
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I’m asking because I’m wondering if I should include this step for fresh juice buckets. Also, are citric acid and tartaric acid interchangeable?
It’s Packet A from the FWK kit. Step 2.5 - Add the starter kit labeled Packet A …. It doesn’t call out the ingredients but it appears to be sulfite, nutrients and acid blend based on the description.
 

Gilmango

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It’s Packet A from the FWK kit. Step 2.5 - Add the starter kit labeled Packet A …. It doesn’t call out the ingredients but it appears to be sulfite, nutrients and acid blend based on the description.
Close - Packet A has no sulfite, as sulfite has been added to the must already. Packet A does have Pectic Enzyme, Yeast Nutrient (DAP and Food Grade Urea), and Acid Blend.

I have posted this before in this thread (#1546) but it is worth repeating as Matteo and Matt have shared exactly what is in the kits. And here is the full breakdown:

For the must and skins, Matteo Lahm responded (here on WMT):
"it’s 100% juice and skins with a small amount of sulfites to prevent spontaneous fermentation. As for sulfites, it is naturally occurring whether added or not. Yeast fermentation produces sulfites and in wines that do not contain it, it has to be removed."

For all the other packets Matt at Label Peelers responded (to Susan's email):
"Thank you for your FWK order. The Chips are American Medium and the Cubes are French Medium. Packet A is Pectic Enzyme and Yeast Nutrient (DAP and Food Grade Urea) and Acid Blend. Packet B is Cane Sugar for Yeast Starter. Packet C is second dose of Yeast Nutrient. Packet D is Potassium Metabisulphite and Potassium Sorbate. Your right on with your PH and Acidity. It sounds like you definitely know what you are doing. Unlike a normal pasteurized kit, you can in fact use MLF with these kits. Matt Pruszynski"
 

Brant

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"it’s 100% juice and skins with a small amount of sulfites to prevent spontaneous fermentation. As for sulfites, it is naturally occurring whether added or not. Yeast fermentation produces sulfites and in wines that do not contain it, it has to be removed."

Can someone explain this sentence to me. I've read it before and tripped over it and now I'm reading it again and it just doesn't make sense in my mind.

So to recap... Matteo states that the FWK must already has sulfites added (from the "factory"). Is this what he's saying?

And sufites are naturally occurring whether added or not.

Is he saying that all wine must from fresh grapes has naturally occuring sulfites? I understand the FWK must is dehydrated from fresh grapes and not pasteurized. So sulfites would be naturally occurring in all FWK must?

But then, he says "yeast fermentation produces sulfites and in wines that do not contain it, it has to be removed".

What does this mean? What is being removed. This has me puzzled. I thought the topic is sulfites and their addition, not the removal. Is this a typo?

Sorry for the ? I'm just trying to understand better.
 

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