First bucket of juice - Chilean Carmenere

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by Nathan_s, Apr 9, 2018.

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  1. Nathan_s

    Nathan_s Junior

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    I preordered some Chilean Carmenere wine juice which should be in soon. This is my first time doing wine without a kit and I've only done one kit, so my second wine. Can anyone make any suggestions on what I should add? Is oak suggested for this style? Should I do the same additives below?


    My last kit (and only) kit had the steps below.

    -Bentonite in primary
    -Oak chip infusion bag in primary

    Ferment 14 days in primary then transfer to secondary
    -Degass
    -Sulphite
    -Potassium Sorbate
    -Kieselsol
    -Chitosan

    Wait 28 more days
    -Add 1/4 teaspoon sulphite and bottle


    If I don't plan on bottling for 3 months or so should I modify when I add in the sulphite, potassium sorbate, kieselsol and chitosan until later or should I still do it then and have it sit the extra couple months after?
     
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  2. heatherd

    heatherd Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    @Nathan_s: take a look at these directions: https://harfordvineyard.com/winemaking-instructions-for-juice/

    Also, I would use hydrometer readings rather than days to measure your steps.

    Potassium sorbate is not necessary for your wine unless you plan to back-sweeten.

    If you can wait longer, your wine will be better after 6-12 months rather than 3. Add potassium metabisulfite in 1/4 teaspoon doses every three months of bulk-aging, and I would wait a few days after adding kmeta before bottling. I rack just cleared wine to a primary to do my bottling, so you don't get any sediment. I find that the longer I wait, the less degassing and kiesolsol and chitosan I need to do. I typically use oak powder in primary and oak chips during aging, as they'll have more time in contact with the wine.

    As time goes by you may find that you want to add some grapes to your red juice bucket for tanins and body. I buy a lug of fresh grapes for that purpose when I do red juice. You can also get this bottle of grapes online to add during fermentation: http://www.juicegrape.com/Mosti-Mondiale-All-Grape-Pack/

    Best of luck!!
     
    Johnd likes this.
  3. baron4406

    baron4406 Member

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    Heatherd I've tried ordering that grape additive pack for weeks and the site is so buggy my order keeps cancelling itself, worse yet they can't seem to fulfill any orders yet I get all kinds of spam from them now. I'd be very careful ordering from them.
     
  4. jgmillr1

    jgmillr1 Junior Member

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    I made a batch of the Chilean carmenere last year that I used for blending into my other wines. It was perfect for what I was looking for and have another batch of drums of it coming this week.

    The juice last year was low in acid, with the TA about 4-5g/L. Perfect for my blending purpose but making the carmenere by itself a little flabby. So, you may want to measure the TA and add another 1g/L tartaric acid back in.

    As far as your fermentation schedule below, I would suggest a few modifications:
    * Bentonite in the primary is good.
    * Oak is nice for this wine. I'd suggest medium toasted American oak, which will add some vanilla aromas. Add the oak chips to the secondary, not the primary, since this will allow longer time for the flavor extraction
    * Rack from the primary when the SG is <1.000 rather than on a predetermined schedule
    * Hold off adding sulfites to the secondary for a couple weeks to allow the yeast to finish off any residual sugar. Then add the sulfites and fine with the kieselsol/chitosan if desired. I would add 1/2tsp of sulfites here rather than 1/4 tsp.
    * Note that you will not be doing MLF since you are adding sulfites.
    * Sorbate is only necessary if you intend on having a sweet wine. The yeast should ferment to dryness, so adding sorbate is unnecessary unless you plan to back-sweeten (which would not fit with the style).
    * No need to de-gas since it will naturally de-gas over time and when you rack.
    * Allow the wine to age for a few months before even thinking of bottling. Keep sulfite levels up and headspace in the carboy to a minimum. Minimize opening the vessel.
    * Without knowing the pH of your wine and accurately measuring the weight of the sulfites you are adding, it is more of a guess on how much/often to add sulfites. The 1/4tsp is a good amount to sustain a typical red wine for a couple months.

    Good luck and have fun

     
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  5. JohnT

    JohnT Moderator Super Moderator

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    Agree with most of what JG has said. The only additional input I would offer would be ...

    I would suggest a thicker form of oak rather than chips and I would add them after you have racked off the gross lees.

    I honestly have to say that adding bentonite is not really needed. If you pay close attention to the yeast you are using, the level of SO2 you have, the PH level you have, the temp of the must, and use ample amounts of nutrients, you will have a nice fermentation without it.

    You make no mention about yeast nutrients. You need to add them.
     
  6. zadvocate

    zadvocate Senior Member

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    I haven't used bentonite in the primary except with a kit. I would use the oak in the primary or use some other sacrificial tannin(FT Rouge, etc...). As the others have pointed out, get a hydrometer and track the progress. Juice buckets are made to be easy, they come pre-adjusted. All you need to do is add the yeast, rack and let it sit. I would definitely add some oak in the secondary and let it sit for a 8-12 months. Most importantly remember to always keep it topped up. You can find a free guide to making red wine from Morewine that is very informative. I am getting a carmenere bucket and adding some syrah grapes to it. I will be adding Lallyzeme to the buck with Opit Red and some sacrificial tannin(Ft Rouge or VR Supra). I will also do a MLF and then add some oak cubes or a spiral in the secondary. Good luck and have fun.
     
  7. mamigoni

    mamigoni Urban winemaker

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  8. mamigoni

    mamigoni Urban winemaker

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    forget the bentonite, forget the sorbate, forget the kieselsol, and chitosan and when dry, (no sugar left) add oak chips and bentonite, top and add SO2 at 40ppm. add more SO2 in about a month.

     
  9. Nathan_s

    Nathan_s Junior

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