RJ Spagnols First RJS order questions

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Jun 8, 2009
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OK, so I ordered my first kit that contains grape skins. The process is:
1) Primary fermentation 5-7 days depending on temp and hydrometer readings.
2) Rack off lees and into secondary vessel.
3) Secondary fermentation 10-14 days, again depending on temp and hydro readings.
4) Clarify, degas and leave for 10 days or so to clear and then rack into third vessel to let bulk age for a few months?
4) Clarify, degas and leave in the secondary fermetation vessel for a few months?
Or doen't it matter?
4) Stabilize, degas, and clarify. Leave in carboy for 2-4 months. Rack to another carboy, and bulk age for a few months.

BTW, which brand and kit?

Steve (Wow this is my post #1,111)
I agree ith the aging in carboy for awhile and let the fining agent work for more like 2 weeks and keep the carboy tilted during this period so that all the sediment falls in one corner then gently tilt it back the other way and rack off the shallow end.
Thanks again guys.
CPFAN: RJS Cellar Classic Winery Series. Old Vine Zin with Zin grape skins.
Would it be a bad thing if I held back some of the grape skins at the beginning of the process and then added them after the secondary fermentation is done? Would letting the wine sit on grape skins for a long time add to the body and flavor or would it ruin the wine?

You're the first person that I've heard suggest this. Certainly you want to get everything possible out of the skins. I think I've read that there's not much left in the skins once the primary ferment is complete.

Plus you dont want to risk the fruit going bad and spoiling your wine.
What gives certain red wines that "vanilla" flavor? Is it the grape or is it oak?
Some kits come with oak and you add it to the primary ferment. If you fiddle with wines like I do.. sometimes I split the batch after fermentation finishes and bulk age the wine with the oak chips. Add oak to one amount and leave the rest alone.. it's a personal choice and you need to keep an eye on the wine. once the oak is in.. it's hard to remove.. perhaps blend with something else to tone it down. Oak also means you may have to cellar the wine a bit longer before drinking.

It depends on your timeframe..if you start fiddling it can increase the waiting time before drinkability..

I think it's a good idea to have two wines on the go.. something early drinking will decrease the temptation to drink the more complex wines before their time.

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Got the kit today. Do you like to put the grape skins free floating or in the bag provided. Plus, anybody have any idea how long an oak spiral should be kept in the bulk aging wine? Don't people age their wine for years in oak barrels?
Thanks again.
Personally I prefer free-floating but I have some extra tools (chinois and a wire scooper) to remove them before racking.

I switch off and dont really see a difference and the bag makes it much easier. Just spend a little extra time punching down the cap( Dunking all the skins) and things will be much easier at the end, just pull out a squeeze just a little.
lost directions for cabernet savignon

I am into my 14th day and need to go to the next step. However, I lost my directions. I am using cabernet savignon. I have not yet taken the wine from the bucket and put it into the glass bottle yet. It is done fermenting. It has now been about 15 or 16 days since I started. I need to add Packet D1-Kieselsol. and then Packet D2-chitosan. I also have to add PKG #2A Sulfite and PKG #2B Potassium Sorbate. I dont know what order, when or even IF I am supposed to add these. I know I am supposed to do something now then something else in 28 days. I lost the directions. Someone Please Help Me. I would hate to lose this batch!

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