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Gewurztraminer advice please

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Donatelo

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I started this kit wine (Gewurztraminer) on the 16th of January. The instructions say "Allow your wine to ferment until day 14 before moving on to step 2."Which would be Jan 30th
Step two begins with, "proceed with step 2 (Stabilizing and clearing) only if you have achieved a SG of 0.998 or lower." Today is only Jan 25th and the SG is at 0.992, which gives me a ABV of 11.55%.
Should I go ahead and rack this wine off the gross lees or leave it until the January 30th target date. I do want it to have the proper Gewurztraminer taste, but the alcohol level is getting a little high for Gewurz.
 

salcoco

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the fermentation is complete th2 alcohol will not get any higher. Go by the sg in the instructions not the amount of days. I would remove from groos lees. wait three days and remove from fine lees that go forth with clarifying and clearing instructions.
 

Donatelo

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Ok, I racked it off into the secondary (6 gallon Carboy) and left the gross lees. Turns out that I had an extra 1.5 liters. Put that in a pet bottle and took everything down to the cellar. It's 61 F down there , but stable temp. Saturday I'll do the clearing thing. I want to age this wine at least 3 months. (Something I have never had the patience to do.)
 

Doug’s wines

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What’s done is done, but personally I would have left it on the gross lees until day 14 (maybe even a little longer if the date didn’t work for me). There’s nothing “wrong” with either approach, but for the purpose of discussion, IMO leaving it a little longer may have allowed a little more richness development. The standard answer around here seems to be “get it off the lees” but especially with kits, (ie you aren’t dealing with fresh fruit) a few more days on the yeast will just round out the mouth feel and flavors. You don’t want to go as far as trying sur lie with Gewurtz (too big of flavors), but a few more days on the lees wouldn’t have been a risk (see threads on extended macceration or sur lie aging and they are leaving them on the gross lees for months). Regardless I think you will enjoy this one!
 

Donatelo

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The problem seems on here seems to be: Which advice do I follow? One 'Master winemaker' tells you one thing, another tells you the opposite. on what authority can one learn? I need to access a good manual, something carved in granite. It is good to know that any advice is worth every penny you pay. In the end, its your wine and we all do the best we know how.

My motto has always been: Love many, trust few, but always , you paddle your own canoe.

I thank you for your advice. The wine is sitting in the cellar, off the gross lees. Sediment settling slowly.
 
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stickman

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There is no such thing as an absolute correct manual carved in granite, that's the problem. Wine making is highly dependent on all of the variables involved, general directions are easy, process fruit, allow to ferment, clarify,then bottle, the specifics are a different story. The old saying about the chain only being as strong as the weakest link applies here, things you do to the wine at the start affect each step along the way, and you may not know the result on the finished wine for years. When you have multiple "Master Winemakers" telling you to do different things, you shouldn't be asking which way is correct, you should be asking what effect will the different steps have on the finished wine, is this consistent with the wine style you are trying to produce? Some winemakers will make Riesling and Gewurztraminer in the lean and clean style removing the lees quickly, while others may try to get a little more body with some lees contact. There are compromises or risks and rewards with each decision.

The general consensus here is to follow your hydrometer when making decisions. Kit instructions are designed taking into account many different variable conditions, they don't know exactly what temperature you are maintaining etc.
If I were a beginner following the instructions to the letter, to me it says wait 14 days and then proceed to step 2. The instructions at step 2 are telling you that the wine, after 14 days, should be at .998 or lower.
 

Doug’s wines

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@stickman i agree with your sentiments although instead of calling it a “problem”, I would call it the beauty of winemaking. It’s an individual learning journey. Given the incredibly long history of wine making across the world and the diversity of taste / style preferences I feel this is a good thing. @Donatelo I think the idea would be for each winemaker to realize and develop a sense of what MUST be done versus and then what we think SHOULD be done and try to play around in the margins. That’s why I decided to post the alternative view point to hopefully clarify that the decision to rack wasn’t a rule, rather an opinion and perhaps to suggest what might of been the outcome doing it the other way.

On this specific topic, do some google research on Sur Lie aging if you aren’t familiar with it. Since we can’t really MLF with kits, it’s one of the few ways we can influence mouthfeel and flavor (along with oak, tannin etc). As I said above, Gewurtz isn’t a good long term sur lie candidate, but a shorter (measured in days)time on the lees will have a minimal (but noticeable) affect.

If you do this kit again, or find someone else who’s done it, then it might be fun to compare the impact of differences.

P.S. I am not a “master winemaker”, instead I am more of a “Master Wine Drinker ” :dg
 

balatonwine

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Originally posted by Greg, this video shows the correct way to make wine. Anything different is just plain wrong. It may as well not be called "wine."
Good video. Seen it before. Very traditional.

FWIIW, having a winery in the "old world" I can translate some of this into "new world". No, I don't do it this way, but am still aware of how it can be done here.

This is of course white wine. The setup is to allow all the crushed grape juice to drain directly into the collection "vat" in the floor which is then processed as shown directly into the transfer vessel. This is to avoid running the crushed juice through the press where it can pick up astringent factors from seeds or stems during pressing. Even hitting the crushed grapes is to move the juice out before pressing. The less juice that is pressed, the better the wine.

The cake is removed, "fluffed" and repressed (you see them using the tined hoe at the end removing the cake from the press then stepping on it for further processing). This gives a bit more juice from the grapes (maybe 10%).

You may hear in English "old technology" from the younger person. But there is not necessarily anything wrong with "old technology". I had to move a 250 kg wood stove recently. Even spent quite a bit of money on new technology to move it. What ultimately worked the best, and what was use, were wood dowels and wood planks to roll it around. That is probably 5,000 year old technology and it was the best solution.

The copper vessel is the key. It is antimicrobial. Even helps dealing with toe jam. :)

But most interesting of all, are those times when there are only six people in the video, but there seems to be 12 conversations going on (with a bit of gesticulations). That seems about right. :)
 
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