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RJ Spagnols Gran Cru Pinot Noir (Progress and Questions)

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Brickhouse

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Hey all, my first thread here as I've tried to do my best in researching rather than asking questions that have already been answered time and time again. But there's a few things I'm slightly unclear on, so I thought I'd ask.

I started my first ever batch, kit wine, RJS Gran Cru Pinot Noir on 20 December 2016. Initial SG at 1.084. I chose to stick with the directions, per the advice I see given quite often on here. So I did 14 days in the bucket even though the SG had gotten below .998 (whichever takes longer, went that route). After 14 days (3 JAN 17) I racked into glass carboy with an SG of .994. Degased, cleared, and stabilized. All seems good.


Couple questions regarding this batch. Note, I want to age in the carboy at least 3 months prior to bottling, then at least 2-3 months bottle age prior to consumption.

1. The kit directions call for it to be bottled 14 days after entering carboy. But I don't want to bottle yet. Would you advise racking instead at that time? Or simply wait 3 months and do a rack/bottle at that time?

2. K-Meta every 3 months when bulk aging....ok...for my clarification...when is that? What I mean is...when do I add the K-Meta? At the start of that 3 months? Or at the end of the 3 months? The reason I ask is, I don't want to add K-meta after 3 months then bottle immediately if that's not right. If I'm not mistaken, this practice of K-Meta every 3 months means add it on day 1, day 91, day 181....and so forth. That way, it ends with add K-meta...wait 90 days....bottle. Yes? No?

3. Package of Sulphite. When I did the degas, stabilize, and clear steps with this first batch, the first thing I added was a package of Sulphite. Is this the K-Meta? Just asking because the package didn't say Potassium Metabisulphite...just Sulphite. If it is, then am I done adding K-Meta if I bottle after 3 months bulk aging?



At any rate, things are looking good. When this first RJS Pinot arrived, the bag was leaking a bit, but not awful. I said something to the store and they gave me another one completely free. So after racking the first to carboy I went ahead and started the other one. I figure I'll try and let this one bulk age 9 months or so.

So without having my first kit bottled, I already have 4 carboys on deck. Ordered a CC Showcase Argentina Chilean Malbec with skins and that should be here in a week or so. I'll start that one after moving this 2nd batch to carboy. Plans on that one are to bulk age about 12 months.

I'm trying to do this right, take my time, age appropriately, and enjoy the fruits of labor. But the bottling after K-Meta thing has me twisted up. I can't figure out the timeline on it. Any help is greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Wine 3.jpg

Wine 2.jpg

Wine 1.jpg
 
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jburtner

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The KMETA / Potassium Metabisulfite helps protect the wine from oxidation. You do want to add it as soon as fermentation is done and then "every three months". 1/4tsp is the recommended amount but you can also eventually get an SO2 meter and add more accurate amounts. 1/4tsp will work fine.

You do want to does it before bottling so that your wine in bottles will also be protected from molecular oxygenation.

I bottled two batches this weekend and added 1/4tsp to each (and mixed very well) before bottling.

Hope that helps and enjoy your wine!
Cheers,
johann.b
 

Brickhouse

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The KMETA / Potassium Metabisulfite helps protect the wine from oxidation. You do want to add it as soon as fermentation is done and then "every three months". 1/4tsp is the recommended amount but you can also eventually get an SO2 meter and add more accurate amounts. 1/4tsp will work fine.

You do want to does it before bottling so that your wine in bottles will also be protected from molecular oxygenation.

I bottled two batches this weekend and added 1/4tsp to each (and mixed very well) before bottling.

Hope that helps and enjoy your wine!
Cheers,
johann.b
That is helpful Johann, thanks.

Was the package of Sulphite that the kit had me add prior to stabilizing and clearing K Meta? Package said Sulphite on it, so I'm guessing so. But it just seemed like a lot more that 1/4 teaspoon.
 

jburtner

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Oh yeah. The sulfite wiuld have been either sodium or potassium metabisulfate but most prefer to ise potassium metabisulfate. K is the periodic table symbol for Potassium hence 'K' Meta.

Cheers!
Johann.b
 

GaDawg

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If you are not doing anything to your wine, why do you carboy age opposed to bottle age?
 

jburtner

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A couple reasons would be for adequate degassing and natural clearing. It's been so cold lately that when I finally racked I found diamonds in the bottom of one carboy. You may or may not intend to do anything but once you bottle your hands are tied so bulk ageing does provide options while things meld. On the other hand bottling free's up carboys so you can make more wine (and drink more wine). Win win!

Cheers!
-jb
 

Brickhouse

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Yeah, I don't really plan on adjusting it I guess, though it's nice to have the option. The benefit I'm anticipating with bulk aging and racking back and forth is minimizing sediment.
 

cintipam

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Hi Wyatt

you've done some very good work here plowing thru all those messages. I really relate with your final questions because my personal method was just like yours, and my questions were the same.

in short, yes sulphite is meta. Probably Kmeta, as that should be what the kitmakers are providing. So once you added that pkg, the clock is ticking for needing another dose in 3 months. What I missed first round for me (no kit, from scratch) is that the act of open fermentation used up the dose of kmeta that I had put in about 10 days prior. So when you are certain fermentation is finished, then rack and add kmeta and start the clock for next kmeta dose.

When working from scratch I do NOT add sorbate at this time as many longtimers express that sorbate can only do a complete job when used on clear wine. So since it is crucial to add both kmeta and sorbate at the same time to ensure a stabilized wine, I wait for a couple rackings when wine is clear to add both and stabilize. Last note here is that if you will not be back sweetening your wine, then it actually is not necessary to ever add sorbate.

Final point to make is that you really want to have a good dose of kmeta in your wine when you bottle to help protect your wine as long as possible while in the bottle. Most folks rack from final carboy into a fresh one onto kmets to both ensure no sediment will be transferred, and to ensure the wine will mix thoroughly with kmeta then proceed to bottle.

again, good job, good questions.

Welcome to WMT.

Pam in cinti

Wow, I am SLOW! no replies so I wrote above, posted, and suddenly lots of answers! Oh well, I am a tortoise by nature.
 

Brickhouse

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Hi Wyatt

you've done some very good work here plowing thru all those messages. I really relate with your final questions because my personal method was just like yours, and my questions were the same.

in short, yes sulphite is meta. Probably Kmeta, as that should be what the kitmakers are providing. So once you added that pkg, the clock is ticking for needing another dose in 3 months. What I missed first round for me (no kit, from scratch) is that the act of open fermentation used up the dose of kmeta that I had put in about 10 days prior. So when you are certain fermentation is finished, then rack and add kmeta and start the clock for next kmeta dose.

When working from scratch I do NOT add sorbate at this time as many longtimers express that sorbate can only do a complete job when used on clear wine. So since it is crucial to add both kmeta and sorbate at the same time to ensure a stabilized wine, I wait for a couple rackings when wine is clear to add both and stabilize. Last note here is that if you will not be back sweetening your wine, then it actually is not necessary to ever add sorbate.

Final point to make is that you really want to have a good dose of kmeta in your wine when you bottle to help protect your wine as long as possible while in the bottle. Most folks rack from final carboy into a fresh one onto kmets to both ensure no sediment will be transferred, and to ensure the wine will mix thoroughly with kmeta then proceed to bottle.

again, good job, good questions.

Welcome to WMT.

Pam in cinti

Wow, I am SLOW! no replies so I wrote above, posted, and suddenly lots of answers! Oh well, I am a tortoise by nature.
Thanks for your reply, it did clarify some things I was still unclear on.

This batch fermented to dry in the primary, pretty much how that kit operates if I'm understanding it correctly. So it sounds like I'm probably pretty good on everything I've added to this point. I did add the sorbate, just because I was keeping true to the directions. I have no plans to back sweeten.

I think what I'll do is rack again in two weeks. This will get it off of the gross lees. I'll add 1/4 tsp KMeta, and let it sit 3 months. Then I'll rack to bucket (with 1/4 tsp KMeta at bottom) and bottle from there. Probably let sit another 3 months before popping some corks.

Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
 

cintipam

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My opinion is that your plans are fine for additions etc. I am not a kit maker, nor a red wine lover, so while my impulse is to say 3 months isn't long enough to really let the wine come around to its best, it is long enough for your wine to recover from bottle shock, which hasn't been mentioned yet. When first bottled, leave your wine standing upright for at least a few days to permit cork to reexpand and stop leaks, then lay down for at least 2 weeks total time, I prefer a month for wine to recover. Theory I've read is the act of bottling compresses wine when inserting cork, and wine itself needs to recover in order to not taste really off.

Maybe somebody else with actual Pinot Noir experience will give you advice on 3 months bottle aging of this kit.

Pam in cinti
 

cintipam

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Clarification. If you were not racking to bucket in order to bottle I'd probably comment that adding kmeta again after just 2 weeks to remove from gross lees might be a bit too much. But I suspect your next racking to bucket will use up that extra kmeta so it will still need that final dose at bottling. I think most of us use siphons to rack into carboys which minimizes air exposure so doesn't use up as much kmeta as racking into a bucket. When wine is exposed to air the kmeta bonds with the air molecules and help prevent oxidation. Once they bond, they are no longer available to neutralize any other oxygen molecules, thus the kmeta is "used up".

had to add this since I suspect we think alike and that would be something that would puzzle me.

Pam in cinti
 

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