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JPD

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Hi everyone! I am a beginner wine maker who is a few days away from transferring my first wine kit from the primary fermenter to the carboy. I already have a million questions just as I'm guessing (hoping) many of you had when you began. I look forward to hearing your advice along my wine journey!
 

meadmaker1

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Welcome.
Tell us about your wine.
Kit ?
Scratch?
Grape? Variety?
 

JPD

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Welcome.
Tell us about your wine.
Kit ?
Scratch?
Grape? Variety?
Thank you! I'm making a 6gal RJS Sauvignon blanc kit. I'm a little concerned about finding the right places in the house to keep my carboy at (temperature range wise) as I move it from step to step. I'm not really sure how much leeway there is from the suggested temp ranges in the instructions?
 

Julie

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Hi jpd, welcome to winemakingtalk
 

dralarms

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Welcome, it’s a great place to learn your new hobby
 

Johnd

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Thank you! I'm making a 6gal RJS Sauvignon blanc kit. I'm a little concerned about finding the right places in the house to keep my carboy at (temperature range wise) as I move it from step to step. I'm not really sure how much leeway there is from the suggested temp ranges in the instructions?
Before putting a temp controlled area, for years, my wines were fermented, cleared, barrel and carboy aged, bottled and stored at room temperatures, 70 F - 75 F. If you can maintain your wine at these temps during fermentation, you'll have a good part of the battle under control. White wines would like to be cooler during fermentation, as it helps preserve flavor and aromas, but it's not a deal breaker. There are some inexpensive techniques to keep temps down, water baths, wet towels, frozen milk jugs in water baths, etc. to lower temps. If you have trouble keeping temps up, brew belts are an easy solution.

Though these temps aren't ideal for aging in barrels, carboys, or bottles, didn't ever create any noticeable issues for my wines. For me, the first step towards temp control was a wine fridge to store bottles, followed by a full blown wine room.
 

JPD

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Before putting a temp controlled area, for years, my wines were fermented, cleared, barrel and carboy aged, bottled and stored at room temperatures, 70 F - 75 F. If you can maintain your wine at these temps during fermentation, you'll have a good part of the battle under control. White wines would like to be cooler during fermentation, as it helps preserve flavor and aromas, but it's not a deal breaker. There are some inexpensive techniques to keep temps down, water baths, wet towels, frozen milk jugs in water baths, etc. to lower temps. If you have trouble keeping temps up, brew belts are an easy solution.

Though these temps aren't ideal for aging in barrels, carboys, or bottles, didn't ever create any noticeable issues for my wines. For me, the first step towards temp control was a wine fridge to store bottles, followed by a full blown wine room.
Thanks for the info, Johnd! Speaking of temperature questions, the other initial confusing thing I found is that it's important that the must temperature is in this small range (say 70-78) so it's not too hot to kill the yeast, and not to cold to slow or stall it, but when you read up on the yeast package that comes with the kit, it says it works from 45-80 degrees? If the yeast has such a broad range, why is the must temp range so tight?
 

Johnd

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Thanks for the info, Johnd! Speaking of temperature questions, the other initial confusing thing I found is that it's important that the must temperature is in this small range (say 70-78) so it's not too hot to kill the yeast, and not to cold to slow or stall it, but when you read up on the yeast package that comes with the kit, it says it works from 45-80 degrees? If the yeast has such a broad range, why is the must temp range so tight?
I ferment whites at 55F; start red grapes at 75, let em spike to 85, bring em back to 80. The yeasts, when selected for your plan, can handle these temps. But you’re starting with a kit, which attempts to map out the plan in terms of time, and fermentation speed is largely temperature dependent. If you adhere to their temps, the times will be reasonably close in many cases. They’re trying to keep it simple. If you had a nickel for each post over the years from new winemakers freaking out because their fermentation’s are too fast or too slow, you’d be rich.

Once you’re comfy with the process, you can monkey with different yeasts and temps to produce specific results. My last whites at 55 fermented near a month, my red grapes in Fall ‘17, hot and fast in 3 - 4 days, both planned and purposeful.

The reality is, it takes as long as it takes, based upon how long it takes yeast to gobble up the sugar, and your hydrometer is your measure for that, not your calendar....clear as mud??
 

JPD

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I ferment whites at 55F; start red grapes at 75, let em spike to 85, bring em back to 80. The yeasts, when selected for your plan, can handle these temps. But you’re starting with a kit, which attempts to map out the plan in terms of time, and fermentation speed is largely temperature dependent. If you adhere to their temps, the times will be reasonably close in many cases. They’re trying to keep it simple. If you had a nickel for each post over the years from new winemakers freaking out because their fermentation’s are too fast or too slow, you’d be rich.

Once you’re comfy with the process, you can monkey with different yeasts and temps to produce specific results. My last whites at 55 fermented near a month, my red grapes in Fall ‘17, hot and fast in 3 - 4 days, both planned and purposeful.

The reality is, it takes as long as it takes, based upon how long it takes yeast to gobble up the sugar, and your hydrometer is your measure for that, not your calendar....clear as mud??
Thanks for the help, Johnd!
 

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