Quantcast

Here comes the first batch.

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

ericsmithcpa

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
48
Reaction score
14
Location
Houston, TX
I'm starting my first wine kit with the Eclipse pinot noir in a 30L Speidel fermenter, so I'm stoked to try a new hobby. First I'm going out of town for a week so I figured I'd wait until I return to get fermentation started and ask a few questions now before I get started. I understand that pinot noir is one of the more difficult varietals, but I like it and it's a kit wine so I figured I'd get it and see how it goes. So on to the questions...

I have read much conflicting advice online as to how to approach kits (ranging from advice that one should toss the kit yeast and get some varietal-specific yeast, toss the sawdust and get their own oak, and reduce liquid volume to intensify flavors, to advice that one should do everything EXACTLY as described in the kit instructions, with no deviation from the instructions whatsoever). So... what to believe?

The yeast in the kit is Bourgovin RC212. The instructions indicate I should just throw it in on top of the juice (no yeast starter)... Is there a reason NOT to make a yeast starter and be sure that the yeast isn't dead and worthless before I throw it in the fermenter? I live in Houston, and it's mid-July, so I don't have much confidence that the yeast didn't sit in a UPS truck in Houston heat.

If anyone has made this specific kit and has any comments about how not to goob it up, that would be much appreciated!
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,700
Reaction score
6,693
Location
South Louisiana
I'm starting my first wine kit with the Eclipse pinot noir in a 30L Speidel fermenter, so I'm stoked to try a new hobby. First I'm going out of town for a week so I figured I'd wait until I return to get fermentation started and ask a few questions now before I get started. I understand that pinot noir is one of the more difficult varietals, but I like it and it's a kit wine so I figured I'd get it and see how it goes. So on to the questions...

I have read much conflicting advice online as to how to approach kits (ranging from advice that one should toss the kit yeast and get some varietal-specific yeast, toss the sawdust and get their own oak, and reduce liquid volume to intensify flavors, to advice that one should do everything EXACTLY as described in the kit instructions, with no deviation from the instructions whatsoever). So... what to believe?

The yeast in the kit is Bourgovin RC212. The instructions indicate I should just throw it in on top of the juice (no yeast starter)... Is there a reason NOT to make a yeast starter and be sure that the yeast isn't dead and worthless before I throw it in the fermenter? I live in Houston, and it's mid-July, so I don't have much confidence that the yeast didn't sit in a UPS truck in Houston heat.

If anyone has made this specific kit and has any comments about how not to goob it up, that would be much appreciated!
First kit, new hobby, follow the instructions. You have a good quality kit, no need to monkey around with it. My only caution would be to follow your hydrometer as your guide during fermentation, time is not the measuring stick. After you’ve made wine, and yours is a premium kit, give it lots of time before bottling to make sure it’s free of CO2 and clear as a bell. It won’t be approaching it’s favorable drinking window for a year or longer anyway. This is the place to deviate.

As far as the yeast, I’ve never done anything other than sprinkle it on top, and have never had a yeast failure or stuck fermentation. It’s just as hot in South Louisiana UPS trucks.

Still have a few of my Eclipse Pinots left, 4+ years now, still drinking nicely.
 

jgmann67

Rennaisance Man
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
3,782
Reaction score
2,068
Location
South Cental Pennsylvania
First kit, new hobby, follow the instructions. You have a good quality kit, no need to monkey around with it. My only caution would be to follow your hydrometer as your guide during fermentation, time is not the measuring stick. After you’ve made wine, and yours is a premium kit, give it lots of time before bottling to make sure it’s free of CO2 and clear as a bell. It won’t be approaching it’s favorable drinking window for a year or longer anyway. This is the place to deviate.

As far as the yeast, I’ve never done anything other than sprinkle it on top, and have never had a yeast failure or stuck fermentation. It’s just as hot in South Louisiana UPS trucks.

Still have a few of my Eclipse Pinots left, 4+ years now, still drinking nicely.
Agree almost entirely, here. I would only offer that you skip the sorbate as it is not needed.

John - I have a bunch of the RJS EP Pinot Noir in my basement. They’re going on 3 years old and the wine is still only okay. Haven’t had one in a few months, so maybe it turned a corner.

A comparison to the WE would be interesting.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,700
Reaction score
6,693
Location
South Louisiana
Agree almost entirely, here. I would only offer that you skip the sorbate as it is not needed.

John - I have a bunch of the RJS EP Pinot Noir in my basement. They’re going on 3 years old and the wine is still only okay. Haven’t had one in a few months, so maybe it turned a corner.

A comparison to the WE would be interesting.
Good call on the sorbate, I forgot that is in there, been a few years since my last kit.........

Maybe I'll dredge one out of the Eclipse PN out of the cellar and send it to you when the weather starts to cool down a bit, it'd be interesting to hear your comparison of the two.
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,881
Reaction score
10,530
Location
near Milwaukee
I'm starting my first wine kit with the Eclipse pinot noir

...

advice that one should toss the kit yeast and get some varietal-specific yeast,
...

The yeast in the kit is Bourgovin RC212.
Just a side note to the advice already given. It turns out that RC-212 is the variety-specific yeast for Pinot Noir. It is a Burgundy isolate.
 

jgmann67

Rennaisance Man
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
3,782
Reaction score
2,068
Location
South Cental Pennsylvania
Good call on the sorbate, I forgot that is in there, been a few years since my last kit.........

Maybe I'll dredge one out of the Eclipse PN out of the cellar and send it to you when the weather starts to cool down a bit, it'd be interesting to hear your comparison of the two.
I’m in for a bottle swap. [emoji1303]

I can send you my RJS EP and we can both compare.
 

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
4,056
Reaction score
2,746
Location
Centerville, Northern Virginia
I agree that you should mainly follow the instructions but with some of the recommendations plus don't go by the time but rather what your hydrometer says. Skipping the Sorbate is a no brainer and waiting longer to bottle is good rule to follow. Just one other little recommendation to help you with the bottling. Buy a 3 or 5 gallon carboy. It's so hard not to want to drink your first wine. This way you can bottle some and it will make it easier to keep some in bulk until your inventory builds up.
 

szap

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
56
Reaction score
37
Location
Missouri
I've got to hand it to you. Making one of the higher price kits for your first try is pretty brave. I second what others have said when you're making an expensive kit as your first try, I would follow the directions exactly and leave the tweaking until you have more experience. Kits are pretty easy to make, but there are mistakes that can be made.
 

Sailor323

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
77
Reaction score
39
I would just like to second or third or whatever that several have said, skip the sorbate. Rack several times using meta at each racking. Kieselsol/chitosan are great clarifiers.
 

bstnh1

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
743
Reaction score
606
Location
In the woods of New Hampshire
I'm starting my first wine kit with the Eclipse pinot noir in a 30L Speidel fermenter, so I'm stoked to try a new hobby. First I'm going out of town for a week so I figured I'd wait until I return to get fermentation started and ask a few questions now before I get started. I understand that pinot noir is one of the more difficult varietals, but I like it and it's a kit wine so I figured I'd get it and see how it goes. So on to the questions...

I have read much conflicting advice online as to how to approach kits (ranging from advice that one should toss the kit yeast and get some varietal-specific yeast, toss the sawdust and get their own oak, and reduce liquid volume to intensify flavors, to advice that one should do everything EXACTLY as described in the kit instructions, with no deviation from the instructions whatsoever). So... what to believe?

The yeast in the kit is Bourgovin RC212. The instructions indicate I should just throw it in on top of the juice (no yeast starter)... Is there a reason NOT to make a yeast starter and be sure that the yeast isn't dead and worthless before I throw it in the fermenter? I live in Houston, and it's mid-July, so I don't have much confidence that the yeast didn't sit in a UPS truck in Houston heat.

If anyone has made this specific kit and has any comments about how not to goob it up, that would be much appreciated!
I look at it this way ...... the kit instructions were developed by the manufacturer of the kit. I have faith that they know what needs to be done with the kit to produce a good wine. If their instructions don't produce good wine, they're shooting themselves in the foot for future sales. I buy WE kits and follow the instructions. I ferment down to .992. I follow a mix of the old and new instructions and rack a couple more times before bottling. I have never had a batch that turned out bad, nor have I ever had any "fizzy" wine or sediment in the bottle. Now why would I change?? As for adding sorbate, sure you can skip it. You might be fine. You might also end up with exploding bottles or very bad tasting wine. Sorbate not only stops the yeast you added from reproducing, but it also stops wild yeast and molds that happen to find their way into your wine from reproducing.
 

Latest posts

Top