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jdeere5220

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My Stag's Leap is in the bottle and the end of this month marks 3 months so the first sampling is marked on the calendar.

But I also have the Lodi Cab Sav, a very similar kit (same style, same yeast, same instructions, etc..), in the carboy now, racked from the primary on 3/1 with SG of 1.004. So I'm basically right where you are. I have a brew belt on my carboy and the wine temp is 76F. It's still perking pretty good 5 days later, lots of visible bubbles. I don't think it's going to have any trouble fermenting down to .996 or lower at this rate.

It doesn't help you now, but my previous kit (Luna Rossa) did stall just a tad early, and I suspect I didn't give it enough air when racking from the primary. So on this Cab Sav kit I just put the siphon tube into the top of the carboy and let it "splash". I don't have enough experience to know if this really made a difference or if I'm just imagining it... but this does seem to be working better.
 

daveklick

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I racked mine from the primary on Wednesday morning at 1.010, I checked it today and it was 1.040, seems to be on track right? My wine temp is probably around 67 degrees.
Excited to try these!
 

jdeere5220

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Umm... No. Your SG can't go UP unless you add sugar (or something else that dissolves in the water.

Are you sure you are reading it right? Maybe today it's 1.004? That would seem right to me, right on track.

On my cheap triple scale hydrometer each little line is .002. Are you two little lines above the 1.000 marker?
 

daveklick

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Sorry that was a typo, you're right it was 1.004. I had a bad first experience with my Chilean Pinot Noir. So I'm really trying to make this Merlot perfect, glad to hear I'm on track.

I'm about filter my Pinot Noir, hoping for the best.
 

jdeere5220

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That Stag's Leap is really terrific, I think you will be very happy. It's probably my favorite.

Just be patient with that one. It's a "big red" and it might go a little slower than the instructions call out. So when you get to stage 3, if you aren't 100% sure the SG is table, wait a couple days and check again. Same for clearing, don't be in a rush to bottle.

Now if I can just follow my own advice!! :h
 

jdeere5220

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dclick- I hope your stag's leap is still cooking. My Lodi Cab Sav is doing great, already at .994 and still perking. I had a couple drops today when testing the SG and it's already tasty!

So it's been a week in the secondary and shows no sign of slowing down, there is no way it's going to be stable in 3 more days. That's OK with me, if it stays active for another two weeks that's just fine. I would rather have a kit that wants to keep going than one that stops early. I'll just check the SG a couple times a week and let it tell me when it's done. I'm just repeating what my dealer keeps telling me actually, just trying to pass along his advice.

So how is that Stag's Leap doing?
 

daveklick

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Jdeere- I appreciate it, nice to hear- it's all starting to make more sense to me now.

Sounds like yours is right where it should be!


My Stags Leap after 10 days is not moving from 1.000, any suggestions?
 

jdeere5220

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Hmm... a couple of thoughts... others here might have other suggestions... remember I am also a newbie.

1) Give it more time. I'm not sure how long you can give it at this stage before you need to add the K-meta to protect the wine from bacteria, but I think you can give it at least another couple of weeks.

2) What is the temperature of your wine? If it's below 70F, are you using a brew-belt? If not, maybe try it.

3) Give it a good stir and "splash rack" it into another carboy, to give it some oxygen and see if you can get the yeast motivated again. Splash rack means you just insert the tube 3-4 inches into the receiving carboy, and let the wine splash into it. You want to keep all of the sediment, so stir it before you rack it. You have to really stir it hard to get the yeast off the bottom and get some air into it. If you just have one carboy then use your bucket and then back to the carboy.

4) Don't worry about it. If you try the above and in a week or two you are still at 1.000, just go ahead and stabilize and clarify. I had this happen on my last batch, a Luna Rossa. I don't think the difference between 1.000 and .996 is really enough to matter much in the end, so it's not like it's ruined. If you are like me you might try to figure out what might have slowed things down for next time.

One thing I'm trying to be careful about is leaving too much K-meta residue in my primary and carboy and auto-siphon. You want to sanitize, but you don't want to kill the yeast. Maybe these little things make the difference between an active fermentation that just won't stop and a fermentation that dies out a little early? I guess that's where experience comes in, eventually we will know the little things that matter.

Sorry to be so long winded!
 

daveklick

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Thanks. The temp down there is def. under 70 and I don't have a brew belt, that may be the issue. I'll probably give it a few more days and then move on to step 3, hopefully it will drop a little bit.

I hear a lot about degassing but don't know much about it...is that stirring the wine up?
 

jdeere5220

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Yes, de-gassing is stirring or ajitating the wine so the CO2 can escape. Think of it like shaking up a can of soda.

You can use the long spoon, but that's going to take a while. I bought a long stainless rod with two plastic agitators on the end from my wine supply shop, it goes on my drill and makes the job a lot easier. There is also a cheaper plastic S-Hook thing that works, but you have to be careful not to rub it on anything or you will get plastic shavings in your wine.

siphon off at least one bottle of wine before you start. Save that off to the side. You need some space in your carboy in case you get an eruption. Start out slow than pick up speed once you see how much gas is coming out. You don't want to shoot wine to the ceiling which can happen. Since you said you are below 70F, I suspect yours will be pretty tame and in fact you will probably have some difficulty getting the gas to come out. Just keep at it.

Good luck!
 

ffemt128

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I was at my sister in laws house today and my wife had given her a bottle of this, her husbands mother liked it so much I was asked to make a kit for her. My brother in law gave me $$ to pick up all the ingredients and a couple cases of bottles. I'll be starting this in the next 2 weekd for her.

It does taste good.
 

jdeere5220

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Thanks. The temp down there is def. under 70 and I don't have a brew belt, that may be the issue. I'll probably give it a few more days and then move on to step 3, hopefully it will drop a little bit.
So Dave, if you are still around, how did things turn out?

I bottled my Lodi Cab Sav two weeks ago. While it is still very very young and has a sharp or harsh tannin taste, I can tell that this is going to be a VERY VERY GOOD wine. It has full buttery mouth-feel, and excellent Cab Sav plumb and spicy flavors and aromas. I can't wait till it's got 6 months in the bottle and I can have a sample! Based on our early tastes this one is certainly a winner.

I hope your Stag's Leap Merlot turned out good. Mine is almost 6 months age now and we will try our second bottle soon. I KNOW that is a good wine, it's the smoothest buttery Merlot I have ever tasted to be honest.

I was in San Jose, CA last week and had a $72 bottle of 2006 Lodi Ranch Merlot. To be honest I think the W.E. Stag's Leap is every bit as good, if not better, than this commercial bottle. What a deal!
 

daveklick

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Yep... It turned out great, only a few more months til I can really enjoy it. Glad to hear yours turned out good.

About to start something new, looking forward to it. You got anything going now?
 

jdeere5220

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Yep... It turned out great, only a few more months til I can really enjoy it. Glad to hear yours turned out good.

About to start something new, looking forward to it. You got anything going now?
LOL :d

I've got 4 carboys now, I always keep three full and use the fourth for bottling or extra rackings.

Since we last talked I've made the Selection International Grenach/Shiraz/Mourvedra, the Selection International Montepulciano, the Island Mist Pomegranate Zinfandel, and a couple batches of Selection Original Luna Rossa (we really like that one!). I've been busy ;)

I've got the Island Mist Black Rasberry Merlot in the primary now. I bump up the starting SG to about 1.070 with about 5 1/2 cups of suger. Gives it a little more punch but still tastes terrific.

I put the Lodi and Stag's Leap away. It will be 6 months for the Stag's Leap pretty soon so I'll open a bottle in July, but otherwise they are resting. I know the patience will pay off!
 

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