Just Received My Eclipse Nebbiolo Kit

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Mike Parisi

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This will be my third kit, after making a Nero D'Avola and Super Tuscan. The Super Tuscan isn't ready for bottling yet, so the Nebbiolo will have to wait another 2-3 weeks before starting. But I do have a question:

My first two kits (Mosti and RJS) had a secondary fermentation once the wine reached around 1.02 SG. This WE kit doesn't go to a secondary, just straight to stabilizing/degassing. So my question is -- do I go strictley by the instructions, or should I rack it into the carboy for a secondary fermentation?
 

cmason1957

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I really, really, really hate that kit instructions called that secondary fermentation. It isn't, it's just racking your wine to a carboy under airlock. That didn't answer your question at all, just a random wine/Scotch filled rant.

Either way is fine. I often leave my ferments to finish before I rack to an airlock. Do as you feel you want to do.
 

Mike Parisi

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LOL on your rant.

The only reason I asked is that my brother-in-law said he had a wine foam out of the barboy during degassing and I guess that would be more likely to happen with the wine in a carboy than in an open bucket. Seems it would also be easier to pour the additives in with the wine in the bucket. But eliminating one racking would make it a bit easier.

But, the kit contains oak chips or granules that go into the primary fermenter, then oak cubes that go in after fermentation is complete. So racking before fermentation is complete would take the oak out of it sooner.
 

cmason1957

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Here is what I do. Open the kit, find the instructions, throw them away. (Not totally,I do read over them one to set if there is something odd about the kit). Into my bucket, add bentonite, must, water, stir. Walk away and let soak for a day. Added any ok chips, then yeast. Come back every day, once fermentation takes off, start storing 2-3 times a day, just to keep everything in suspension. SG gets to about 1.000. Rack to carboy, trying to get as much as I can from bucket. add airlock. Walk away for three weeks. Rack, top up if needed. Add kmeta, walk away for three months, rack add 1/4 tsp of kmeta. Wait 3-6 months or some number like that, rack, add kmeta add ksorbate if fpac. Clear. Notice you see noon if that degass nonsense,rack with vacuum, Co2 give at this point. Add fpac, wait a week or so, think about bottling.

Kits instructions have you do things well before they should be done, IMHO. Take it for what it is worth.
 

joeswine

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Manufacturer instructions are standardized and are for those of us who don't have the experience like some , and still have to learn the steps in the process of wine making.
Booring perhaps to some and me but cridical to someone starting out or hasn't been into the game as long as some.
That's why the primary, secondary and finish and other steps that happen in-between. When to add and when not to add ingredients, how to recognize where your at in the process in time.
Like I stated for me after 20 plus years of making I check the instructions for any changes them put them a side.To New comers (Read the instructions) until you can resight them without a miss step.theres a reason for them ( instructions) because not everyone has the skills, equipment nor the environment ( instructions level the playing field).just my thoughts.
 
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BigSell

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Mike, This is a great kit with skins. I do however tweek it a little. First I adjust the abv to my liking, this kit can stand up to a higher abv than most. I switch out the EC-1118 yeast with BM4x4. Open fermentation (lose cover or towel), stir a couple times a day and take SG readings. Once the SG gets to 1.010 I lock down the lid on the primary fermentation (bucket) and add the airlock. Now I leave it alone, shake the bucket for the first few days fo keep the skins hydrated until they sink. Then let it set for 28 days for a little EM. You can go shorter or longer, your call, I find 28 days to work for me. Then rack to your secondary carboy add the kit Oak and follow your usual protocol, rack and add k-met every 3 months. I have one at 9 months, will bottle at one year, taste at this point is incredible.
 

joeswine

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phase#3.................................with these high end kits you need to play gently. The out come was more than I could hope for,really,it will be a winner this year in HAMMONTON wine festival.
 

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Mike Parisi

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Don't mind at all. I can use all the help I can get.

Did you take a hydrometer reading after adding the quart of simple syrup?
 

Mike Parisi

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So you potentially have a 15% abv wine. Don't know if I want to go that high. 13-14% is fine with me. But thanks for all the pictures and explanations. I am learning there is quite a bit of tweaking that can be done with the kits. Being a total newbie, I think I should stick with what is in the kit for now. At least to be able to have a baseline on what it tastes like.
 

joeswine

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that's the correct move for now, this abv will come down a little:dg.it usually does
 

joeswine

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If you take into account that the hydrometer isn't sitting level of and and depending on how much juice to water I scooped up for testing , I'm just getting into an about what the SG. Will be.
When I tasted this months later it was spot on around 13%. And very smooth. It's a true winner.
 

Mike Parisi

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Started the wine on February 9. A bit too cool in my garage for fermentation, I think (55-70), so hav it in the laundry room. After adding the skins and stirring a lot, I got a SG reading of 1.092. I suspect that it would have been higher with a longer wait before I took the reading. Added the oak granules, stirred some more, then sprinkled the yeast that was included with the kit.

It had started fermenting a day later. On 2/11, the SG was 1.088 (so I am even more convinced the starting SG would have been over 1.092. Wine temp is 76. Stirred and pushed down the skin bag, which promptly refloated. Stirred again later.

2/12, wine temp 82, didn't take SG reading. Stirred and pushed skins down.

2/13, today, wine temp 81, SG 1.024. So it has really been fermenting. Stirred and pushed skins down.

Instructions say about 14 days to get below SG .996, at which point it says rack into carboy for clarification/stabilization. But, at this rate it may be sooner. My understanding is to not rack it off until SG is below .996 AND it hasn't changed for 3 days. Both my first kit, Nero D'Avola and my second, the Super Tuscan, ended up right at .992 before I racked out of the bucket.

Comments and suggestions welcome. Again, since this is only my thid kit ever, I am no comfortable straying from the instructions. And, because I haven't even bottled my second kit, there is no way I could be patient enough to wait 9 months or longer before bottling and tasting. In fact, I have already drank (drunk?) 9 bottles of the Nero, which has only been in the bottle for not quite 3 months (and it is really good).
 

Johnd

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@Mike Parisi , you can leave it in there until fermentation is done if you like. "Done" is about SG, not time, so when fermentation has finished (3 days unchanged SG below .996 is a good measure) go ahead and proceed with the next step in your instructions. Some folks press / rack earlier, some later, but you can monkey around with the timing when you are comfortable doing so, the instructions will get you to the finish line.

I did this same kit about 4 years ago, barrel aged 6 months, tasted a few as it aged, very nice wine. The inlaws fell in love with it and ended up with two cases, leaving me only a couple bottles in the cellar today, I'll have to pull one down soon.
 

Mike Parisi

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Thanks. Yes, I will go with the 3-day-unchanged SG benchmark before racking into the carboy.

WE calls this kit a 6-8 week kit. After racking, degassing, etc, there are 3 packet of oak cubes to add. So the wine will be on the oak for at least 6 weeks. WE suggests bottle aging rather than carboy aging. Yes, I know, they want me to start their next kit right away.
 

Johnd

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Thanks. Yes, I will go with the 3-day-unchanged SG benchmark before racking into the carboy.

WE calls this kit a 6-8 week kit. After racking, degassing, etc, there are 3 packet of oak cubes to add. So the wine will be on the oak for at least 6 weeks. WE suggests bottle aging rather than carboy aging. Yes, I know, they want me to start their next kit right away.
At this stage of the game, follow your desires, bottle as soon as possible if you like. Once you get some stuff on the shelf and get a bunch of wines going, some of your wines will get some months on them before bottling.
 

Mike Parisi

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Only problem with waiting months before bottling --- I have no basement, only my garage. Probably by April it will be too hot for wine. I didn't start my first kit until the end of October and ended up having to put the fermenting bucket into a cold water bath to keep the wine from getting too hot. I did that when the wine temp got to 86. So pretty much from sometime in April to the end of October it will be too hot for wine in my garage. My bottled wine I can put into our extra refrigerator in the garage, but no room for a carboy in there.
 
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