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Kieselsol & Chitosan

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Scooter68

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I've only been making wine for just over 5 years (just under 50 batches) and on this site about 5 years, but; one thing I've seen on this site is that folks tend to follow kit instructions like they the y are a wine makers version of the Ten Commandments.

To me, personally, a kit just provides a one stop/ one purchase means of getting all the things you need for a wine. The instructions are by NO MEANS to be followed blindly or rigidly. The only thing gained by rigidly following the instructions is it provides you a means to claim that the kit failed even when you followed instructions - if the seller accepts that claim, you are still going to have wasted your time and effort .
Others may have other issues but the primary reasons I won't ever buy a kit are:

First - TIME - The timelines in kit instructions are way way too rigid and seem to assume that the yeast and additives they provide also read and heed those instructions. A ferment may last 2-3 days or perhaps even 2-3 weeks it all depends on a variety of factors.
Second - Kits and the additives in them can age out, for instance, if the potassium sorbate in the kit is more than 6-10 months old it is probably not very effective. This results in wines not clearing, or ferments possibly restarting when back sweetened with ferment-able sugar. Unless an aged out kit is on a super good sale price... it's not worth the trouble.

Having said that - A kit can be a good way to get started but I really don't think it's going to make you a better wine maker. Maybe a kit is a means to obtain varieities you might not otherwise find but I'd want to be certain of the kit age and price (Vs buying the juice as a standalone product.)
 
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Kayts

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Not a newby but I think I screwed up with Chitosan. Have 3 carboys going that I siphoned on Tues. had 1 Chitosan to add yesterday the others were added same day as I siphoned. What happens if I add a second Chitosan to a wine by accident. With this covid we have family living with us and I never market my carboys with which wine, and I know I added it to wrong wine.
 

winemaker81

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@Kayts, I don't believe you'll have any serious problems. Some fining agents can induce negative effects if overdosed, but I've not seen anything regarding chitosan.

I print labels on plain paper and attach to a looped string with clear tape, and the label is large enough I can write brief notes. I do this even if I have only 1 wine in production, as it's a habit. Better too many labels than too few ....
 

Kayts

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@Kayts, I don't believe you'll have any serious problems. Some fining agents can induce negative effects if overdosed, but I've not seen anything regarding chitosan.

I print labels on plain paper and attach to a looped string with clear tape, and the label is large enough I can write brief notes. I do this even if I have only 1 wine in production, as it's a habit. Better too many labels than too few ....

I usually put on the post-it-notes but someone had move them and I got side tracked...bet I don't do that again. Need to get in better habits.
 

winemaker81

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I usually put on the post-it-notes but someone had move them and I got side tracked...bet I don't do that again. Need to get in better habits.
I've tried various methods, but the label on a string has (so far) been the hardest one for me to screw up.
 

Bts

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The kit I'm doing now has 2 packets each of chitosan and kieselsol, and it says to add all 4 of them alternating, so I wouldn't worry about adding an extra packet of Chitosan.
 

winemaker81

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The kit I'm doing now has 2 packets each of chitosan and kieselsol, and it says to add all 4 of them alternating
What is the timing for the additions? Kits I've made specified adding the chitosan any where from 5 minutes to 24 hours after the kieselsol. Some have more than one packet of either, but specify to add the like ones together. I've not seen one that alternated and based upon what I know about how kieselsol & chitosan works, that doesn't make sense. [Which doesn't mean that it doesn't work -- it means that I don't understand. ;) ]

What brand is the kit and what size are the packets? You've made me REALLY curious about this one.
 

Venatorscribe

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I've only been making wine for just over 5 years (just under 50 batches) and on this site about 5 years, but; one thing I've seen on this site is that folks tend to follow kit instructions like they the y are a wine makers version of the Ten Commandments.

To me, personally, a kit just provides a one stop/ one purchase means of getting all the things you need for a wine. The instructions are by NO MEANS to be followed blindly or rigidly. The only thing gained by rigidly following the instructions is it provides you a means to claim that the kit failed even when you followed instructions - if the seller accepts that claim, you are still going to have wasted your time and effort .
Others may have other issues but the primary reasons I won't ever buy a kit are:

First - TIME - The timelines in kit instructions are way way too rigid and seem to assume that the yeast and additives they provide also read and heed those instructions. A ferment may last 2-3 days or perhaps even 2-3 weeks it all depends on a variety of factors.
Second - Kits and the additives in them can age out, for instance, if the potassium sorbate in the kit is more than 6-10 months old it is probably not very effective. This results in wines not clearing, or ferments possibly restarting when back sweetened with ferment-able sugar. Unless an aged out kit is on a super good sale price... it's not worth the trouble.

Having said that - A kit can be a good way to get started but I really don't think it's going to make you a better wine maker. Maybe a kit is a means to obtain varieities you might not otherwise find but I'd want to be certain of the kit age and price (Vs buying the juice as a standalone product.)
I agree. I’ve made a few kits and have never bothered with the instructions. I use the kit as a source of juice. Then work from first principles and proceed as normal to make wine. Using my various gadgets to assess everything as it proceeds. I don’t use finings and I don’t use their oak powder or yeast. Preferring to buy my own chemicals, and a specific yeast of my choosing along with my own oak chips and staves. The odds and ends that come with the kit don’t get wasted. I’ll work my way through these when making my summer fruit and botanical wines and finally I use any clay based finings mixed into soil for various small potted plants.
 

Chinova

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When I’ve had to reapply, it’s always been the chitosan that was underdosed. Before adding any clarifiers, make sure your wine is totally free of CO2, is kept in the mid 70’s, and you’ve given it ample time to clear. Too much fining can have a detrimental effect on your wine, so don’t overdo it!!
Johnd, I have a question.
I work for a company that is selling mushroom based chitosan for the food industry. We have not tested it in wine but believe it should work to fine the wine and replace sulphites. IT is a 5% solution, vegan certified and is not from shellfish. I am not soliciting business, I just thought I would reach out with a new development to help the community. If your interested, I can have a 100 ml sample sent to you for free. Let me know.
 

sour_grapes

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Johnd, I have a question.
I work for a company that is selling mushroom based chitosan for the food industry. We have not tested it in wine but believe it should work to fine the wine and replace sulphites. IT is a 5% solution, vegan certified and is not from shellfish. I am not soliciting business, I just thought I would reach out with a new development to help the community. If your interested, I can have a 100 ml sample sent to you for free. Let me know.
That took my memory back to this post: Vegans and Chitosan
 

Johnd

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Johnd, I have a question.
I work for a company that is selling mushroom based chitosan for the food industry. We have not tested it in wine but believe it should work to fine the wine and replace sulphites. IT is a 5% solution, vegan certified and is not from shellfish. I am not soliciting business, I just thought I would reach out with a new development to help the community. If your interested, I can have a 100 ml sample sent to you for free. Let me know.
It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure that I understand your product. Chitosan is a wine clarifier that is typically used in conjunction with kieselsol, and together, they bind and precipitate positively charged and negatively charged particles from the wine, inducing clearing more quickly than time clears wine.

Sulfite has a completely different function, it is and oxygen scavenger that prevents oxidation in wines, as well as an anti-microbial agent, that prevents unwanted organisms from taking a foothold in the wine. It is also used as a sanitizer for wine equipment, for its anti-microbial functions.

Are you suggesting that this mushroom based formula will both clear wine as well as prevent oxidation and inhibit microbial activity? If so, it sounds interesting. If it could also give my wine a bit of an earthy tone with some hints of portabello, you may be on to something!!
 

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