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Kit, Second fermentation question:

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Knodes

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I have Master Vintner Cabernet Sauvignon classic kit. 6 Gallons. My starting SG was 1.091. I racked to second fermentation on Day 6 w/an SG of 1.014 and added oak chips as per the instructions. The temp has been pretty steady around 70.

Today on Day 8 the SG was .996 w/ consistent bubbling (which the instructions say s/b around day 14 or 15) and the chips are still floating. Based of the Sg reading, according to the instructions I should be reracking, degassing it and adding Potassium Metabisulfite, Kieselsol, Chitosan and Potassium Sorbate.

It seems too early to do this.

Should I hold off a few days? Thoughts?

Thanks for the help!
 

mainshipfred

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7-8 days sounds about right for the primary. Not sure why the instructions say 14 or 15 days. You should always go by the specific gravity reading although a few extra days wouldn't hurt anything and will give the oak a little chance to work.

Good luck with it.
 

Knodes

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7-8 days sounds about right for the primary. Not sure why the instructions say 14 or 15 days. You should always go by the specific gravity reading although a few extra days wouldn't hurt anything and will give the oak a little chance to work.

Good luck with it.
Thanks for helping!
I’m in Secondary right now, for only 2days, not primary. I racked out of primary a day 6 bc the sg 1.014.
 

mainshipfred

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Sorry, guess I didn't read it thoroughly. Kit instructions do get confusing because they go by timeframes which don't always match up to what is really happening. You are still degassing so I can't see the harm in waiting the extra days. As long as your carboy is reasonably topped up I think you have you choice of waiting or going to the next step whenever you like.
 

jpwatkins9

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I usually go by the SG, but extra time never hurts. My Cabernet hit 0.994 at about day 9 or 10, just left it alone until all bubbles stopped at day 16, 0.992 SG. I do like a dry wine though. I racked the wine from the primary on day 17, degassed and added the clearing agents. I let it sit in the carboy another few days, degassed again and added the K-meta and K-Sorbate. Now doing some Bulk aging before bottling, had the Oak in from the start and will get the small amount still in there out with the next racking. Usually do 4 rackings, Bulk age for about an extra 30 days before bottling.
 

Knodes

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I usually go by the SG, but extra time never hurts. My Cabernet hit 0.994 at about day 9 or 10, just left it alone until all bubbles stopped at day 16, 0.992 SG. I do like a dry wine though. I racked the wine from the primary on day 17, degassed and added the clearing agents. I let it sit in the carboy another few days, degassed again and added the K-meta and K-Sorbate. Now doing some Bulk aging before bottling, had the Oak in from the start and will get the small amount still in there out with the next racking. Usually do 4 rackings, Bulk age for about an extra 30 days before bottling.
 

Knodes

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Thanks so much for the feed back. It’s very helpful knowing what someone else doing.
 

VinesnBines

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I made a triple batch of Cab Sav, started June 22, racked off on June 27 (SG below 1.000) to a half barrel keg (15.5 gal). Left in the keg with oak chips until December 8. I racked down to 50L and bottled 8 bottles. It is perfect. Sadly, I'm going to have to bottle more.
 

winemaker81

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Fermentation time varies by many factors, including the amount sugar (Original Gravity), available yeast nutrients, yeast variety, temperature, how much the temperature varies over the days, etc.

Prior to the end of fermentation, ignore the time frames in the kit instructions. Your hydrometer tells you when fermentation is done -- the calendar will be wrong most of the time, whereas the hydrometer is right all the time.

Post-fermentation? Treat all time frames as minimum values, e.g., "2 weeks" should be translated as "at least 2 weeks".
 

Mike Parisi

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I am still fairly new too, but so far, I have had some wines that are finished fermenting at SG.996 and one or two that have gone to .992. I guess the rule of thumb for fermenting being finished is an SG under .998 and the SG doesn't change for 3 days.
 

Knodes

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I made a triple batch of Cab Sav, started June 22, racked off on June 27 (SG below 1.000) to a half barrel keg (15.5 gal). Left in the keg with oak chips until December 8. I racked down to 50L and bottled 8 bottles. It is perfect. Sadly, I'm going to have to bottle more.
 

Knodes

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I made a triple batch of Cab Sav, started June 22, racked off on June 27 (SG below 1.000) to a half barrel keg (15.5 gal). Left in the keg with oak chips until December 8. I racked down to 50L and bottled 8 bottles. It is perfect. Sadly, I'm going to have to bottle more.
That’s interesting. So you let it sit in 2nd fermentation for almost 5mos (did you rerack at all during that time?), then just bottled a portion and left the rest in the keg to age and are bottling as needed/wanted?
 

VinesnBines

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That’s interesting. So you let it sit in 2nd fermentation for almost 5mos (did you rerack at all during that time?), then just bottled a portion and left the rest in the keg to age and are bottling as needed/wanted?
I did not rack again during that 5 months. I racked the remainder down to 13.5 gallons (50 liter keg) when I bottled in December. I added k meta and some oak during the 5 month aging. Since it was kit juice, I had very little lees or sediment after primary. I’ll either bottle it all or go to 5 gallon carboys for the next round.
I keep everything topped up so whenever I bottle a portion of a batch I’ll rack the remainder to a smaller container.
 

Knodes

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I did not rack again during that 5 months. I racked the remainder down to 13.5 gallons (50 liter keg) when I bottled in December. I added k meta and some oak during the 5 month aging. Since it was kit juice, I had very little lees or sediment after primary. I’ll either bottle it all or go to 5 gallon carboys for the next round.
I keep everything topped up so whenever I bottle a portion of a batch I’ll rack the remainder to a smaller container.
Thank you! That’s a great idea. I’m currently in 6 gallon carboy and like the idea bottling when I need it and letting the rest age longer in a smaller carboy.
 
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