Leaving town before primary fermentation over

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
6
Ive got a kit I started this past Sunday, with a SG reading of 1.100 when I pitched the yeast. It got off to a bit of a slow start but has since been steadily reducing in SG when I tested it today at 1.0. My question is, is there any harm in leaving it unattended until this coming Friday? I’ll have one more opportunity to push down the skins and test the SG tomorrow evening, but that’s it until the end of the week. If the SG is below 1 tomorrow should I just rack it out of the bucket and into the carboy or would leaving it in the bucket the added days actually be a good thing with more exposure to the skins? The instructions say two weeks but the hydrometer is showing it’s about done.

Thanks.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,993
Reaction score
7,543
Location
South Louisiana
Ive got a kit I started this past Sunday, with a SG reading of 1.100 when I pitched the yeast. It got off to a bit of a slow start but has since been steadily reducing in SG when I tested it today at 1.0. My question is, is there any harm in leaving it unattended until this coming Friday? I’ll have one more opportunity to push down the skins and test the SG tomorrow evening, but that’s it until the end of the week. If the SG is below 1 tomorrow should I just rack it out of the bucket and into the carboy or would leaving it in the bucket the added days actually be a good thing with more exposure to the skins? The instructions say two weeks but the hydrometer is showing it’s about done.

Thanks.

You could rack it now, but tomorrow will give you a little more time with the skins. Get it into a carboy with and airlock tomorrow, you’ll be worry free til your return.
 
Last edited:

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
1,273
Reaction score
2,100
Location
Sacramento Metro
Agree. My original vintage, 2016 came in the day before I left for Hawaii. This was extremely poor planning on my part. By the time I was back, 10 days later, it was ruined. I had to dump it all. Fortunately only 200 pounds. It was supposed to come in a week earlier, and if it had, all would have been fine. Now I don't plan vacations in October.

You are almost complete, so if you transfer into carboys now, it will be fine for awhile. I agree you should rack at the last possible minute. But under an airlock, it will be fine.
 

crushday

Grape juice artisan
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
2,251
Location
Pacific NW - S. Sound
I’ll add a dissenting voice. Extended maceration has taught us that he’ll be just fine leaving it until next Friday. I think the choice is yours. You can rack now (and, you might have already done it) or you can wait. Leaving it alone for another week on the skins under a locked lid with airlock isn’t going to do any harm and actually may enhance the final wine.
 

Lwrightjs

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
128
Reaction score
30
I just did an extended maceration on a kit with skins for 6 weeks and it was phenomenal.
With EM you have to be aware though at 10-14 days, it tastes awful because the different Tannins and phenols are extracted at different rates.
So you've got to do at least 4 or 5 weeks if you're already leaving it in at 10 days.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
6
Interesting. I checked the SG again this morning and it’s not quite there yet, but maybe by the end of the day. I tasted it for the first time and wow, much better than I expected at this point. Alcohol really comes through. After reading all these I’m inclined to just let it sit until I return Friday. Saturday will be the first time I’ll get a chance to look at it, which will be 1 day less than what the directions say. Also I should add that the bag the skins were in opened early during the start and about half the skins are free floating, so I’ll have to deal with that too.
 
Last edited:

Lwrightjs

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
128
Reaction score
30
It's probably less important on skin kits anyway.
If you have time, you should check out Tim Vandersomething's YouTube video on extended maceration. I know that's not exactly what you're asking here, but it might ease your mind and maybe provide a few ways to get the most from your kits.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
6
I did watch all three. Seems that the key is to leave everything alone for up to 8 weeks. Gotta say I’m willing to try this. Has your experience been the same as his?
 

Lwrightjs

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
128
Reaction score
30
Yeah, my results seem about the same.
I wasn't surprised that it was better, but I was surprised at how much better it was. The difference was most pronounced around 6 months or a year. It felt like I had wines that were aged 6 months beyond their time.
Now, I buy mid-level 10L wine kits and use a crushed grape pack with extended maceration to give away as gifts. It's not magic, but it's pretty cool that it can do.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
6
So this has me wondering about using some of my own cab grapes I’m growing in place of the skins that come with the kit. I have 4 vines that are about 5 years old now and for the first time they’re producing a lot of clusters; not enough to make a batch themselves but plenty to replace the skins pack. Wonder if anyone else has tried this?
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
6
Just returned and checked the SG. It’s .999 on the dot. With all the discussion of EM, I’m tempted to go ahead with it let things sit for another six weeks. Sampled it, lots of alcohol. My question is, should I rack it out of the bucket and into a big mouth bubbler, moving the skins with it and let it sit, or just leave it as is under airlock?

Thanks.
 

Lwrightjs

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
128
Reaction score
30
Just returned and checked the SG. It’s .999 on the dot. With all the discussion of EM, I’m tempted to go ahead with it let things sit for another six weeks. Sampled it, lots of alcohol. My question is, should I rack it out of the bucket and into a big mouth bubbler, moving the skins with it and let it sit, or just leave it as is under airlock?

Thanks.
Most people say to use the bubbler but I've done it in buckets with no issues. I dosed with kmeta at 3 weeks. Some have done 8 weeks in the buckets and been fine.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
6
Thanks again. I racked it into the bubbler and reserved the bag of skins and those I could skim off the top that were free floating into the bubbler as well. Now that that’s done I’m wondering if I should do something to add some volume into the bubbler as there’s a little more surface area than I thought there would be. I really don’t want to add wine from a bottle to fill it up more, I did see some clear marbles sold on a wine making website just for that purpose, or is this even an issue?

Thanks again all.
 

Lwrightjs

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
128
Reaction score
30
Thanks again. I racked it into the bubbler and reserved the bag of skins and those I could skim off the top that were free floating into the bubbler as well. Now that that’s done I’m wondering if I should do something to add some volume into the bubbler as there’s a little more surface area than I thought there would be. I really don’t want to add wine from a bottle to fill it up more, I did see some clear marbles sold on a wine making website just for that purpose, or is this even an issue?

Thanks again all.
I don't think it's an issue, honestly. Just don't open it after 2 weeks. To maintain that co2 blanket. I've got one going in the bubbler right now. 7 weeks in and it's fine.
 
Top