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Lengthy primary fermentation OK?

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Sourgrape

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I will be starting a Grand Cru International Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 5 week kit with skins on the weekend. I have these snazzy new Fermonsters, both 7 and 6 gallon.

I aim to use the 7 gallon as my primary instead of a pail. My plan is to leave it loosely covered with daily stirring until the risk of bubbling over is past, and then seal it up with bung and airlock. That way I can leave it in the primary - and more importantly, on the skins - for longer, instead of transferring as soon as my gravity dips below 1.0000. I'm thinking two weeks in the primary, just to spend more time on the skins. Does this sound like a good idea? Could I go even longer?
 
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NorCal

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As long as bacteria doesn't start making a home. If you can keep the temps really low, you stand a better chance. Risk of H2S, spoiled wine vs reward isn't there for me.
 

StBlGT

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I just made a grand cru international syrah...here's what i did to ferment in primary for 2 weeks.

1. Switch ec-1118 yeast for rc-212 (this will slow fermentation some)

2. Kept temps right at 70-72 (with brew belt in basement)

3. Stirred daily and kept lid snapped on with airlock......never came close to foaming over (i use a 7.9gal bucket)

Doing this, i had an exact 14 day ferment in primary (1.008) and then racked to secondary until day 22, where it reached .994 (stayed at that SG for a good 3 days).
 
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NorCal

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A slow, cold, 2 week ferment is a good plan. Leaving a completed ferment on the gross lees for a week post ferment is not.

Alcohol is a solvent. As such, you will be extracting the bitter tannins from the seeds when the ABV is high. It would be a better plan to cold soak the must before inoculating, monitor the must and press when completed.
im not familiar with the skins they provide in kits; not sure if there is enough there to make an impact on the wine, but I know it would be a good path to take with wine made from fresh grapes.
 

NorCal

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Here is a good post to Read

"A Blush Zinfandel about 4 weeks in (2 weeks past end of fermentation) developed a distinctly familiar sulfur / rotten egg smell.".

Note, that is the smell of H2S. It is curable, but it is a pain and I think it negatively changes the flavor of the wine.
 

Sourgrape

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I just made a grand cru international syrah...here's what i did to ferment in primary for 2 weeks.

1. Switch ec-1118 yeast for rc-212 (this will slow fermentation some)

2. Kept temps right at 70-72 (with brew belt in basement)

3. Stirred daily and kept lid snapped on with airlock......never came close to foaming over (i use a 7.9gal bucket)

Doing this, i had an exact 14 day ferment in primary (1.008) and then racked to secondary until day 22, where it reached .994 (stayed at that SG for a good 3 days).
Is RC112 really a slower fermenter? I've been trying to find out, and I don't see that cited anywhere as a characteristic of RC112 vs., say EC1118.
 

StBlGT

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I use rc-212 quite often for when i make reds. To answer your question (from my experience and opinion), absolutely it is slower. I usually ferment aroud this time of year and in my basement. It is 56 degrees in my basement , but i get the fermentation up to 70-72 with a brew belt/fermentation heat. When ec-1118 is used, it will be down to 1.010 or less within 4 days.....it ferments crazy fast. However, rc-212, like i stated, takes easily 2 or 3 times longer. Again, from my experience. Maybe others can chime in.....
 

Scooter68

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Temp does have a dramatic affect. My first blueberry and blackberry wines were scary fast fermenting with Montrachet. Down to .990 is less than 4 days from yeast pitching. Temps were in the high 70s in our basement then. Now with temps in the mid 50s, I won't even try anything. If I can't get it up to above 65, I don't see it worth the risk or time.
 

Sourgrape

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I use rc-212 quite often for when i make reds. To answer your question (from my experience and opinion), absolutely it is slower. I usually ferment aroud this time of year and in my basement. It is 56 degrees in my basement , but i get the fermentation up to 70-72 with a brew belt/fermentation heat. When ec-1118 is used, it will be down to 1.010 or less within 4 days.....it ferments crazy fast. However, rc-212, like i stated, takes easily 2 or 3 times longer. Again, from my experience. Maybe others can chime in.....
That being the case, I think I will purchase a couple packs of RC212 this weekend and give it a try. I'll be doing the 5 week Grand Cru International Cab this weekend, and in a couple weeks I'll be starting a Cellarcraft Showcase Aussie Shiraz 6-week. I might go with the RC212 for that one as well.

If I can leave it in the primary for two weeks instead of one, it will be on the skins twice as long. As long as fermentation is still active, that shouldn't be a problem. The cold room in my basement is about 58 F right now. Even with a heat belt, I don't think I'll see much higher than 70 F.
 

StBlGT

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rc-212 is recommended with reds anyways. That is all i use now. As long as it is fermenting at 2 weeks, then yes, nothing to worry about. It sounds like your situation is similar to mine. So a 2 week fermentation should be attainable.
 

Sourgrape

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Does RC212 need nutrient additions?

rc-212 is recommended with reds anyways. That is all i use now. As long as it is fermenting at 2 weeks, then yes, nothing to worry about. It sounds like your situation is similar to mine. So a 2 week fermentation should be attainable.
I've read that RC212 has "high nutrient" requirements. Does that mean I need to add yeast nutrients?
 

StBlGT

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If doing a kit (like you are), the yeast nutrients are already added by the kit manufacturer. So, no, just pitch the yeast and stir once a day and you should be good.
 
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Sourgrape

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If doing a kit (like you are), the yeast nutrients are already added by the kit manufacturer. So, no, just pitch the yeast and stir once a day and you should be good.
Good to know. Thanks.
 

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