WineXpert Luna Bianca arrives today - any tips?

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oppyland

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Based on previous posts, I decided to pick up a Luna Bianca kit. Just received a text from FedEx - it's on the truck for delivery today!

I've never made a white kit - any general tips or specific to this kit? Sounds like many of you seasoned vets split the fpac, so I'll give that a try.
 

cmason1957

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First wine kit, I always suggest you make it per the instructions. Luna Bianca makes a very nice wine with no tweaks. I might add a bit of grapefruit zest to the secondary, but that's about it. That just adds a note of brightness to it. It isn't a sweet wine made to instructions, it finishes off-dry, as I recall.
 

sour_grapes

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It depends on how sweet you like your finished wine. Luna Bianca finishes off-dry, as Craig points out. If you prefer a bit drier, you could add some of the f-pack to the primary. I used about 1/2 of the f-pack in primary and 1/2 as a sweetener, and I liked the result.
 

oppyland

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Thanks guys - just a bit of clarification: not my first kit, but it is my first white wine kit (not sure if the procedure is any different).

I personally prefer dry to off-dry, but my wife likes them a bit sweeter. Maybe worth saving the entire fpac for backsweetening.

I do like the grapefruit zest idea!
 

cmason1957

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If you do decide to add a bit of grapefruit zest as @joeswine often says less is more. I would use about the zest of a half of a small grapefruit to start, you can add more later, but taking it out is problematic. And no, the procedure for white wine kits is just durn near the same as for a red wine kit, no skins to deal with, but might have some oak chips (I forget, might not). Cooler ferments than what the instructions call for is something I do, but that's just me.
 

oppyland

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If you do decide to add a bit of grapefruit zest as @joeswine often says less is more. I would use about the zest of a half of a small grapefruit to start, you can add more later, but taking it out is problematic.
Yep, got that!
And no, the procedure for white wine kits is just durn near the same as for a red wine kit, no skins to deal with, but might have some oak chips (I forget, might not).
I saw some posts about getting a white wine must into a carboy and under airlock sooner than a red - not necessary? Yeah there are a couple packets of oak, no big deal.
Cooler ferments than what the instructions call for is something I do, but that's just me.
That's a necessity for me this time of year - around 60* in the basement - I understand the ferment will just take longer.

Thanks!
 

cmason1957

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I saw some posts about getting a white wine must into a carboy and under airlock sooner than a red - not necessary? Yeah there are a couple packets of oak, no big deal.

That's a necessity for me this time of year - around 60* in the basement - I understand the ferment will just take longer.
I will often do white wine, particularly kits, fermentations under airlock the entire time. To minimize the chances of oxidizing the wine. They should be under airlock sooner than reds, yes. I do like the cooler temps for whites, again helps to cut down on oxidation issues. At least that's my thinking.
 

oppyland

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Well, I started it in a pail this afternoon. I'm going to leave it covered with a cloth for a few days per the instructions. I do have a lid with airlock for it, so I could snap that on after that.
 

rustbucket

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I made this kit at about the same time as Paul, although I added the entire flavor pack as a sweetener. The result was off-dry. My preference is for dry reds so to my palate it tasted sweet. My wife and neighbors liked it a lot and we went through it quickly.

An advantage to sweeter white wines that I've found is that they are drinkable earlier. I only gave the batch of Luna Bianca six months to age in the bottle before I made it available to guests. There was nothing gained by aging it as 9 months later, the last bottle I had been holding on to, tasted the same as the first.
 

oppyland

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My wife and neighbors liked it a lot and we went through it quickly.
That's what I'm hoping for as well - my wife definitely likes her wine on the sweeter side. I'm going to make it per the directions, and we'll see how everyone likes it. Can always make changes on the next batch!
 

Khristyjeff

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That's what I'm hoping for as well - my wife definitely likes her wine on the sweeter side. I'm going to make it per the directions, and we'll see how everyone likes it. Can always make changes on the next batch!
You probably know this, but once it's ready to bottle, and if at that time your wife doesn't think it's quite sweet enough, you can stabilize and back sweeten. Or another option is to sweeten by the glass. That way you can enjoy the same wine at different sweetness levels. BTW, really intrigued by your profile picture 🤣
 

oppyland

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You probably know this, but once it's ready to bottle, and if at that time your wife doesn't think it's quite sweet enough, you can stabilize and back sweeten. Or another option is to sweeten by the glass....BTW, really intrigued by your profile picture 🤣
Unfortunately, she's more in the Kool-Aid camp, and I refuse to destroy a perfectly good wine by doing that. ;)

Yes, I love that photo! It was something I found randomly while wasting time on the internet. My wife keeps chickens, so I thought it was a perfect avatar.
 

oppyland

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Okay, today I decided to attempt to rack the fermenting must into a carboy - what a fiasco! The oak chips kept clogging up my racking cane, the tubing, and the discharge fitting. After clearing them about 30 times, I decided to just pour the must from the bucket into the carboy using a funnel. The combination of oak chips and whatever the granulated oak was included combined into a paste that wouldn't let anything through.

Finally got it transferred, and it seems to be fermenting away happily. The yeast definitely won't suffer from oxygen shortage!

I'm definitely not gonna try that again! 🤪
 

Khristyjeff

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I've had the same experience with oak in WinXpert kits clogging my syphon, so I'm going to put them in a small brew bag from now on.
 

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