Making the most of expensive kits

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Lwrightjs, May 9, 2019.

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  1. May 13, 2019 #21

    jgmann67

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    The usual tweaks for me: Yeast swap, adding oak, tannin on the front and/or back end, and an EM. As with any dry wine, skip the sorbate. I like to skip the clarifiers and let it age in bulk for 6-12 months.
     
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  2. May 13, 2019 #22

    Lwrightjs

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    I've seen a lot of people skipping clarifiers. Do you notice a tangible difference in taste or is there another reason for it?
     
  3. May 13, 2019 #23

    pillswoj

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    There is a thought that the clarifiers strip some of the body / color from the wine. I don't know if it is noticeable but if bulk aging for 12 month they are not needed.
     
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  4. May 13, 2019 #24

    jsbeckton

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    Same with degassing. No need if bulk aging 12 months. Again, the kit instructions are written for early consumption so it you add the “time” ingredient many of the steps are unnecessary.
     
  5. May 13, 2019 #25

    robert81650

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    Tell me why you could not use the EC1112 along with a good one like RC 212 together in the expensive kits. That way you would be assured of complete fermentation and the good effects of the other yeast.
     
  6. May 13, 2019 #26

    jsbeckton

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    Some kits actually come with multiple types of yeasts with instructions to add both so while I can’t confirm there may be something to that. However I’ve only seen it in one kit and I can’t remember which one so it’s not typical.
     
  7. May 13, 2019 #27

    sour_grapes

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    Sometimes you can and sometimes you cannot. You picked a perfect example of an incompatible pair. Some yeasts exude a "killer factor" that knocks off other yeasts. Some yeasts are sensitive to this, and some are not. (And some yeasts neither exude this factor, nor are they susceptible to it.) EC-1118 is a killer yeast, and RC-212 is sensitive to it. https://www.lallemandwine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Quick-Yeast-References-Chart_2018_LR.pdf

    Now, you could, I suppose, start with RC-212, and then later introduce the EC-1118.

    By the way, BM4x4 is a proprietary blend of yeasts of the sort you were thinking of.
     
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  8. May 13, 2019 #28

    Johnd

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    Healthy discussions for sure, the only two things to consider adding in, would be pressed skins from a previous batch (if you have access to any) and barrel aging, which I believe to be a vital component if you really want to try to give a wine every single opportunity to be the "best it can be".
     
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  9. May 13, 2019 #29

    Lwrightjs

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    On some of my other kits, I've started with a more suitable yeast and when it looked like fermentation might have stopped at the wrong SG, I added 1118.


    Johnd,
    Is there anything I can add in place of pressed skins? This is my first premium kit so it will be my first set of skins.
     
  10. May 13, 2019 #30

    Johnd

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    Some of the things you are doing already have you trekking down that path, adding tannins or oak in primary will replace some of the tannins that are extracted during AF.

    As far as anything to add in place of grape skins, you'll get some with the kit, guess you could always buy more of the skin packs, but nothing really takes the place of fermenting with the real skins / pulp / seeds of real grapes, guess if anything did, there'd be no need to use whole grapes. You've got a premium kit, it'll make pretty darn good wine, and with the few adjustments you have from here, it'll be better. You should be pretty satisfied with the results.

    I'm assuming you're early in the winemaking addiction since this is your first premium kit, and it's good that you wan to make great wine, we all do. When you're ready, go to wine from grapes, you can make better wine if you can get good grapes and don't make any major mistakes. It's also a lot easier to jack up a batch and have nothing to show for it, so learn the process and read a lot.

    From great grapes you can make great wine, mediocre wine, or terrible wine. From mediocre grapes you can make mediocre wine or terrible wine. Don't buy terrible grapes.

    Kits are cool, they take all of the grape finding / sugar and acid adjusting challenges out of the equation, and you can make nice stuff that'll amaze and astound your family and friends (unless they're wine snobs) with relative ease, and it's repeatable, have fun!
     
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  11. May 14, 2019 at 4:32 AM #31

    Lwrightjs

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    Yeah I got started from a kit I got for Christmas and I love it.

    Honestly, I want to move into frozen must or purchasing whole grapes within the next couple years but I'm afraid that the learning curve is too high for the cost, especially right now. Will kits and tweaking them help me go to that next level?

    I like kits because the cheap ones have been predictable and pretty damn good so far. But I already know there's so much more.
     
  12. May 14, 2019 at 12:07 PM #32

    Johnd

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    Sure, the premiums are better kits over time, and doing kits will move both your knowledge and confidence up the curve. You could do frozen buckets pretty easily with little to no additional expense, other than the raw materials.

    Frozen must is already crushed and destemmed, and bought from the right supplier, you can get the pH, TA, and YAN from them, selecting a good must with balance and making no adjustments. Press using the “butt bucket method” and you’re in pretty good shape. My first foray was similar. Once you’re firmly addicted, you can get all the toys.
     
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  13. May 14, 2019 at 11:13 PM #33

    Lwrightjs

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    I have two questions.. Butt bucket? Like the the one my neighbors used to use to make moonshine in (toilet)?

    How addicted is firmly addicted? I've got 4 carboys. Is 10 the magic number?
     
  14. May 15, 2019 at 12:07 AM #34

    Brian55

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    At least 12, so you can bulk age at least a year, and bottle one per month.
     
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  15. May 15, 2019 at 12:23 AM #35

    Johnd

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    Butt bucket press = one bucket with spigot + another with holes drilled in the bottom and sides nested inside + another plain bucket nested inside the second. Grape skins for pressing go into the holy bucket, plain bucket on top of the skins, sit your butt on the top bucket. Wine forced through the holes into the bottom bucket, out the spigot and into your catching container.

    When you’re firmly addicted, you’ll know.
     
  16. May 15, 2019 at 12:50 AM #36

    Lwrightjs

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    That means I have to buy one a month until the end of the year... Challenge accepted.
     
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  17. May 15, 2019 at 2:04 AM #37

    cmason1957

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    12 just means you need 14 more so you can bottle every other week.
     
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  18. May 15, 2019 at 3:33 PM #38

    jgmann67

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    My Butt Press

    IMG_5205.JPG IMG_5206.JPG IMG_5210.JPG
    IMG_5213.JPG
     
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  19. May 15, 2019 at 11:01 PM #39

    Johnd

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  20. May 16, 2019 at 11:50 AM #40

    jgmann67

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    I figured I needed at least one pic to illustrate why it’s called a butt press.
     

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