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WineXpert Millennium Sparkling Wine questions

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Racer

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This is my first time making this kit (or sparkling for that matter) and have a question or two for folks who have made it before.
1. Did you just follow the instructions all the way and leave the sediment in the bottle after the secondary fermentation in the bottle?
2. If you did disgorge how did you go about freezing the bottle neck?
3. Did you back sweeten too when you topped up the bottles?
 

Wade E

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I made this kit quite some time ago and still have a few bottles in my cellar. I did the disgorgement and it was my first time making a sparkling wine which took quite some time all in all but was a good experience and fun. I did follow the instructions with the exception of the degorging. When doing the degorging, here is how I did mine. I put about 4-5 bottles in the freezer for around 35-45 minutes "this will vary depending on how cold your freezer is and how much stuff is actually in yourt freezer and what kind of freezer you have". If using a deep freezer you may be able to do more at once ut exceeding that in a normal fridge freezer will slow down the process and make the whole bottle freeze instead of just the neck first. When the neck is frozen like a almost solid slush plug then you extract the bottles 1 at a time and carefully pop the top open and keepm your thumb at the top of the bottle to cover after extracting the frozen plug and have sanitized tops ready. I did not sweeten this but if you look here there is a thread for doing just so.
http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2842&highlight=sparkling+wine+instructions
 

Racer

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Thanks Wade for both the reply and the link!
 

NSwiner

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So Racer how is this going did you start the kit and how far along are you now ? i just found this kit in the city yesterday and I'm considering buying it since they have a deal on right now that if you buy the kit they give you the bottles free :h When I printed the directions off last night it said it would keep & improve over 2-3 years .The ages our boys are we might have some celebrations coming up the next couple of years so thought it might be fun to do one up .
 

Wade E

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I didnt find this kit super great! I would much rather get a Chardonnay kit or some other kit and use that to make a sparkling wine. IMO, this kit has a very sour taste to it which was there right from the beginning and stayed that way. Its not bad its just not great.
 

djrockinsteve

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Wade, on your link regarding making champagne, after you mix the yeast and energizer to the wine, do you introduce the mix to the bottles right away or wait to see a refermentation going?

Plus do you still use 1 packet of yeast per 5 gallons or would you use a full packet to say 2 or 3 gallons for a higher inital yeast to wine ratio?

Curious as I have 5 gallons each of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. I was planning on making 2 gallons of each and 1 gallon of each blended for 6 gallons, 3 different kinds. They both started at 1.092 s.g. and are at 1.000 and .996 now. They have been bulk aging @55 degrees since early October.
 

Racer

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So Racer how is this going did you start the kit and how far along are you now ? i just found this kit in the city yesterday and I'm considering buying it since they have a deal on right now that if you buy the kit they give you the bottles free :h When I printed the directions off last night it said it would keep & improve over 2-3 years .The ages our boys are we might have some celebrations coming up the next couple of years so thought it might be fun to do one up .
Sorry I missed this post. I was at the IGGVA conference when you asked this. To be honest with you the kit stuck on me at 1.010 and hasn't moved for me for over 3 weeks now. I tried moving it upstairs and placing it by my chimmey to help warm it up. That hasn't helped. I tried making a starter with EC 1118(same yeast WE provided with the kit) and apple juice and added wine to it over a 24 hour period. Both attempts have failed. Its clearing nicely by itself now.

Don't let my problem with this kit stop you from trying to make a sparkling wine kit though. This is my first kit in 8 years of wine making that hasn't performed as advertised. I'm sure my houses cold and drafty conditions caused the problem. If it doesn't complete its primary fermentation down to 1.000 in another month I'll just bottle it when clear and enjoy a slightly sweet chardonnay.
 

NSwiner

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Well when I got back to the city today I bought the kit , will start it off tomorrow . Got the bottles free so now I have them .
 

Edward Sacco

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I made this kit a little over a year ago . No problems. I didn't de gas it though. just keep a bottle in the basement fridge standing upright. Everyone loves it so far. I just pour carefully and the sediment is in the last 1/2 inch of the bottle no problem. Good luck.
God bless Ed
 

Wade E

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Those bottles are expensive so good for you, I saved them up from New Years to make a batch. I should really make anothyer as I have enough bottles to do so again.
 

NSwiner

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I think the only question I have right now is about when you check the wine to see if it's carbonated enough can you take a sample out then recap it and let it keep going in that bottle if it's not done .
 

rawlus

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that won't really work very well - it would be like opening a beer and then recapping it. the head pressure in the sealed bottle has alot to do with keeping the CO2 in suspension at the right volume, once that head pressure is eliminated, there may not be enough head pressure developed after recapping to keep the wine from going flat as CO2 equalizes.

for sampling, the best option is bottling several 187ml champagne mini-bottles. these are just about a glassful and make for a great way to sample without popping open a full-size bottle.
 

Wade E

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I agree, you are jus going to have to make a small bottle or chill it good an dbust 1 open and drink it.
 

NSwiner

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Since I have no idea where to get those small bottles guess i'll have to open a big one . Too bad beer bottles weren't strong enough to do a couple up to sample have lots of those around .
 

rawlus

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fwiw - every online retailer i have seen sells the mini-champagne bottles and every LHBS i have been to can get them.
 
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