RJ Spagnols Muller Thurgau - Elderflower Packs

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jmc1590

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Quick question:

I currently have a Muller-Thurgau fermenting away happily. This kit uses the ElderFlower "bags", that were added to the primary. Should they be stirred back into the must during fermentation? In researching the question, most say not to stir kits during fermentation, but that fruit must should be to keep the cap moist. Since they are floating on top of the must, should they be knocked down every so often?

Thanks!

James
 
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cpfan

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Hmmm...haven't seen elderflower bags like that before. But I don't recall how RJS packages their elderflowers (been more than a couple of years). But, they have some oak tea bags, so maybe elder flowers too.

Regardless, I don't stir kits unless something is floating. In which case, I stir (or whatever) to turn the item under. Perhaps even squeeze lightly against the side of the primary. If I think ahead, I'll leave a sanitized stirring spoon in my primary.

Steve
 

Runningwolf

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I am doing a Piesporter that came with elder flowers. The flowers are free floating and not in a bag (gonna be a blast racking..NOT!) and the instructions said to stir the first two days and that was it. I checked it today for racking (not ready yet) but its going to be tough keeping those flowers out of the carboy. I should have used a nylon bag. I am thinking about popping one in the mouth of the carboy when I rack in a few days to catch any when I rack over. What do you think? :a1
 

cpfan

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I am doing a Piesporter that came with elder flowers. The flowers are free floating and not in a bag (gonna be a blast racking..NOT!) and the instructions said to stir the first two days and that was it. I checked it today for racking (not ready yet) but its going to be tough keeping those flowers out of the carboy. I should have used a nylon bag. I am thinking about popping one in the mouth of the carboy when I rack in a few days to catch any when I rack over. What do you think? :a1
Rather than over the mouth of the receiving carboy, how about around the bottom of the racking cane.

Steve
 

jmc1590

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Rather than over the mouth of the receiving carboy, how about around the bottom of the racking cane.

Steve
That's a heck of an idea. I'll have to remember that one for later use.

I think it was a good idea to ask the members at large for their opinions on this. Tonight I opened the primary to give it a quick stir, and found all of the Elderflower bags fully inflated, with a considerable amount of yeast growth on the exterior of the bags. I tried to submerge them to release the CO2, but that appears not to have worked.

It makes sense to me that the yeast needs to be in contact with the must to do its job. Should I ignore it, or take a more drastic measure and find a way to deflate the oversized tea bags? (For what it's worth, the airlock is happily burping along as it sits now, so fermentation is occuring.)

James
 

Runningwolf

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Steve thats a great idea. Unless I hear something better then your idea, thats what I'll do. :fsh
 

cpfan

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found all of the Elderflower bags fully inflated,
James:

I haven't made this kit, but 'ALL' of the elderflower bags? How many??

You could sanitize a pin, and try poking a couple of tiny holes. Maybe then they would sink.

With the oak tea bags, I just stirred them under once a day, and maybe squeezed against the side. Then when it was time to move the wine to carboy, they were easy to take out since they were floating. I put them in a sanitized colander (actually a chinois) and press them with the spoon to drain.

Steve
 

jmc1590

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The kit contains 16g of Elderflowers, packaged in 4g ovesized teabags. They had inflated enough to cause a visable distortion to the top of the primary lid. (Don't know if that's normal. CO2 should have been able to get out of the airlock, unless one of the bags managed to cover the airlock "vent.")

I went ahead and pierced the bags with a sterilized kitchen knife. After deflating them, I gave it a quick stir. The must appeared normal, with what can best be described as a fizzy-ness to it.

At this point I lean to believe that it'll turn out ok. Worst case senario: I need to follow my hydrometer to determine when to transfer to the secondary, instead of the timeline provided in the kit. (Which I should be doing anyway!) If the kit turns out to be as expected, and I try another M-T, I'll need to consider a means of keeping the flowers submerged or dispersed.

Thanks!

James
 

cpfan

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or leave them out totally. That would be my choice.

4 bags of elderflowers. WOW. Thanks for the response.

Steve
 

jmc1590

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An update on progress:

Day 14 Unsealed the primary for the first time in 10 days. Was a little woried that something may be a bit off, in that I hadn't seen any activity from the airlock in about 7 days. SG reads .997, so I'm moving on to the next step, racking, stabalizing and clearing. (This just goes to show that airlock activity is not a good way to monitor progress!)

Racking was amusing in that I haven't used a siphon in years. Sulphite added and stirred. Sorbate packs added and stirred. Suse reserve added and stirred. (These steps lead me to believe that kit wine makers develop substancial forearms.) For degassing I used the mix-stir that I recently purchased. Two anoying things, I had to fight to get it into my carboy and it appears that the rod is slightly warped. From previous post readings, I kept the drill speed to low and reversed it every minute or so. (No whirlpools.)

Followed up with the clearing packs and stirred again. Found it odd that the instructions state to degas again for 5 minutes after adding them, so I did with my mix spoon this time. Seems to have released more CO2 this time than with the mix-stir.

Topped off with about a quart of water. (No similar wine available.) Attached the airlock and moved it into my work room where it stays about 68.

Tastes ok. Sharp and slightly acidic, but slightly floral.

We'll see how this progresses in about a month.

James
 

Lisa608

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How did it turn out? RJS Muller-Thurgau was my second wine kit and first white wine. Half of the bottles turned out great and are mild and refreshing while the other half are musty and sour tasting. What could have gone wrong?
 

JenWineGal

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Hi Lisa608! I just made this RJS Muller-Thurgau kit in June and I must admit, it's my favorite kit to date! It's my first RJS kit as I have only done WE (I've made about 30 or so kits since 2009). I read recently somewhere that this kit won a gold medal in a blind taste test. We only have 7 bottles left and it's had rave reviews! Curious about some possible variables that may have had impact on only half of your bottles...did they come in contact with any environmental changes post bottling? ie. direct sunlight or temperature fluxes (chiefly heat) Have you kept half of the bottles for far longer than the other half before consuming? (Whites are usually best in a shorter time period <2years) Did you bottle all of the wine at the same time or have a larger surface area exposed in your carboy before bottling the second half thereby having possible oxygen foil the wine? I'm curious about your situation as I've never experienced this before...:ib:
 
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