My 1st Go at Wine and RC 212

Discussion in 'Yeast, Additives & Wine Making Science' started by FunkedOut, Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. Apr 29, 2019 #1

    FunkedOut

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    Never made any wine before.
    I am planning my maiden voyage on a RJS Chilean Malbec with dried skins.
    I love me some Malbec. Looking for a dry, fruity wine with some astringency.
    Not sure why I chose to buy a pack of RC 212 but I did.

    Bellow is my plan for this kit. I would greatly appreciate some feedback from you guys.
    I'd hate to end up with 30 bottles of meh after dropping over $100 and the time.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Apr 29, 2019 #2

    FunkedOut

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    I generally keep my home between 69*F and 73*F when someone is home.
    I let it climb to 77*F - 78*F when it's empty which is usually for a few hours at a time.
    For the first few days of fermentation, I plan to keep the temps in the 69*F to 73*F window.

    I was planning on placing the bag of juice in the fridge until it drops below 60*F.
    Then pour it into the fermentor and wait until it rises to 60*F to inoculate the must with rehydrated and tempered RC 212.
    (I have GoFerm and Fermaid K from my beer adventures)
    I figure 6 gallons of 60*F must will take most of the night, if not the day to warm up to room temp.
    That should give the yeast a nice slow start, seeing how fast wine ferments.

    Sound like a good plan?
     
  3. Apr 29, 2019 #3

    cmason1957

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    You are over complicating your life. Clean and sanitize your fermentation bucket and pour everything into it. No need to chill and then let warm up. I might suggest that for your first wine adventure follow the directions almost to a T. Learn the differences between wine making and beer making. Then branch out.

    Main difference, due to lower pH and higher abv, most winemakers do open air fermentation, stirring daily. Then there is the patience factor. Practice it often.
     
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  4. Apr 30, 2019 #4

    FunkedOut

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    So, you're saying there will be no noticeable difference in the wine if pitched colder?

    I have found that for beer, managing the yeast makes the biggest difference in the final product.
    That not the case for wine?
     
  5. Apr 30, 2019 #5

    heatherd

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    Wine is less fussy in that regard. I'd suggest fermenting at your home's ambient temperature.
     
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  6. May 1, 2019 #6

    cmason1957

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    Most wine yeasts have a very wide temperature profile, 60-85 F. I generally like to ferment wires at the lower end and let my reds get warmer. I don't own and have never seen the need for a "brew belt" to warm things up. I do all my ferments down in my basement, which never gets much above 68 F.
     
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  7. May 2, 2019 #7

    mocha

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    I too am in the basement (see my thread in kit wine forums "help I'm being kicked out") I used to be in the office making wine at 72f now I'm in the basement which is around 58 to 68f. The fermentation in the primary takes longer, instead of 7 days now it's more like 9 to 12 days, but I'm told it holds the fruit flavors better. I bought a heating pad to increase the temp a little on really cold nights but it's working out well and I believe the cooler temps help the sediment drop out better. Dont chill anything just add the ingredients and follow the instructions, the hard part will be waiting, kits are great young but the reds like malbec should age at least a year before drinking and even better 2 to 4 yrs.
     
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  8. May 2, 2019 #8

    kevinlfifer

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    My go to red yeast is rc212. My Amarone from this fall is already getting raided. Be patient, I would allow it to go dry in the bucket on the skins.
     
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  9. May 3, 2019 #9

    FunkedOut

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    I’ve been reading about extended macerations as well.
    My primary ferentor will actually be an 8 gallon stainless kettle. The lid fit is not air tight and there are no provisions for an airlock.
    My plan was to rack to a 6 gallon glass carboy after the primary rage dies down and get an airlock on it.
    Wondering if I can stuff (and retrieve) the sack of skins into the secondary.
     
  10. May 4, 2019 #10

    kevinlfifer

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    Should be enough CO2 to protect it. I would not degas it but allow enough bulk aging time (6 months or so) for it to degas in the carboy. I finally got patient enough to do that, the results are a much better wine. I would not do that with the skins (SO2 issues). I have frozen the skins and used them in one of the cheapo kits, it helps.
     
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  11. May 4, 2019 #11

    FunkedOut

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    I'm still reading up on sulfites (when and how much to add) so I'm not smart enough yet to understand your concern with the skins.

    My plans were to use the kettle and rack to the carboy as the yeast rage dies down but before totally dry.
    If I can manage to get the skins in and out of the carboy, I'd rack from the carboy to another after a few weeks, not months.

    I was going to take a slightly patient approach to degassing, by using a vacu vin on the carboy with no agitation.
    I'm thinking my first addition of sulfites happens after the degassing is over.
    Then again in a many months just before bottling.
     
  12. May 7, 2019 #12

    kevinlfifer

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    Again, I would allow it to go to dry (.990 -.996) then rack to a carboy. Leave the skins out of the carboy. I just allowed 87 gal go to dry in 60 gal drums. I transferred to carboys @ .992 sg. I'll wait 3-4 days then add the Kmeta (1/2 tsp/carboy). There will be volcanoes. I add 1/8 tsp Kmeta every 3 months in carboy.
     
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  13. May 8, 2019 #13

    Bts

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    I've only done EM twice, so take this with a grain of salt, but skins in the carboy was a raging PITA. Need to have a way more headspace than you think because the skins trap bubbles and expand, and the bubbles push wine up through the skins and out the airlock. You can have several inches of headspace when you put it in the carboy and the next morning the skins have risen/expanded and you've got an airlock, a pile of skins, and a bottle or three of wine on the floor. By contrast, EM in a bucket was a piece of cake. Close it up when fermentation slows so the CO2 blankets it, maybe give it the occasional shake to dampen the skins, and 6 weeks later it tasted fine when I racked it off the skins and sulfited.
     
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  14. May 8, 2019 #14

    FunkedOut

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    I don’t have a bucket large enough for primary.
    My buckets are 6.5 gallons.
    I have an 8 gallon stainless kettle I was planning on using for primary.

    I guess I could rack to a bucket with an airlock for the EM.
    Then rack to a carboy after pulling out the skins.

    Do the skins eventually sink once CO2 production is over?
    Or do they float forever?
    I’m thinking of what would be less hassle. To bag the skins, or not to bag...
     
  15. May 8, 2019 #15

    Bts

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    They sink but it can take several weeks. In your place I'd (A) abandon EM, (B) buy the larger size fermentation bucket, or (C) use the bucket you have and split the batch if necessary to make most of it fit. You could start in the pot, then rack it just before it's finished fermenting. I kinda doubt it'll fit, but you can always rack some into a gallon in a jug, and top the bucket as high as you're comfortable, and keep half a gallon or a gallon in a separate airlocked jug/bottle, so you're like 90% EM. Or, slightly easier, mix the juice, put 1 gal in a jug, and the rest plus skins in the bucket so you don't have to rack till EM is done. Bagged skins is definitely easier.
     
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  16. May 8, 2019 #16

    cmason1957

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    What I have done, since I don't have a big mouth carboy type container either is do an extended cold soak of the skins prior to fermentation. I mix everything up in my 10 gallon food grade bucket, then into my basement refrigerator for a couple of weeks of cold soaking. It probably doesn't provide the same benefits as extended maceration, but I keep it cold enough (below 40F) that fermentation doesn't kick off. I have done this four times now and to great effect.
     
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  17. May 8, 2019 #17

    FunkedOut

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    I got an idea to make due with what I have on hand.
    I will start out in the kettle.
    Once the gravity hits 1.020, I'll give it one last stir and cover the kettle with some sanitized sheets of cling wrap, sagging down to the wine level, and the lid.
    That should allow any pressure build up to inflate the cling wrap balloon and eventually bleed out, but keep O2 from working its way back in.
    I'll then let the EM run its course undisturbed. Maybe 6 weeks total?
    Then rack to a carboy with a dose of K-meta in it.

    It's ideas like this one that make me wish I had one of those wireless gravity devices.
    I want to record the gravity daily so bad.
    I'll get over it.

    Thanks again to everyone for the ideas and pointers.
     
  18. May 9, 2019 #18

    HillPeople

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  19. May 9, 2019 #19

    kevinlfifer

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    You will still need to punch down your cap or submerse your bag to avoid mold
     
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  20. May 9, 2019 #20

    FunkedOut

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    Good point. I can place a stainless flat bar in the bag with the skins. It's heavy enough to sink dry hops, so I'd expect it to be enough for the skins.
     

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