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Bob Vardell

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Hello all! Really learning here so I thought I would jump in and ask something finally. We have made nearly all LE kits and some eclipse kits. Have to say the Barbaresco and the Black Cab have been truly amazing at 6-12 months, can't keep the stuff "in stock". Well we are going all out and as you all say here, time is best for wine. We have had great success but want to let what we have age for over 12 months...seems to be an issue for an Ex Jack and Coke guy for 30+ years, wine, as I said, is new to me.

LOVED the bourbon Barrel eclipse, had NO IDEA until it was "ready", fell in love and cannot get more sadly. Would have bought 10 if I knew.

So I have decided to go adventuring. I bought a World Vineyard California Zinfandel and some Sliced Bourbon Barrel Staves. My plan is to ferment it, clear it, and put the staves in, prolly 4 of them. Long term I will soak them in Makers to keep them fresh and tasty if this works out.

So, for my question, how long do I leave them in? We have moved to a 6 carboy system where we are bulk aging all our wines and got the filtering machine with 3 grades of pads to get rid of that little residue in the previous wines (I think they are the diamonds people talk about), and we want all our LE's to age for 12+ before we dive in so I need to look at a 'cheaper" kit to keep my fix:)

Open to thoughts and welcome it:)
Bob
 

jgmann67

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Hello all! Really learning here so I thought I would jump in and ask something finally. We have made nearly all LE kits and some eclipse kits. Have to say the Barbaresco and the Black Cab have been truly amazing at 6-12 months, can't keep the stuff "in stock". Well we are going all out and as you all say here, time is best for wine. We have had great success but want to let what we have age for over 12 months...seems to be an issue for an Ex Jack and Coke guy for 30+ years, wine, as I said, is new to me.

LOVED the bourbon Barrel eclipse, had NO IDEA until it was "ready", fell in love and cannot get more sadly. Would have bought 10 if I knew.

So I have decided to go adventuring. I bought a World Vineyard California Zinfandel and some Sliced Bourbon Barrel Staves. My plan is to ferment it, clear it, and put the staves in, prolly 4 of them. Long term I will soak them in Makers to keep them fresh and tasty if this works out.

So, for my question, how long do I leave them in? We have moved to a 6 carboy system where we are bulk aging all our wines and got the filtering machine with 3 grades of pads to get rid of that little residue in the previous wines (I think they are the diamonds people talk about), and we want all our LE's to age for 12+ before we dive in so I need to look at a 'cheaper" kit to keep my fix[emoji4]

Open to thoughts and welcome it[emoji4]
Bob
Hi Bob.

I’m going to assume you mean ‘how long do you leave them in the carboy’?

After a few months, the oak has given it all up to the wine. Really, it’s more like two months, but I pull my oak cubes out when I rack my wines (at three month intervals).

Wine diamonds, or tartaric acid precipitates out of the wine naturally. I find the most precip after the coldest part of the year... so a good racking in March/April will take care of most of the wine diamond issue.

I’m also one of those people that believes in time as the best tool in the toolbox. For clearing the wine, or degassing, time (and temp) does a great job. So much so, I don’t find the need to filter my wine.

After the second or third racking, you’ll find very little, if any, junk at the bottom of your carboys. From then on, just dose until you’re ready to bottle. When that time comes, rack to a clean carboy and bottle away.

If you have six carboys today, check back in another year or two... six will quickly become 12 (or more). Anymore, I do a quick look on Craigslist and pick a couple more up if I can get them at a good price. Because, well... I can always use another carboy. [emoji51]
 
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Rice_Guy

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Welcome to WMT. The wisconsin vinters are meeting 7 pm tonight at Clifford’s in Greenfield, You are invited. Those who come into Milwaukee have dinner there at 5:30 or when we get in town.

Wis Vinters is the oldest wine making club in the country, I like that there are folks with 30 years of tasting and making experience. I learn techniques. As with other groups in the country there are cooperative grape buys/crushes/juice buckets. April is a wine and food pairing.
 
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Scooter68

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One suggestion as you purchase carboys. Volume may vary. Yes a 5 gallon carboy could vary as much as 12 oz easily. Not a deal breaker but something to be aware of. Perhaps measure and a marking of their volumes so you start with the largest volume one and rack to one smaller. That way the Lees / sediment lost won't force you to top off or at least less topping off.
This isn't a big deal but sometimes it can be a bit frustrating when you have virtually no Lee's, you rack, and find you have to top off a considerable amount even though you really lost nothing but a couple of ounces.
 

Bob Vardell

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Wonderful info here, thank you all for being so nice! We are learning as we go, I still only know what I "like", could not for the life of me identify all the things and nuances that the wine kits say a wine has, makes me laugh:) We have more carboys and will look into more I assume as time goes on. So many kits to make:)

Curious, if a wine drops nicely, goes below the .996 for a day or two, then goes back up to 1.003/4/5 and just hangs out there for a few days, is my wine in trouble? Paranoid about a stuck fermentation, been 2 weeks and 1 day now for this batch (Forza), we stir each day, racked off to a clean fermenter to try and kick start it, just sits there. Do we keep waiting? We have 3 other batches going, same area, same temp, rocketed down and are steady at .992, .992, and .995, two of which are only 1 week old! (LE19 Yolo, Pac Red, and a Tempranillo). We did just order some yeast enhancer stuff in case I need to kick start this Forza.

As for the Greenfield group we would LOVE to come down sometime, thanks! We travel a lot, well the virus has made some trips cancel, but I would love a "class" where folks can teach the wife and I want these things are in the wines we make and drink. Saw this type of thing on Last Man Standing where there were wines and spices etc laid out, looked neat. We are almost exclusively an LE making family, just love the hobby now, trying some less expensive kits and even going to make that real cheap one and enhance it with Tannins, oak, and some bourbon barrel staves.

Dropped the staves into a LE19 Pac Red two days ago, will let them sit for 4 weeks then give it a try!

At the end of the day I tell my wife I spent 10 min on google, I am a wine expert now, just ask me anything:)
 

Bob Vardell

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Woops, sorry, we have 4 Tilts now, one in each kit, so we have a full history of the entire Ferm process, loving that.

Also causes anxiety when a wine drops to something then we see it go back up:)
 

cmason1957

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Woops, sorry, we have 4 Tilts now, one in each kit, so we have a full history of the entire Ferm process, loving that.

Also causes anxiety when a wine drops to something then we see it go back up:)
More than likely your wine is giving off some CO2 gas pushing the reading of the hydrometer to be slightly higher than it really is. Do those things need to be calibrated occasionally, is it possible it needs something like that. I am a Luddite and just use the old style read it kind. It works for me in all cases.
 

Bob Vardell

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Hi Bob.

I’m going to assume you mean ‘how long do you leave them in the carboy’?

After a few months, the oak has given it all up to the wine. Really, it’s more like two months, but I pull my oak cubes out when I rack my wines (at three month intervals).

Wine diamonds, or tartaric acid precipitates out of the wine naturally. I find the most precip after the coldest part of the year... so a good racking in March/April will take care of most of the wine diamond issue.

I’m also one of those people that believes in time as the best tool in the toolbox. For clearing the wine, or degassing, time (and temp) does a great job. So much so, I don’t find the need to filter my wine.

After the second or third racking, you’ll find very little, if any, junk at the bottom of your carboys. From then on, just dose until you’re ready to bottle. When that time comes, rack to a clean carboy and bottle away.

If you have six carboys today, check back in another year or two... six will quickly become 12 (or more). Anymore, I do a quick look on Craigslist and pick a couple more up if I can get them at a good price. Because, well... I can always use another carboy. [emoji51]
Hi Bob.

I’m going to assume you mean ‘how long do you leave them in the carboy’?

After a few months, the oak has given it all up to the wine. Really, it’s more like two months, but I pull my oak cubes out when I rack my wines (at three month intervals).

Wine diamonds, or tartaric acid precipitates out of the wine naturally. I find the most precip after the coldest part of the year... so a good racking in March/April will take care of most of the wine diamond issue.

I’m also one of those people that believes in time as the best tool in the toolbox. For clearing the wine, or degassing, time (and temp) does a great job. So much so, I don’t find the need to filter my wine.

After the second or third racking, you’ll find very little, if any, junk at the bottom of your carboys. From then on, just dose until you’re ready to bottle. When that time comes, rack to a clean carboy and bottle away.

If you have six carboys today, check back in another year or two... six will quickly become 12 (or more). Anymore, I do a quick look on Craigslist and pick a couple more up if I can get them at a good price. Because, well... I can always use another carboy. [emoji51]
Hello and thank you!
By DOSE you mean kMeta every three months? My wife adds the 1/4 tsp as we have always done, if your answer is yes, am I to understand that it "goes away" kind of every 3 months if bulk aging and we need to add more? We do not want to spring for some expensive test equipment, trying to maintain this a s hobby and not become a scientist:) We only do kits because they are fun...then if you ask my wife she may disagree as we now have 10 kits I ordered, surprising her, then I leave town for weeks at a time for work:)

Lastly, these staves are quite neat, my goal was to soak them in Makers after use until the next use and keep them in a sealed Tupperware, is that the correct thinking for our process goal?
 

Bob Vardell

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More than likely your wine is giving off some CO2 gas pushing the reading of the hydrometer to be slightly higher than it really is. Do those things need to be calibrated occasionally, is it possible it needs something like that. I am a Luddite and just use the old style read it kind. It works for me in all cases.
They do, we use water and they are all rather close (.001-.004) and we just hit calibrate and it puts the offset it. Then, using an iPad we had, there is just a screen with all 4 different colors we got on them, it pushed to the cloud, and we get an amazing online view/record. Kind of LOVE IT as I am a big time computer nerd:)

Attached a sample of the wine in question, this thing is pricey but neat, we are kind of addicted to watching the dang things...and by WE I mean ME, the wife tells me to just relax:)
 

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Bob Vardell

BobbyV
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They do, we use water and they are all rather close (.001-.004) and we just hit calibrate and it puts the offset it. Then, using an iPad we had, there is just a screen with all 4 different colors we got on them, it pushed to the cloud, and we get an amazing online view/record. Kind of LOVE IT as I am a big time computer nerd:)

Attached a sample of the wine in question, this thing is pricey but neat, we are kind of addicted to watching the dang things...and by WE I mean ME, the wife tells me to just relax:)
Sorry low med levels today, when I open to stir it, it is like the dead see from what I can tell, nothing moving, extremely void looking calm surface, almost tranquil:)
 

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I am with Craig (@cmason1957 ). I am not aware of anything that could actually increase the density of your wine. Therefore, I would suspect that your Tilt is not reading the density correctly. I am not aware of the physical principle they use to infer SG, so I am loath to speculate the reason. However, I would check the SG using an old-fashioned hydrometer if it were my wine.

Yes, you should add more k-meta periodically. (It "goes away" as it does its job of scavenging oxygen.) A dose of 1/4 tsp/6 gallons every three months is indeed the rule of thumb.
 

cmason1957

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I am with Craig (@cmason1957 ). I am not aware of anything that could actually increase the density of your wine. Therefore, I would suspect that your Tilt is not reading the density correctly. I am not aware of the physical principle they use to infer SG, so I am loath to speculate the reason. However, I would check the SG using an old-fashioned hydrometer if it were my wine.

Yes, you should add more k-meta periodically. (It "goes away" as it does its job of scavenging oxygen.) A dose of 1/4 tsp/6 gallons every three months is indeed the rule of thumb.
here is a link to how does it work, not from the manufacturer, and might not be enough to really know, but it's what I found:

http://smallbatchbru.com/tilt-hydrometer-review/

How does it work?
As the TILT floats in your fermenting beverage, it uses an extremely accurate accelerometer to measure the change of buoyancy (or the angle at which the TILT is floating) as the sugars are consumed by the yeast. In addition to monitoring specific gravity, the TILT also has a built-in temperature sensor.


I also found this rather detailed review, certainly from a beer maker, not a winemaker, but it confirms my guess, great in process, not so great at the end.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing/comments/5xjego/tilt_hydrometer_first_impressions/

The tilt seems best equipped to measure active fermentation, as it got tripped up by dry hops and seems to have a hard time measuring FG. The readings are super noisy (they fluctuate by as much as +/- .005 points at any given time) but seem pretty good if you average them or look at the regression line on the chart. It definitely needs to be used in tandem with a traditional hydrometer. The temperature function seems to work pretty well, as it consistently agreed with my Ink-bird and the thermometer strip on my carboy.


And I'll add my take, I don't worry about the absolute beginning SG, just something around 1.100 or 1.090 for reds, nor do I care about the sg on any given day, is it changing is all I care about. And likewise, the absolute final gravity means not much to me, just the same about three or four days in a row. The ABV is what it is and I just care about that approximately.
 

Scooter68

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Many of the "High -Tech" pieces of equipment in the world today can be influenced by factors you may not be aware of. Like others have said. When in doubt go back to the simple tools of the craft. A standard wine hydrometer is an invaluable tool and other than breaking it, it's hard to think of more than 2 or 3 reasons for a bad reading: 1) user error. 2) Bubbles of CO2 clinging to the tube & 3) the tube bottoming out in the the testing chamber or container.
 

jgmann67

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Hello and thank you!
By DOSE you mean kMeta every three months? My wife adds the 1/4 tsp as we have always done, if your answer is yes, am I to understand that it "goes away" kind of every 3 months if bulk aging and we need to add more? We do not want to spring for some expensive test equipment, trying to maintain this a s hobby and not become a scientist[emoji4] We only do kits because they are fun...then if you ask my wife she may disagree as we now have 10 kits I ordered, surprising her, then I leave town for weeks at a time for work[emoji4]

Lastly, these staves are quite neat, my goal was to soak them in Makers after use until the next use and keep them in a sealed Tupperware, is that the correct thinking for our process goal?
I don’t have any experience in homemade bourbon soaked oak, but I wonder if you shouldn’t “kiln” them after they soaked. I might put them on a rack and pop them in the oven at 200* for 20-30 min. and then store them in a ziploc till I need them.

But yes - dose means hit with 1/4 tsp of Kmeta every three months. Like you, I don’t have the testing equipment for that. But, the advice I got on this forum was a dosing schedule like that is recommended.
 

Bob Vardell

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here is a link to how does it work, not from the manufacturer, and might not be enough to really know, but it's what I found:

Tilt Hydrometer Review | Small Batch Brü

How does it work?
As the TILT floats in your fermenting beverage, it uses an extremely accurate accelerometer to measure the change of buoyancy (or the angle at which the TILT is floating) as the sugars are consumed by the yeast. In addition to monitoring specific gravity, the TILT also has a built-in temperature sensor.


I also found this rather detailed review, certainly from a beer maker, not a winemaker, but it confirms my guess, great in process, not so great at the end.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing/comments/5xjego
The tilt seems best equipped to measure active fermentation, as it got tripped up by dry hops and seems to have a hard time measuring FG. The readings are super noisy (they fluctuate by as much as +/- .005 points at any given time) but seem pretty good if you average them or look at the regression line on the chart. It definitely needs to be used in tandem with a traditional hydrometer. The temperature function seems to work pretty well, as it consistently agreed with my Ink-bird and the thermometer strip on my carboy.


And I'll add my take, I don't worry about the absolute beginning SG, just something around 1.100 or 1.090 for reds, nor do I care about the sg on any given day, is it changing is all I care about. And likewise, the absolute final gravity means not much to me, just the same about three or four days in a row. The ABV is what it is and I just care about that approximately.
So, have to say, TILT is amazing at customer service. The calibration was variable each batch, recalibrated when wine was done and the new offset would have made the wine "done" when I subtracted that from the suspect reading:) TILT already sent me a replacement, and is working with us on the web logging until we build our own data server. Love companies with that kind of service!
 

Bob Vardell

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I don’t have any experience in homemade bourbon soaked oak, but I wonder if you shouldn’t “kiln” them after they soaked. I might put them on a rack and pop them in the oven at 200* for 20-30 min. and then store them in a ziploc till I need them.

But yes - dose means hit with 1/4 tsp of Kmeta every three months. Like you, I don’t have the testing equipment for that. But, the advice I got on this forum was a dosing schedule like that is recommended.
Actually a nice idea, I think I could dry them out and do plan on vacuum sealing them in a bag with a touch of Jack or Makers to keep them juicy for the next batch. Trying to BB Stave an LE 19 PacRed now for a twist since we had more than 1 kit.
 
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