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winemaker81

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Last September I started a pair of 10 liter Winexpert kits -- Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The only addition I made is 2 oz medium toast French oak cubes to the Cabernet.

My son & I tasted both yesterday. The Chardonnay looks dark in the carboy, but appears fine in the glass. The aroma and taste are a bit better than I expected, given it's a 10 liter kit, so Winexpert's claim that the new concentrate/juice formulation is better has validity.

We tasted the Cabernet. WOW! At 6 months old, it is delicious! Seriously good, as in "let's have some with dinner". This was a complete surprise -- I tasted it a couple of month ago and my reaction was "meh". It was ok, about what I'd expect from a green red wine kit. [that makes sense when I say it, but "green red" looks bizarre in print.]

Based upon this very limited test, it appears Winexpert's new formulization is good.
 

Swedeman

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Thanks for sharing @winemaker81 Nice to have some real tests and not only preconceived notions. I have bought kits from classics, reserve and private reserve, but a bit late on it as they just recently became available in my part of the world.
 

jgmann67

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Is anyone having difficulty getting their WE kits to ferment to zero? I’ve tried three of the new formula kits and each of them refuse to ferment down to 0.990.

The SLD Merlot got the closest, but the new Luna Chard got to 0.995. And, the reserve Nebbiolo seems stuck at 1.000. It’s not bad, but I’m used to these kits going to absolute zero.

I was concerned that it was me. That the basement was too cool to finish fermentation. So I put the Nebbiolo on a brew belt to test that theory. It’s been 4 days at 1.000. I’ll check it again this weekend to see if it’s moved off of that mark. If not, I’ll likely rack it and move to next steps.
 

wineh

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Is anyone having difficulty getting their WE kits to ferment to zero? I’ve tried three of the new formula kits and each of them refuse to ferment down to 0.990.

The SLD Merlot got the closest, but the new Luna Chard got to 0.995. And, the reserve Nebbiolo seems stuck at 1.000. It’s not bad, but I’m used to these kits going to absolute zero.

I was concerned that it was me. That the basement was too cool to finish fermentation. So I put the Nebbiolo on a brew belt to test that theory. It’s been 4 days at 1.000. I’ll check it again this weekend to see if it’s moved off of that mark. If not, I’ll likely rack it and move to next steps.
My experience is that they take a couple of extra days to get get to. 992,but nothing like your nebbiolo. I always use a brewbelt until the wine is stabilized. You may have a problem.
 

StreetGlide

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Is anyone having difficulty getting their WE kits to ferment to zero? I’ve tried three of the new formula kits and each of them refuse to ferment down to 0.990.

The SLD Merlot got the closest, but the new Luna Chard got to 0.995. And, the reserve Nebbiolo seems stuck at 1.000. It’s not bad, but I’m used to these kits going to absolute zero.

I was concerned that it was me. That the basement was too cool to finish fermentation. So I put the Nebbiolo on a brew belt to test that theory. It’s been 4 days at 1.000. I’ll check it again this weekend to see if it’s moved off of that mark. If not, I’ll likely rack it and move to next steps.
I made a Fiero kit that would not go lower then .996.
 

winemaker81

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Final SG ranges from 0.990 to 0.996 -- 0.990 is the lower end of the range -- it's not the target. The FG varies depending on the ABV and other constituents in the wine.

[Some folks will say as high as 0.998, but IME 0.996 is the upper maximum. I've hit 0.988 several times, but it's by far a rarity.]
[EDIT: I highlighted the middle digit, as it may not be obvious if read quickly.]

The Nebbiolo? I don't see a problem as fermentation is a natural process that does its own thing. The yeast is taking a breather.

First -- pour a glass and relax. Second -- rack the Nebbiolo into a carboy, airlock it, put it some place warm, and ignore it for a week. Repeat step #1 as needed. ;)

My 2019 2nd run stuck at 1.000 for 3 months. It got warmed up and finished out. If it hadn't I'd have hit it with sorbate and bottled.
 
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salcoco

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I am amazed can you taste the difference in a wine with sg=1,000 versus .995 or less? sometimes numbers are great for your log book but meaningless for your taste buds
 

winemaker81

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I am amazed can you taste the difference in a wine with sg=1,000 versus .995 or less? sometimes numbers are great for your log book but meaningless for your taste buds
I can. 1.000 tastes sweet to me, not hugely so, but enough that I notice. Others may have a different sensitivity.

EDIT: Also, 0.995 won't start fermenting in the bottle, so the difference is not unimportant.
 

Handy Turnip

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Generally my final sg on both new and old kits has been 0.992 (dry white wines), with one at 0.994, so don't believe it's a difference between the old and new kits.
 

StreetGlide

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I am amazed can you taste the difference in a wine with sg=1,000 versus .995 or less? sometimes numbers are great for your log book but meaningless for your taste buds
Without question. 1.00 like Winemaker81 stated is sweet to me also.
 

winemaker81

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I suspect personal preference plays a role in the perception of sweetness. My sister and father would consider 1.005 to be dry.

A former roommate would drink dry wines but much preferred sweet. I had an icewine that was 15% residual -- I had a small glass, he slurped it down and was disappointed that it was only a split.
 

winemaker81

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Last night my son & I bottled his 10 liter WE Carmenere, which he started in January. The taste is honestly amazing for a 6 month old wine -- we're both very pleased with it.

This adds more credence to the new WE formulization being an improvement.
 
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Is anyone having difficulty getting their WE kits to ferment to zero?
I am on Day 13 of my first Xpert kit (1st wine making actually). I just checked the Dolcetto and got a hydrometer reading of .992. I temp control at 68 F. I followed a suggestion I got on this forum. I chose a liquid yeast that promised good results for those wanting a dry, young drinking red. This matched the Dolcetto profile. I started with that yeast and on the evening of day 5 (1.020) I pitched the kit yeast. So far so good.
 
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winemaker81

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I had to refresh my memory on the other thread. At first I was perplexed by the addition of the second yeast, but it makes sense.

At 0.992 the ferment is probably done, although I've had a few go as low as 0.988. Nothing to worry about now, as if there is any remaining activity, it's low level and will complete in the near future.

Congrats!
 
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Congrats!
Thanks. Wine making is so much more patience and less "to do" than my beer making. As a result, I find myself over thinking the process. My next kit is a Super Tuscan with skins and more oak. I am looking forward to that. I am still seeing two bubbles per minute from the fermenter. Next week I will rack the must to a new 6 gal carboy. I gave my carboys to a winemaking friend when I moved to stainless fermentation a year ago. Then I thought about adding wine to the brewery and had to go buy a carboy. 🤪 I will bulk age the Dolcetto in a CO2 double purged stainless Corny keg. It holds 5 gal so I will nearly fill that as well as bottle three 375 ml bottles. I plan to taste the bottles at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks. That should be interesting. I expect the Corny aging to be a bit slower than the bottles, but I wonder "how much slower?". See that? Over thinking. ;)
 

winemaker81

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I plan to taste the bottles at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks
A suggestion: change that to 3, 6, and 9 months, or 6, 12, and 18 months. As you said, you're in a new arena where patience is the king or queen.

I probably mentioned it previously, but write down your impressions. Later on re-reading will be interesting for you. My oak stix experiment is a great example of how notes help.

I just got in from yard work and am enjoying a Nut Brown Ale I made nearly 2 years ago. I don't drink as much beer as I used to, so 5 gallons goes a LONG way. Next batch will probably be 3 gallons ... and I'll make something I really like and kick myself in butt for not making more! 😄
 
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OK. If that is good for a kit designed to be a young wine, can do. I do keep brew logs and taste notes. Nut Brown is a favorite for me. 5 gallons of beer fits me and the 20 something that cuts my grass. He tasted a June 13th English Bitter brew today and gave me a smile. He is a sweet wine and cider guy but may become a bitter guy. Time is precious. It has it’s effects.
 
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