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WineXpert Newbie: International Selection Australian Traminer-Riesling

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jojoeastcoast

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I have just spend the last several hours lurking on this forum, after my purchase today of the International Selection Australian Traminer-Riesling kit. I have made a few wine kits before, but have always followed the directions to a "t" without considering "the craft". I have had nice tasting wines, but am definitely interested in making this more of a hobby that I might cultivate, so am eager to learn.

So I have just read Tim Vandergrift's 5-20-40-90 directions from WineMaker's Magazine "Make Your Kit Wine Shine" article, which I came across via a link on this forum (I can't post the link as I haven't made 5 posts yet! I guess I like to get down to business!).

I have a few questions about this, I hope someone can answer.

He suggests after the first 20 days (5 days primary, plus 15 days secondary), to rack, fine and stabilize. My wine kit instructions specifically say NOT to rack at this point... but of course to stir vigorously. I feel I should follow the kit directions... correct?

After day 40 (so 20 days after the previous step), he says to rack again and then leave for 50 more days for the total of 90. My kit also suggests racking at this point, and also topping up with water or a similar wine (I like the idea of adding wine... any commercial recommendations?). I like to vacuum filter my wines, as it costs less than $9 to rent the filter with new pads from my local retailer. I am assuming it is at THIS point that I filter, then I leave it for an additional 50 days before bottling. Would this be ok?

Also... this 2nd carboy thing has thrown me for a loop. I need to figure out the logistics as I only have one glass carboy. I do have one plastic one as well, but I much prefer glass, especially if its sitting for 50 more days. The vacuum filter rental does come with another glass carboy to get the job done, but they are assuming you are going to bottle right after filtering, then return the whole rental with the carboy.... not keep it for 50 more days! Would it be ok to clean & sanitize my own glass carboy and then vacuum filter it again to get it back into my own carboy?? Would a 2nd running of the filter be detrimental?

Apologies for being so tactless in creating such a long FIRST post... I am just very excited I guess!
 

mmadmikes1

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First on winexpert kits follow direction to last rack then move on with your plans. You could filter into there carboy then return filter back to yours. I know you will be double filtering but use same pads. little extra work. or just rack it back to your carboy, or with what your telling us is you are now hooked on wine making so just as well get it use to never having enough glassand go buy another carboy. Hell bottled yesterday to avoid buying another. Just a delay really I need 3 more for current plans. I also alway try to keep one empty and clean for racking all active batches.
 

jojoeastcoast

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Thanks for the responses.

Sounds good on following the kit directions to last rack, then letting it sit the additional 50 days. A happy medium.

The article I read was the original, so thank you for the update!

ETA: Thanks also for the info on filtering twice. I think I'll probably go this route, as the vacuum filter is much faster than racking on its own back into my own carboy.
 

Wade E

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Dont worry about the wine, these things are pretty much fool proof.
 

jojoeastcoast

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Dont worry about the wine, these things are pretty much fool proof.
Well that made me chuckle... If that is the case, there must be a lot of fools here as there seems to be many, many threads dedicated to worrying about wine kit making. ;)
 

Wade E

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Everyone worries cause they spent good money at a time when money is really not flying in the door. If you can read the directions then you can make wine but o yourself a favor and read them twice and then read them slowly while putting the kit together.
 

jojoeastcoast

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Can't disagree with you there!

Just finished getting it going in the primary.

Here's another question. I received a few tips from our local retailer, one of which was to NOT snap the lid down totally on the primary, to allow it to "breath" for fermentation. This is the first time I've heard this bit of advice. Do you agree?

Also, I've set my primary on a fleece blanket, and then wrapped said blanket loosely around it to protect it from light and give a little insulation for heat fluctuations, and also to make it easier to move across our hardwood floors. No problems with this set-up, is there?
 

cpfan

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The lid on my primaries cannot be snapped down tight. Made that way. So I guess you could say I have heard that advice before.

The blankets should be OK. I don't like to leave primaries or carboys on the floor.

I don't like to disagree with fellow wine makers partly because there are many different ways to make wine. But I would like to point out that very few people FILTER their wine twice. I think madmike may have meant siphon not filter. If I was short a carboy, I would rack off sediment to primary, do the work, and then transfer back to the now clean and sanitized carboy.

Steve
 

Wade E

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The first few days the yeast should get plenty of 02 for them to do thier job, with that being said if you stir the batch up really good as you should to thoroughly mix it to get a true sg readin and blend all ingredients in you will have introduced plenty pf os into the must. I ferment all my batches in my basement and do nit feel safe leaving a lid loose and also had a cat down there that would try to sit on anythng so Ive always used the lid snapped on and have never had any problems ever over many many years. You ont have to worry about light at thso point but nothigwrong with added protection.
 

jojoeastcoast

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Steve - I can understand not leaving them on the floor, but unfortunately I don't have the counter or table space (and I'm terrified of the little one pulling it down on himself!). My plan is once I'm just about ready to rack into the secondary, to gently place the primary on the counter above its current location and let it settle down for about 24 hrs before racking. Also, since I am vacuum filtering on the final rack, I'm not as worried about sediment. Does that make any sense to someone who knows what they are talking about?

The first few days the yeast should get plenty of 02 for them to do thier job, with that being said if you stir the batch up really good as you should to thoroughly mix it to get a true sg readin and blend all ingredients in you will have introduced plenty pf os into the must. I ferment all my batches in my basement and do nit feel safe leaving a lid loose and also had a cat down there that would try to sit on anythng so Ive always used the lid snapped on and have never had any problems ever over many many years. You ont have to worry about light at thso point but nothigwrong with added protection.
Good point. I have a dog and a 2yo in the house... loose lid could really be a disaster. I definitely gave it a good stir when I added the water... probably for a good 2 minutes. I've always snapped it shut in the past as well, this was the first time I had been instructed not to. Hmmmm... *snap*... done!
 

jojoeastcoast

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Update... Early on day 5 here, and the hydrometer reading is 1.02... Getting CLOSE to Step 2! :)

Its funny, this is the first kit I've made where I feel like I have an idea of what it is I am doing. Which is a good thing, since I am helping my SIL make her first kit at the same time (Italian Pinot Grigio... I'm excited, as we're going to swap some bottles)!
 

cpfan

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Which is a good thing, since I am helping my SIL make her first kit at the same time (Italian Pinot Grigio... I'm excited, as we're going to swap some bottles)!
It's a good thing to help another learn. Sometimes explaining things to somebody else helps you to understand things better. Plus, since your SIL probably lives nearby, you can share some equipment (eg a corker).

Steve
 

jojoeastcoast

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It's a good thing to help another learn. Sometimes explaining things to somebody else helps you to understand things better. Plus, since your SIL probably lives nearby, you can share some equipment (eg a corker).

Steve
Very true! I have a butterfly corker and an auto-syphon, which will make things easier for us both!
 

Bendbiker

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Just got this kit as well. I am excited to try it!!!

Only my second wine so far, but I have a lot of experience with beer so I'm hoping it'll go well.....:fsh
 
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