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matsgone

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Good day, I am an experienced beer all grain homebrewer...but no experience with wine making so:

1- what temp do you ferment sauvignon blanc? The kit says 20c but I read optimal ferm temp should be much lower for this type of grape variety. Of course I have no info on the type of yeast in the kit...

2- red wine batch- after 10-14 days I obtained my FG I degas and transfer to a carboy for secondary....now, should I keep the said 20C temp or at this point it does not matter because the fermentation is completed?

3 - is there a concern with airing the wine too much while degassing? With beer oxydation can be a huge problem but I assume wine is not the same?

4- weirdly, I could not find good info on sterilizing the corks before bottling....is this a requirement?

5-do you store bottles on their side after a week or so for aging or upright is ok?

Ok huge thanks for the help much appreciated.
 

ChuckD

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Welcome to WMT.
1. I haven’t made sauv blanc but most kits are formulated to give you something good. You’re usually safe following the directions. Of course brewers and vintners are famous for not following directions.😉 20C is fairly cool. If you want to start it there then drop it a little it won’t hurt anything. Just a slower fermentation.

2. I typically keep my wines a little lower than fermentation temps for a few weeks to let it finish then move to cellar temps for bulk aging.

3. oxidation is a very big problem with wine. You need some oxygen during fermentation. If you punch down and stir twice a day you will have enough. After fermentation oxygen is bad. We use K-meta and very little head space during bulk to control oxidation.

4. Some sterilize corks and some don’t. I give them a real quick dip in k-meta just before insertion

5. I think standard practice is to stand them up for a few days then store them on their sides. Many store them standing up though.
 

Rocky

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Welcome to the forum. Good questions. I will give you some responses from my perspective.

Generally, white wines are fermented at a lower temperature than reds. When I make wines, I try to keep my Whites in the 60's F and Reds in the 70's F. You did not say whose kit you are making but it is a good chance that the yeast was Lalvin EC-1118, commonly referred to as "turbo yeast." It is a good, all-around yeast with a broad tolerance spectrum for both temperature and alcohol.

Wines generally prefer a stable environment, so keeping your wines at as close to a constant temperature as possible is preferred. The temperature is driven partially by fermentation, an exothermic process, so as fermentation reaches completion, the temperature will drop. Try to avoid UV light on your stored wines and any type of vibration in addition to minding temperature and humidity. "Ideal" temperature and humidity are sometimes quoted 55-60 degrees F and 50-75%, respectively. Humidity is really only a problem with natural corks.

Just as in beer, air is the enemy of wine so you should be very careful when degassing. Many of us have the drill attachment that is available in wine supply stores and, personally, I run the drill for about 30 seconds at medium speed.

As for sterilizing corks, many of us have an apparatus (they vary widely) into which one pours K-meta sterilizing solution (3 T of K-meta to one gallon of water). Corks are suspended over the solution so that the gas from the solution sterilizes the corks. Personally, I use an old salad spinner which has a bowl, basket and top. I pour the solution into the bowl, put the corks in the basket and cover with the top. I let this stand for at least 1 hour.

Whether one stores the bottle on its side or standing depends largely on the cork used. Synthetic corks can be kept upright while natural, agglomerate and the rest should be stored on their sides. If I use a non-synthetic cork (rarely), I keep the bottles standing for 2 or 3 days so that the cork regains its original diameter.

My Disclaimer: None of the above is a RULE or a LAW. It is, however, how one winemaker, I, does it and I feel I can safely say, has been fairly successful for more than 60 years. I am sure you will have alternate views. Experience will guide you in your journey.

Good luck!
 
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Ohio Bob

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All of the above inputs are spot on. I will say sterilizing corks for me is very forgiving. I dunk corks in a Kmeta solution, sometimes for as little as a few minutes.
 

ChuckD

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Specific to degassing, if you are going to age the wine you don’t have to. Wine will degass on its own with enough time. I’m not sure how you do it with beer but degassing wine typically means stirring ( I like the drill mounted stirrers) but do not entrain any air. Some also degassing by applying a vacuum. Always keep the wine under air lock with very little head space after fermentation is complete.
 

Rice_Guy

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welcome to Wine Making talk
3 - is there a concern with airing the wine too much while degassing? With beer oxydation can be a huge problem but I assume wine is not the same?
I would like to emphasize oxygen! Whites as well as country wines soak up free SO2. My quality improved when I started to add 50ppm meta every time I open a carboy. Red grape has antioxidants in the skin so it is more tolerant.
 

matsgone

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Specific to degassing, if you are going to age the wine you don’t have to. Wine will degass on its own with enough time. I’m not sure how you do it with beer but degassing wine typically means stirring ( I like the drill mounted stirrers) but do not entrain any air. Some also degassing by applying a vacuum. Always keep the wine under air lock with very little head space after fermentation is complete.
Beer needs gas so its not an issue. That is the part I dont get, with wine you degas(I bought a stainless steel rod and wings which attach to my drill) after fermentation is complete....which obviously aerate the wine like there is no tomorrow....so how can you avoid oxydizing it tgen?
 

matsgone

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Specific to degassing, if you are going to age the wine you don’t have to. Wine will degass on its own with enough time. I’m not sure how you do it with beer but degassing wine typically means stirring ( I like the drill mounted stirrers) but do not entrain any air. Some also degassing by applying a vacuum. Always keep the wine under air lock with very little head space after fermentation is complete.
When you mean age I assume its in a secondary vessel(glass carboy) the kit said 2 weeks in it, I left for 3 for luck, then how long would you have to wait to NOT HAVE to degas????
 

matsgone

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Welcome to the forum. Good questions. I will give you some responses from my perspective.

Generally, white wines are fermented at a lower temperature than reds. When I make wines, I try to keep my Whites in the 60's F and Reds in the 70's F. You did not say whose kit you are making but it is a good chance that the yeast was Lalvin EC-1118, commonly referred to as "turbo yeast." It is a good, all-around yeast with a broad tolerance spectrum for both temperature and alcohol.

Wines generally prefer a stable environment, so keeping your wines at as close to a constant temperature as possible is preferred. The temperature is driven partially by fermentation, an exothermic process, so as fermentation reaches completion, the temperature will drop. Try to avoid UV light on your stored wines and any type of vibration in addition to minding temperature and humidity. "Ideal" temperature and humidity are sometimes quoted 55-60 degrees F and 50-75%, respectively. Humidity is really only a problem with natural corks.

Just as in beer, air is the enemy of wine so you should be very careful when degassing. Many of us have the drill attachment that is available in wine supply stores and, personally, I run the drill for about 30 seconds at medium speed.

As for sterilizing corks, many of us have an apparatus (they vary widely) into which one pours K-meta sterilizing solution (3 T or K-meta to one gallon of water). Corks are suspended over the solution so that the gas from the solution sterilizes the corks. Personally, I use an old salad spinner which has a bowl, basket and top. I pour the solution into the bowl, put the corks in the basket and cover with the top. I let this stand for at least 1 hour.

Whether one stores the bottle on its side or standing depends largely on the cork used. Synthetic corks can be kept upright while natural, agglomerate and the rest should be stored on their sides. If I use a non-synthetic cork (rarely), I keep the bottles standing for 2 or 3 days so that the cork regains its original diameter.

My Disclaimer: None of the above is a RULE or a LAW. It is, however, how one winemaker, I, does it and I feel I can safely say, has been fairly successful for more than 60 years. I am sure you will have alternate views. Experience will guide you in your journey.

Good luck!
Good day, thanks a lot for the replies, all of you, much appreciated. Im frigging lost right now haha.

My 2 first kits were

Fontana premium - Gamay (bottled a week ago - taste very young, not very good at bottling...)

Fontana premium - sauvignon blanc (still in primary) -

Picking up today

RJS EN PRIMEUR- Carmenere (I worked lots in Chile and was hooked on that grape variety)

RJS EN PRIMEUR - trio white

RJS cru international Meritage

Currently on tap in house, A nice Bitter 3.7%, a Munich Helles 5.2% and a Kolsch 5%!!! ;)

Is there a difference between white and red wine, such as length of fermentation, aging, time from bottle to enjoying, etc?

What are your favorite brands for kits???

Thanks again!!
 

VinesnBines

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Check out Winemaker 81 website. Bryan's Wine & Beer Making Site – fine wines since 1981 … He brews beer and makes wine. He is the best source to help brewers convert to wine. My advice is beer needs to be keep away from O2 all the time; wine needs O2 in primary and not later. Beer (barleywine not withstanding) suffers from age and wine improves. This is the simplistic view. Also you boil beer wort but heat will ruin most wine "fruits". I don't degas wine. Just let time take care of the gas as I age in bulk for months.
 

matsgone

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Check out Winemaker 81 website. Bryan's Wine & Beer Making Site – fine wines since 1981 … He brews beer and makes wine. He is the best source to help brewers convert to wine. My advice is beer needs to be keep away from O2 all the time; wine needs O2 in primary and not later. Beer (barleywine not withstanding) suffers from age and wine improves. This is the simplistic view. Also you boil beer wort but heat will ruin most wine "fruits". I don't degas wine. Just let time take care of the gas as I age in bulk for months.
How many months in secondary you would revommend before bottling? What temp?

How to keep from introducing O2 while stirring the wine with a drill is still a mistery though???
 

ChuckD

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Beer needs gas so its not an issue. That is the part I dont get, with wine you degas(I bought a stainless steel rod and wings which attach to my drill) after fermentation is complete....which obviously aerate the wine like there is no tomorrow....so how can you avoid oxydizing it tgen?
Degassing is only necessary if you want to bottle early. If you let the wine age in a carboy for a few months it will slowly degas on its own.

Stirring helps jump start the degassing. You don’t want to agitate the wine too much or create a vortex that sucks air into it. With a drill mounted stirrer use a slow to moderate speed and reverse direction every 30 seconds or so for about four minutes. Then let it sit again for a week or two and you should be good.

As VinesnBines said, age is your friend with wine. Just keep oxygen and light away from it.
 

Rocky

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Fontana premium - Gamay (bottled a week ago - taste very young, not very good at bottling...)

Fontana premium - sauvignon blanc (still in primary) -

I have never tried a Fontana kit, but they appear to be a low volume (of juice) kit. My experience, generally, has been the greater the volume of juice, the better the wine. I would imagine you will see a vast improvement in the RJ Spagnols kits.

Picking up today

RJS EN PRIMEUR- Carmenere (I worked lots in Chile and was hooked on that grape variety)

RJS EN PRIMEUR - trio white

RJS cru international Meritage

Currently on tap in house, A nice Bitter 3.7%, a Munich Helles 5.2% and a Kolsch 5%!!! ;)

Is there a difference between white and red wine, such as length of fermentation, aging, time from bottle to enjoying, etc?

The length of time in fermentation does not depend on a clock or a calendar; it depends on a hydrometer. In general, when hydrometer readings stabilize, the fermentation is finished.

As far as aging is concerned, reds are generally aged longer than whites. Personally, I bulk age my whites (i.e., keep them in a carboy under airlock) for at least 6 months and my reds for at least 12 months before bottling. I have found that my wine is ready to drink at bottling. Note also that wine will continue to age in the bottle and improve up to a point and then begin to deteriorate. That point depends on many factors, and I have never reached it. The wine disappears before reaching it.


What are your favorite brands for kits???

Regarding kits, I have found that RJ Spagnol's En Primeur series is very good as is WinExpert's Private Reserve series. I am sure there are many others that are just as good. Also, there is a rather new kit available from Label Peelers in Ohio known as Finer Wine Kits. These are a different type of kit wine making and early results indicate a significant improvement over traditional wine kits. You will find many threads on these kits on this forum, and you can find videos of the wine being made on YouTube. I suggest you search "Finer Wine Kits" and watch the videos.

Thanks again!!
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@matsgone, welcome to WMT! All the advice you've received so far is spot on.

As a brewer, I caution you to set aside most of what you know, as winemaking is a different beast.

Regarding corks, I do not sanitize the corks. I keep them sealed in the original bag and take them out as required. Commercial wineries dump corks from the bag into the bottling machine ...

Stand your newly bottled wine up for 3 days before laying them on their side. Corking will compress the air in the bottle and it will normalize in a few days -- if the wine is laying on its side, it can push out wine. I switched to Nomacorcs a few years ago -- synthetics do not typically need to be laid on their side, but a lifetime of habit has me storing wine horizontally.

Kit wine instructions are optimized for beginners who do not have experienced help. The instructions, if followed with produce a good result.

However, during fermentation, your hydrometer is your friend. It tells you when fermentation is done, not the calendar.

Post-fermentation, treat all time frames as minimum values, e.g., "2 weeks" means "at least 2 weeks". A lot of experienced winemakers do not bottle on kit schedule. I rarely bottle kits before 4 months, and some folks bulk age a year.

Wine bottled at 4 weeks is NOT going to taste good. It needs time. Even at 4 months the wine may not taste all that great. It's a patience game, far different from beer.
 

NewfieMike

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Welcome to WMT

Good day, thanks a lot for the replies, all of you, much appreciated. Im frigging lost right now haha.

As a newbie myself, my advice would be to take your time and soak in the wealth of knowledge from the members of this site. It is absolutely incredible, and I'm always learning new tips & tricks every few days that help improve my process.

2- red wine batch- after 10-14 days I obtained my FG I degas and transfer to a carboy for secondary
I can hear @winemaker81 saying your hydrometer will tell you when you've hit your FG, not the 10-14 days or a calendar for that matter. No doubt he'll be commenting soon and offering you advice on your questions.

5-do you store bottles on their side after a week or so for aging or upright is ok?
Already mentioned above, I like to keep them up for roughly a week, then store on their side as I do knot use synthetic corks.

What are your favorite brands for kits???
RJS cru international Meritage
I've enjoyed this kit and it does come with skins. Here's a good thread on it RJS Cru International Meritage

Personal favorites are the En Primeur Cab Sav, En Primeur Red Trio, and my next two will be the En Primeur Italian Amarone and En Primeur Pinot as both a talked about highly.

Enjoy
 

FlamingoEmporium

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Welcome to WMT!
I'm not going to add my 2 cents or even 1 cent. From the posts so far I think you'll agree you came to the right place!
You and me we add about 4-5 ¢ worth. Be patient. Don’t stick it in bottles until you absolutely need another carboy, and the household appropriations committee is unwilling to spring for more stuff.
 

Rice_Guy

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You could do a style with gas. The flavor will be more bitter/ carbonic though. Still wine does not have to be squeaky clean, can you taste it? A legal definition for still wine still has maximum 2000 ppm CO2/ Europe has a lower limit.
Beer needs gas so its not an issue. . . . . ....so how can you avoid oxydizing it tgen?
How? home wine mainly do not splash, factory wine flush with nitrogen so tanks are clear, even in factory wine has. bad activities as bottling which pick up five plus mg/liter oxygen.
 

ChuckD

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Fair warning… don’t be shocked if you bottle a good tasting wine then pop a cork two days later and discover, to your horror, that the wine doesn’t taste right! You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s called “bottle sickness” and I have found out it’s a real thing. It goes away in a week or two.
 

matsgone

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WOW you guys are fantastic, thanks for all the great answers, I will review the website suggested. Im trying to soak in all info I can. Brewing, winemaking is such a great adventure!!!!

FYI I am using an Ispindle for gravity, its awesome, gives you real time gravity and temp reading. For fermentation temp control, I put the bucket or carboy in water with an aquarium heater and a little underwater turbine to stir it up, hooked to an inkbird controler, its also great.

I read reviews about the wine peeler kits, looks awesome, just have to find out if they are available in Kanadasthan!!!

Ok thanks again Ill be back with more questions.
 

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