No nose

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crackermonkey

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So I’ve made more than a dozen kits at home over the last 2 years, some have turned out great but none of them have smelled like the description of the wine . I compared a one year old WE bronello I made to one my father in law made at a u brew and his smelled excactly like the description and mine smelled like red wine that’s it but still tasted great . Wondering what I’m doing wrong fermenting temperature? Storage temperature? Letting ferment too dry ?
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jbo_c

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Even tiny amounts of residual CO2 seem to inhibit aromas in my experience.

That said, very red kit I’ve ever made(and that’s a fair number, though not as many as some) has been lacking in nose regardless of the flavors.

Jbo
 

crackermonkey

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Well it’s good to hear I’m not alone .i make the Washington Merlot often and when I’m pouring it into the fermenter it smells awesome tons of chocolate and other aromas and the nothing once cleared . I am a little worried about degassing to much and causing oxidation, is There a way to check co2 levels?
 

jbo_c

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I don’t know of a scientific test though there may be one. Like many went to vacuum racking and have had good success. Still light on nose, though.

Jbo
 

Rice_Guy

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Is there a way to check co2 levels?
* i am not aware of any home method. However , We have lab instruments and on line sensors so the technology exists. Hach and Parr are examples.
* if I do TA on a carbonated sample I microwave,, stirr,, cool ,, then run. For soda the carbonated pH is typically 0.1 units lower and TA about 0.1% higher.
* if I pull 15 inches Hg on a bottle it might have a trace/ few bubbles form. If it releases bubbles constantly I assume I can taste it. An interest fun activity while shut up in the basement is to vacuum a sample, hit the table with a hammer and watch a cloud of bubbles form. There might be a test in there.
i don’t have test data but My assumption is that a 5 inch vacuum with no bubbles is normal flavor.
 

Johnd

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is There a way to check co2 levels?
You can do what we have called the "Poof Test". Put some wine into a container, about 3/4 full, like a test tube or small bottle, cover the open end with your thumb, and shake it vigorously. When you release your thumb from over the opening, if you get a "poof" of gas coming out, your wine still has residual CO2 in it. If no "poof", then you should be degassed sufficiently.
 

Swedeman

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Like many went to vacuum racking and have had good success. Still light on nose, though.
I doubt applying vacuum preserve wine flavor, rather the opposite. It's reasonable to assume to you will lose more volatile compounds with vacuum than without (depending on time and degree of vacuum). Having said that; I can't back that up with any peer review studies. Only my own test that I did once, did half a batch with vacuum degassing and the other half without. The difference was noticeable so I don't use vacuum anymore on my wines even if I'm not sure I would have got the same result again. Still, there a descent nose to my kits. Your mileage my vary.
 

Johnd

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I doubt applying vacuum preserve wine flavor, rather the opposite. It's reasonable to assume to you will lose more volatile compounds with vacuum than without (depending on time and degree of vacuum). Having said that; I can't back that up with any peer review studies. Only my own test that I did once, did half a batch with vacuum degassing and the other half without. The difference was noticeable so I don't use vacuum anymore on my wines even if I'm not sure I would have got the same result again. Still, there a descent nose to my kits. Your mileage my vary.
Hmmmm, I suspect that there will be a lot of people very concerned about your one time study. Having vacuumed hundreds, if not thousands of wines, including vacuum racking, degassing, and vacuum bottling, I am one of them. Studies have been conducted by pros on vacuum degassing wine without reporting “noticeable difference“. Here’s some relevant clips from an article written by a respected wine source, no mention of loss of wine flavor.
0CC649E4-063D-4927-A926-9E23B9D4C01D.png6DE2A76B-CD4E-4FE1-BC2A-5C2BC70E516D.png
 

jbo_c

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I feel certain there must be “some” loss of aromatics with vacuum moving wine, but I taste virtually every batch both before and after(just because I can) and have never detected a loss of aroma.

Jbo
 

jbo_c

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Just to clarify, I wasn’t suggesting vacuum would improve taste per se, only that it would ensure removal of dissolved CO2, which absolutely mutes flavors.

Jbo
 

Swedeman

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Hmmmm, I suspect that there will be a lot of people very concerned about your one time study. Having vacuumed hundreds, if not thousands of wines, including vacuum racking, degassing, and vacuum bottling, I am one of them.
I didn't say I vacuumed wine once, I said I did a side by side test on the same batch once. Have you done that? Since I stopped vacuuming my wine, I'm pretty pleased with the nose. Though that doesn't prove that vacuuming wine is bad nor doesn't say that that is the reason the nose on my wine has improved. My only intention was to start a thought process. If one is happy with the nose, fine. If not, is there anything I can do about it? Your vacuum setup (degree of vacuum and time) might or might not influence it.

Let me ask you something, what is "nose"? That is compounds volatile enough to be released from the wine so one can smell them. Even without the need of vacuum. Now apply vacuum and ask yourself if you will increase the release of those compounds or not. Also, swirling around wine in a glass improves the nose. Why?

Fermenting at lower temperatures is believed to improve aroma as less volatile compounds are lost due to the less vigorous fermentation.


"AROMA & FLAVOR TRAPPING Several procedures for trapping volatiles from the escaping CO2 stream in wine have been reported (Simpson and Miller 1984a, Muller et al. 1993, Miller et al. 1987, Todd et al. 1990). It has been shown that a large number of volatile components can be lost to the atmosphere during vinification due to their inherent volatility and the ease with which they are entrained to the escaping carbon dioxide (Muller et al. 1993). There are a number of factors that affect the extent to which the volatiles are lost. Simpson et al (1984a) state that the extent of loss of aroma compounds depends upon temperature, rate of gas evolution and the type of fermentation vessel utilized. Vapor phase concentration 14 is also affected by ethanol concentration and carbon dioxide evolution "

Now adopt that to degassing using vacuum or simply letting time do the degassing.

That fact that Tim isn't mentioning it the article is hardly a proof that it doesn't happens. If it's enough for you to notice it the difference is another thing.

But, whatever bites your biscuit.
 

joeswine

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Swedeman: I've done vacuum degassing in the past and from my experience your correct you lose Alcohol first, and then the chemical balance in the structure of the wine because you've crated an imbalance in the structure of the mix.
Transferring is one thing ,pulling a vacuum with out knowing how deep or knowing what the actually wine trade off is not for me. I'm old school I make wine with the time processes in mind to do the work as required.
I've found with the volume I make (and its small) that I control the process and the time frame ,it doesn't control me.
Keep in mind I make kits a lot and if one intends to make wine you should expect to put the time the wine requires ,
 

Johnd

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@Swedeman , I’ve smelled / tasted wines before and after vacuuming countless times never noting any difference between the before / after product. There’s no disagreement that CO2 exiting wine can release aroma compounds as it exits, whether you vacuum rack, whip it with a drill, splash rack, etc.
I’m no proponent of vacuuming beyond what’s necessary to either degas or move wine from vessel to vessel, it’s a big part of how lots of folks move wine. Personally, I’ve vacuum racked for many years out of the fermentation vessel, vacuum racked off of the gross lees a few days later, vacuum racked into a barrel, vacuum racked out of the barrel, and vacuum racked into bottles before being corked. Again, never noted any before / after differences, and that’s the point I was trying to make. No mention of flavor / aroma loss in the article is relevant, in my opinion.
 

Ajmassa

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It’s not anything to with use of vacuum imo. It’s just the nature of (some?) kits. This was one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed in kit wine compared to wine from fresh grapes/juice — the lack of a strong nose/bouquet.
Another thing I noticed was lack of strong legs.
 

Swedeman

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I’ve smelled / tasted wines before and after vacuuming countless times never noting any difference between the before / after product.
I didn't say that everybody would, but I did and maybe someone, who is unhappy, would.
 

Johnd

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It’s not anything to with use of vacuum imo. It’s just the nature of (some?) kits. This was one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed in kit wine compared to wine from fresh grapes/juice — the lack of a strong nose/bouquet.
Another thing I noticed was lack of strong legs.
I think the general consensus over the years, at least here, has been on that track, kits are lighter on the nose than grape / commercial wines. I’ve had, and still do, some that were pretty aromatic later in life, but generally speaking, believe that to be true.

Much has been written of legs, it’s not on my list as important to evaluate, some say it only indicates the presence of alcohol. When I see inky legs staining my glass after a few swirls, that first sip holds extra promise, at least for me!
 

Ted Brumleve

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No matter the exact process, concentrating (removing water) the kit juice has to remove some of those volatile compounds that give aromas to the nose. Kit concentrates vs whole juice is not a fair fight. But you can still make good wine from kits.
 

bkisel

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I doubt applying vacuum preserve wine flavor, rather the opposite. It's reasonable to assume to you will lose more volatile compounds with vacuum than without (depending on time and degree of vacuum). Having said that; I can't back that up with any peer review studies. Only my own test that I did once, did half a batch with vacuum degassing and the other half without. The difference was noticeable so I don't use vacuum anymore on my wines even if I'm not sure I would have got the same result again. Still, there a descent nose to my kits. Your mileage my vary.
That is a very interesting observation. It does make sense that you'd loose some aroma.
 

joeswine

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I'm the process which ever you chose, you loose some of the structure of the mix. have you ever notice when someone is trying to extract the NOSE of a commercial wine they swirl the glass then for some strange reason they have to stick their entire nose in the glass and breath deeply to extract the aroma?
This is common in wines, the other thing is the legs, thats the alcohol content in the wine speaking to you sating yes I'm here that's part of my the structure.
The one thing I can say about KITS is that the process is easy ,straight forward and can be rewarding, especially if you can think outside the box
 

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crackermonkey

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Wow, well I did not expect to learn so much about vacuuming when I started this post ,
I was in the same camp as the majority here that kit wine just doesn’t produce a good nose ,until a bottle of my father in laws WE Brunello blew me away . It smelled just as described by the manufacturer. It was a year old just the same as mine but smelled completely different. His was made at a now closed down u brew and mine in my basement. The only thing difference I can think of is his wine cellar is cold between 9 and 12 c depending on time of year , mine is closer to 18 . What’s your opinions on the proper temp for aging wine ?
 
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