WineXpert Private Reserve Colosso

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Purchased a Private Reserve Colosso Italian kit. As I started going through the box I was amazed at all the unnecessary ingredients enclosed. I’m sure it’s so the wine doesn’t fail for any newbie wine makers. Here’s what I mean. Two packages of yeast; RC 212 and EC 1118 to be sprinkled at the same time. Well there goes any RC 212 profile as I believe the EC 1118 will take over the fermentation. 30g of bentonite, two 12.5 ml packages of Kieselsol and almost 5 ounces of Chitosan. That’s five times the recommended dose on a Chitosan bottle. I would be concerned about stripping color and flavor with all those clarifiers. Then again I suppose this is fast track wine as the box says wine in 6-8 weeks. I’ll make the kit and probably skip all those additives and bottle in about a year or so. The kit wasn’t cheap. I’m curious how the wine will turn out with my tweaks.
 
When I have done kids that include multiple yeast packets, I add the RC-212 at the start and if the ferment needs it later (around 1.010), add the EC1118 to get things over the finish line to dry. I usually add the bentonite at the start.

Since I bulk are more than that 8 weeks, I often leave out the clarifying agents. Can't say what it does or doesn't do to the flavors, but many folks like to drink what I make.
 
I recently bottled my WineXpert Reserve "Enigma" and it turned out great. I used RC-212 yeast instead of the EC1118 that was included in the kit and aged it in the carboy for 12 months. I didn't use any clarifiers, letting time do the clearing. Turned out to be the best I've ever made. I'd say you're on the right track.
Good luck
-Len
 
I recently bottled my WineXpert Reserve "Enigma" and it turned out great. I used RC-212 yeast instead of the EC1118 that was included in the kit and aged it in the carboy for 12 months. I didn't use any clarifiers, letting time do the clearing. Turned out to be the best I've ever made. I'd say you're on the right track.
Good luck
-Len
Are there skins in the Enigma kit?
 
Purchased a Private Reserve Colosso Italian kit. As I started going through the box I was amazed at all the unnecessary ingredients enclosed. I’m sure it’s so the wine doesn’t fail for any newbie wine makers. Here’s what I mean. Two packages of yeast; RC 212 and EC 1118 to be sprinkled at the same time. Well there goes any RC 212 profile as I believe the EC 1118 will take over the fermentation. 30g of bentonite, two 12.5 ml packages of Kieselsol and almost 5 ounces of Chitosan. That’s five times the recommended dose on a Chitosan bottle. I would be concerned about stripping color and flavor with all those clarifiers. Then again I suppose this is fast track wine as the box says wine in 6-8 weeks. I’ll make the kit and probably skip all those additives and bottle in about a year or so. The kit wasn’t cheap. I’m curious how the wine will turn out with my tweaks.
What you say is probably accurate. However, these kits are designed for the "average bear" and have to be made simply. If you are willing to invest the time, you probably will not need the clearing agents (Kieselsol, chitosan and bentonite) and the "turbo" yeast, EC1118 is there to guard against a stuck fermentation. I use RC212 on virtually all of my reds, but I have been known to apply the "beast," as @Cmason notes, to get an FSG of 0.992, or so .
 
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What you say is probably accurate. However, these kits are designed for the "average bear" and have to be made simply. If you are willing to invest the time, you probably will not need the clearing agents (Kieselsol, chitosan and bentonite) and the "turbo" yeast, EC1118 is there to guard against a stuck fermentation. I use RC212 on virtually all of my reds, but I have been known to apply the "beast," as @Cmason notes, to get an FSG of 0.092, or so .
Does adding the ec 1118 change the flavor profile if pitched when SG hits around 1.010?
 
Does adding the ec 1118 change the flavor profile if pitched when SG hits around 1.010?
I expect not. EC-1118 is a workhorse with high ABV tolerance and can handle environments other strains cannot, but it doesn't bring any specific qualities to the table.

In December I started a high-brix kit with RC-212, which quit at 1.002. EC-1118 finished it at 0.995.
 
Here is my observation with the Winexpert Private Reserve kit so far. The skin package was a gooey substance like jam. Not so easy to fill the mesh bag. I pitched my starter about 36 hours ago and started punching down the muslin bag. These skins are different from the skins that FWK’s provide. FWK skins are dry and easy to use. I went to punch down and it almost appears that the muslin bag broke. Somehow a portion of the skins escaped from the bag and are floating on top. With a sanitized gloved hand, I pulled up the bag. Didn’t appear to have a hole. Do the enclosed photos represent normal fermentation with this Reserve kit? I can actually scoop some of the skins off the surface.
 

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I suggest leaving the "escapees" on the surface and let them work. Many people do not even use the bag and all the skins float on top, requiring a periodic "punch down" to get them under the surface. As far as a "normal fermentation," where are you in the process, i.e. day what? If you are early, fermentation is just starting; if you are well along, as in day 10 or so, fermentation may be finished. Your hydrometer will tell you.
 
Very early on. Day two. I was wondering if this style of skins typically squeezes through the mesh.
I am familiar with that type of skin and I have not had them get through the mesh. I should add that when I use the bags, I squeeze them at least 2x per day during fermentation and I have had good results from this practice.

You mentioned that it was difficult to get all of the skin material out of the package. What I do is stretch the bag over a large stock pot and secure it with a large rubber band. Rather than trying to get the skins out through the capped opening, I cut one corner out of the plastic bag holding the skins and squeeze out as much of them as I can into the mesh bag. I then half fill the plastic bag with the water that I am going to add (I used distilled water), slosh it around to dissolve much of the residue and pout it into the bag. The water flows through the mesh bag into the pot and I use that as a part of my water addition. Works fine and I can usually get out all of the skins.
 
I am familiar with that type of skin and I have not had them get through the mesh. I should add that when I use the bags, I squeeze them at least 2x per day during fermentation and I have had good results from this practice.

You mentioned that it was difficult to get all of the skin material out of the package. What I do is stretch the bag over a large stock pot and secure it with a large rubber band. Rather than trying to get the skins out through the capped opening, I cut one corner out of the plastic bag holding the skins and squeeze out as much of them as I can into the mesh bag. I then half fill the plastic bag with the water that I am going to add (I used distilled water), slosh it around to dissolve much of the residue and pout it into the bag. The water flows through the mesh bag into the pot and I use that as a part of my water addition. Works fine and I can usually get out all of the skins.
Yes I did exactly that.

All the bags that I have used in the past were made of a sturdier material. The one that came with the kit was very thin. I almost tossed it and was going to use one of my own. Then I thought, ok this will be an interesting experiment. If anything I thought the bag might break. It didn’t, yet you can see in the photo somehow some of the skins escaped. I have a plan when it comes time to rack. If the skins are still floating I will simply skim them off the top with a fine strainer and push the juice through the strainer with a spoon.
 

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