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Riledup5 Pinot Noir Question (WinExpert Kit)

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Riledup5

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Quick question for you fine folks.... I began the Pinot Noir Wine Kit on 1/18. Starting SG was 1.076. Per the instructions it should take at least 14 days to get to a SG of <0.996. Today (day 7), the SG is 0.994. That seems like a BIG difference from what the instructions say. I think I am going to let it sit a couple more days and then rack into a carboy and degass. So my question is, have you seen the SG drop that quickly? What are your thoughts on my plan? Thanks!
 

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Day 7 is about right to maybe a little bit slow to drop from 1.076 to 0.994. The wine and yeast just don't care about days, they care about is there something for me to eat and consume. I don't think it is in your wines best interest to wait many days before racking, I would rack into a carboy and let it rest, with an airlock on it for a few days to drop out whatever it wants to drop out. My general time frames are mix wine, when it is done (or nearly done fermenting) rack, wait a few days for it to finish and drop out what might be called the gross lees. Keep at lower temps than wine kit instructions suggest (say 62-65 F) Rack, add Potassium metabisulphite, wait 2-3 months, rack, now it's time to worry about degassing and usually most of the CO2 has worked it's way out. Maybe time to add clearing agents, if I am so inclined, otherwise just Kmeta.
 

Riledup5

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Day 7 is about right to maybe a little bit slow to drop from 1.076 to 0.994. The wine and yeast just don't care about days, they care about is there something for me to eat and consume. I don't think it is in your wines best interest to wait many days before racking, I would rack into a carboy and let it rest, with an airlock on it for a few days to drop out whatever it wants to drop out. My general time frames are mix wine, when it is done (or nearly done fermenting) rack, wait a few days for it to finish and drop out what might be called the gross lees. Keep at lower temps than wine kit instructions suggest (say 62-65 F) Rack, add Potassium metabisulphite, wait 2-3 months, rack, now it's time to worry about degassing and usually most of the CO2 has worked it's way out. Maybe time to add clearing agents, if I am so inclined, otherwise just Kmeta.
Thank you cmason. That leads to another question. You say it's not in the best interest to let it sit for a couple more days. Is that due to a concern of O2?
 

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Quick question for you fine folks.... I began the Pinot Noir Wine Kit on 1/18. Starting SG was 1.076. Per the instructions it should take at least 14 days to get to a SG of <0.996. Today (day 7), the SG is 0.994. That seems like a BIG difference from what the instructions say. I think I am going to let it sit a couple more days and then rack into a carboy and degass. So my question is, have you seen the SG drop that quickly? What are your thoughts on my plan? Thanks!
I dont think they said "at least 14 days." As far as I can see, the directions (https://winexpert.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Grape-Skin-wine-kits-instructions.pdf ) just say to check the SG at 14 days, and, by that time, it should be < 0.996.

That is, they expect it to take less than 14 days. The way you are stating it, it would mean that they expected it to take more than 14 days.
 

Riledup5

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I dont think they said "at least 14 days." As far as I can see, the directions (https://winexpert.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Grape-Skin-wine-kits-instructions.pdf ) just say to check the SG at 14 days, and, by that time, it should be < 0.996.

That is, they expect it to take less than 14 days. The way you are stating it, it would mean that they expected it to take more than 14 days.
Ahhh.... sometimes a 2nd set of eyes is a good thing. I did read it as saying it would take at least 14 days, but I think you are correct. Thanks for the clarification.
 

Riledup5

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Another quick question.... on average, how long to you wait to rack the wine after you have added the clearing agent/s (kieselsol and chitosan). I added them 2 days ago and the Chardonnay is looking pretty clear, but the Pinto Noir is hard to tell. Thanks in advance!
 

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Another quick question.... on average, how long to you wait to rack the wine after you have added the clearing agent/s (kieselsol and chitosan). I added them 2 days ago and the Chardonnay is looking pretty clear, but the Pinto Noir is hard to tell. Thanks in advance!
I would wait at least two weeks, let it work.
 

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. I began the Pinot Noir Wine Kit on 1/18. Starting SG was 1.076.
That seems be a low starting SG for a red. That' results in 10.87 ABV to (.996) and that is before any optional back-sweetening.
I recently did a Mosti Mondiale Pinot Noir full juice pail , starting SG was 1.102.

What brand was the kit, if I may ask?

----
For a 4 week kit my method is very standard generally speaking
Standard method with no tweaks::

week 1 primary - after 7 days max to carboy
week 2 stabilize after 7 days (14 days from start) (use the kit fining agents usually K & Chitosan)
week 3 (end of week 3) rack and use another fining agent - sparkloid (not in kit)
(So I do a second fining, I swear by sparkloid - works very well)
week 4 end of week 4 filter and bottle

(for kits, usually 7 days or less to .990)
It doesn't have to wait til day 14 to stabilize, depends what it looks like, that's just a max deadline for me.
Even after the second racking there are still lees on the bottom just before filtering but the wine is always clear. and the lees stay there as I siphon off to my filter..
Some people wait months, racking and re-racking till all lees are gone then they don't need to filter after a year or so.
That's not for me.
I make a four week kit in four weeks.
Marked on the calendar. I rarely miss.
I might target it in advance to bottle on my birthday or something like that.
Let it age in the bottle.
...
Never heard of lees being harmful. ?? They've dropped out, they've done their job.And they will continue to drop out for a long long time, years.
I just don't want to drink them.
 
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cmason1957

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Thank you. I have read that it is not good to leave the wine on the lees. How much time is too much?
It is not a good idea to leave the wine on the "Gross" lees. Those are the ones you get right after you rack the wine into a carboy. Later on, the lees that drop out are not nearly as bad to leave them on. Some commercial wineries will only rack every 6 months to a year.
 

Riledup5

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That seems be a low starting SG for a red. That' results in 10.87 ABV to (.996) and that is before any optional back-sweetening.
I recently did a Mosti Mondiale Pinot Noir full juice pail , starting SG was 1.102.

What brand was the kit, if I may ask?

----
For a 4 week kit my method is very standard generally speaking
Standard method with no tweaks::

week 1 primary - after 7 days max to carboy
week 2 stabilize after 7 days (14 days from start) (use the kit fining agents usually K & Chitosan)
week 3 (end of week 3) rack and use another fining agent - sparkloid (not in kit)
(So I do a second fining, I swear by sparkloid - works very well)
week 4 end of week 4 filter and bottle

(for kits, usually 7 days or less to .990)
It doesn't have to wait til day 14 to stabilize, depends what it looks like, that's just a max deadline for me.
Even after the second racking there are still lees on the bottom just before filtering but the wine is always clear. and the lees stay there as I siphon off to my filter..
Some people wait months, racking and re-racking till all lees are gone then they don't need to filter after a year or so.
That's not for me.
I make a four week kit in four weeks.
Marked on the calendar. I rarely miss.
I might target it in advance to bottle on my birthday or something like that.
Let it age in the bottle.
...
Never heard of lees being harmful. ?? They've dropped out, they've done their job.And they will continue to drop out for a long long time, years.
I just don't want to drink them.
Thanks Chinook. Very helpful insight. The Pinot is a 4 week WinExpert. I don't know what to say about the starting SG, that's just what it was. So, like you, I racked after 7 days in primary, but the instructions stated to add KMeta immediately after racking, stir then add Kieselsol, then add Chitosan the next day. It then says to leace it for 11 days and rack again if the wine is clear. Then let sit for a min of 2 days. Then either bulk age or filter.
 

Riledup5

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It is not a good idea to leave the wine on the "Gross" lees. Those are the ones you get right after you rack the wine into a carboy. Later on, the lees that drop out are not nearly as bad to leave them on. Some commercial wineries will only rack every 6 months to a year.
Gotcha, still learning. So good to know the diff about "gross". Thank You.
 

Sailor323

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It is not a good idea to leave the wine on the "Gross" lees. Those are the ones you get right after you rack the wine into a carboy. Later on, the lees that drop out are not nearly as bad to leave them on. Some commercial wineries will only rack every 6 months to a year.
Exactly, you don't want to leave the wine too long on the lees from primary fermentation. Those are made mostly of yeast cells and can give the wine a yeast "bitten", off-taste. The sediment that falls after primary fermentation is just solids falling out of the solution.
 

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Thanks Chinook. Very helpful insight. The Pinot is a 4 week WinExpert. I don't know what to say about the starting SG, that's just what it was. So, like you, I racked after 7 days in primary, but the instructions stated to add KMeta immediately after racking, stir then add Kieselsol, then add Chitosan the next day. It then says to leace it for 11 days and rack again if the wine is clear. Then let sit for a min of 2 days. Then either bulk age or filter.
I have a WinExpert Red kit 4 week Diablo Rojo, starting SG is 1.086 . I really suspect your starting SG, never had it that low for a kit Red. Something is wrong. Some really old kit?
Kmeta? Does the sulfide package say "Kmeta" or (Sulphide + Sorbate 9.5 gm)?
...
I have the same generic instructions from WinExpert. They are fit to line the bottom of a bird cage. Just like all the instructions from all wine kits - all generic , confusing to a beginner and subject to the lens of reality. They are just a general guideline.
They make the instructions very general so as to cover every kind of kit that exists and they don't want to take legal responsibility or get in the weeds because actually each step is much more complicated.
I follow common sense , not the instructions
...
For instance I do not put only 6 gallons of water in the primary, I put enough to cover the lees as well for the secondary so that my six gallons carboy is a six gallon carboy of wine.There are others that follow those generic instructions blindly and they ruin their wine by "topping up" and they over concentrate their wine with some unnessaary anxiety about "diluting" the wine rather than getting the correct balance that the kit was designed for.

...
But yes, 14 day is the deadline for stabilization the Instruction are correct in that. Only the wine should be put in the secondary and protected from oxygen as soon as the primary fermentation is finished.. After that there may be some small secondary fermentation but the carboy can handle that.That's is why you leave it in the carboy for a while letting it settle before you stabilize it and stop the fermentation permanently.

Yeah well, ....lees in the primary. Making kits usually people don't have to care about that because they usually transfer it to the carboy in about 7 days. I never had a kit fermentation go slower that that, except for one that I tweaked and made a mistake.
 

Riledup5

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I have a WinExpert Red kit 4 week Diablo Rojo, starting SG is 1.086 . I really suspect your starting SG, never had it that low for a kit Red. Something is wrong. Some really old kit?
Kmeta? Does the sulfide package say "Kmeta" or (Sulphide + Sorbate 9.5 gm)?
...
I have the same generic instructions from WinExpert. They are fit to line the bottom of a bird cage. Just like all the instructions from all wine kits - all generic , confusing to a beginner and subject to the lens of reality. They are just a general guideline.
They make the instructions very general so as to cover every kind of kit that exists and they don't want to take legal responsibility or get in the weeds because actually each step is much more complicated.
I follow common sense , not the instructions
...
For instance I do not put only 6 gallons of water in the primary, I put enough to cover the lees as well for the secondary so that my six gallons carboy is a six gallon carboy of wine.There are others that follow those generic instructions blindly and they ruin their wine by "topping up" and they over concentrate their wine with some unnessaary anxiety about "diluting" the wine rather than getting the correct balance that the kit was designed for.

...
But yes, 14 day is the deadline for stabilization the Instruction are correct in that. Only the wine should be put in the secondary and protected from oxygen as soon as the primary fermentation is finished.. After that there may be some small secondary fermentation but the carboy can handle that.That's is why you leave it in the carboy for a while letting it settle before you stabilize it and stop the fermentation permanently.

Yeah well, ....lees in the primary. Making kits usually people don't have to care about that because they usually transfer it to the carboy in about 7 days. I never had a kit fermentation go slower that that, except for one that I tweaked and made a mistake.
I am new to this, so perhaps I read the starting SG incorrectly, but I really don't think so. Not rocket science. Also, I had just ordered the kit and started it about 2 weeks after I received it. Unless they sent me an old kit, then that shouldn't be an issue.

It didn't call for adding the KMeta/KSorbate until the SG was <0.996. That's when they said to rack off the primary as well. So who knows.
 

Chinook

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I am new to this, so perhaps I read the starting SG incorrectly, but I really don't think so. Not rocket science. Also, I had just ordered the kit and started it about 2 weeks after I received it. Unless they sent me an old kit, then that shouldn't be an issue.

It didn't call for adding the KMeta/KSorbate until the SG was <0.996. That's when they said to rack off the primary as well. So who knows.
Ok , so this is a relatively new kit. Then it should be the same packaged generically as my Diablo Rojo. That's why I wanted to ask you specifically if the words "sulfide and sorbate is printed on the fining agents or is the word Kmeta? Is Kmeta your own word or is that word printed n the package. Because if "Kmeta" is printed on the package, that would be a differnce in the packaging. I'm betting it isn't..

Well the website says 12.5 percent for that Pinot Noir which is 1.082 if your Noir goes to rock bottom at .990
At .078 to .990 that would be 11.957 % which is not too far off.
.
Yeah I've noticed that sometimes the kits fall short of the advertised ABV. For me I might do chapitalization tweaking with what I know now if I thought the SG was too low, specifically for this Red.

Also you could calibrate your hydrometer in water to check it's accuracy , if you didn't already do that. I've had some hydrometers that are off the mark in the absolute sense , though relatively they are accurate.. But probably you got an accurate reading.

----
Simply to say: rack off the primary at 14 days is woefully inadequate instructions. It's as if the person who composed the instruction was some foreign hire that never had any practical experience with winemaking and was just trying to "imagine the sound" by looking at the product.

Ok So I'll scan the instruction set for Mosti Mondiale my Pinot Noir. It's the same process. I think it's a more accurate instruction set for a beginner. You'll notice days 6-14 are secondary fermentation depending on if fermentation is finished. and day 14 is the stabilizing as usual.
...
I have the exact same WinExpert instructions as you have printed for Diablo Rojo. They print the same instructions for every kit without variance or sense. One size fits all,
..
Leaving the wine in the carboy after major fermentation is done risks the wine to oxygenation - it goes in the carboy ASAP when fermentation is done . Usually with the kits the fermentation races to the bottom in 7 days max... but it could be 14 days. Ay, there's the rub..
...
 

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Riledup5

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Ok , so this is a relatively new kit. Then it should be the same packaged generically as my Diablo Rojo. That's why I wanted to ask you specifically if the words "sulfide and sorbate is printed on the fining agents or is the word Kmeta? Is Kmeta your own word or is that word printed n the package. Because if "Kmeta" is printed on the package, that would be a differnce in the packaging. I'm betting it isn't..

Well the website says 12.5 percent for that Pinot Noir which is 1.082 if your Noir goes to rock bottom at .990
At .078 to .990 that would be 11.957 % which is not too far off.
.
Yeah I've noticed that sometimes the kits fall short of the advertised ABV. For me I might do chapitalization tweaking with what I know now if I thought the SG was too low, specifically for this Red.

Also you could calibrate your hydrometer in water to check it's accuracy , if you didn't already do that. I've had some hydrometers that are off the mark in the absolute sense , though relatively they are accurate.. But probably you got an accurate reading.

----
Simply to say: rack off the primary at 14 days is woefully inadequate instructions. It's as if the person who composed the instruction was some foreign hire that never had any practical experience with winemaking and was just trying to "imagine the sound" by looking at the product.

Ok So I'll scan the instruction set for Mosti Mondiale my Pinot Noir. It's the same process. I think it's a more accurate instruction set for a beginner. You'll notice days 6-14 are secondary fermentation depending on if fermentation is finished. and day 14 is the stabilizing as usual.
...
I have the exact same WinExpert instructions as you have printed for Diablo Rojo. They print the same instructions for every kit without variance or sense. One size fits all,
..
Leaving the wine in the carboy after major fermentation is done risks the wine to oxygenation - it goes in the carboy ASAP when fermentation is done . Usually with the kits the fermentation races to the bottom in 7 days max... but it could be 14 days. Ay, there's the rub..
...
Gotcha, the stated starting SG in the instructions say 1.070 - 1.097. So when it came up between those I didn't think twice about it (this is only my 2nd batch).

I threw away the packaging, but the instructions say "Potassium Metabisulfite/Potassium Sorbate". If memory serves me correctly, that is what was printed on the packaging.

What is chapitalization?

Good thought on testing the hydrometer with water to see if it is accurate and if not, how far off it is. I will check that today.

Thank you for your input. Uber-appreciated
 

cmason1957

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Chapitalization is a fancy way of saying, adding extra sugar to your must to increase the starting sg and hence the alcohol.

You are doing absolutely the right thing on your second or third kit, follow the directions, learn the process, get comfortable making wine and doing the things needed. Later you will decide (or might not) to deviate from the instructions.
 

Riledup5

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Man, if it's not one thing, it's another. I went to start a Sauv Blanc kit and when I cleaned the primary (they call it the Big Mouth Bubbler) that I bought as part of a kit from MasterVintner, I noticed this flaw on the bottom of the primary. I don't recall it being there for the other 2 kits that I started. Any idea what this might be from?View attachment Primary11.jpg
 

Riledup5

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Ok , so this is a relatively new kit. Then it should be the same packaged generically as my Diablo Rojo. That's why I wanted to ask you specifically if the words "sulfide and sorbate is printed on the fining agents or is the word Kmeta? Is Kmeta your own word or is that word printed n the package. Because if "Kmeta" is printed on the package, that would be a differnce in the packaging. I'm betting it isn't..

Well the website says 12.5 percent for that Pinot Noir which is 1.082 if your Noir goes to rock bottom at .990
At .078 to .990 that would be 11.957 % which is not too far off.
.
Yeah I've noticed that sometimes the kits fall short of the advertised ABV. For me I might do chapitalization tweaking with what I know now if I thought the SG was too low, specifically for this Red.

Also you could calibrate your hydrometer in water to check it's accuracy , if you didn't already do that. I've had some hydrometers that are off the mark in the absolute sense , though relatively they are accurate.. But probably you got an accurate reading.

----
Simply to say: rack off the primary at 14 days is woefully inadequate instructions. It's as if the person who composed the instruction was some foreign hire that never had any practical experience with winemaking and was just trying to "imagine the sound" by looking at the product.

Ok So I'll scan the instruction set for Mosti Mondiale my Pinot Noir. It's the same process. I think it's a more accurate instruction set for a beginner. You'll notice days 6-14 are secondary fermentation depending on if fermentation is finished. and day 14 is the stabilizing as usual.
...
I have the exact same WinExpert instructions as you have printed for Diablo Rojo. They print the same instructions for every kit without variance or sense. One size fits all,
..
Leaving the wine in the carboy after major fermentation is done risks the wine to oxygenation - it goes in the carboy ASAP when fermentation is done . Usually with the kits the fermentation races to the bottom in 7 days max... but it could be 14 days. Ay, there's the rub..
...
Chinook, I tested the hydrometer and it was accurate with plain ol' tap water.

The instructions you scanned said to rack into a carboy when SG is between 1.010 and 1.020. I am now wondering what the purpose of the secondary is? Why not leave it in the primary until fermentation is complete? Maybe because you have to open the primary to test the SG and therefore exposing it to more O2 than necessary?
 

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