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RJ Spagnols RJS RQ French Merlot

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jgmann67

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Kicked off my second RQ and probably my last kit until after the fresh grapes come in this fall. The French Merlot.

In the kit -

18L of juice
2 packs of dried grape skins
45g of French Med toast oak chips
RC-212 yeast
The usual suspects in clearing and preservation.

The juice is dark and almost fleshy. Once I got it measure out to 23L I took an initial SG reading. A very respectable 1.094. So, I combined the dried skins and oak, along with another 45g of oak chips to give it a little extra sacrificial tannin.

I'll leave it to soak overnight and drop yeast tomorrow after I measure the SG again. My guess is this is going to be a 14.5%+ wine.

Should I cut it down somehow or just trust the Kit-powers-that-be to know what they're doing.

Anyone else doing this one?
 

Brian55

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Mine was damaged during shipping to the vendor. It's not looking like there will be a replacement available. :(
 

joeswine

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Let be what it's supposed to be great flavor will balance out the ABV....thatß. How great wine's are designed.
 

jgmann67

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I'm loving this kit so far. The fermentation is steady, dropping 0.040 in 3 days. I stir the wine twice a day and a thick head of co2 develops almost instantly.
 

jgmann67

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Six days later and the SG is around 1.020. It'll drop down that last tenth or two by Wednesday night and I'll rack it over to a carboy.
 

geek

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I always ferment to dry in open bucket.
If it's at 1.015 today, I'm sure it will be ok for a couple more days, no worries there.
 

Brian55

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I always ferment to dry in open bucket.
If it's at 1.015 today, I'm sure it will be ok for a couple more days, no worries there.
I ferment dry in the bucket, but add an airlock as fermentation slows down towards the end.
 

geek

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I just won't be able to stir it till then, either. I hate the idea of the skins and oak drying out.
In my case and what I always do is I ferment in an open 6gal bucket and stir daily or twice daily. Once it gets in the ~1.010 I just give it a last very gently stir and leave it alone until it goes a bit below 1.000. I then transfer (leaving heavy lees behind) to air-locked carboy and let it rest for at least a week or more before I proceed further, sometimes 2 weeks.
 

jgmann67

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In my case and what I always do is I ferment in an open 6gal bucket and stir daily or twice daily. Once it gets in the ~1.010 I just give it a last very gently stir and leave it alone until it goes a bit below 1.000. I then transfer (leaving heavy lees behind) to air-locked carboy and let it rest for at least a week or more before I proceed further, sometimes 2 weeks.
I got home last night and set to work in the basement. The Merlot was down to about 1.002 when I racked it over to a carboy. We'll let it finish and rack for clearing next week.

I'm thinking of doing 45-60gr. of French med+ oak cubes once it gets to its three month nap. I have Hungarian med+ too... I blended the cubes for my PS (30gr of each. I think). Thoughts?

Is anyone else doing this kit or is it just me??
 

jgmann67

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With the Merlot fermenting to 0.990 on Sunday, we racked it over for clearing this morning. Dropped clarifiers, Kmeta and 45 gr. of Hungarian Med+ oak cubes, then topped with a SLD Merlot. Now, it sits for a month before racking off the lees.

The RQ kits this year have been trouble-free so far (knock wood).
 
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