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RJ Spagnols Secondary Fermentation?

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Andy419

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Hi Everyone,

I saw a reference to this question in another thread, but there was not a clear answer. I just bought an RJS Cellar Classics Cab/Merlot kit. The instructions seem to be a bit lacking (the bottling section doesn't even mention putting wine into the bottles; it just says to cork them so I am leary of what is written) -- specifically there is no mention of secondary fermentation. After primary, the intructions jump to Clearing and Stabilizing at day 14. I assume there should be a secondary fermentation step at SG about 1.010 -- is this a mistake in the instructions? Has anyone tried this kit and gone straight from the primary to clearing?

(this is only my second kit; first was a WE Chilean Merlot that is aging, then 2 batches of SP: so I am pretty new at this)

Thanks,

Andy
 

Brintk

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Hi Andy419,
Typically primary fermentation is done with the top of the fermenter lightly covered in such a manner that that the fermenting must has access to air - I use a large towel - but such that nothing can fall or fly into the must. The CO₂ given off by the fermentation will preserve the must from various nasties. At around SG 1.01 the winemaker can do one of two things. Either cover the fermenter tightly and insert an airlock, or rack the wine into another fermenter - eliminating the heaviest lees - thend cover this fermenter tightly and insert an airlock.

When the fermentation is complete - Forget the time period and test for SG <1.00 and no longer changing - is the time for stabilizing and clearing. Follow the instructions in your kit, as some clearing agents may require that they are started with the fine lees left in the fermenter, others would have you rack off the fine lees before starting the clearing process.

I hope this helps, and good luck.
 

Kylie

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Usually with the RJS Cellar Classics, all the ones that I have done, you rack and add your Clearing and Stabilizing at day 14 and let it sit until day 42 I think is what it says. There isn't a secoundary racking those kits.
 

Andy419

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Thanks! I guess I'll just keep the lid tight (for 2ndary) and follow the directions.
 

Dugger

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Most Spagnols kits, except for the high end ones, use a complete ferment in the bucket as Kylie says. They changed their protocol a few years ago. This method saves a step and also allows better degassing at this stage. I usually do the first week under loose lid and the final week under tight lid with airlock just to be safe.
If you wish ( or need your bucket for another kit) you can transfer to your carboy at about 1010 instead of leaving in the bucket; RJS (Lisa) advised me some time back that this is optional when I questioned the new directions at that time.
 

Andy419

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Thanks Again!

My concern is checking SG -- every time you open the lid to check the SG, there will be potential for O2 contamination. I guess there is still enough dissolved CO2 in the must to prevent too much O2 from being absorbed????
 
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