WineXpert Some questions about kits...

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TeamKA

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How bad is toping off with water? We just started and it didn't seem appropriate to go out and spend another $30+ on some wine to pour into our Italian Sangiovase.

Do you need to top off with the same wine that you are making? IE: Italian Sangiovase? or would you just add a Merlot to that?

What would be a good wine to top off the South African Shiraz with? Should I go buy a Shiraz or use the Sangio that will be about a month in the bottle at the point the SA Shiraz would be needing the top off.

Thanks.

-Brian
 

rawlus

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if you are topping off less than a bottle or two, the type of wine doesnt matter much in the grand scheme of things. any similar red wine will do for most reds. wine youve made before is always good as it is on-hand and inexpensive. box wine also works well.

i wouldnt stress keeping with the same varietal too much, even a commercial bottle labeled cabernet sauvignon is often not 100% cabsauv.
 

MN-winer

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Technically the WE kits are formulated for adding water to top up. At least that is what Tim Vandergrift says. I prefer to top up with wine as do many others. My first kit I used water and it was under a bottle. The kit I did was relatively thin anyway and now I'm using it as a nice basic table wine and its good for topping up my higher quality reds.
 

vino-j

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I don't top up. It's one of the things I tried early on after the first kit. I end up with just about two cases, or six bottles less than what the kit says it will make.
 

Tom

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I don't top up. It's one of the things I tried early on after the first kit. I end up with just about two cases, or six bottles less than what the kit says it will make.
I would suggest to rack in a smaller carboy if you only get 24 from a 6gal kit. You should not lose that much. MAybe in the line of 1 bottle or so. If you are losing that much and dont rack to a 5 gal carboy you risk oxidizing the wine.
 

vino-j

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Well,

I say "lose" in that that I don't get the full 30 bottles. When I do the first rack, there might be a half a bottle to a bottle left in the bottom of the fermenter, because I don't jam the siphon all the way to the bottom. I also "lose" about maybe another half bottle when I rack the second time, again, keeping the siphon off of the bottom. Finally, when I rack into my bottling vat, I have about a magnums' worth I leave behind that doesn't go into the "nice" bottles, it just gets drank. There's probably another half bottle left in the bottom of the bottling vat, and that gets drank too (bottling is usually a weekend event! stop by!).

So, I think I 'lose' 3/4 bottle to a bottle during fermenting, and I lose them most in bottling, about 3. I haven't had any oxidation problems, I just try to leave the gooey stuff behind when bottling.
 

Tom

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Ah, that explains why.! :D
 

Wade E

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Ive said it before and Ill say it again everyone. If you make these kits to the proper size originally and do a good job racking EVERYTHING over except the thick mud at the bottom and just do 1 more racking possibly you wont have to go using 1,2,or 3 bottles to top up. Dont worry about bringing over a bunch of lees especially if you are going to use a fining agent as it will just take it out anyway . Get all the wine you can out of the batch. When its time to clear your wine then tilt the carboy to one side while clearing and every few days help it out by giving the sediment a nudge deep into that corner. When its done clearing youll have all you lees in one corner and then you gently tile the carboy to the other sie and get your racking cane or auto siphon right down to the very bottom and not have any lees there cause its all on the other side. Another trick is to let your wine sit on the fining agent a little longer to let it all compact so its not so easily disturbed.
 

Tom

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Yep nuff said... But we just want to drink :dg :dg :dg :dg... LOL

3 WORDS to remember
.
Patience
Patience
Patience
.
You patience will be rewarded.

Wineries wait over a year before bottling.
 

Runningwolf

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Wade could you please explain that again but go a little slower this time.:w
 

TeamKA

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Good points thank you. We are going to be making some wine racks this weekend I think maybe we'll make some blocks to tilt the carboy slightly during fining. =)
 

Runningwolf

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TeamKA, this is what Wade is talking about.
 

Wade E

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I even tilt them a little more and like I said give the carboy a nudge everyday for the first week or two to help all the lees get way into that corner!
 

drizztkun

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Ive said it before and Ill say it again everyone. If you make these kits to the proper size originally and do a good job racking EVERYTHING over except the thick mud at the bottom and just do 1 more racking possibly you wont have to go using 1,2,or 3 bottles to top up. Dont worry about bringing over a bunch of lees especially if you are going to use a fining agent as it will just take it out anyway . Get all the wine you can out of the batch. When its time to clear your wine then tilt the carboy to one side while clearing and every few days help it out by giving the sediment a nudge deep into that corner. When its done clearing youll have all you lees in one corner and then you gently tile the carboy to the other sie and get your racking cane or auto siphon right down to the very bottom and not have any lees there cause its all on the other side. Another trick is to let your wine sit on the fining agent a little longer to let it all compact so its not so easily disturbed.
I wished i had read that before i did my beer, i realised i had lost quite a lot transfering from primary to carboy, and had to top off with water as per instruction, that might explain why i felt my beer tasted too much like water.... i lost more when i bottled too.

Well i've learned something new again weeeee i can go to bed lest stupid tonight
 

TeamKA

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Thank you! I'll be putting some wood under my stuff tonight =)
 

jdeere5220

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TeamKA, this is what Wade is talking about.
Great pics guys. Runningwolf, I went through your list and see you made the Island Mist Blackberry Cab. I've got that in a carboy right now. It's been in secondary for 12 days. Specific Gravity says .997 (as near as I can read it). Doesn't seem to be any bubbling action at all anymore out the airlock. The instructions say it should be .996 or lower. What should I do? Anyone? Is this a problem, or just go ahead with the next step (degassing and clearing). Please reply as I don't want to screw up this batch (it's for my wife!).
 

xanxer82

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.997 is fine too. Keep checking the Sg every day for a couple of days. If it stays at .997 the whole time, it's finished. if it drops then it's not. The most important factor is stability.
 
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jdeere5220

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Thanks xanxer! I want this batch to come out good so I don't hear any complaining when I pick up the next 6 kits (for me!). I'll check again in a couple days.
 

Tom

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The only complaint I see comming is ...Why didn't you make MORE! :slp :h
 
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