Starting Gravity Experiment

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vinny

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The other day I responded to a post about ABV and gravity readings. My response was regarding when you can take an accurate starting gravity reading.

I replied that kits are different than musts with a lot of solids. That juices mix easily and once well mixed an SG reading can be taken immediately. @winemaker81 replied right after me claiming that he has had different readings the next day and kits still need to be very well mixed to get accurate readings.

Sooo, There I was with a 41 year winemaker disputing my statement. I have to admit that after a few really good mixes, and a maximum of hours, I assumed that the last reading I was taking was stable. This is not an ego moment, just that I don't want to lead anyone to the wrong understanding.

Yesterday I mixed up a Vineco 'Ultra Premium' Toscana kit with skin pack. I followed my standard reconstitution procedure and left it at that. I mixed again last night, and again this morning and took a final reading. After reading his post on making a big red, I have been going over the procedure with WM81 to get the best out of this kit. The results are interesting, I thought I should make a public post.

Yesterday I was reading 1.072. This morning 1.072, maybe, 1.074. Ok, great. I am not getting crazy inaccurate SG readings with what I am doing. Also my comment was not ignorant or recklessly misleading.

But! We can't leave it there. The skin packs that come with these kits are thick. They are like jam. Last night I added a couple of cups worth of water to thin out the syrup. I added it to primary this morning. My SG rose from a low 1,072~ to 1.086. Another hour later and a little pressing of the bag. I am reading just shy of 1.100.

The last kit I did with skins I added a couple of cups of sugar to push the SG to 1.100. I was likely above that knowing how much sugar is in those skins. I tasted that kit this morning and it is balanced, so I didn't make rocket fuel, but this has been a good lesson in not rushing to get the yeast pitched. What is a day over the course of a year? This is going to be triple oaked, with skins, tannin and so on, it's going to need some time to reach it's full potential.

This was a fun exercise in patience. It produced some real notable results that will be valuable in the future. AND, if you guys already know this, humor me. I'm learning, here!😀
 
And this is a great place to learn! And I'm right there with you!

If my country wines have solids I'll set up the preliminary must a day ahead. The SG is always different the next day, even with vegetables. A lot? No, but certainly measurable. I do it mostly out of curiosity. It's nowhere near your swing with the skin pack though.
 
Are FWK skins included or are they additional to the kit?

Are they also thick and syrupy, or are they dried skins?

With the Tavola FWK kits the skins are additional, with the Forte two are included. You can also order extra, they suggest no more than four.

They are not as thick and syrupy as the ones that I have received with Wine Expert or RJSpagnols kits.Idon't find that they add much to the Sg. I had similar results to others and have had different SG values the next day. I don't know if that is still the case, since I now no longer measure any sg until I am going to pitch the yeast, which is always the next day. I decided to take that approach to avoid the impulse to add sugar after the reading of that first mixup.
 
I don't know if that is still the case, since I now no longer measure any sg until I am going to pitch the yeast, which is always the next day. I decided to take that approach to avoid the impulse to add sugar after the reading of that first mixup.
That certainly simplifies things. Day 1 is just a reconstitution. I like it!
 
This morning I added 1cup of sugar. Then the oak chips and inoculated with 2 litres of must I pulled out last night and added my RC-212 to.

The kit also came with EC-1118, but I added nutrient, dead yeast, instead of old faithful.

A perfect 1.100
PXL_20221223_172607822.jpg
 
The other day I responded to a post about ABV and gravity readings. My response was regarding when you can take an accurate starting gravity reading.
Dave, thanks for posting. This type of research is incredibly valuable.

I've been making kits since 1996, and up until I proved to myself that I didn't, I was positive I mixed kits well. It was honestly a surprise, and it has changed how I mix EVERYTHING. I've been adding glycerin at bottling for a few years. I'm now mixing the glycerin in better and am considering other ideas for ensuring it distributes well.

But! We can't leave it there. The skin packs that come with these kits are thick. They are like jam. Last night I added a couple of cups worth of water to thin out the syrup. I added it to primary this morning. My SG rose from a low 1,072~ to 1.086. Another hour later and a little pressing of the bag. I am reading just shy of 1.100.
Something else to consider when discussing skin packs is the type -- FWK packs are dried and I don't expect they contribute much to the SG, and I don't recall skin packs like jam. Yet another question to ask when someone asks for help with a kit.

And this is a great place to learn! And I'm right there with you!
I read a fair number of research papers, and in some cases I suspect the authors used a chemistry thesaurus to use as many obtuse words as possible to make themselves sound smarter. I 'spose these folks accomplished their goal (publishing) even if the results are not exactly useful to people who actually make wine.

The research we do is so much more practical.
 
FWK packs are dried and I don't expect they contribute much to the SG, and I don't recall skin packs like jam.

'Like' jam. It is definitely grape skins. They come in a bag with a top exactly as on the juice bag. You have to cut the bag open to get them out because it is so thick and chunky. It is the syrup that the skins are in that is like jam. VERY sweet, and thick. Likely part of the preservation to keep them from spoiling..
 
'Like' jam. It is definitely grape skins. They come in a bag with a top exactly as on the juice bag. You have to cut the bag open to get them out because it is so thick and chunky. It is the syrup that the skins are in that is like jam. VERY sweet, and thick. Likely part of the preservation to keep them from spoiling..
I've not encountered these. Prior to FWK, it's been years since I make a kit with skin packs.
 
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