Other Super Tuscan Finer Wine Kit

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It's an experiment for me. Never used this kit. Followed directions exactly. OG 1.113. Fermented under perfect conditions at 76*-77*F. After five days gravity dropped to .997. Directions say leave for 15 days or until gravity drops to 1.110. So, looking for opinions. Rack it now at .997 or wait the prescribed 15 days at 70 something degrees. By the way, it smells wonderful.
 

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My ST FWK kit is about 2-3 weeks older than yours. Yes, you can rack it now but the key is to seal the fermenter to keep any CO2 blanketing the wine. My bucket wouldn’t seal, didn’t want to mess with it and risk something worse, so I racked mine. Sadly I only had room in the fermenter for one of the skin bags. Next time I would invest in a Speidel and dedicate it to doing kits like these.
 

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My ST FWK kit is about 2-3 weeks older than yours. Yes, you can rack it now but the key is to seal the fermenter to keep any CO2 blanketing the wine. My bucket wouldn’t seal, didn’t want to mess with it and risk something worse, so I racked mine. Sadly I only had room in the fermenter for one of the skin bags. Next time I would invest in a Speidel and dedicate it to doing kits like these.
Let me see if I understand you correctly. If I were to rack, I would go into a carboy and would certainly not include the skin bags. Are you saying the wine needs more contact with the skins and not to rack into a carboy without them?
 

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Skins or no skins? If skins, seal it immediately. It should be sealed around 1.010. there's probably enough CO2 in the wine to make it safe for another week
If I can seal my bucket and put an airlock on it, would that be better than racking to a carboy and lowering it to cellar temperatures?
 

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Directions say to seal the lid at 1.010, but yours blew past that. Agree with @winemaker81, seal your bucket if you can. You get the extra skin contact plus CO2 protection. I wasn’t going to be comfortable in my situation that I had CO2 protection so I racked.
 

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Directions say to seal the lid at 1.010, but yours blew past that. Agree with @winemaker81, seal your bucket if you can. You get the extra skin contact plus CO2 protection. I wasn’t going to be comfortable in my situation that I had CO2 protection so I racked.
Never expected it to drop so fast. Ok I am sealed under air lock in bucket. How long do I keep it there and at what temperature? Continue with 75*-76*F?
 
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Sealing in the primary (bucket) for the full 15 days ensures a complete ferment. I had one go all the way to .992 recently. It also allows skin contact for a longer period which really enhances the wine imo. In fact, I leave it sit in my bucket until day 30, for a little EM 😉. Personally, I see no reason to rack out of the primary prior to fermentation completion (and do a secondary fermentation). Let it sit until it's done, then start the stabilizing and clearing process. It takes ALOT longer for wine to be negatively affected by gross lees exposure than kit wine timelines.
 

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Sealing in the primary (bucket) for the full 15 days ensures a complete ferment. I had one go all the way to .992 recently. It also allows skin contact for a longer period which really enhances the wine imo. In fact, I leave it sit in my bucket until day 30, for a little EM 😉. Personally, I see no reason to rack out of the primary prior to fermentation completion (and do a secondary fermentation). Let it sit until it's done, then start the stabilizing and clearing process. It takes ALOT longer for wine to be negatively affected by gross lees exposure than kit wine timelines.
And mid 70’s F is where the temperature should be?
 

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Directions say to seal the lid at 1.010, but yours blew past that. Agree with @winemaker81, seal your bucket if you can. You get the extra skin contact plus CO2 protection. I wasn’t going to be comfortable in my situation that I had CO2 protection so I racked.

So here is where I was knocked off track. When I first read the directions it said, "stir and punch down twice daily" and at the same time "keep it sealed until day 15". I called Label Peelers and questioned them. They told me the "sealed fermenter" directions were for kits with no skins included and to leave the cover loose. So I fermented as I usually do with juice leaving the cover loose allowing me to stir and in this case punch down.

I've enclosed FWK directions which I don't find very clear. Perhaps if they read, "Stir and punch down daily UNTIL SG reaches 1.010 THEN seal bucket and don't open until day 15". I think that would eliminate any confusion. I am now sealed under airlock and will not open for 10 more days.
Comments?

Label Peelers.jpeg
 
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It's hard to write directions that everyone totally understands. Personally, I read over the directions the first time and then do it the way I want to.

My plastic fermenter can't be sealed completely with an airlock, so I ferment to finish stirring twice or three times a day, if grape skins making certain they get punched down, if not, just giving it a good stir. Once I reach about 1.000 or lower (usually 5-7 days), I rack to a carboy, after a good healthy stir and trying to get as much of the lees as possible. I also squeeze by hand the skins bag to get as much juice out of it as I can, it is usually quite dry. Allow to finish in the carboy, under airlock. Either way works just fine.
 

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It's hard to write directions that everyone totally understands. Personally, I read over the directions the first time and then do it the way I want to.

My plastic fermenter can't be sealed completely with an airlock, so I ferment to finish stirring twice or three times a day, if grape skins making certain they get punched down, if not, just giving it a good stir. Once I reach about 1.000 or lower (usually 5-7 days), I rack to a carboy, after a good healthy stir and trying to get as much of the lees as possible. I also squeeze by hand the skins bag to get as much juice out of it as I can, it is usually quite dry. Allow to finish in the carboy, under airlock. Either way works just fine.
I agree with your method completely but was determined to follow FWK directions being my first kit experience.
 

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If you sealed the primary after day 5 and the airlock is still actively bubbling (even very slowly) you are going to have protection. IMO, you should leave it sealed for at least 2 weeks from pitching yeast. You want the wine on the skins for at least a couple weeks otherwise what is the point of adding them in the first place? Plus you are still on oak chips. Once you rack, all that is pulled out. Again, I think it makes sense to leave resting for 2 weeks in primary if possible. If there were no skins, and you were not having active off-gassing, I would say transfer to a carboy with less headspace (secondary ferment) and let finish from there. The wine is probably still off-gassing so I think you're fine sealing the primary.

Plus if you look at some kit makers instructions, they rack off primary to secondary after 7 to 10 days and leave in secondary without regard to headspace. The wine is so young at this point that it is probably going to protect itself as long as the headspace is sealed. Point is, close the lid, insert the bung, or whatever. Just keep it closed until you're ready to clear and bulk age.
 

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If you sealed the primary after day 5 and the airlock is still actively bubbling (even very slowly) you are going to have protection. IMO, you should leave it sealed for at least 2 weeks from pitching yeast. You want the wine on the skins for at least a couple weeks otherwise what is the point of adding them in the first place? Plus you are still on oak chips. Once you rack, all that is pulled out. Again, I think it makes sense to leave resting for 2 weeks in primary if possible. If there were no skins, and you were not having active off-gassing, I would say transfer to a carboy with less headspace (secondary ferment) and let finish from there. The wine is probably still off-gassing so I think you're fine sealing the primary.

Plus if you look at some kit makers instructions, they rack off primary to secondary after 7 to 10 days and leave in secondary without regard to headspace. The wine is so young at this point that it is probably going to protect itself as long as the headspace is sealed. Point is, close the lid, insert the bung, or whatever. Just keep it closed until you're ready to clear and bulk age.
The bucket is sealed with some movement in the airlock.
 

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For what its worth, I am in the middle of my firsyt FWK Cab Sauv kit and I got sideways at exactly the same point in the instructions. I think your rewrite of the instructions is spot on. I ended up in exactly the same place you are! Best of luck to both of us!
 

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You can search on this site. I hit a snag at the exact same spot in the instructions and asked the exact same question. That part of the instructions needs to be re-written so it is more clearly stated.

It's also worth noting that there should be more detail in explaining letting the wine breathe (through a towel or whatever) and punching down 2 to 3x daily until 1.01. After that point, locking down under airlock until day 15.

I soak (sanitize) a cheese cloth/towel in NaMeta before covering. I ferment around 72F in a 7.9 gal bucket and have not had issue using 2 skin bags, however, it gets very close to over flowing foam and definitely touches the towel. When I locked down at 1.01, I did not have any issues with blowing anything out of the airlock as the ferment had died down considerably. The couple FWK that I've done have fermented very fast.
 

idahorevbob

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Again, I ran into the same results as you. Totally agree with your recommendations to the instructions. I have been making notes on the instruction book they sent (which is a nice product). I did primary in a 7.9 gallon bucket with the lid loosely on top. The foam didn't blow out but it definitely touched the lid. Next time I will use my 10 gallon cooler that I used to use as a mash tun for beer brewing.

I don't want to sound like I'm bitching to FWK....I think this is a quality product. Just friendly suggestions to improve the instructions.
 

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The bucket is sealed with some movement in the airlock.
For what its worth, I am in the middle of my firsyt FWK Cab Sauv kit and I got sideways at exactly the same point in the instructions. I think your rewrite of the instructions is spot on. I ended up in exactly the same place you are! Best of luck to both of us!
so I guess I’m not crazy after all.
 

wineview

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You can search on this site. I hit a snag at the exact same spot in the instructions and asked the exact same question. That part of the instructions needs to be re-written so it is more clearly stated.

It's also worth noting that there should be more detail in explaining letting the wine breathe (through a towel or whatever) and punching down 2 to 3x daily until 1.01. After that point, locking down under airlock until day 15.

I soak (sanitize) a cheese cloth/towel in NaMeta before covering. I ferment around 72F in a 7.9 gal bucket and have not had issue using 2 skin bags, however, it gets very close to over flowing foam and definitely touches the towel. When I locked down at 1.01, I did not have any issues with blowing anything out of the airlock as the ferment had died down considerably. The couple FWK that I've done have fermented very fast.
I place a loose lid and a white cotton dishtowel soaked in StarSan over the lid.
 

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