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To Preserve Pressed Wine Skins Or Not

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we5inelgr

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Hi all,

Does anyone preserve, or freeze, their skins w/seeds after pressing?

I'm considering doing that after trying to find some grape skin packs for use with wine kits and not finding many options...or what is there is very expensive.

However, I'm not really sure 1) if it's a good idea, or 2) how to go about preserving them and lastly, 3) how long they would last.

I have some Norton I'm getting ready to press.

Should I just gather the pressed brick, sulfate it to around 50 ppm (w/a spray bottle?), put it in gallon zip lock bags and keep them in the freezer until needed?
 

ceeaton

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Did you use MLB concurrently? If so, don't use the skin pack with a kit that might use sorbate. I just take part of the "brick" and put it in an open ended food saver bag, put it in the freezer for a few hours to bind up some of the liquid, and use the food saver vacuum and process like I would if I was "saving" some food. Put it in the freezer and you are good to go. Should last until next season if you got most of the air space out.

I don't do MLF until after primary fermentation, so I have added them to red kits and it seems to add some much needed aroma to the kit wine. I've also added them to juice buckets to hopefully add some extra tannins and color.
 

we5inelgr

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Oh, forgot to mention that. No MLF at this point. I too don't do MLF until after primary.

Should I add SO2, or is that really not needed if freezing?
 

Smok1

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Ive thought about it but ended composting all my skins this year, something about the skins after pectic enzymes have worked them and the yeast all mixed into it doesnt seem attractive enough for me to keep to put in a kit
 

Cher

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I've done this, both by freezing the pomace in a ziplock bag and by adding it immediately to a kit. Did not sulfate, but that is not a bad idea. I think it improved the kits in both cases, adding some body and what you might call complexity? Hard to define exactly without making the same kit with and without, but if I were pressing some nice fresh grapes, I'd save some again.
 

ceeaton

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Oh, forgot to mention that. No MLF at this point. I too don't do MLF until after primary.

Should I add SO2, or is that really not needed if freezing?
I think the SO2 is not necessary. Usually, many here add SO2 to the grapes at crush to knock back the wild yeasts so that their yeast of choice can dominate the ferment, but at a rate that won't inhibit yeast activity in general after a 12 or so hour "rest" before pitching the "wanted" yeast (the SO2 gets bound up and with an open oxygen rich environment becomes less active). When you freeze the pressed grapes, that is enough to inhibit the yeast from actively growing (or other nasty organisms). If you add too much SO2, it could inhibit yeast growth to whatever you eventually add the skins too, so I'd just omit the SO2 addition until you add them to your next batch (and then add the SO2 as you'd normally do to the batch and let the must rest for 12 hours before pitching the desired yeast). Just realize that whatever you add the skins to will have a good dose of whatever yeast you originally used with them and it will be hard for another yeast to take over and dominate the yeast in the skins. I've pitched the skins "fresh" into a kit and never needed to add any more yeast. The kit batch started within 8 hours.

I tend not to add any SO2 to my batches that I pitch MLB into after primary fermentation, unless the grapes or juice bucket is actively fermenting when I get it. I think it makes it a little easier for the MLB to take hold and effectively do their job.
 
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NorCal

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Funny story. I was selling some stuff on Craigslist and the guy noticed I was bagging my pumice from our big Cabernet pressing. He asked if he could have a bag for his pig. He returned from his truck and asked if he could have another. I told him I would pay him $20 if he took it all (around 1,000pounds) which he did. Happiest pig in Placer County.

CFC1DCB8-FAE0-446F-A4C7-8B154CB8B208.jpg
 

ceeaton

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Funny story. I was selling some stuff on Craigslist and the guy noticed I was bagging my pumice from our big Cabernet pressing. He asked if he could have a bag for his pig. He returned from his truck and asked if he could have another. I told him I would pay him $20 if he took it all (around 1,000pounds) which he did. Happiest pig in Placer County.
Mmmm, I think I'd like to taste some of that pig if he ever butchered it!
 

Johnd

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I’ve done quite a few kits with skins from grape batches, next best thing to all grape wines, IMHO. Have had no issues with concurrent MLF skins being used in kits, but I sulfite when AF is over, and don’t use sorbate.
 

pgentile

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I've done a few kits the same as Johnd. No sorbate or clarifiers and they turned out better than kits without skins.
 

geek

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That pig will get drunk for sure :)
 

we5inelgr

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Sounds like it's a worthwhile endeavor.

So I vacuum packaged several 1 pound 'packs' to be used sometime this winter with kits.

Thanks again for the stories & experiences. Much appreciated.
 

we5inelgr

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I've done a few kits the same as Johnd. No sorbate or clarifiers and they turned out better than kits without skins.
Speaking of kits using grape skin packs, do you typically not use sorbate or clarifiers...even if the kit instructions call for it?
 

Johnd

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Speaking of kits using grape skin packs, do you typically not use sorbate or clarifiers...even if the kit instructions call for it?
We're talking about reds here, typically use the bentonite in primary, but none of the clarifiers after fermentation, just good old time. As for the sorbate, it's fine to skip the use as long as your wine is dry, .996 or lower, and you don't intend to add any type of sweetening process later down the road.
 

Mismost

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Funny story. I was selling some stuff on Craigslist and the guy noticed I was bagging my pumice from our big Cabernet pressing. He asked if he could have a bag for his pig. He returned from his truck and asked if he could have another. I told him I would pay him $20 if he took it all (around 1,000pounds) which he did. Happiest pig in Placer County.
I've done a bunch of work at a pretty famous little brewery in Texas. The brewmaster had the happiest cows in Texas and he had the lowest feed bill and smelliest truck. Spent grain is awesome feed!
 

we5inelgr

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We're talking about reds here, typically use the bentonite in primary, but none of the clarifiers after fermentation, just good old time. As for the sorbate, it's fine to skip the use as long as your wine is dry, .996 or lower, and you don't intend to add any type of sweetening process later down the road.
Good info. Thanks John!
 

pgentile

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Speaking of kits using grape skin packs, do you typically not use sorbate or clarifiers...even if the kit instructions call for it?
I added sorbate and clarifiers with the first one or two kits w/skins I did. Followed the instructions all the way. But the past two years all kits are given time to clear. I only make dry wines so sorbate is unneeded. Liked them better this way.

I have a draw in my basement fridge with a pile of unused kit packets of sorbate and clarifiers.
 

pgentile

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Oh and I have done with bentonite and without. Couldn't tell a difference. Sorbate added and clarified I could tell a difference. Not sure if it's kit taste or not but I prefer without.
 

we5inelgr

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@pgentile
Since we're more of dry red (& white) wine drinkers, that's probably all I'll be making from kits (& grapes). I'll pass on using sorbate. If I can get away with doing more with less (additives, etc) that's the way I'd like to go.

Regarding clarifiers & bentonite - With a good quality kit and using skins, and very generally speaking (I know this is highly subjective), how long does one need to wait for it to clear up enough? Are they typically ready in....say...6 months time?

I ask because I plan to make a kit (first time), bulk age it and then try out the Master Vintner Invinity Wine on Tap 'bag' system which seems to recommend not going more than 6 months 'in bag.'

So I'm wondering if I could get a way with not using clarifiers / bentonite for such a kit then bulk age it (in glass carboy) for ~6 months. Or, does it need longer to settle/clear when not using the clarifiers?
 

pgentile

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Most kits I have done, and didn't drink early, were usually clear by the second age racking(3 months each)which is just over six months and some cleared between the 9th and 12th month.
 
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