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Steve Wargo

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@joeswine in the tweaking of kits with some notable exceptions your recommended yeast is normally the EC-1118 because it's a "work horse" and probably because it's easy and difficult to screw up (which is quite important for neophytes like me). However, I spent some quality time with the Scott Laboratory 2020 Winemaking Handbook and found that the only wine that EC-1118 is recommended for is sparkling base wines. My questions:

1) Why not use different yeasts that are more compatible with certain grapes? Yeast is a cheap tweak, with the understanding that there are other protocols that you have to pay attention to, like nitrogen requirements, fermentation temps etc., but those seem quite manageable in my opinion.

2) Would swapping yeasts affect your usage of Fpacks? For example, a friend gave me a boatload of ICV-D21 yeast which is highly recommended for fermenting Cab Sauv, Merlot, Shiraz and Zinfandel. If I picked up a cheap 5.2 liter Shiraz kit from Wine Lovers and decided use the D21 would you follow the same tweaks you would if you were using EC-1118?
I too am not Joe. I too was interested in yeast substitution for cheap wine kits and tweaking and found this forum. I have swapped out the EC1118 for other yeast types when I made my cheap kits. I used D47 for a Chardonnay wine kit, and after 7 months of aging in carboy then bottled got very good reviews from some diehard Chardonnay drinkers (not close friends). I used BM4x4 in a cheap Shiraz kit and Cabernet Sauvignon kit that turned out quite well as they were aged for almost a year, and both had a good mouthfeel and taste. I've used 71B in a cheap red and a white wine kit that I added some fruits and both were short-lived batches and easily early drinkers, aged 3 months. Note: I added a little oak during the fermentation, except for any wine made with EC1118 or 71B. Nothing wrong with EC1118 yeast depends on what you are after in your final product. I think (my opinion) EC1118 is more of a neutral yeast, meaning it's meant to ferment without adding or detracting away from the style of wine you are making. IMO

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joeswine

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Absolutely you can change out the yeast ,whichever yeast you chose just read about its pro's and con's there's no law stating you can't think outside the box .
the Basic ec1118 is a workhorse and can drive though most wine making environments that's why it's used ,that's not to say let's try something different.
 

GaDawg

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I think (my opinion) EC1118 is more of a neutral yeast, meaning it's meant to ferment without adding or detracting away from the style of wine you are making. IMO

EC 1118 has it’s place. Nothing wrong with swapping yeast. It’s probably the best and easiest tweak, but if you want a workhorse...EC 1118 will probably ferment dirt.
 
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I’m new to the forum, Have been trying to think outside the box for a while and am quite excited to have found you guys. I have a few general questions.

  • All the tannin is see on amazon comes from Chestnut, not grapes, is this a problem? Or is tannin tannin no matter the source?
  • When I add anything to the must, oak, tannin, raisins etc. I boil some water then let the additive steep for a half hour or so then dump it all into the bucket. Is that necessary or is there a better method.
  • I have been rehydrating the yeast but is seems everyone here just sprinkles it on top, so is rehydrating unnecessary?
  • I have been sanitizing using star san but I get the idea that everyone here uses something else, so what do you use?
  • Looking forward to everyone’s ideas.
 

hounddawg

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I’m new to the forum, Have been trying to think outside the box for a while and am quite excited to have found you guys. I have a few general questions.

  • All the tannin is see on amazon comes from Chestnut, not grapes, is this a problem? Or is tannin tannin no matter the source?
  • When I add anything to the must, oak, tannin, raisins etc. I boil some water then let the additive steep for a half hour or so then dump it all into the bucket. Is that necessary or is there a better method.
  • I have been rehydrating the yeast but is seems everyone here just sprinkles it on top, so is rehydrating unnecessary?
  • I have been sanitizing using star san but I get the idea that everyone here uses something else, so what do you use?
  • Looking forward to everyone’s ideas.
i use crab apple for my tart moth feel.,
I've never boiled anything.
I drop my yeast in dry.
I sanitize everything with potassium metasulfaite also called, k-meta
and one more thing, I have never used simple syrup, i pour dry sugar and stir using a cordless drill and a mixer.
that being said,, there is a 101 ways to do 100 wines,
Best of luck
Dawg
 

GaDawg

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I’m new to the forum, Have been trying to think outside the box for a while and am quite excited to have found you guys. I have a few general questions.

  • All the tannin is see on amazon comes from Chestnut, not grapes, is this a problem? Or is tannin tannin no matter the source?
  • When I add anything to the must, oak, tannin, raisins etc. I boil some water then let the additive steep for a half hour or so then dump it all into the bucket. Is that necessary or is there a better method.
  • I have been rehydrating the yeast but is seems everyone here just sprinkles it on top, so is rehydrating unnecessary?
  • I have been sanitizing using star san but I get the idea that everyone here uses something else, so what do you use?
  • Looking forward to everyone’s ideas.
I’ve used StarSan for the last 10 years without a problem, and I always make a simple syrup. I sprinkle the yeast, but I am a Methodist...😂
 

cmason1957

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I’m new to the forum, Have been trying to think outside the box for a while and am quite excited to have found you guys. I have a few general questions.

  • All the tannin is see on amazon comes from Chestnut, not grapes, is this a problem? Or is tannin tannin no matter the source?
  • When I add anything to the must, oak, tannin, raisins etc. I boil some water then let the additive steep for a half hour or so then dump it all into the bucket. Is that necessary or is there a better method.
  • I have been rehydrating the yeast but is seems everyone here just sprinkles it on top, so is rehydrating unnecessary?
  • I have been sanitizing using star san but I get the idea that everyone here uses something else, so what do you use?
  • Looking forward to everyone’s ideas.
  • Tannin - not all tannin comes from Chestnut, but on Amazon it might. Check out morewinemaking.com for some alternatives, there are sacrificial tannins (added during primary fermentation), aging tannins, finishing tannins and probably some others I can't think of off the top of my head.
  • I never boil water for anything other than inverting sugar and I only do that for Skeeter Pee. I spritz oak with sanitizing solution; tannin - I remove about a cup or so of wine, add the tannin, let sit for about 10 minutes, then stir the heck out of it. I have thought about putting it into a blender. I don't add raisins to anything.
  • Rehydrating yeast is never a bad idea and I always rehydrate. Sometimes I even add GoFerm, if I think the environment might be less than ideal.
  • I use KMeta + Acid for sanitizing, star san is perfectly fine. I use what I use, because that's what I started with and wine already has some Kmeta in it, so why not.
 

Chinook

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I have purchased a Vineco Merlot (From Chile). It was the current lower end priced kit in the store. I have been buying the full juice and the higher end but decided to give a lower end kit a shot.
Any suggestions on tweaking. Some kind of addition like something from the grocery store? Fruit? Tannin?
...
I don't like the compression method reducing to 5 gallons and I don't have a five gallon carboy anyway. I already have two 6 gallon carboys and have too much equipment in my apartment.
Does slow versus fast fermentation affect the outcome? Should I try to control that? Someone said to me that that makes a difference in Chardonay
 

joeswine

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First , tannins in the primary at there to start to build structure, in the secondary they add to the structure and flavornoids,( taste profile).
Fruit in the primary or secondary creates enhancements to the overall structure.
Never boil the fruit always sauteed wine the base wine (2cups).
Simple syrup is a tool in your wine making tool box, read about it when ,we're and how to use it on the thread ( making an fpac) the importance of it and what is dose to the overall taste and finish
Sanatation is critical to the wine making process you can never be to clean just don't go nuts over it.

So many questions ,my advice go slow ,walk before you run , read the instructions learn to use a hydrometer let it be your guide.
 

my wine

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Never boil the fruit always sauteed wine the base wine (2cups).
Joe, the tips you posted and I followed have vastly improved my wine from kits. But I have a question here. Why never boil?

I haven't boiled my tweaking fruits; I simmer them. (by definition (dictionary.com), saute is to cook in a small amount of fat; pan-fry.) Simmering takes the temperature to or just below the boiling point. Out of curiosity, why shouldn't you boil?
 

joeswine

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When I use the term saute I mean just slightly cook the fruit so it starts to soften not cook it so it's done just so it's softens once it's softens it starts to release its sugars that's what you want nothing more nothing less done as well as sugars it starts to release and enhancements it's flavonoids and that's what you want to start your fermentation with then that becomes a partnership in the structure.
 

my wine

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Ah, pectin haze! More to read up on. So far what I read, one should be careful when using high-pectin fruits to make wine or to tweak wine. Pectin haze can result when pectin is not totally broken down during fermentation. And pectin enzyme helps during fermentation and after fermentation. And if you have pectin haze and can't get rid of it you can still drink the wine as it doesn't affect the taste, just the look. So drink with your eyes closed. :h

Joe, I did understand what you do. When I simmer fruit it's only for a minute or 2. While its simmering I introduce it to my wife's potato masher. Does a wonderful job on blackberries.

Here is a chart I found for those interested. Thanks for the comments.
 

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joeswine

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What winemakers sometimes try to do is overthink a situation Pectin Hazes can be overcome very easily as described above you know that you don't need to mash the fruit just soften it if you just soften it and the alcohol that's being produced\in the primary will take care of the rest and it will add to the structure, got that?It's like building in steps .
 
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GaDawg

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Joe, the tips you posted and I followed have vastly improved my wine from kits. But I have a question here. Why never boil?

I haven't boiled my tweaking fruits; I simmer them. (by definition (dictionary.com), saute is to cook in a small amount of fat; pan-fry.) Simmering takes the temperature to or just below the boiling point. Out of curiosity, why shouldn't you boil?
I’m not Joe, but boiling takes O2 out of water and yeasties need O2 during fermentation.
 

Chinook

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What winemakers sometimes try to do is overthink a situation Pectin Hazes can be overcome very easily as described above you know that you don't need to mash the fruit just soften it if you just soften it and the alcohol that's being produced\in the primary will take care of the rest and it will add to the structure, got that?It's like building in steps .
The clerk at the wine making store said there has been a supply problem getting pectinex. I'm wondering if that is a problem across the USA. Fortunately I have enough left for my planned batches of Dragon Blood for the next while.
 
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