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Bohemiana

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We are starting a new kit--Fontana Shirza. I'd like some suggestions to tweaking it. We will be making it in 6-gallon carboy because we just don't want to invest in 5-gallon equipment just yet.

We purchased both French medium toast oak chips and American oak chips. Not sure which would be better but I'm thinking the French chips.
We are thinking about black berries and/or dried currants. (I've noticed people say "f-pack." Does that mean frozen berries?)
Also thinking about peppercorns to give it some spice?

I assume this would all go into the primary? Or divide it up between primary and secondary?
Also, how much of the above ingredients would you use to impart flavor?

We have never tweaked a kit before and in general the wines we've made are pretty flat and one-dimensional so we are hoping this tweaking gives it some dimension.

Any suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated!!
 

joeswine

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Yes put your berries in the primary along with the French oak then once you get to the secondary add your other package of oak, got it let it set for at least 4 weeks before you do anything else to it let it absorb all the ingredients you just put in and keep checking for gas okay.
 

Bohemiana

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Joeswine--We got some dried tart and dried sweet cherries. If we use those, can we just put them loose in the bottom of the bucket (primary)? If we use fresh black berries, should we cook them first or just put them loose fresh in the bottom of the bucket?

Any thoughts about the idea of peppercorns, and if so, how many? 1 tablespoon??

Do we keep the primary at the length the length of time the kit says which is 2 weeks? Or go longer?

So the secondary will only have the American oak in it, correct?
 

joeswine

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Put the blackberries an the French oak in the primaries and the in secondary and the other chips let it set for two weeks and then re/ racket that's the plan,, bottle .
 

joeswine

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Use one or the other berries don't use both, I always saute my fruit down with 2cups of the base wine just so it starts extruding it sugars understand? Use your hydrometer that's your guide check your SG and then watch it drop out when it drops out the primary then move it to the secondary, in the secondary the American oak that'll be your flavor profile everything should work out okay you'll see. Keep us informed
 

Chinook

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Ok I think I'll get some Blackberry or cherry depending on what Walmart has - usually they sell those packs of 600 gm frozen.
OK I got 600 gm of "Dark Sweet Cherries" for the Vineco Merlot from Chile.

I'm back in the game with Costco, I'm going there with a friend. I'm looking at
"Argentia Ridge Chateau Private Selection Pinot Grigio White Wine Kit"

A white wine, I never tried this type before. It's a double kit for sale 90 bucks complete with corks etc.

https://www.costco.ca/argentia-ridge-chateau-private-selection-pinot-grigio-white-wine-kit.product.10369082.html
 

joeswine

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Pino is and clean crisp wine but I would do is add some grapefruit zest to it about half of a grapefruit you could always add more prior to bottling always remember with me less is more you can add to it but you can't take away from it and with Pinot grigio you can't go wrong
 

Chinook

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Started Vinco Merlot (Chile) cost 80 bucks Can, 4 week , 8 litres.
Added to primary , 600 gm Sweet Dark Cherries (= 21 oz) + will add the pkg oak chips that came with kit and also add supplementary 1 tsp tannin both in primary - tomorrow morn will add the yeast.
Plus 1 tsp pectic enzyme, plus some additional yeast nutrient and energizer in case the fruit pack has sulphide.

vinco
 

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joeswine

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Ok if that's your plan just take your time with the process 🍷and enjoy the creative experience.
 

Chinook

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Ok if that's your plan just take your time with the process 🍷and enjoy the creative experience.
It's in the secondary now. The fermentation was very quick, frothy and aromatic.
I just filtered out the detritus with a household filter putting it into the carboy. I chopped the cherries in container - no waste, and slightly warmed them , I don't bother with a cheesecloth - just in they go!
Like someone else said I already have too much equipment, - to want to get another 5 gallon carboy. I only have a small apartment/winery! lol
..
I'm thinking to put in another another tsp tannin in the seconday? A good idea? Would that be after stabilization? (Sulphide, sorbate and finings) - I usually do that at week end of 2 with a four week kit.
 
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joeswine

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You put the cherries in the secondary is that correct?I would also put the tannins in now stir them well
 

Chinook

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You put the cherries in the secondary is that correct?I would also put the tannins in now stir them well
No, I put the cherries in the primary along with 1 tsp tannin where the cherries fermented with the must..
Now I'm thinking of another 1 TSP tannin post stabilization.


When you say secondary, you mean secondary post-stabilization? That would be at the two week mark where I do - (Sulphide-sorbate-degassing -fining) usually after one week in the secondary.
 
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joeswine

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By the way I've used those before in my pink noir, nice product. (Cherries).
 

Chinook

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I’ve been really lucky at Costco lately, today I scored this in store for $63.99cdn, rarely find it in store. Online it is $89.99 regular $105.99.
2 kits, 7L concentrate in each, plus corks and labels
In Store! !!!!
I went to Costco with a friend and was told by a floor manager that "Costco doesn't sell wine kits"!!
After some discussion I came to think that the kits were only sold online.
So either the floor person was wrong or it was only that warehouse (Alberta,)
...
Anyway I was disappointed. I decided to buy a membership but then I did not trust their delivery system as they do not deliver to PO boxes (which is 100 percent reliable for me).
Since I have had trouble before with UPS not making much effort to deliver to apartments I gave up on it for now.
But, In store? Hmmm. I'll try again maybe another warehouse.
Thanks for the info anyway.
 

joeswine

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Ok the Turkeys in the bag lets move on to the holidays and wine time.
something quick and easy on the palate.
nothing fancy but just right.
carols chardonnay......you know the process ....
 

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Bohemiana

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Two quick questions about when to do the following:

NOTE: Currently cherries have been in the primary bucket 2 weeks. Our initial specific gravity reading was a little low--it was 1.07 and it should be 1.08-1.1.

We plan to remove cherries and move it into the secondary (carboy) tomorrow...Do we need to add our oak chips after clarifying or before, or it doesn't matter? If we add the clarifier (Chitosan and Kieselsol) and the oak together, will the wine be less clear? (We want to keep the oak in the secondary as long as it takes to make a nice impact on the flavor--maybe 4-6 weeks, tasting every week.)

We will check the specific gravity again tomorrow before we transfer it to carboy. If it is still low, do we need to let it sit in the primary with cherries until it's in range?

Our goal is a dry shiraz--not sweet.
 

Bohemiana

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"Move it?" You mean move it into the carboy (secondary) what ever the specific gravity is?
"Oak any time" but "do one step at a time"? That's sounds contradictory. So, we should to the clarifier step first, and two weeks later do step 2 to add oak, correct?
 

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