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WE LE "New Instructions" ?

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Trevor7

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Received my LE Chard/Chenin Blanc last week, and started the process last Saturday. The Kits I'm used to (MV Limited Editions) monitor the Specific Gravity until it gets below 1.020, and then rack into a carboy leaving the lees. This kit has you leave the wine in the primary fermenter until ready to rack and de-gas at ~Day 14. WE told me these are "new instructions". While this does not keep me up at night, I'd appreciate any comments as to the pros and cons of doing it this way.
 

Tetrarch

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WE instructions have changed for most kits, looks like extended maceration even in kits that do not include grape packs.
 

DoctorCAD

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Chardonnay is generally left on the lees, that's what gives it that "buttery" taste. Chennai Blanc also.
 

Doug’s wines

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The petite ruby cab LE kit has the same instructions. I have started doing most batches this way anyway even when the instruction suggest a secondary.
 

Trevor7

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As one who is hesitant to veer away from the stated instructions, I'll let everyone know the results in ~7 months. Thank you for your input.
 

Country

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I am also curious about the change in instruction. I want to make the best wine possible and fear some of the changes might be to make a more reliable wine, not necessarily a better wine. So for a red kit without skins, would you leave in the primary for a full 14 day?
 

pillswoj

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Without skins I would rack at 1.010 or about 5 -7 days
 

Doug’s wines

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I just racked my Petit ruby cab out of primary at day 14 per instructions. Tastes better at this stage than the mv reserve cab sitting in the carboy next to it (about 45days in). I would prefer a little more tannin, but it did pick up a smoother, rounder mouthfeel which may be due to the extension of time on the lees. I would follow the timeline in the instructions, but as I noted before, I have been leaving kits a little longer on the gross lees in primary. I just think it helps the mouth feel.
 

Country

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I’m still on the fence... At first I thought it was an improvement in the schedule but looking again, I see that they are shortening the time from pitch to clearing. It’s only a few days but everything I hear about improving your kits involves more time, not less. The kit makers however seem to prefer methods that get their product into bottles faster.

Another thing that I noticed on the new instructions, no mention of temperature anywhere. There isn’t even a thermometer listed in the necessary equipment. This adds to my fear that the instructions are getting dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

Im still new at this game and probably reading too much into this.
 

Trevor7

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At the end of day 1 instructions, it does say to keep the temp between 67-75F if I remember correctly.
I racked and de-gassed today (day 15). Tomorrow the chitosan gets added for the clearing stage. Has a nice aroma to it, even for this early.
 

Country

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I’m a week behind you with a LE Merlot. I’m also going to stick with the instructions timetable. But I really, really want to do something right now. I hate that it is in a plastic bucket!!
 

Trevor7

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According to the schedule, I was supposed to bottle last weekend. The nice thing about wine, is you can go an extra day or three in many instances. Looks like Saturday is bottling day now. With these new instructions, Primary fermentation started Jan 27, de-gassed Feb 10 and clearing started Feb 11, and bottling is supposed to be done after day 30. Feels kind of like a factory. If it's good, I'll be a happy camper.
 

Trevor7

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Those time frames mean absolutely nothing. I never bottle any kit wines, well except for Island Mist style kits before six months or even a year.
Funny you mentioned that - just bought a couple of additional carboys to start "experimenting" with this. Do you leave the wine on the lees, or rack it off for aging?
 

cmason1957

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I mostly follow the instructions you can find here : http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/extended.asp

Except I do the ferment in a bucket to start, not in a carboy. I rack at about 1.010 or lower into a carboy, then leave it for about 3 weeks. (I don't think most kids produce what I would call gross lees), then i add potassium metabisulphite, rack two or three more times, every 3 months or so. If needed, add clearing agents and potassium sorbate, then bottle. Degassing happens naturally by using my allinonewinepump for racking and the time. I don't filter very often. I do own a flat, but don't see the difference when I have used it. I make almost all dry reds.
 

jumby

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Received my Forza today with the new instructions. Like stated it has it staying in primary for 14 days. Another thing I noticed it says if bulk aging apply a solid bung. That's not going happen! I always bulk are with a airlock.
 

Doug’s wines

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Last time I put a solid bung on, we had a few degree temp fluctuation while on vacation. When we came home, the bung was on the other side of the room and I had a nice
cleanup project.... I'm with you on the airlocks!
 

jumby

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Last time I put a solid bung on, we had a few degree temp fluctuation while on vacation. When we came home, the bung was on the other side of the room and I had a nice
cleanup project.... I'm with you on the airlocks!
My thoughts exactly! With barometric pressure/temp changes it would push the bung out.
 
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