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Doug’s wines

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Just started this kit 2 weeks ago. Anyone else doing it? The bentonite was a pain. It was extremely sticky and goopy. I left it in primary for 2 weeks, fermented dry, racked it to a carboy and started clearing it. Thinking it needs some oak and tannin riche, but I’m planning to wait a few days. I have high hopes for this blend.
 

Trick

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I just started to skip the bentonite. It results in too much waste every time and makes racking a big pain. I guess it is to accelerate the settling process to allow finishing the batch as promised.
 

cmason1957

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You can't don't want to skip the bentonite. Many kids have a protein haze potential. The bentonite helps remove that early on. I've never really had a problem with it. Put about a gallon of water in the bottom of the fermenter, sprinkle the bentonite all over, let it sit for a few minutes, then stir the heck out of it.
 

Trick

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tannin can deal with protein. i am talking about red.
 

Doug’s wines

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@Trick Why skip the clay? Everyone seems to want to avoid the items that come with the kit. Bentonite typically drops out, but is also used in many homeopathic healing recipes (never used it personally but it’s supposed to removed toxins etc. Just trying to understand the rationale for not adding it. Is it specific to Bentonite or is it a “I just don’t want to add anything to my wine”

Also @cmason1957 this clay was unusually thick, and sticky. It was very difficult to get dissolved. Also a ton of sediment dropped in the primary (most I’ve seen). I made to 6 gallons, but after primary I ended up with about 5.5. Two bottles required to top up.
 

Trick

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Thanks for the reply. I use a stainless steel strainer to filter out sediment when racking from primary to secondary. it works nicely for the skin and oak chips. However the sticky sludge is a pain.
the other reason is that i have not seen this in wine making book in commercial production (i mean primary fermenter)
clay is only mentioned in fining white for hot stabiliztion purpose.
i guess this is a trick to hasten the process proposed by kit manufactuer. i am trying to skip or reduce chemicals or steps purposed for rushing the process including clarifiers and degassing, I am forcing myself to be patient, haha.
 

sour_grapes

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I think the gross lees will be a sticky sludge regardless of whether or not there is some bentonite in it!
 

Trick

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I think the gross lees will be a sticky sludge regardless of whether or not there is some bentonite in it!
That is very possible. Just started to try one kit. If it doesn't help for sludge issue, I will put it back in the future kits.
Protein haze is the major concern for white. I won't skip clay for whites.
 

kyle5434

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I'm probably racking my Petit Ruby Cab off the secondary tomorrow. It could maybe go a couple more days after that, but we're supposed to get a decent batch of snow on Tuesday, and I want to be able to walk the sediment from the Fermonster back to the compost pile. I had an extra "GenuWine" grape skin pack from a leaky RJS Chilean Malbec kit that I threw into the secondary. I'll siphon this batch into a carboy with some K-meta and let it bulk age for a few months.
 

kyle5434

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So I did move the Petit Ruby Cab into bulk aging this evening. It actually tasted pretty good (though very tannic, probably due to the GenuWine skins used in the secondary). I thought I had planned better, but it needed quite a bit of topping off - I went through 2 inexpensive bottles of Cabernet from Costco and it still wasn't quite enough, so I used half a bottle of some local Chambourcin that I had opened last night (and vacu-vin'd for tonight).

Probably need to get a Bota Box or two for such things...
 

Doug’s wines

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@kyle5434 i had the same issue. This kit came in really short. Needed two bottles to top up with a lot of thick lees left behind. Luckily I had some "inexpensive" Petit Verdot bottles handy to top up with. Unfortunately I didn't taste mine. Need to check in on it in a few days to see how tannic it is.
 

Trick

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That is general expense. Large volume of sludge especially for skin kits. My rule is always have some bottles left before starting any kit. So for a 30 bottle kit, net production is only about 25. For cheap kits due to reduction of initial volume to 5 gal, typical production is about 22ish. That is why I am thinking to cut potential sludge builders.
 

Trick

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@Trick im interested to hear how that goes for you. Please let us know your results.
I will.
It is the RJS Cru International Chile Malbec with dry skin. (I am a Malbec fun). First part (4 gal) is in primary, bubbling vigorously. As said, no bentonite. I talked about the full process in the other thread (about EM)
I read a couple of wine making books. all from grape even I don't have that luxury and I can only play skin.
However, I always like to compare with what the book says. It doesn't mention clay in primary so I guess that trick is likely invented by the kit manufacturer to hasten the process. (I may be wrong). Since I am not in rush, why bother adding extra stuff unnecessary to speed up? I have skipped quite a few things for my previous kits but this is first time throwing away bentonite. I am also curious see how it goes.
 

tjgaul

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LP still had the WE LE Petit Ruby Cabernet kits in stock so I bit the bullet and placed an order. Mine should be delivered today. I was planning to start this over the weekend. Since it's a bigger kit with skins I had planned on an extended maceration of 6-8 weeks. I've been happy with the last few kits done in this manner. While the overall volume of sludge is still large, allowing the batch to sit unmolested for a couple weeks at the end seems to allow for enough settling that the racking isn't so difficult using a drilled tube wrapped in a strainer bag.

Given the natural tannin levels in this particular kit I would be interested in what others think of running an extended maceration in this case.
 

kyle5434

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I started mine back in January, so my memory's a little rusty, but I don't think this kit came with skins. In fact, I used some GenuWine dried grape skins from a damaged (leaking juice bag) RJS Cru International Chilean Malbec kit in the secondary as an experiment.
 

tjgaul

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Thanks for the heads up - I guess I can plan for a normal ferment, clearing and aging process. That simplifies things a bit.
 

jgmann67

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If you're interesting in doing an EM on a Cab, try the Eclipse Lodi Cab from LP next time. About the same price, everyone says the wine is magic at 2 years.
 

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