WineXpert WE VR Cab Sauv 0.994 SG

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gruvfunk

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Hey gang,

I'm on my first batch ever, and using a WE VR Cabernet Sauvignon kit.
Primary fermentation was a quick 5 days, SG went from 1.074 to 1.004.

In secondary fermentation (carboy) 7 days now and I've observed a steady SG of 0.994 for 3 days in a row. Color is great and sediment on the bottom.

Is it time to move on to the next step, or should I wait longer?
Anyone have experience with this kit?

I've searched and agree that I should not rush the wine making process, and that I should not go by the calendar but to trust SG readings. I'm just not certain since I'm a total newbie! LOL.

Thanks!
 

cbw

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The Winexpert VR Cabernet Sauvignon is one of our "staples."

It usually does ferment quickly.

Don't worry about the time in days ... if the SG is right ... move on to the next step.

If your wine is done fermenting, you need to stabilize and fine it to protect it now. This means adding the various packets.

You can still "bulk" age it in a carboy, but it will be protected.

By the by, that kit is really good at 6 months. Start drinking "test" bottles at 3 months. You'll like it.
 

gruvfunk

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Thanks for the feedback, CBW!
I'll get moving onto the next step right away.

Do you follow the recipe, or age it longer before bottling?

And, what % alcohol are you experiencing?
 
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I did a VR French Cab Sauv and ended up with 11% alcohol - it was my first kit. Had a little issue with degassing but I guess it all worked out. It's been in bottles for about a month now. As I ended up with a half bottle when finished, I decided to have a drink instead of corking a half bottle. It did not taste that great. And it gave me some gas issues of my own, but I guess all should settle out in the 3-6 month aging time. Good luck!
 

cbw

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Starting SG for the three Winexpert Vintners Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon kits we've made in the past year is 1.075 ... ending is .994, so potential alcohol level is about 12%.

Wait a month after you bottle to taste your first bottle. It starts getting really nice at 3 months and outstanding at 6 months (even company who come over and didn't like the earlier taste have been shocked at how the wine has changed).
 

gruvfunk

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Thanks again, CBW -- exactly what I was looking for.
I confirm those readings, or thereabouts: 1.074 - 0.994

I understand there are variables, but these being kits, I speculated there were specific starting and ending SG's for each recipe. The WE instruction manual is a bit too generic.

So I moved onto the next step this morning - stirring with the long plastic spoon sucked! Not only was it a chore, the plastic began to fray where it hit against the glass carboy's opening. Hope none of it fell inside the batch! Will be looking for a better tool in future.

It's looking really good!! Sediment is falling to the bottom as I type.

Any benefit to aging it longer in the carboy? (instructions say 14 days)
 

cpfan

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So I moved onto the next step this morning - stirring with the long plastic spoon sucked! Not only was it a chore, the plastic began to fray where it hit against the glass carboy's opening. Hope none of it fell inside the batch! Will be looking for a better tool in future.
Interesting problem. I stir pretty vigourously with a long plastic spoon, and have never had that problem. Just did two more kits that way a week ago.

Any benefit to aging it longer in the carboy? (instructions say 14 days)
Any aging (carboy or bottle) will result in better tasting wine. But not rushing to bottle will probably result in clearer wine and easier bottling as the sediment will be more firmly compacted. Since this is your first batch I would recommend racking off the sediment to a primary or carboy and then bottling. That way, you won't have sediment to worry about while figuring out your bottling process.

Steve
 

gruvfunk

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Interesting problem. I stir pretty vigourously with a long plastic spoon, and have never had that problem. Just did two more kits that way a week ago.
Yep, was not expecting this issue -- the spoon is plastic, and the carboy mouth opening is slightly sharp-edged. In order to do the job, I had to simply not allow the inverted spoon part from hitting the carboy mouth, using the skin of my hands... :) I also noticed the spoon does not quite reach the bottom of the carboy, and perhaps that's the issue altogether (spoon stem should be longer?).

And for those wondering, I did find a small shred of spoon plastic floating at the top of the carboy this morning, and promptly removed it.
 

gruvfunk

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Status Update + Question

So, per the recipe, our wine was done a week ago - it all checked out, but I let it sit in the carboy 1 extra week due to a lack of enough empty bottles. I figured the extra bulk aging couldn't hurt..

I finally bottled this past weekend using the only 26 empty bottles I managed to save and clean. I still have maybe 2 bottles worth left in the bottom of the carboy and it's been sitting there for 2 days with an airlock.

The question I have is: As I run into empty bottles, should I go ahead and fill them? (I have 1 empty ready, and may have another in the next 2 days).

Or is the batch now exposed to air and compromised, already turning to acetic acid and no longer proper drinking wine? (I was thinking about making some vinegar).

Thx!
 

WhineMaker

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I would say it's too far gone at this point.. Or maybe you could use it as a cooking wine??

BTW.. Welcome to the forum from a few miles to your south..

:b
 

Green Mountains

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Why not try Luc's freezing experiment? Put some in a liter PET bottle and freeze it. Drink or at least sample the remainder to see what the difference is between how it tastes now compared towhat freezing and thawing does to the taste.
 

MN-winer

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If its only been a day or two you could move the wine into a 1.5 liter bottle if you have one. It needs to be protected otherwise it will oxidize. The other option is to drink it!!!
It really wouldn't have hurt to keep it in the carboy until you had enought bottles. No hurry in wine making. patience is your best friend.
 
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Well, I opened a bottle on Mother's Day from this French Cab Sauv - so it's been in bottles since Feb 1 and it tasted pretty good. mom like's it (of course, she's my Mom - she has to like it) but the wife isn't so keen on it - she says it tastes a little chemically or something. I think it's ok and it been aging for 4 months. I tried it just as I bottled it and there's a HUGE improvement. Another 2 months and all should be good.
 

jdeere5220

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I still have maybe 2 bottles worth left in the bottom of the carboy and it's been sitting there for 2 days with an airlock.
Thx!
OK, well the rule is to drink whatever is leftover from bottling. The airlock isn't doing any good when you have a carboy full of air sitting over your leftover wine. I wouldn't bother bottling it at this point. Drink it or cook with it or toss it.

Go to Sams and buy a case of Zarpado Malbec. It's $5.00 / bottle. Since you are keeping the bottles, you are really just paying $4.00 / bottle. Drink that while you are letting this wine age, and then you will have some more bottles for next time! Just my 2 cents.
 
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