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facn1989

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Hi,

I'm new to this hobby. I'd like to tweak my low level kits to make them better (WE Vintners Reserves or RJS Grand Cru). I'd like to keep it simple.

1. When and how much tannin (liquid or smoke?) should I add for a 6 gallon batch?

2. Should I add extra oak? It already brings oak chips (but no oak cubes). How much and when should I add? Oak chips vs cubes vs spirals?

3. Any other easy tweaks?

Thanks!
 

wineforfun

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Hi,

I'm new to this hobby. I'd like to tweak my low level kits to make them better (WE Vintners Reserves or RJS Grand Cru). I'd like to keep it simple.

1. When and how much tannin (liquid or smoke?) should I add for a 6 gallon batch?

2. Should I add extra oak? It already brings oak chips (but no oak cubes). How much and when should I add? Oak chips vs cubes vs spirals?

3. Any other easy tweaks?

Thanks!
Have you read through this thread? Very informative for tweaking kits, especially low end ones.
http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51904
 

GaDawg

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The easiest tweak is to change the yeast.
 

facn1989

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And how would changing the yeast improve the wine? and how would I know which to use? I think EC1118 works rather well
 

Ajmassa

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And how would changing the yeast improve the wine? and how would I know which to use? I think EC1118 works rather well


EC 1118 is more of a failsafe yeast and will ferment just about anything dry under harsh conditions (high/low ph, high/low temps, ^18% abv). But it doesn't necessarily 'add' anything to the wine.
Go to a site like morewine.com and look through all yeast strains and read through the descriptions. You'll see which strain is recommended for different varietals, how they benefit them, and the tolerances of ph, temp, abv.
 

Hordak

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I would add extra wine tannin (tablespoon) as you mix up the concentrate and water and then an oak finishing tannin about a month prior to bottling (or at same time as oak cubes, two months prior to bottling)

Also add about 60-70 grams oak cubes or an oak stave a minimum of two months prior to bottling.

As you see you need to extend your total brew time to anywhere from 2-4 months.

Also I am a big fan of swapping out the EC1118 yeast as already mentioned. Usually RC212 and BM4X4 are pretty accessible.
 

Trick

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Have you read through this thread? Very informative for tweaking kits, especially low end ones.
http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51904
Agree. Read that thread first before trying yeast swapping. At least first 10 pages. It is a very good thread. Yeast swapping requires extensive research on yeast such as alcohol tolerance, temperature range, nutrient requirements, grape varieties etc. Not as easy as it sounds like.
Start from reducing volume, then oak, F-pack etc.
 

facn1989

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Thank you. I just read a good amount of that thread. Should I even reduce the volume on the Vintners Reserve kits? That thread mostly talks about really cheap Fontana kits ($40-$45), as opposed to the mid level Vintners Reserve (~$85). That kits already brings oak chips. Should I also reduce to 5 gallons, add tannins, maybe even more oak?
 

Trick

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Thank you. I just read a good amount of that thread. Should I even reduce the volume on the Vintners Reserve kits? That thread mostly talks about really cheap Fontana kits ($40-$45), as opposed to the mid level Vintners Reserve (~$85). That kits already brings oak chips. Should I also reduce to 5 gallons, add tannins, maybe even more oak?
With the price of the kits increases, the intensity of the tweaks should be reduced. You are right, reducing volume might not be a good option in this case. But this is up to personal preference. If you like heavy rich flavor, you can also try that. Instead of go 5 you can try 5.5.
Playing F-pack can be considered to add fruit flavor. Adding extra oak is subject to personal taste, it can be done for even high end kit if you really enjoy oaky flavor. For the medium kit, instruction usually asks for adding oak in the primary, so addition extra in bulk aging period should be a good tweak to try. Start from lower dose though.
 

joeswine

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Changing the structure of the wine begins at the beginning and what you add depends on what your base wine's profile and what and when you add the enhancement to the base .The quality of the base product does make a difference however adding the enhancement doesn't.
 
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joeswine

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The quality of the base product and when and what enhancement to add make all the difference ( I had to edit the last sentence post
 
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