White ring-Cellar Craft Showcase Zinfandel

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Dec 8, 2019
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I am on Day 27 of a Cellar Craft Showcase Lodi Zinfandel wine kit (included grape skins). According to the instructions, I am Stage 3 and waiting to degas. I deviated from the instructions by not using a mesh bag for the grape skins and I did not add bentonite. The kit did not come with an enzyme pouch. The primary fermentation went well, SG was 1.00 on Day 9. I racked it into a carboy with little airspace and topped with airlock filled with vodka. According to the instructions, I'm supposed to wait to about Day 20 until the SG is 0.998 or less. If at Day 20, it is not 0.998 or less, it can wait another week. That is today. I have been checking SG periodically during this time and it has been at 0.999 since Day 10. My plan is to check the SG today (last check was last week), rack into a bucket fermenter, degas, and then rack to a new carboy and add potassium metabisulfite. This part has worried me in wondering if that is a long time without sulfites. On Friday, I noticed this white ring on the edge at the wine/air interface. I'm wondering if this is an infection or the protein ring I've seen mentioned elsewhere on the forum. After the degassing stage 3, Stage 4 is clearing 2 days later (originally supposed to be Day 22) and includes adding potassium sorbate, kieselsol and chitosan. My original plan with this kit was to skip all the additives.

Any thoughts? I've seen some of the other threads posted, but people don't seem to follow up and post how the wine turned out and what happened next. I'd appreciate any information or advice people may have. This is only my 2nd kit. My first one did not have grape skins and I added all the additives. It is currently bulking aging.

Also...I did, of course, leave behind most of skins in the racking process. Towards the end, I poured some remaining wine through a mesh strainer into the carboy. There are a few skins that made it into the carboy.

Pic below....View media item 4706
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the ring is no big deal. you have great eyesight if you can discern .998 from .999 on you hydrometer. You are within error of measurement accuracy in the hydrometer go forth with racking etc especially adding k-meta. rack again in three weeks as there will be more sediment ad rack again in three months. with regard to other additives your wine your call.
Thank you for your help! Well, I had "fun" today. The wine smelled fine to me. I read the directions again and it doesn't say to rack again yet. I took a SG ready and it was 0.998. I started to degas with a drill stirrer for a little over a 1 min and then realized the directions said to add the K-meta before degassing. So, I poured the k-meta packet into the carboy and started to degas again and I got a volcano. I cleaned up that mess and sprayed the headspace with a K-meta + citric acid solution just in case and put the airlock back on. According to the directions, you're supposed to wait 2 days and then go through the K-sorbate, kieselsol, and chitosan procedure and no racking. Then it says to wait about 20-22 days more to either bottle or bulk age (if bulk aging, add 1/4 tsp K-meta more).

Do you think its okay to just leave it for 3 weeks and then rack and add the K-meta? Although I suppose I don't really have a choice since I stirred it up today anyway. I didn't seem to lose too much wine with the volcano but I'll probably top it up a little bit with some store bought wine. I'm curious how long it takes people to do this stuff! I feel like I spend all this time cleaning and sanitizing!Day 27 CCShowcase Zin after K-meta degas.jpeg
Cleaning and sanitizing should take about half or three forms of the time working with wine. Anytime you think it is clean, clean it again. Everything you use get spritzed with sanitizing solution. This is your first kit, I wouldn't bulk age it. Get it into the bottle, let it agree on the bottle for two months, then a bottle every other week. Notice how it goes better at 6 mounts, a year. As soon as you bottle, buy two more carboys and another bucket.

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