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Hairymare

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Hi all,
I have been lurking since mid June and when on my birthday I said, hey folks, I want to make some wine and I went to a local store and bought a wine making kit, and back to the wine making store to buy a kit, and back to the store to buy a one gallon set up and back to the store to buy...( I AM SURE YOU ALL KNOW HOW IT GOES). Any rate, I have enjoyed the reading and I would like to ask a few questions.

So, I am on my first kit of trinity red wine and also my first fruit wine of 1 gallon of hand picked strawberry wine. Also, I am very eager to make another gallon of wine of something I pick, (chokecherry or elderberry, most likely) and also am considering the blackberry port kit or another one I read the recipe for in a book called a blackberry port like wine. But, back to the red trinity wine.......

I have cleared and stabilized the kit wine. I have had the carboys on the kitchen counter and we have had some hot weather and the kitchen had gotten quite warm during the secondary fermentation. It could have been in the 90 degree + F. range.


I measured the start of the trinity red kit wine and I think it was at 1.089 and I think the sg was at 1.002 when I moved it to the secondary fermentation. I did clear and stabilize the wine when I think it was at sg .986. I wonder if that seems to be okay? Seems strong when I try the math for the alcohol content.

I have to say, reading the hydrometer has been a real challenge for me. For some reason, I just don't get it but I think I have it right but have to really work at it. When the wine was cleared the hydrometer reading was in the white above the .990 reading above the blue section. I have to say I really wonder why the hydrometer isn't constructed with the actual readings? Mine is made in France.

I now wonder if I can leave it in the carboy for an extra long time. I could put it into my cellar which is quite deep and cool or I could leave it in the warm kitchen or I could bottle it 2 days early from the directions. The directions say check for clarity in 14 days which interferes by two days :btwith a spontaneous camping trip to the coast of Maine which would be really good for my soul. Also, ever since I stabilized and cleared the wine I have two rings of sediment up above where the wine touches the rings in the carboy. I wonder about that, too. I did use the drill powered thing and tried to reverse forward and backwards. I didn't seem to have too many bubbles raising either.

Thanks to anyone who cares to comment. The strawberry wine has had even more interesting sg readings. But, it is beautiful. I think I will post about it in the fruit section.

Yvette
 

Green Mountains

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I have cleared and stabilized the kit wine. I have had the carboys on the kitchen counter and we have had some hot weather and the kitchen had gotten quite warm during the secondary fermentation. It could have been in the 90 degree + F. range.
Yvette,

My first thought is get that carboy to the basement. You really want it out of the direct sunlight and high temps. I'd move it to the basement and YES, let it age awhile there.

The 4 Week kits are a kind of HOOK to get people into the hobby (I love making them) but truth be told you'll always end up with a better end product if you let them age longer in carboys. Some even have the patience for six months to a year before they bottle, though I've not made it that long.

If this is your first kit, go ahead and bottle in a little while, you need to get some initial satisfaction from the hobby (obsession) but I'd certainly get it out of the heat for a week or two before you go further.

Also, while I can't be certain the gravity readings that you gave sound right around where you should be for each of the stages you mentioned. You can get a new Hydrometer that has the fairly easy to read numbers for less than $10 US.

Hope this helps and welcome to the fold.
 

Hairymare

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Thank you for your reply.
I moved both bottles down tonight to the cellar and wrapped them in towels where they can sit in the cool and shade until...whenever??
They are under airlock and are both filled within an inch of the bottom bung. If anyone thinks I should be doing something to them, Pleaszzze let me know.

BTW, they have not spent the entire time in that much warmth. We usually don't get too much warmth in the summer, so we don't have air conditioning and the house interior temperatures go up and down like the out of doors.

Also, I know that the hydrometer I already bought is the only one that the wine store has in the store. Do you know whom sells an easier model? Or who makes it? I am very interested in getting it and in that case I would have a spare when the inevitable occurs.

I happen to be patient so I guess waiting a bit will be easy for me. I am very eager to start another batch and am thinking the port because I will get a discount on a 3 gallon carboy and obviously the more carboys the better. I did get an extra 1 gallon jug and a one half gallon jug and also two small bungs to fit winebottles. And, I am looking for a small bottle because I have about 20 oz.s extra of the strawberry in a nalgene bottle as I didn't have the heart to dump it after picking all those strawberries.

It is almost blackberry season and I do think I could manage to bring home some real blueberries from Maine to try a gallon of that and also I am considering going to the Aldi's store as I have read others on the list are shopping for fruit there. I appreciate the answer.
Hoping you have the best of wine,
Yvette
 

Hairymare

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Btw, is my wine going to be most likely bad because during parts of its fermentation it was warm? Thanks again. Good night all.
Yvette
 

Hairymare

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Btw, I tried to send a long post but it has not shown up so one important point of that post was to say thank-you.
Yvette
 

cpfan

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Btw, is my wine going to be most likely bad because during parts of its fermentation it was warm? Thanks again. Good night all.
Yvette
Yvette:

welcome to a great hobby, and a great forum.

Your wine will probably be just fine.

Steve
 

jdeere5220

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Btw, is my wine going to be most likely bad because during parts of its fermentation it was warm? Thanks again. Good night all.
Yvette
They say that a warm and fast ferment give a wine a dryer feel with less fruity flavor, which is actually what some people prefer. I've been slowing mine down lately (primary for 10-14 days if I can slow it down that much) to try and get more of the fruit character, but a warm and fast ferment is nothing to worry about and some actually prefer the result.

It's hard for me to think your SG got down to 0.986, but I guess it's possible. The lowest I've ever had one get to was 0.991 or somewhere in there. My hydrometer scale only goes down (up?) to 0.990, so I would have to guess if it was below 0.990 anyway.
 

Hairymare

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Thank-you for your replies.
I do believe my hydrometer reads to 0.982. I have the wine aging in the carboys in the basement until at least after I return from vacation. I checked the levels in the water locks and every thing seems fine. I am comtemplating tipping them slightly as has been suggested on this forum to try to shift the sediment. I don't want to tip the carboy until I return from vacation but wonder if the sediment will move after it has already moved to the bottom with the carboy level.
I hope everyone has a fine week and am looking forward to starting a new batch of wine when I get back. Maybe blueberries from Maine or blackberries from here when I return.
I used to think I like my wine dry but I am beginning to think I don't know what I like as I have been drinking a sweeter box wine this summer topped with a splash of carbonated water. I got on that kick after getting on a homemade sangria kick earlier this summer that was made with club soda, lemon juice, orange slices and strawberries.
I usually drink Merlot or a St. Emillion on a special occasion. The one thing I do know is that I like red and I like a full bodied wine. The trinity red is supposed to be the most full bodied out of the selection offered in this level of Wine expert kits.
I look forward to reading from you all when I return,
Yvette
 

jdeere5220

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Interesting comments. I find that my taste drifts towards the sweet or semi-dry reds during summer, but I gravitate back to the dry full-bodied reds during the winter months. Here in Michigan a nice warm red wine is just what the doctor ordered on those 18 degree days with a gusty wind.

At least that's what my doctor orders..... if your doctor orders something different I say it's time to find a new apothecary!
 

Hairymare

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I did make it and blulk aged in the carboy for 1 year.

Hi all, I did bottle the wine - Wine Expert Trinity Red - yesterday. I did drink a bottle last night (shared with 1 person). Good news is that I woke without a hangover, the wine seems to be not harsh at all, but, I do think the wine has a little bit of an odd odor. It is drinkable, a bit thin, and brightly colored. I did rack it only once - back to the pail, and back into the cleaned and sanitized carboy. I think I let it sit too long on the sediment. A couple of months and there was a small amount of sediment left over yesterday. I did rack into a pail and left the bottom sediment in the carboy. I might have made a mistake and bottled through a spigot on the pail instead of using the racking cane and wonder if that is a no-no, due to more oxygen entering the wine in the bottling procedure. Any comments would be appreciated. I wonder also if it will improve upon more aging? Should I wait longer or just start drinking it. I am looking to purchase my next kit and I would also like suggestions. Thank-you, Yvette
 

captainl

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Next time go back to the wine making store.....and get some tubing, maybe 6 to 12 inches long, and a bottling wand (not sure what its called). Costs a couple of dollars. Tubing hooks to spicket, wand hooks to tubing. Open the spicket. Insert the wand inside the empty bottle and push down on the bottle wand and it will fill with out splashing or oxidizing much. When you release pressure it will stop filling via a spring valve. Your off taste might be from oxidizing??? Cardboard flavor.....or is that for oxidized beer??

Anyhow time to start another one. I started my 3 rd batch a month or so ago. I plan to keep always keep a better quality, and lesser quality kit going at the same time to keep from drinking too early.

Good luck
 

Hairymare

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I don't know why I didn't think of that

Thanks for your reply. I actually could have done that if I had thought of it as I have both tubing and a bottling wand. I think I am going to let the wine age a little bit more and see how it is in a few months. I am actually pretty happy with the wine because it seems to go down as easy as water. I really do not like harsh wines that I wake up with a headache. LOL I do wonder if what I am trying to explain could be the kit wine taste. It just occurred to me. I also wonder if anyone has described that on this list so I am going to search for the term. Also oxidation.
I am trying to decide what next and am considering a can of Vintner's Harvest Black Currant or a kit of RJ Spagnols Winery Series Super Tuscan. I am doing some beer, too.
 
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