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Dec 5, 2009
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Greetings all!
I am currently in the secondary process of fermentation with my kit. After following the directions precicely in the first stage, I racked into the secondary after 5 days (SG at start = 1.076 and after 5 days .996). 9 days to go until I check the SG again (and again the following day to ensure that there's no change on 2 consecutive days). All is going well. Has anyone else tried this specific kit? Any thoughts or advice?

Sounds like it's going well. The only comments I have are that the beginning s.g. (1.076) is low for a Cab. Sauv. You may have added just a little too much water in the beginning. Typical beginning s.g. is about 1.090-1.010. If it ferments to complete dryness (.990), your ABV will be about 11.7%.

At s.g. .996, your wine will not likely ferment much more. It's rare for a wine to go all the way to .990. Usually, fermentation stops in the .990-.995 range. My point is don't wait 9 days to check it again. I would start checking it in the next day or two to see if s.g. has stabilized.

As an added note on the starting SG, it is important to completely mix the kit juice and water at the beginning to get a true reading. If it isn't, you can get what may appear to be a low SG. The water and juice are surprisingly difficult to mix well.
.. Doug
True, I did mix the bentonite, juice and water, but not vigorously, so that could have caused the reading to be artifically high (although it's still within range based on the directions 1.075 - 1.092). After I took the reading, I added the yeast and oak chips. Do you think I need to keep the carboy heated with the brew belt during the secondary fermentation stage (it wasn't stated it's necessary in the directions).
For a bold red wine like a Cab try to keep the temp in the upper 70s, although anything 70 or above will do fine. The fermentation by itself will usually genetate 4-5 degrees so don't let a brew belt get it too hot. Around 86F is usually where you need to worry about a stuck fermentation.

I took my reading yesterday and today and it's at .992 for both days. I used the drill mounted degasser for about 2 minutes prior to adding the potassium metibisulphite and potassium sorbate that was mixed into a 1/2 cup of cool water. Then I used the degasser for another 2 minutes before adding the chitosan. I used the degasser for a 3rd time to mix all the goodies up and there was still some CO2 foam.

I ended up doing another 6-7 attemts at degassing for 2 minutes a piece before calling it quits. It seemed like there was an endless supply of CO2! I was whipping it up pretty good, creating a vortex at times. All in all, I'd say I degassed for about 15-20 minutes of total degassing time. WTF? I wasn't expecting that!
Some of the bubble you are getting are air you are mixing into wine from over (whipping) wine to degas. That is not good I dont use a degasser with a whip.I still shake the **** out of the wine with cork in carboy and thumb over hole then bleed off co2
the 'vortex' pulls air into the mixture causing more bubbles. try to keep that from happening. also look into the recent threads on this as well. it has been discussed quite a bit lately.
Yeah, I checked out a bunch of the posts and saw some video's from Youtube and basically I get the feeling that it's not all that bad. After all, when you're racking, you are exposing a lot of the wine to oxygen as well. But then again, whipping it too also invites more oxygen in so...Well either way, the damage has already been done.
Well, it's the end. I racked my 6 gallon into a 5 gallon and 1 gallon and prepared to bottle. i had my wife watch the youtube video of the coule making the wine that's in the Winexpert: I made this video series. It worked, she was interested (probably just trying to shut me up). Anyway, after the racking we bottled the wine in the 5 gallon (no sediment) and then tried the remaining 1 gallon, which was at the end of the 6 gallon carboy, and of course it had some sediment.

In the end, I had a half bottle left over and decided to drink it instead oh corking 1/2 bottle. It tasted just ok. But the big thnig was that my stomach was gugling for hours and the gas....I wasn't expecting that. Anyone else experience the flatulence? You would know what I'm talking about if you've had it.

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