Other yeast for Chocolate/Raspberry kit

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I purchased a Global Vintners Chocolate/Raspberry Apres kit on Saturday, and am debating on what yeast to use. The kit includes two packages of EC-1118, and something I've not seen before -- 400 g of chaptalization sugar. The instructions state to ferment down to 1.020, then stir in the sugar. OG is supposed to be in the 1.119 to 1.124 range, and the sugar will bump the SG by 0.008 to 0.015.

My original thought was to save the EC-1118 and use either RC 212 or Renaissance Avante, aiming for a bit different red wine flavor. The chaptalization sugar changes the equation, as finishing the wine will take high potency yeast. Using the conversion table I checked, the result will be at least 17% ABV, potentially a bit over 18%. I don't expect any yeast other than EC-1118 to ferment to dryness.

I'm considering starting with either RC 212 or the Avante, and adding a packet of EC-1118 when I add the sugar. Regardless of which yeast I use, I'll make an overnight starter to give the yeast the best start.

I appreciate everyone's input on this.
 
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I haven't made this particular kit, but have done some of the port style kits from other manufacturers. Most of them follow the same pattern, start at about 1.100, ferment down to something, add more sugar. I find that they lack the varietal characteristics that you might find in a Port wine made from starting a bit higher than normal SG, ferment down to something, then adding brandy made from that kind of wine to increase the alcohol. The method you propose might add some of that varietal distinction back in. I would be a little bit concerned that at 12-14% ABV when you add the EC-1118 to finish it off high, you might be at to high an alcohol for the new yeast to take off. But who knows for certain.
 
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I would be a little bit concerned that at 12-14% ABV when you add the EC-1118 to finish it off high, you might be at to high an alcohol for the new yeast to take off. But who knows for certain.
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm thinking a FWK-style starter will make a difference, and may use both packets to ensure the ferment continues.

I like these kits, but don't expect them to be a real port. Just tasty. However, if I can get a bit of varietal taste back in there? Cool!

I'm giving thought to popping corks on five bottles of my recently bottled Meritage Plus, backsweetening, and adding EverClear to 20% ABV. That wine spent a year in a barrel, and will produce a more port-like flavor than any kit; well, at least I'm thinking that. I'm also considering the same for my 2019 Zinfandel, which was aged on cubes but not in a barrel. I don't want to go too gonzo on this idea, but if these work out even halfway decent, it's a new trick in my book.
 

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The chapitalization pack is your chocolate flavoring and maybe some extra sugar as well. It’s common to be included in dessert port kits. Since the finished port may not taste like the base varietal, in my opinion, it’s not worth changing from the EC-1118. The flavor difference will get drowned out by the flavoring.
 
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The chaptalization pack looks like sugar. There is a separate F-pack that gets added later.

I purchased a lb of Avante last fall, sold a quarter of it and used a bit of it in kits, which is where the RC212 came from. I looked at the EC1118, RC 212, and the Avante ... and decided to roll the dice. I made starters for the port and an elderberry with the Avante. I can always inoculate with the EC1118 later.
 
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ratflinger

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Trying to fortify the kit by forcing the yeast to the max. You'll still need a little kick to it, I like my port about 20% - 22%. I'd rather make a nice base wine and then add the voodoo to make the end product. My daughter wanted a bourbon port, so I made a nice zinfandel and added 750ml of a good bourbon plus some simple syrup (to a 6 mo wine). I didn't think it was bourbon enough, nor hot enough. Hit it with some 190* Everclear and some 'Natural' brand bourbon flavor and it came right in. I usually add the Natural flavorings at 1/2 tsp per 3 gal until I get slightly more taste than I want. The port always goes into bottle for at least another 6 mo to 1 year, so the taste mellows. Just my $.02, it's up to you to decide how your port should taste.
 

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I purchased a Global Vintners Chocolate/Raspberry Apres kit on Saturday, and am debating on what yeast to use. The kit includes two packages of EC-1118, and something I've not seen before -- 400 g of chaptalization sugar. The instructions state to ferment down to 1.020, then stir in the sugar. OG is supposed to be in the 1.119 to 1.124 range, and the sugar will bump the SG by 0.008 to 0.015.

My original thought was to save the EC-1118 and use either RC 212 or Renaissance Avante, aiming for a bit different red wine flavor. The chaptalization sugar changes the equation, as finishing the wine will take high potency yeast. Using the conversion table I checked, the result will be at least 17% ABV, potentially a bit over 18%. I don't expect a
Ok, i realize this is kind of out there. Im making straight chocolate wine from organic cacao powder.

Its an experiment and i just whiped up a gallon batch. I used Lalvin QA23 because its supposed to lend a berry taste. Im mostly making this wine for female friends and was thinking valentines day. Was hoping to get a chocolatey with a hint of berry or cherry type flavor.

Well this batch volcanoed on me and as i mentioned in another post i got some on my fingers when cleaning off the bottle. I tasted it and i swear i could taste a slight berry flavor in there. Just a hint but i swear on it. It probably only fermented for 2 days and what a mess.

Its a pretty simple recipe. Just organic cacao powder, fermade o, cane sugar and QA23 yeast. I didnt use campden tabs because i boiled the sugar and cacao and figured it should be set. I dont think anything else in the recipe could have brought the berry taste. I don't know for sure though.

As far as QA23 goes, it seems to be working great on everything ive used it in so far.
 
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Ok, i realize this is kind of out there. Im making straight chocolate wine from organic cacao powder.
Other than Mount Vesuvius, it appears you're doing fine. Let us know how it turns out.

Did you ferment in a bucket, or a jug? Buckets are are better because the yeast needs O2 to reproduce AND because there is more surface area to allow expansion of a vigorous fermentation. I recommend never filling a primary more then 3/4 full ... I learned that the hard way. ;)
 

wetneck

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Other than Mount Vesuvius, it appears you're doing fine. Let us know how it turns out.

Did you ferment in a bucket, or a jug? Buckets are are better because the yeast needs O2 to reproduce AND because there is more surface area to allow expansion of a vigorous fermentation. I recommend never filling a primary more then 3/4 full ... I learned that the hard way. ;)

Thanks again bro. Im learning that juicy stuff usually flies in a glass jug but if there is any kind of particulate in the must look out.

Thinking of that banana must i put in a glass carboy... that stuff builds a seriously thick cap and thats what seems to lead to trouble lol.

Im making apple juice wine from concentrate and sugared up juice just for a side by side. That stuff is creating no cap and is going right to town.

I enjoy your advice!
 

wetneck

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I ran out but plan on picking up some 2.5 gallon ones next. Im trying to find some 6 gallon food grade buckets but they all seem to be brew buckets (no real difference to me) and they want 20 prices for them.

One thing about glass is it saves from racking right away. I think a good soak in star san and a light brushing should do the job on these apple experiments though.

I get bored and cut lose on an idea and probably need to put more into planning things out better. Probably going to come with experience for me though because well 420 and 710 lol
 
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Im trying to find some 6 gallon food grade buckets but they all seem to be brew buckets (no real difference to me) and they want 20 prices for them.
The Home Depot 5 gallon buckets are supposed to be food grade, good enough for fermentation. Check the code on the bottom.

I use 32 gallon Rubbermaid Brutes for fermenting large batches. The advantage of the purpose-made 7.9 gallon fermenters is the lid seals tight in case you want to do EM (extended maceration).

I think a good soak in star san and a light brushing should do the job on these apple experiments though.
Star San is a sanitizer, not a cleaner, so it's not effective like you may believe. Your scrubbing more likely does the job, although sanitizing is important.

I scrub all equipment immediately after use with a scrubby pad I dedicate for that purpose. Cleanup is easier if done before stuff dries. Periodically I soak all equipment (including stoppers and airlocks) in Oxyclean, and at least yearly I use One Step.

My press was purchased used, and I got a couple of demjohns (25 and 54 liter) with it, and both had ugly red wine residue in the necks. Scrubbing with a carboy brush barely made a difference. I used One Step and repeated treatments with a drill-mounted carboy brush (felt straps on a spindle). It took several sessions, but they sparkled afterward.
 
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