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Old 10-29-2007, 04:00 AM   #1
GIusedtoBe
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Default I've got 6.5's and 5's but no 6 gallon carboy's

and my wine kit was done with primary fermentation. (7 days) The next step calls for racking to a 6 gallon carboy for ten days secondary. I racked it to a 5 gallon carboy and a 1 gallon jug.

Questions:

The 5 gallon carboy has a good bit of headspace left in it, is this going to be a problem?

The next step calls for stirring in clarifyers, can I rack to a 6 gallon carboy (I'll have one by then) and then stir in the clarifiers?

BTW I know this is a dumb question but how much does the wine's taste change from initial fermentation to properly aged and mellowed? The hydrometer sample was a little bold! Of course in keeping with my motto of "waste not want not" , I drank it anyway!

Thanks,
Al

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Old 10-29-2007, 04:38 AM   #2
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I've never used any clarifiers, I've always let everythin clear on it's own, so I can't give you any advice about that, but... wines will mellow quite a bit with proper aging...

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Old 10-29-2007, 12:54 PM   #3
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It's ok to have some headspace when you add the clarifiers because you have to stir. Did you already do the degassing? If you've already degassed, you don't want the headspace but if you're still not at that step, it's ok. It's probably best to add the clarifiers in the carboys they are in (you actually want to stir in the lees with the clarifiers) so when you dissolve the clarifier in water, add 1/6 to the one gallon carboy and 5/6 to the 5 gallon carboy. After it's degassed and clear, you can rack them into the 6 gallon carboy and top up. I'm assuming that this is what your kit instructions tell you. They do vary a bit, but not much.

The taste doesn't really change that much in kit wines, unless you're doing a high end expensive kit that requires aging. Most of the $60-85 kits are the early drinking variety and may get just a bit better after a couple of months.

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Old 10-29-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info.

You are right on with the instructions. I am supposed to stir to de-gas and add finings ten days from now.

If I get a 6 gallon carboy can I just pour the whole kit an kaboodle from the five and one into the 6 and then stir again to de-gas?

Since the idea is to de-gas would'nt pouring it into the larger container and then stirring accomplish the same thing?

I'm so used to not agitating fermented beer.

BTW the kit is International Selection "French Merlot" that cost about $95 at the LHBS

Thanks again
Al

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Old 10-30-2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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Well, you want to degas but not oxidize. Pouring and splashing would oxidize it. When you stir to degas, you do it in the carboy so that the dissolved co2 will leave. Some people use a stirrer on their drill (that's why I mentioned headspace being ok for this- think volcano) or a mity vac (like you bleed brakes with). Really, you can just stir until your arm falls off and then do it again later. After stirring, I stick the airlock back on immediately.

I really think you're ok with the 5 gallon and 1 gallon right now. Then degas, stabilize and rack into the 6 gallon. Instead of bottling then like the instructions tell you, wait a month or so and then bottle. Longer if you can stand it! This will also help with degassing. The reason you degas kit wines and not fruit wines and grape wines is the speed in which you do the kit. To have it drinkable in 60 days, you have to rush the process. The kits are good, don't get me wrong! But wine will usually degas well on its own in time.

I think your merlot kit sounds great! I have an Australian Shiraz kit on deck. (Same company and type of kit).

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