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Old 02-06-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
solbes
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Default Noob questions to Vintners from a Brewer

My wife wants to get started in making wine. I've brewed for a couple of years now but this is new territory. I read through the instructions (it's a Pinot Noir Vintners Reserve 6 gal kit). Also checked through a lot of threads here to try avoiding frequent questions.

So here's the stripped down version of what I think I'm supposed to do. Please let me know if you see flaws that should be corrected:

- Setup the primary fermentation in a bucket with all of the necessary additions. Loosely cover and keep warm for 7-10 days. Rack into glass carboy when I hit 1.010 or so.
- Allow to ferment to completion and verify with hydrometer. Add stabilizers and finings. Mix vigourously to degas. Wait 14 more days. Check for clarity. Add some metabisulphate and rack to tertiary to allow for some aging (I'm thinking 2-3 months).
- At end of tertiary I would like to add ~ 2 oz of medium toast oak cubes. Check for oak flavor addition starting around day 7. Rack to bottling bucket when oak flavor is satisfactory.
- Bottle and cork.

Questions:

1) Yeast selection. Just use what's included, or are there better yeast strains to use as is the case with brewing?
2) Do I just loosely cover during primary with no airlock? Do I need to stir at all once it gets going?
3) Do I try to target cool or warm side of yeast during primary, or anywhere in range is good?
4) Sanitizers. Always use metabisulphate or is Star-san okay?

Thanks in advance for any help you have for this Noob.

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Old 02-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #2
Kremlock
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Hi,

I'm doing the opposite, going from wine to beer!

I've brewed for 3 years now and he's what I've learned.

1. I've always used the yeast that was provided without any problems
2. I,ve always put on the lid loosely on the primary (and so does my local wine supply shop) with no problem.
3. I tend to stay on the mid to warm spectrum of the temperature suggested by the manifacturer of the wine. By experience I've had wine where it took 2times the amount of time to ferment and up to 4 times the time it took to clear when I did my wine in the winter where my basement is usually around 17-18 celcius.
4. I always use metabisulphate to sanitize and I use Diversol (pink powder) to clean all my equipment. I keep a spray bottle of metabisulphate solution with my stuff so all I have to do for example is spray my spoon, rince, then use it. (everything is pre-cleaned)

Hope this helps. Of course, these answers are all by personal experience. Others will have different opinions with the same results. As long as your stuff is clean and satinized you're good to go.

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Old 02-06-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
DoctorCAD
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I'd add the oak when you move to the secondary. You can always take it out after 2 months when you do another racking. My bag of oak cubes says 8 weeks minimum contact required.

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Old 02-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
solbes
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Great feedback Krem. Personal experience is exactly what I am looking for (I have none).

Dr, Yeah I have no feel what so ever for how long to keep the oak in contact. I know I like reds with a little oak flavor, but I don't want it overpowering either. With adding the oak to secondary, it would also give the flavors time to merge together in tertiary correct? The issue I see is that even if I reached the right "oakiness", I couldn't rack until the wine had cleared. Probably over thinking this.

Also is tertiary even needed? I'm in no particular rush here, so I don't mind if it provides benefit. The directions seemed to go to bottling from secondary after it has cleared.

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Primary #1: Empty #2: Black Currant Wine
Secondary #1
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Kegged
: Cascadian Dark Ale
Bottles
: Spruced Winter Warmer, Surly Bender clone, Big 50 Barleywine, Framboise Lambic, Dark Belgian Strong, Kicked by a Moose Scotch Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Sparkling Elderflower Wine, Barolo Wine, On Deck: Orange Pale Ale IV, Hidden Lake Nut Brown, 2H IPA III
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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If the wine has cleared then moving it to a third racking would be to put it into bulk storage. Personally, I would just move it to a bottling bucket and bottle.

Dicky

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Old 02-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Letting wine sit for a while after fermentation does something like letting potato salad or chili sit in the fridge for a few days. It lets the individual flavors blend together to soften them. Lots of other stuff happens during ageing, but that is the simplest form.

I have gone from bottle in 4 weeks to sit for a minimum of 3 months before bottling and my wine is getting better.

That's the good thing about this hobby, procrastinators like me can get it right!

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