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Old 11-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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Whatever...
I don't see how this is constructive...If you think I am wrong then try and help me understand why I am wrong so I can change my opinion, but saying this makes no sense and is degrading to the conversation.

With regards to the kit instructions, I always take instructions with a grain of salt. I have found that often when you have any background knowledge and are following kit instructions, it's difficult to understand where they are coming from and either you have to just say screw it and follow the instructions blindly or ditch the instructions all together. I like to understand why I am doing things and following directions blindly doesn't teach me anything. Also, the wine kit instructions were contradicting most of the research I did online and I decided to go with what I found on this forum and other sources. I know if I had blindly followed the instructions that I would have come out the other side with something drinkable, but if I were working for a company writing instructions like this, I would write them such that people will buy another kit sooner.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:32 PM   #12
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With regards to the kit instructions, I always take instructions with a grain of salt. I have found that often when you have any background knowledge and are following kit instructions, it's difficult to understand where they are coming from and either you have to just say screw it and follow the instructions blindly or ditch the instructions all together. I like to understand why I am doing things and following directions blindly doesn't teach me anything. Also, the wine kit instructions were contradicting most of the research I did online and I decided to go with what I found on this forum and other sources. I know if I had blindly followed the instructions that I would have come out the other side with something drinkable, but if I were working for a company writing instructions like this, I would write them such that people will buy another kit sooner.
Wine kits are different than beer kits, though! Most beer kits have terrible to so-so instructions. But the wine kits are actually quite good with their instructions. Each kit manufacturer has them a little different (when to top up, when to degas, when to rack), but they all work great for their product.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #13
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White wine kits tend to say 6 months red 12 months.

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Old 11-30-2012, 03:17 AM   #14
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real wine makers make wine from fresh fruit just saying....but in all fairness a kit is the best place to start because you learn the basics of wine making. Follow the directions so you can learn and then move on to fresh fruit.

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Old 11-30-2012, 11:51 AM   #15
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real wine makers make wine from fresh fruit just saying....but in all fairness a kit is the best place to start because you learn the basics of wine making. Follow the directions so you can learn and then move on to fresh fruit.
"real" winemakers...you're actually going to go there?

P.S. Real bikers don't ride Hondas.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SkiNuke View Post
I don't see how this is constructive...If you think I am wrong then try and help me understand why I am wrong so I can change my opinion, but saying this makes no sense and is degrading to the conversation.

With regards to the kit instructions, I always take instructions with a grain of salt. I have found that often when you have any background knowledge and are following kit instructions, it's difficult to understand where they are coming from and either you have to just say screw it and follow the instructions blindly or ditch the instructions all together. I like to understand why I am doing things and following directions blindly doesn't teach me anything. Also, the wine kit instructions were contradicting most of the research I did online and I decided to go with what I found on this forum and other sources. I know if I had blindly followed the instructions that I would have come out the other side with something drinkable, but if I were working for a company writing instructions like this, I would write them such that people will buy another kit sooner.
Wasn't meant to be constructive. No matter what I would add, you obviously aren't going to listen to any advice that recommends following directions, so why try?
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:12 PM   #17
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Wasn't meant to be constructive. No matter what I would add, you obviously aren't going to listen to any advice that recommends following directions, so why try?
Then why even bother responding to this thread? Just ignore it and move on with your life and let me decide what advice I'll listen to. I'm sure you have better things to do than be passive aggressive and insulting on a normally helpful forum.

Back on topic...My stance on kit instructions applies to more than just beer/wine making, I'll rarely follow instructions that come with anything I buy since I would rather get advice from the pros than a marketer. Instead I look at them as suggestions and a parts list and that's about it. However, by the sound of it wine kit instructions are better than average. I'll have to keep that in mind for the next kit I do. As it is, I am about 2 racks into clarification (30 days apart), I'll let it sit for 45-60 days and rack again if needed. Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:04 PM   #18
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Skinuke said...

Back on topic...My stance on kit instructions applies to more than just beer/wine making, I'll rarely follow instructions that come with anything I buy since I would rather get advice from the pros than a marketer. Instead I look at them as suggestions and a parts list and that's about it. However, by the sound of it wine kit instructions are better than average. ...

I know that Wine Expert values the experience that their staff brings to the team. Tim Vandergrift is the go to for their kits, and he has been making wine on an individual level for years, and he brings that knowledge to the kit development team at WE. He has been published countless number of times and has a blog. The fact that you read on forums that people have bought x-amount of particular kits from year to year says a lot. I have purchased a handful of kits, different brands, and their instructions have all followed the same model. WE are what I prefer, but kit wines are rare for me. It is the individual's responsibility to do some learning beforehand---and not rely on the kit info to explain it to you. The 'but why' moments are for us to investigate and learn from.

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Old 11-30-2012, 06:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SkiNuke
I am currently getting into wine making and have a sauvignon blanc clarifying right now. I bought a kit for that wine, but I didn't follow the instructions because I wanted to do it right (following jack keller stuff). I bought my own sorbate and sulfites, and the only thing I used from the kit was the juice.

Now, the first half of the process seems pretty simple:
1) Ferment in bucket
2) Transfer to carboy at around 1.020
3) Rack to new carboy after 30 days (adding sulfites)
4) Continue to rack every 30 days until clear (adding sulfites every other rack)

The second half of the process is where i am questioning some things. Most of what I have read says to follow something like this:
5) Bulk age for 6-12 months
6) Stabilize with sorbate and sulfites
7) Back sweeten (if desired)
8) Wait a week or two
9) Bottle

However, I am wondering why even bother bulk aging, why not just bottle and let it age there? Either way, by the time it's clear it has already been a few months since the fermentation stopped. Also, do you even need to stabilize? For a dry wine, if you are following good sanitary procedures and not adding more sugar then it shouldn't ferment more. For a sweetened wine, if you add sugar after its no longer dropping lees then there should be no more yeast to ferment any of the sugar you add.

I guess my question boils down to this: Why not bottle immediately after you are satisfied that your wine is no longer dropping any lees, without the extra steps?
As this being your first wine kit/adventure, follow the instructions. When you do kit #2, experiment a little based on your first kit and what you have learned.

Following the instructions for kit one will give you a baseline to compare your experimentation and others' methods.

As Sara has said, the kits are designed to give you good results.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #20
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real wine makers make wine from fresh fruit just saying....but in all fairness a kit is the best place to start because you learn the basics of wine making. Follow the directions so you can learn and then move on to fresh fruit.
Really? I just I'm just a fake winemaker that's been making wine since before you were born? That's a very arrogant and ignorant statement.

You could take it further- real bakers grind their own flour. Real chefs slaughter their own beef. Real baristas grown, harvest, and roast their own coffee beans. And so on.

There are plenty of expert winemakers (even professional vintners) that start with already pressed grapes. Many vineyards even purchase grapes and juice from other vineyards. I guess if they buy pressed grapes, they must not be "real" either?

I would put some of my wine from already pressed white grape juice against any of yours. just saying.
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