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Jun 22, 2017
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Hey forum,

I'm making wine from a kit: Selection Premium Vieux Chateau Du Roi (Chateauneuf du Pape)

I'm going to follow the instructions, except for the sorbate.

I've added the water & bentonite per the instructions, mixed (did not start fermentation), and took some chemistry readings (using an SC-300).

The pH reads 3.93 and the TA reads 4.4 g/L. The Brix is 22.0 and SG is 1.092. The kit instructions only mention an SG range of 1.080 - 1.100, so that is ok. However, no mention of Brix, pH or TA ranges.

This is my first kit (I've made wine from fresh grapes), so I'm not sure if readings like this (high pH and low TA) are common in kits. This is my main concern, the pH and TA.

Should I proceed with fermentation and assume the kit is indeed fine...as WineXpert intended? Are those readings affected enough by the presence of the bentonite mixed in?

I called Wine Expert and they stated those numbers were "in the range. It still concerns me though, as they seem significantly off. I'd hate to invest not only the money, but the time and have this wine turn out to be 'flabby' and average at best.

Anyone else out there make similar adjustments? Should I add some Tartaric Acid to bring the pH down to 3.6ish...or should I stop over thinking it?
Yes, those kits are set up to be quick and go according to plan. I'd just ferment it as is. It's guaranteed if you follow the directions, and it's worth doing it that way to ensure the guarantee.

Remember you're not going to be doing MLF or things like that, so you'll probably be happiest with the directions.
Thank you for the reply.

I'm curious though, what do you mean by they 'guarantee' the kit as is? How does that work?
Thank you for the reply.

I'm curious though, what do you mean by they 'guarantee' the kit as is? How does that work?

The last time I used Winexpert, there was a guarantee that if you make the to the directions, and it fails, they replace it. I'd have to check and see if that still was the same, but I never heard that it isn't.
If you are still around, I was wondering how it turned out. I made my first Cellar Craft kit (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre) but didn't measure the pH and TA since it was my first wine making experience and I didn't understand their importance. After 6 weeks in the bottle I'm adding .75 grams of acid per a 750 ml bottle to make it palatable (which I guess equates to raising the TA up 0.1). Knowing what I know now, I would think kit makers would precisely dial in the to generally accepted PH (3.4?) and TA (0.6?) values when manufactured.