Winexpert Kit Instructions-Timeline?

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Stovetop535

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First wine kit and it is a Winexpert Vinters Reserve Coastal White. My question is about the timeline the directions give. The directions state a 5-7 day primary (with the condition of the wine reaching 1.010 or less) then rack to secondary and leave for 10 days after which gravity should read .996 or less. At this point it says to stabilize and clear, let it sit for 14 days and then bottle (as long as it is clear).

I started this kit on 4/22 and forgot about it until this weekend. Tomorrow will be 21 days in the primary. Should this change my timeline at all? I have not taken a gravity reading yet, but am planning on taking one tomorrow. I can tell you this, fermentation was extremely vigorous for the first week. I would be surprised if it is not done.

Are there any cons to leaving the wine in the primary longer than the directions state in terms of off flavors or the fining/stabilizing process later on?

Thanks
Alex
 

saramc

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The timelines are there for the beginners who usually do not have a grasp on the fermentation process nor how to monitor with hydrometer. Simply a guide to give you an idea of where the must might be when you go to check it with the hydrometer.

Assuming you have had your primary under airlock, and since you are at/around Day 21 I would think there is no reason you should be overly concerned about ruining anything. The concern at hand is how much headspace you have BUT since you are so early into the process and likely have a protective CO2 blanket intact all should be fine. I would check my SG and consult your instructions, more than likely your SG is 0.996 or less & if so you will be ready to start Step 3: Stabilizing and Clearing.

Keep us posted. I happen to have a few gallons of this same wine (started about five weeks ago) which has been tweaked with strawberries, the remainder of the kit was kept original-style & I think both will be quite good. Both are already crystal clear and I never even added the fining agent.

You asked about leaving in primary longer than instructions, etc....with an all liquid kit like this one you are typically fine with extended time in primary, since lees development is minimal. If you had fruit/pulp to deal with that would yield a different answer. Also, you need to maintain protection against oxidization at all times. Use of open top bucket, lid just covering but not snapped on, is common use for primary container; hence the reason instructions have you transfer around 1.010 and apply airlock. (Many winemakers transfer from primary container to an airlocked carboy anywhere from the 2/3 sugar depletion point to 1.000.) Oh, when transferring to secondary container and forward, headspace is usually addressed but WE makes allowance since you will be adding more things soon enough, plus you will still kick out CO2 while those final 0.010 +/- points ferment out. You may want to read about 'Sur lie and bâtonnage (lees contact and stirring)' in order to learn about using lees during fermentation.
 

DoctorCAD

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It probably won't hurt, but primary is really the only timeline that should be followed.

Get the must off the gross lees so that it doesn't pick up a "dead yeast" flavor. Other than that, time can only help.
 

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