Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by Ralp » Sat, 14 Feb 2004 09:12:45



I just got one of these kits and am soliciting suggestions and comments from
anyone who's made one.

My plan is:
Add water to 23L, start fermenting about 78F to let the yeast (RC 212) get
going, then put it in a 60F area to slow ferment to about SG 1.01
Rack and warm it again to about 75 to let the secondary fementation proceed.
I use a 5 gal carboy and various others so I can top up with the same wine.
Rack when fementation has really stopped
Add about 3Oz Stavin medium plus french oak cubes (I don't trust the oak
splinters that come with it)
Let it bulk age for 3 months, racking every 4 weeks and checking SO2 and oak
If it isn't clear then, use the fining and let it settle
Rack, wait a week, then check SO2 and bottle.
Let it bottle age for at least 9 months and keep most of it for about 2
years

I'm wondering about adding a bit of tannin either at the start or after 2nd
fermentation when I can evaluate the taste more.My taste runs to slightly
tannic, but not too oaky wine

Any thoughts on other additions - glycerine, bananas?

Ralph

 
 
 

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by Pink » Sat, 14 Feb 2004 10:38:02


Forget the glycerine and bananas. Why are you worried about the "oak chips"
provided in the kit. BK ( and others)  can't build up their reputation by
making poorly designed kits. I  have found that the "oak chips" do vary in
texture from kit to kit.
For the rest of it I believe you are getting over complicated in your
approach and worrying too much about the temperature changes. But you also
make no comment about your own experience! Which will affect your approach!
A stable fermenting regime is much more important!

I  would tend to start drinking it after about a year and just keep a few
bottles a bit longer  -- but you might be OK. I have only got one Selection
Estate under aging  -- a Lodi Old Vine Zin  -- but it is only a couple of
months old so can't make positive comment.

Bulk age for 6+  months ( up to a year) and then bottle. But that is what I
do! it just seems to be good sense to bulk age for longer before bottling
for better results.

Having said all that, if you make wine regularly, just do your own thing, --
I do  -- I do add a bit of extra tannin to most of my reds.

--
Trevor A Panther
In South Yorkshire, England
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Quote:
> I just got one of these kits and am soliciting suggestions and comments
from
> anyone who's made one.

> My plan is:
> Add water to 23L, start fermenting about 78F to let the yeast (RC 212) get
> going, then put it in a 60F area to slow ferment to about SG 1.01
> Rack and warm it again to about 75 to let the secondary fementation
proceed.
> I use a 5 gal carboy and various others so I can top up with the same
wine.
> Rack when fementation has really stopped
> Add about 3Oz Stavin medium plus french oak cubes (I don't trust the oak
> splinters that come with it)
> Let it bulk age for 3 months, racking every 4 weeks and checking SO2 and
oak
> If it isn't clear then, use the fining and let it settle
> Rack, wait a week, then check SO2 and bottle.
> Let it bottle age for at least 9 months and keep most of it for about 2
> years

> I'm wondering about adding a bit of tannin either at the start or after
2nd
> fermentation when I can evaluate the taste more.My taste runs to slightly
> tannic, but not too oaky wine

> Any thoughts on other additions - glycerine, bananas?

> Ralph


 
 
 

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by Don » Sat, 14 Feb 2004 20:53:34


Quote:
> Let it bulk age for 3 months, racking every 4 weeks and checking SO2 and oak
> If it isn't clear then, use the fining and let it settle
> Rack, wait a week, then check SO2 and bottle.

I don't think you have to rack that frantically. After you get
it off the fine lees which would be the second or third rack
you could leave it longer. Go for 6 more months with one rack
at the 3rd. When it's clear you would be better off not opening
the carboy and just letting it bulk age.

Quote:
> Let it bottle age for at least 9 months and keep most of it for about 2
> years

Start more kits or you'll be dipping into this way too often.

Quote:
> I'm wondering about adding a bit of tannin either at the start or after 2nd
> fermentation when I can evaluate the taste more.My taste runs to slightly
> tannic, but not too oaky wine

I believe Ed Goist, who use to post here often, said he would
add 1 tsp of grape tannin to any red kit. I wouldn't do it
with researching it more. (...don't listen to one anonymouse
poster in a news group).

Quote:
> Any thoughts on other additions - glycerine, bananas?

Why would you want to add these - more body? It's an all
grape high end kit?

Don

 
 
 

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by se » Sun, 15 Feb 2004 00:01:21


Quote:

> My plan is:
> Add water to 23L, start fermenting about 78F to let the yeast (RC 212) get
> going, then put it in a 60F area to slow ferment to about SG 1.01
> Rack and warm it again to about 75 to let the secondary fementation proceed.
> I use a 5 gal carboy and various others so I can top up with the same wine.
> Rack when fementation has really stopped
> Add about 3Oz Stavin medium plus french oak cubes (I don't trust the oak
> splinters that come with it)

Your plan sound good to me, Lalvin RC212 is a better yeast than the
one that came with the kit.  Stavin oak cube is by far better than the
one in the kit, i agree with you about that. 3 oz of Stabin oak cube
is perfect.

Quote:
> Let it bulk age for 3 months, racking every 4 weeks and checking SO2 and oak
> If it isn't clear then, use the fining and let it settle
> Rack, wait a week, then check SO2 and bottle.
> Let it bottle age for at least 9 months and keep most of it for about 2
> years

I will let it aged longer in bulk.  Like others said, let it age for 6
months minimum in bulk and than bottle it.  You really don't need to
rack every month.  You rack when the wine need it, when you have some
sediment on the botom of the carboy.

Quote:

> I'm wondering about adding a bit of tannin either at the start or after 2nd
> fermentation when I can evaluate the taste more.My taste runs to slightly
> tannic, but not too oaky wine

> Any thoughts on other additions - glycerine, bananas?

I would not add bananas or glycerine to this kit.  Let it go as it is
now, just with the oak and you can add some tannin if you whant.

Sb

 
 
 

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by sgbr » Sun, 15 Feb 2004 00:30:12


Quote:

> I just got one of these kits and am soliciting suggestions and comments from
> anyone who's made one.

> My plan is:
> Add water to 23L, start fermenting about 78F to let the yeast (RC 212) get
> going, then put it in a 60F area to slow ferment to about SG 1.01

---snip

I question racking before you passed SG 1.00? Can this not end up being to sweet?

SG Brix

 
 
 

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by Ralp » Sun, 15 Feb 2004 02:23:39


No, the idea is to get it off the main body of the settled yeast and into a
carboy for secondary fermentation which will take it down to full dryness.
Keeping some sugar and raising the temp in the secondary fementation is to
make sure it really does go to dryness. I'm doing a cool primary
fermentation to try to keep as many volatiles as possible.

Ralph



Quote:
> > I just got one of these kits and am soliciting suggestions and comments
from
> > anyone who's made one.

> > My plan is:
> > Add water to 23L, start fermenting about 78F to let the yeast (RC 212)
get
> > going, then put it in a 60F area to slow ferment to about SG 1.01

> ---snip

> I question racking before you passed SG 1.00? Can this not end up being to
sweet?

> SG Brix

 
 
 

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by Don » Sun, 15 Feb 2004 20:02:54


Quote:
> No, the idea is to get it off the main body of the settled yeast and into a
> carboy for secondary fermentation which will take it down to full dryness.
> Keeping some sugar and raising the temp in the secondary fementation is to
> make sure it really does go to dryness. I'm doing a cool primary
> fermentation to try to keep as many volatiles as possible.

There is no real primary and secondary fermentation unless you
think of the first day or so during the reproductive phase of
the yeast and the subsequent anaerobic phase as everything else.
The name primary and secondary was invented by the kit makers
to separate the explosive first fermentation when the kit could
be in air contact from the later slower fermentation when air
contact was not desireable and was thus done under an airlock
in a carboy.

Thus, there's no real need to boost the temperature after the
rack into the carboy to start "secondary" fermentation. If it
was fermenting in the primary it should ferment in the carboy.
If it gets stuck that's a different story. Keeping some sugar
to make sure it goes to dryness almost sounds at odds with itself
but I understand what your aiming at.

Don

 
 
 

Selection Estate Stag's Leap Merlot

Post by Ralp » Mon, 16 Feb 2004 04:23:34


Well, I've had problems towards the end of the "secondary" below 70F with
the fermentation slowing to the point of looking stuck. I warmed it to about
76F and it resumed, still slow because this as below 1.000 SG, but moving.
This isn't an attempt to start another fementation, just to make sure it
keeps going. My guess is that there is so little CO2 being produced at this
stage that it will have little effect on the volatiles even if it is warmer.


Quote:
> > No, the idea is to get it off the main body of the settled yeast and
into a
> > carboy for secondary fermentation which will take it down to full
dryness.
> > Keeping some sugar and raising the temp in the secondary fementation is
to
> > make sure it really does go to dryness. I'm doing a cool primary
> > fermentation to try to keep as many volatiles as possible.

> There is no real primary and secondary fermentation unless you
> think of the first day or so during the reproductive phase of
> the yeast and the subsequent anaerobic phase as everything else.
> The name primary and secondary was invented by the kit makers
> to separate the explosive first fermentation when the kit could
> be in air contact from the later slower fermentation when air
> contact was not desireable and was thus done under an airlock
> in a carboy.

> Thus, there's no real need to boost the temperature after the
> rack into the carboy to start "secondary" fermentation. If it
> was fermenting in the primary it should ferment in the carboy.
> If it gets stuck that's a different story. Keeping some sugar
> to make sure it goes to dryness almost sounds at odds with itself
> but I understand what your aiming at.

> Don