Wine Kits

Wine Kits - FAQs

  1. How long should I store a wine before I drink it?

    Most wine kits can be ready to bottle in less than 4 weeks but some winemakers elect to store the wine longer before they start to drink it. The reason is because a good wine can become a great wine when you allow it to age. However, this is all a matter of taste to the individual. Some wine drinkers really enjoy a bold, strong, new tasting wine, and others want a very smooth, laid back, easy drinking wine. Try a bottle of your wine from time to time until you are happy with the flavor. There is no set time frame on when you will enjoy the wine that you made.

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  2. My finished wine is cloudy and won't clear?

    A haze or cloudiness in wine could be due to different causes. There might even be a combination of factors causing the problem.

    Kit wines are usually easier to clear than wines made from fresh ingredients where there are more ‘specific’ factors, which influence the clearing.

    All wines will clear naturally given time and it is important that we do give them time. However, for a wine to clear the following conditions must apply:

     

    1. The wine must have stopped fermenting.
    2. The wine must be free from bacterial contamination.
    3. The wine must be in the right environment.

     The addition of fermentation stopper / stabiliser should ensure that the wine is not fermenting. Tasting and smelling the wine will detect signs of ‘off’ flavours and smells. Putting the wine in a COOL environment where the temperature remains fairly constant should allow it to clear.

    The addition of a ‘fining’ agent will usually help speed up the clearing process. Sometimes extra finings might be needed, however, it is important not to over fine as this could lead to a permanent haze.

     De-gassing a wine at the end of fermentation helps. The more residual gas that you can get out of suspension the better. You will end up with a cleaner, crisper end product.

    ‘Racking’ wine from one container to another is also helpful.

    Sometimes when you cannot get the wine to clear all that is needed is a change of location. Experience shows that in a good percentage of cases the wine is simply being stored in an environment not suitable for clearing.

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  3. Should I filter my wine?
    • Whether or not to filter has been debated by winemakers as long as there have been filters. Some winemakers feel the only way to make wine is the 'natural way', letting the wine clear on its own, even if it does take a year or so. Other winemakers filter their wines to clear them so that they can bottle much quicker, thereby reducing the chance of problems.
    • Why filter wine if it will clear on its own? A clear wine is more appealing, the color is brighter. Filtering may make a wine drinkable sooner. A sterile or fine wine filter will remove most yeasts that may cause sediment and possibly refermentation. The disadvantage of filtering is the possible reduction of color and tannins, and possible oxidation.
    • There are several types of filters available, ranging from an inexpensive gravity feed Vinbrite Filter, to fully closed pressurized multiple plate filter systems, like the Buon Vino Mini Jet. These systems are similar to larger systems used by high volume wineries. A big disadvantage of gravity feed is the introduction of oxygen and bacteria. The Buon Vino models eliminate oxygen contact.
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  4. How do I fix a stuck fermentation?

    By definition, a stuck fermentation is a fermentation that has stopped before all the available sugar in the wine has been converted to alcohol and CO2. If the bubbles in your airlock slow down before your wine has reached terminal gravity (usually 1.000 or lower), you may have a stuck fermentation.

    Here's how to check:

    Is the specific gravity of your wine no longer falling, or tremendously sluggish? If you take hydrometer readings for three consecutive days, and the reading remains the same and is higher than 1.000, it’s probably stuck.  Is the temperature of your fermentation area between 65 and 75 °F? If it is too cold, the yeast can’t do it’s job (or does it very slowly). Fortunately, stuck fermentations are pretty rare. But when they do happen, it’s important to make corrections right away and get the fermentation going again for optimum results.

      Try the following tips to get that airlock bubbling again:

    1. Simply move the fermenter to an area that is room temperature, or 68-70 °F. In most cases, too low a temperature is the cause of a stuck fermentation, and bringing the temp up is enough to get it going again.
    2. Open up the fermenter, and rouse the yeast by stirring it with a sanitized spoon. Sometimes putting the yeast back in suspension will get it going again.
    3. If the above doesn't get the yeast going then Rack the wine off of the old yeast, and pitch some fresh yeast in, preferably a highly active strain such as Lavlin EC-1118.

     

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  5. What is degassing?

    When it comes time to stabilize and fine the wine, it has to be stirred vigorously enough to drive off all of the CO2 that has accumulated during fermentation, this process is known as degassing.

    This is because the dissolved gas will attach to the fining agents, preventing them from settling out. You need to stir hard enough to make the wine foam, and keep stirring until it will no longer foam. Only then will the gas be driven off so the fining agents can work their magic.

    The Whip Wine Degasser is the perfect tool for this.

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  6. what is the liquid volume of the kit that shows 1.7Kg on the label

    Approx 1 Litre.

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