If you recall from before, at the same time I purchased my Chardonnay kit, I also purchased the Ken Ridge Classic Nebbiolo wine ingredient kit.
Just like all other times, I drew off tap water the day before to blow off any potential chlorine that might be in the water. Then, the next day, I poured the grape juice concentrate from the kit into my cleaned and sterilized primary fermenter and used the water to rinse the bag. The instructions that came with the wine ingredient kit said to use warm water but I used room temperature water instead. I don’t THINK that’ll make a difference, but I could be wrong.
At this point, I added the elderberry packet that was included in my wine kit and then added enough water to bring the whole thing up to 6 gallons. I think the elderberries will be a nice touch to the particular wine.
At this point, I took the temperature with my thermometer and the specific gravity measurement with my wine hydrometer, which came out to 64°F. and 1.092, respectively. Since the temperature was a little low to start the primary fermentation, I turned on the heating pad and left the whole thing overnight to heat up a bit before adding the yeast. The next day, the temperature was up to 74°F. which was perfect.
I then sprinkled in the wine yeast and left the cover loosely on the primary fermenter.
One thing I did differently this time to keep the wine nice and appropriately warm was to warm a towel around the fermenter. I noticed that based on the shape of the base and the material of the fermenter, it was taking a while to heat up, so I wrapped it in a towel to get it going faster.
I’ve been checking on the wine every day now, and it has been bubbling along quite nicely and it smells great. I did notice the temperature was starting to creep up to a little too high (it was 84°F. last I checked), so I removed the blanket so that hopefully the temperature will drop back down a couple of degrees. I remember reading somewhere that too warm of fermentation temperature can promote off-flavors in the wine, so we’ll have to watch that – 70°F. to 75°F. is what I’m shooting for.
I’m very excited about this wine ingredient kit. The Nebbiolo smells and looks great. I can’t wait for it to be done.
My name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.