General Winexpert Kit Instructions:
****These are general instructions, always follow the instructions that come with your kit****
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1. Add 1⁄2 gallon of hot water to the bottom of your sanitized primary fermenter. Stir the water vigorously and slowly sprinkle the contents of package(s) #2 (bentonite) onto the surface. Stir for 30 seconds to ensure even dispersal, and to break up any clumps.
2. Secure the neck of the bag into the collar on the top of the box, carefully remove the cap, and pour the contents into the primary fermenter with the bentonite solution. Add 1/2 gallon of warm water to the bag to rinse out any remaining juice, and add it to the fermenter.
3. Top up fermenter to the 6 US–gallon ridge with room temperature water. Stir for 30 seconds.
NOTE: Making the kit to a full 6 US gallons is crucial to the functioning of the fining agents and stability of the finished wine. If you make it to any other volume, it will not turn out correctly, and any problems you may experience may not be solvable.
4. Draw a sample of the juice and use your hydrometer (see how a hydrometer works here) and test jar to check the specific gravity. It should read between 1.080–1.097, depending on the wine type.
5. If your wine kit contains oak or elderflowers, tear open the package(s) and sprinkle them into the primary fermenter now. If your kit has more than one package of oak, add them all. Stir them under the surface of the liquid.
6. Ensure that the temperature of the juice is between 72°–75°F. Do not proceed unless the juice is in this range.
7. ADD YOUR YEAST NOW. Open the yeast package and sprinkle contents onto the surface of the juice. Do not rehydrate the yeast. Do not stir it in. It will activate on its own.
8. Cover the primary fermenter and place in a location with a temperature of 72°–75°F. If your primary fermenter uses an airlock, insert it now. Remember to fill airlock halfway with water.
Fermentation should start within 24–48 hours. In 5-7 days proceed to the next step.
NOTE: The lower the fermenting temperature, the longer it will take to reach this stage. If your gravity is not at or below this level, wait, testing the gravity each day, until it is.
1. Place the primary fermenter up at least 3 feet onto a sturdy table.
2. Carefully siphon wine into a clean, sanitized 6 US-gallon carboy. Leave the thickest sediment behind, but make sure you transfer most of the liquid. This will leave a space at the top of the carboy of approximately one quart in volume. Do not top up (add water) to the carboy. This space is required for stirring and additions during stabilizing (Step 3).
3. Attach airlock and bung to carboy. Remember to fill airlock halfway with water.
4. Leave carboy in your fermentation area at the temperature of 72°–75°F for 10 days. You may not see further fermentation activity in the carboy. This is not a cause for worry. In 10 days you can proceed to the next step.
NOTE: Do NOT rack the wine before stabilizing and fining. This kit requires that you stir the sediment back into suspension. Racking the wine off the sediment prior to fining may permanently prevent clearing. Please be sure to stir all of the sediment up from the bottom. The wine needs extremely vigorous stirring during this stage. Without hard stirring, trapped gas in the wine will prevent clearing. At each stirring, whip the wine hard. Drill-mounted stirring devices (see your retailer) can ensure efficient degassing.
1. Dissolve contents of package(s) #3 (metabisulphite) and package(s) #4 (sorbate) in 1⁄2 cup of cool water. Add to carboy and stir vigorously for 2 minutes to disperse the stabilizers and drive off CO2. Be sure to stir up yeast sediment from the bottom, and stir hard enough to agitate gas out of the wine.
2. Shake contents of package(s) #5 (Chitosan or isinglass clarifier). Carefully cut open the corner of the pouch(es) and pour contents into carboy. Stir vigorously for another 2 minutes to degas the wine. If you do not degas the wine completely, it will not clear.
3. For F-pack kits, please return any reserved wine to the carboy now. For all other kits, do not top up or add any extra water. Topping up will change the character of your wine.
4. Fill airlock halfway with water and reattach bung and airlock to carboy.
5. Leave carboy in your fermentation area at the temperature of 72°–75°F for 14 days to clear. After 14 days, your wine should be ready for Bottling (Step 4).
1. Siphon your wine into clean, sanitized bottles and seal with a good quality cork. Be sure to leave two finger–widths of space between the bottom of the cork and the level of the wine in each bottle.
2. Leave bottles upright for 3 days before laying them on their sides, to allow corks to seal. Store bottles in a dark, cool, temperature-stable place.