Main thing is I dont care for a lot of Jacks “advice” most of it is stuff just rehashed from text and that can be relied on but especially for newer winemakers its hard to tell whats right and whats wrong practice. He draws goofy ideas on ways to do things that are absolutely confounding and counterprodcutive and I have had to think to myself a few times…Say what? Do what? For what reason? Really? Wow.
What is even more laughable is I had the displeasure of visiting a newer MN winery and they got millions into this place. But it is only a fancy building and equipment with no soul. The growing crews know their stuff, but it turns out they have a young 21 year old kid doing the winemaking and I asked him where he learned winemaking and he said Jack Keller! LOL, and he in the same breath mentioned he doesn’t really drink wine!
WOW, So it came down to just a gimmicky “winery”. I turned right around with my group and left, there was no way I was paying any money for samples. You cant even pay me to subject myself to horsehockey wine. Quality or nothing. Their are many skilled and artisan winemakers in the Midwest, but I was blown away by the lack of regard to the actual wine. Why would you spent multi millions and have some no nothing kid making your wine and he was in no way related to the owners. Absolutely ridiculous. SORRY for the offtopic Jack made me do it!
Even though this book doesn’t speak to “kit” winemaking it is one of the best texts that spells out the process from grape to glass and you will be better educated to make tweaks where you then see fit.
http://home-brewing.northernbrewer.com/ ... &view=grid
- No. Pinot noir should have lower tannin content than the “bigger” reds like cab,merlot, syrah etc… It should be light and fruited with just a touch of tannin that the grape naturally produces.
Sometimes a winemaker will add tannin if he/ she feels that the tannin was far too low that harvest and the wine produced will be overly “flabby” or too fruity without the balance of tannin. This is also done with acid and depending on grape type you might always or never adjust acid.
Also most LHBS sell a tannin made from walnuts and it is overly astringent compared to grape tannin. I would never use that stuff on my reds.
- This is a process called sussreserve and is done frequently for white wines to add some residual sweetness. It can be used in any type of wine to add a bit of roundness and pallete fullness, but is not commonly practiced and it is something done in advanced winemaking whereas kits usually have the must blended, acid and tannin adjusted prior to packaging.
- Beer I dont. But creating a dry yeast cream is advised for wine because of the osmostic shock due to high gravity and low water content.
- I have always thought this also and use cubes or spirals. I really dig spirals and seem to get the quickest results due to the higher surface contact. One thing I advise though is to start small and you can always add more. Its hard to rectify a really over oaked wine.
Whenever you goto secondary or tertiary is when to oak. Pinot you will want to be extra conservative due to the delicate nature of this grape. You could easliy trounce flavors in this lighter red. I would suggest you buy two spirals and snap one in half and use that for a month and then sample to see if it is adding the desired effect or if it needs more and also realize it may be enough but needs more time. Oak is tricky depending on your own pallete so its best to just experiment until you learn what level you want. Just approach it with a mentality that it is like cayenne powder. A little goes a long way.
- Not really, It is best to just keep them back up into suspension if they indicate, maybe its a strain related thing, but I might even just skip this stirring as it typically is not needed as most yeast strains are robust enough to cleanly ferment without rousing. Typically when I hear advocacy for stirring it is in the following quoted method or to degas before bottling. If done though its not as critical regarding opening the bucket, like it would be with beer. It should have pretty good Alc% and low acid by the time comes to rouse.
"Lees Stirring /Barrel Stirring = Batonnage
A traditional practice that consists of rousing the sediment (the lees) in white wine casks after barrel fermentation. Usually done with a steel rod that has a chain or perforated bar at its end (some wine-makers simply use a wooden stick.) The action of stirring puts the lees back in suspension and helps with the introduction of oxygen to “feed” the wine. This results in a richer, though lighter-coloured, wine. At the same time carbon dioxide is expelled and the danger of Hydrogen Sulphide development in the lees is reduced. "