Grape Pack: Mesh vs No Mesh


More newbie questions:

Sometime next week I intend to start the Cellar Craft California Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wine kit. The instructions say the crushed grape pack can be placed into the sterilized mesh bag OR poured directly into the fermenter (without the mesh bag).

  1. Does not using the mesh bag significantly improve the wine?

  2. If I make the kit without the mesh bag, how/when do I remove the lose crushed grapes? The instruction only address removing the mesh bag.

  3. If I use the mesh bad, does it need sanitizing? Or, does it arrive sanitized?

Thanks in advance.


These are good questions. It is hard to say for sure if keeping the skins loose would make a significant improvement, but I tend to do it. You do find a lot of liquid (jam) trapped in the muslin ball that does not tend to stick around when they are not all clumped together.

If you do use the bag, ring it out well (at racking) to get as much of the tannin back into the wine.

Bag should be fine to use as is, but I usually give it a little spritz of sanitizer anyway.

I have found that an auto syphon works fine to rack, while leaving the skins behind. (large size anyway).