Grape Skins?

Hello All!

I had a quick question on grape skins. The first kit I purchased didn’t have grape skins in it, but for future making, what bag would be good to hold the skins in while it is fermenting? Any suggestions?

If you buy a kit with skins they all would come with a muzlin bag for the skins.

But if I were making one for myself I would tend not to use the bag. The last batch I did on skins I just let them loose and tried stirring it up every two days or so. Kept that going for about a week and a half in the primary. Ended up being a massive wine. Definately got more out of the skins doing it that way.

Thank you! I am starting my first kit this weekend, and I was bummed that I didn’t order a kit that had grape skins in it after watching the Brewing TV “Wine Not” episode. It might be good to start with a less expensive wine kit anyways!

What kit did you end up getting? As far as advantages to starting out with a lower end kit, the main one is that they don’t really need as much aging to smooth them out. Since they are quite a bit thinner than better kits, they start out very drinkable right away.

Otherwise, better kits really don’t require any more expertise. It would be very dificult to mess up a wine kit - even with the skins. The one drawback, especially with the higher end reds is that they do need lots of aging time to get the most out of them. Don’t get me wrong, you could be drinking any of them less than 2 months after starting. But they do give the most rewards 1-3 years down the road or more (for the very best kits).

I went with the World Vineyard California Pinot Noir. Thought I would start out with Pinot since my wife loves it! Then she will be on board for me purchasing many kits.

Dig up this post again when you start drinking it and let us know what you think. My store deals primarily in Winex product so I have a very good idea what this wine is going to be. It should have decent pinot flavor, but if you find it could use more body or anything else, you can easily move up one or two notches for better results. The good thing about this wine is that you will be drinking it in a couple of months no problem.

Great! Thanks for the advice. I saw on another thread that someone said to top off the ferment with a bottle of a pinot so I am going to try that right out of the gates.

Not clear when you are planning to top up with wine. You are planning on topping up at the very end when everything is finished right? Not planning on adding while it is fermenting right? I am just double checking because it was not quite clear what you meant there.

Sorry, total amateur here. I actually have made wine or beer in the past, so this is my first go at it. I followed the directions on the kit and filled the bucket at the end with drinking water. When they say top up with wine, I thought they meant when you were all done and you were going to bottle you would top off with wine at that point. Is that correct?

Yes of course. I just did not understand your last comment. It almost sounded as if you were going to add wine as it was fermenting. Just wanted to double check. Sorry if I scared you there.

And actually topping up is not really that necesary with this kit. The main reason for it would be if you were leaving it in the carboy for a few extra months and wanted to eliminate extra air space to reduce oxydation. With a world Vineyard kit you don’t really need extra time in a carboy. I’d give it a few extra weeks and one more racking to reduce sediment than the instructions say, but you don’t really need much more than that. This wine is for drinking / not aging.

That being said, if you wanted to boost the final volume at the end to get you the full 23l (30 bottles), by all means top up with wine. But the money spent on a commercial bottle may outway the value of a couple extra bottles of World Vineyard (just a thought).

Well, I could have made a decision like that. I did forget to sanitize the equipment :cry:

So I ordered a wine kit with grape skins today! You think they will have a muslin bag in it? The guy I called at Northern Brewer said he had no idea…great customer service.

Which kit did you order? If it is a Winex or Cellar Craft kit I can assure you it will have a bag. I actually don’t know of any grape kit that does not.

On the other hand, even Winex has been very hesitant to include them. Their top brass believe you will get better results just letting them go free in the primary. And I tend to agree with them there. However from an on premis point of view, this would create a lot of added time in processing. If I were to do one of my own I would not use a bag.

If you end up without a bag, I’ve had fine results with a sanitized nylon stocking - unused, of course.

Bag came with it! Thanks!