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Hi Folks , Anyone doing choc/rasp port kit?

Hi everyone. New to the forum and was curious if anyone else is doing the 2013 speciale raspberry chocolate port kit. Started mine 3 days ago and it is bubbling away like a champ. I’m using the heater and controller from Northern brewer and have no complaints, works absolutely wonderful.

This is a very rewarding hobby. This will be the seventh kit I’ve made and am looking forward to starting another as soon as this one is bottled.

Any tips on finishing the port would be appreciated.

Mark

I have made several of these kits over the years - never for my own consumption, so I can’t comment too much on profile.

#1 suggestion is give it much more time than you are used to for other kits, and don’t get overly excited if it does not follow schedule.

You should usually be able to Chaptalize it within a week. After that I’d say a good week or two extra to get to FG would be normal.

Some Speciale kits have trouble finishing, but if you have a little heat control added there should be no issues. Even if it does not get all the way down in final gravity it is not an issue - as long as it is not way off.

What vessels are you using for your process. If an 11.5 l carboy is in the mix, let me know - there are some steps you need to take to deal with the fact that the kits actually make more volume than 11.5 l.

SP ports usually take a hella long time to clear out properly.

Have that kit but haven’t started it, did the chocolate/orange one first. One problem I’ve had is getting the kit to ferment all the way out after chapitalisation. Someone else had the same issue in this thread and there were some suggestions. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=118495 My plan next time is to just use everclear to do the chapitilisation and bring the ABV up to the desired level rather than tasking the tired yeast to do that task.

Good enough plan.

On the other hand, Winexpert’s take is that giving up .5-1% ABV on a wine which is in the 15-17% range already is not something to worry too much about, and won’t have a noticable impact on the character of the port.

That being said, in my experience I have rarely had issues with these kits not finishing.

It is actually my practive to extend the win’e stay in the primary. Say 10 days then Chaptalize, then another 10 days to racking. Just to give it a little extra time on the yeast regardless of gravity. Whether that makes any difference at all who knows - may not. I mainly do it because I don’t feel like racking it.

If I were not happy with the ABV I was getting, actually fortifying it with Brandy might be the route I would take to adjust.

Thanks Brew Meister.

I have two kits in a 30l bucket at the moment. Plan to do 2nd ferm in a 6 gallon carboy. I will definitely give it some extra time, why hurry :smiley:

Thanks again,

Mark

[quote=“squirtdog”]Thanks Brew Meister.

I have two kits in a 30l bucket at the moment. Plan to do 2nd ferm in a 6 gallon carboy. I will definitely give it some extra time, why hurry :smiley:

Thanks again,

Mark[/quote]

FYI, the fact that you are doing a double batch can have an effect. Should still work, but could take even more time. Any issues let us know.

Also, when you go to degass and process it, remove a good 15-20% of the volume to another vessel before adding the F-packs (very significant volume. Once you add these and mix in, add the fining, mix in, then add the rest of the wine back to the whole. Likely you will be filling right into the neck and still may have a little leftover which you might as well toss.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”][quote=“squirtdog”]Thanks Brew Meister.

I have two kits in a 30l bucket at the moment. Plan to do 2nd ferm in a 6 gallon carboy. I will definitely give it some extra time, why hurry :smiley:

Thanks again,

Mark[/quote]

FYI, the fact that you are doing a double batch can have an effect. Should still work, but could take even more time. Any issues let us know.

Also, when you go to degass and process it, remove a good 15-20% of the volume to another vessel before adding the F-packs (very significant volume. Once you add these and mix in, add the fining, mix in, then add the rest of the wine back to the whole. Likely you will be filling right into the neck and still may have a little leftover which you might as well toss.[/quote]

Thanks. learned the hard way that I didn’t take enough out on my first kit. Took forever for the foam to go down enough to top it off after degassing with a whip. I’ll report how she goes. Thanks again,

Mark

Does anyone know if I should keep the must at the higher end of the temp range of the yeast in the primary fermentation?. I’ve read where that is important to make this finish properly by keeping at higher temp, but not sure about early on.

I would say 24*C is ideal. 1-2 degrees above or below should be fine. Anything below 21-22 could give you issues. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go higher unless you run into problems.

Thanks BM

Bumped up the temp a little bit and within 8 hours or so the airlock bubbled with a bit more gusto.

I havent been stirring the must as to not chance ruining it from wild yeast or bacteria, should i be stirring daily or just leave it alone?

Mark

[quote=“squirtdog”]Thanks BM

Bumped up the temp a little bit and within 8 hours or so the airlock bubbled with a bit more gusto.

I havent been stirring the must as to not chance ruining it from wild yeast or bacteria, should i be stirring daily or just leave it alone?[/quote]

I’d leave it alone. That’s what the kits are designed for. Only rouse the yeast if it lags a bit at the end.

On the other hand, wine yeast is an active yeast (beer yeast is passive), so it would attack to kill any wild yeast, and maybe also bacteria. Added to this the high alcohol content, wine is much less dainty than beer. It can take care of itself so sanitation is less of an issue - still relevant though.

So I don’t see a huge problem with stirring - I just don’t see any net benefit from it.

My local Homebrew shop did both the chocolate orange and the chocolate raspberry…beings I know the owners and get to hang out every so often with them, IMHO, the chocolate raspberry was far better. I wish I would have ordered a kit myself now.

Dont feel bad. I wish I lived in Florida :slight_smile:

Thanks Brew Meister. I’ll leave it alone. Thanks for the info on the diif between beer and wine didnt know that.

Mark

Still doing good so far. Checked gravity and it was 1.019 so added the sugar packs.

The heater and controller was a wonderful purchase.I have the controller set to keep it within 1 degree of set temp. Works like a champ. Must is steady at 76 in a 54 degree room.

Mark

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