2021 Barbera

August 2021

I purchased a Finer Wine Kits (FWK) wine kit from Label Peelers to get a permanent 10% discount on the FWK, choosing a Barbera as I have nothing like it in the cellar. I don’t really need another red, but decided to secure the discount. I may not buy their reds in the future, as I purchase fresh California grapes, but have an interest in the white kits.

The FWK can be purchased as juice-only, or with 1 or 2 skin packs — packages of dried grape peel that are fermented with the juice to add body and complexity. I chose to go without skin packs to make a quicker drinking wine.

There will be 2 different posts for this one. This one, which is my normal wine making note, plus a blog that describes in great detail exactly how I make the wine.

The other blog includes a critique of the kit and the FWK process. At this time I expect my critique to be positive — FWK and Label Peelers produce excellent how-to videos, and my reading of the instructions provided with the kit matches the videos in quality.

Kit Finer Wine Kits Barbera
Nutrients Yeast starter nutrient packet
Wine nutrient packet #1
Wine nutrient packet #2
Fermentation Oak 1 packet, no description of species or toast
Yeast Lalvin Bourgovin RC 212
Sorbate N/A
Fining Agent Kieselsol & Chitosan, provided in kit
Glycerin 6 oz

Prepared the yeast starter by putting the yeast, the yeast starter nutrient pack, and 1 cup water in a wine bottle. Shook to mix and put an airlock on it to keep stuff out.

I’m impressed that FWK included a yeast other than EC-1118. That’s a good yeast, a real work horse, but it’s not specifically a red grape yeast.

Reconstituted the juice/concentrate using the usual method. Poured the concentrate into the fermenter, rinsed the bag with water and added to the fermenter. Topped to 23 liters and stirred well. Added wine nutrient packet #1 and fermentation oak.

SG 1.094
Added the yeast starter. The instructions stated to pour it down the inside of the fermenter, so the colony stayed more together. Supposedly the yeast reproduces faster as a larger group.

When I checked the SG, it had dropped a bit, so I checked in 3 places, getting the same result each time. The difference is not surprising; I expect the wine continued to blend overnight.

SG 1.091
Checked the SG in the morning to determine if it was time to add the second yeast nutrient packet. The target is 1.060, but if it’s below 1.070 I’d do it. The instructions say the packet can be added 2 days after pitching.

Wow! 1.035 was far lower than I expected! Added the packet and sniffed for H2S. So far, none detected, although I’ll be sniffing at each stirring and may do so daily during the first week in the carboy.

SG 1.035
I was going to rack last night, as yesterday morning the SG was 1.015, but we had a power outage. It didn’t last long, but I did not want to get into racking and have the power go off again.

Racked, filling a 5 gallon carboy and a 4 liter jug.

SG 0.998
Racked, degassed, added kieselsol & chitosan. Topped with a bottle of Montepulciano, as I’m too lazy to mess with multiple small containers. 08/30/2021
SG 0.996
Racked, added rounded 1/4 tsp K-meta. Added 1 oz medium toast Hungarian oak cubes. Topped with 1/3 bottle Montepulciano. 09/14/2021
SG 0.996
Racked, added rounded 1/4 tsp K-meta. Added 6 oz glycerin and bottled. 01/17/2022
SG 0.996

Yield 30 bottles
Alcohol 12.9%
At Bottling Saved a glass before adding glycerin, to compare against the modified wine. Base wine is a bit fruity with a sour aftertaste — this is not bad, I like it. This will be a good wine for hearty foods. At the end there was a couple oz of wine among the cubes, this was mixed with an equal part of modified wine. The oak taste is a bit unpleasant, especially tasted along side the base and modified wines. This is good evidence that stirring during bulk aging homogenizes the wine.
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1 Response

  1. August 12, 2021

    […] This blog is a step-by-step description of making a Finer Wine Kits (FWK) according to their directions. This is a how-to combined with a critique of both the kit and the instructions. I am also maintaining my normal wine log in a separate post. […]