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I'm making a wine kit with pre-packaged must. It calls for a secondary fermentation after 5 - 7 days then stabalising about 10 days later by adding clarification agents.

I prefer to let things sit. Do I need to re-rack before stabalising or can I wait and rack prior to stabilising?

  • I don't have an answer to your question, but that's a very short time for wine fermentation. My wines have a 2 or 3 week primary fermentation, and a secondary fermentation lasting some months. I never add clarifying or stabilizing agents, as time and patience takes care of that for me. – FishesCycle Oct 7 '14 at 3:35
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My wife is a bit like you and while we do more actual juice wines we have done about 20 boxed wine must kits. It's ok to wait, in fact if you wait long enough there is no need to "stabilize" aka, adding potassium sorbate and finings. You're fine with it after long enough. A big reason these wine kits come with all the stabilizers is so they can claim the ready to drink in x amount of days on the box. We've followed the directions to a "T" years ago when starting out but now it goes something like this,

Start wine by following directions, let sit 14-21 days. Rack. Forget to do the other X amount of racks and let sit a 2-3 months, bottle. Let sit another 2-3 months.

One thing to keep in mind, some of those fining actually require a yeast cake (that is then stirred up in the carboy) to help everything settle out. So waiting too long and transferring too often defeats the purpose of even using the finings.

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My experience has been that if your kit has oak (as dust or small chips especially) it is best to rack off of that and the dead yeast cells after primary ferment. Bulk condition in a new carboy. The racking also helps knock out some of the CO2 which hinders the ferment as well.

At least that's what I have done, YMMV.

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