It’s been a while since I’ve done my last kit in this series but I’m still within the time frame I allotted for myself. My goal is to make all ten kits by the end of April so I’m confident that it will be done.
Kit six is the RJ Spagnols Cru Select Hang Ten; a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Barbera. Here’s the manufacturers description: “California brings together the best of vine and sea. Surfing and wine are essential elements of Californian culture. This wine blends together three fun loving varietals captured in famous Californian surfing lingo: “Hang Ten”. Sit back, relax and embody Californian lifestyle with this easy drinking wine that is sure to impress.
Intense fruit flavours of dried fruits such as dates are balanced by smooth chocolate and hints of vanilla. Your experience is enhanced with fermentation on Hungarian oak cubes and Shiraz Genuwine Winery Dried Grape Skins.”
The process for making Hang Ten was identical to the procedures I used in my previous posts so I won’t get into details. Hang Ten is the second kit which included dried grape skins. I just tossed them in loose instead of using the supplied cheesecloth bag. I did this with the Trek and thought I may have problems with the grapes clogging my siphon rod during racking but it wasn’t a problem at all. The skins had settled nicely on the bottom by the time I was ready for transferring to the carboy.
I replaced the Lalvin EC-1118 yeast in this kit with
Lalvin RC212. I’ve used this yeast in all the reds I’ve made so far and I’ve been pleased with the results.
There is one major change I’ve made this time. I used a heating belt on my last kits and it kept the temperature in the low twenties. This was where I wanted it but I did find that degassing was difficult. To make degassing easier, Winexpert instructions recommend that you ferment at warmer temperatures closer to 25º C. I’m fermenting in an unheated basement and I can’t get this temperature with a heat belt so I decided to fashion a heated fermenting box out of a cardboard container.
As you can see it is pretty rudimentary. It’s just a big cardboard box lined with insulation. I’ve got a small thermostatically controlled space heater inside. I monitored the temperature for a couple of hours and adjusted it until I got a constant temperature of 26º C inside the box.
My wines are fermenting this morning and the temperature of the Hang Ten is 26º. So far so good. Yes, I did say my wines. I also started wine number seven last night but that’s for my next post where I’ll also give an update on how my fermenting box is working.