Pinot Noir 2022

>> Monday, February 28, 2022

I’ve been busy working on some home projects, including a full kitchen remodel, so I haven’t had any time to brew in a while. I’d purchased a Wine Expert Pinot Noir wine kit way back in July of 2019 that I’ve been planning on making this wine and blending it with some of my barrel-aged sours for a beer-wine hybrid. I’ve never tried making wine before, but these kits seem pretty straightforward and the time commitment is substantially less than brewing an all-grain batch, so I was able to fit it in one evening after work.

For these wine kits, pretty much everything that you need is included, from finings to sulfites to yeast. The only things you need to provide is some basic equipment like a carboy, racking cane, etc. Since mine had been sitting in a dark corner of my basement for over two years, I opted to purchase a fresh pack of yeast. I went with Red Star Premier CuvĂ©e. I also picked up some Fermax Yeast Nutrient. The only other thing needed  is enough good quality water to bring the volume up to about 6 gallons. 

After doing a little Googling, it seems most wine makers ferment at warmer temps compared to your typical beer fermentation. I opted to ferment at room temp which ended up being about 68F-70F this time of year. Visible signs of fermentation wrapped up in a little over a week. Beer kit instructions are notoriously vague and often outdated compared to current best practices (e.g. no need to rack beer to secondary in most cases). The wine kit instructions seemed a little more detailed so I followed them fairly closely. The biggest difference was I left the wine in primary for about 3.5 weeks rather than the 2weeks in the instructions. The wine is currently sitting in secondary. The kit didn’t come with any oak, but I have a bunch of Medium+ French Oak, so I’m toying with the idea of aging it on an ounce-ish. Stay tuned for more updates.