INSTRUCTIONS - BEFORE YOU BEGIN
• Please read all instructions before
• Clean all of your equipment with an unscented winemaking
detergent (recommended by your retailer) and rinse thoroughly with hot water to remove all
(PS Regarding rinsing with hot water. Exercise
caution. Hot can break or crack a glass carboy and can warp a PET plastic Better Bottle.
• Sanitize your equipment by rinsing it with a solution of
metabisulfite. Dissolve 50 grams (3 tablespoons) of metabisulphite powder in 4 liters (approximately one
gallon) of cool water. Dip or spray your equipment with this solution, and rinse thoroughly. Every piece of
equipment must be treated with
sulphate. Leftover solution can be stored in a tightly sealed container for two months.
• Use good quality drinking water with this kit. If you’re
not sure of your water quality, consider using bottled water.
• This kit may contain more than one package of each
ingredient. Please add all packages when directed.
• This kit may contain a smaller bag (F-Pack), needed for
Stage 3. Store it in a cool dry place until needed.
• The starting temperature of the wine is
critical. If the yeast is added to a kit that is too cold, it will not ferment or clear on schedule. Double
check that the juice temperature is between 18-24°C (65-75°F) before
adding the yeast.
Please remove the code number sticker from the box top and
attach it to these instructions or to your winemaking record book. Your retailer will require the information
from this sticker should you have any questions or comments. Write down the type of wine and the date started
Type of Wine:
Your Vintners Reserve Kit includes:
• Large juice bag
• Packet of yeast
• Package #1 (Bentonite)
• Package #2 (Metabisulphite)
• Package #3 (Sorbate)
• Package #4 (Fining agent)
May also contain:
• Package of oak powder or chips
• Package Elderflowers
• F-Pack (smaller juice bag)
If you have more than one of any packet, please add all of them
• Primary fermenter (minimum 30 liters/8 US gallon) capacity, with
• Long stirring spoon (plastic or stainless steel)
• Measuring cup
• Hydrometer and test jar
• Wine thief
• Racking tube and hose
• Carboy (glass or plastic) 23 liter (6 US gallon)
• Bung and airlock
• Unscented winemaking detergent for cleaning
• Metabisulphite powder for sanitizing
• Thirty wine bottles, thirty corks and a corking machine
Your kit will take between 4 and 6 weeks to produce.
1. Primary fermentation
Ensure that your primary fermenter is capable of holding at least
30 liters (8 US gallons) of volume. Pre-mark the primary fermenter at 23 liters (6 US gallons) by filling your
23 liter (6 US gallons) carboy with cool water, then pour or rack the water into the primary. Draw a line in
permanent marker on the fermenter at the water level. This will be your fill level (below). Discard water and
begin. Clean and sanitize the primary fermenter and lid, spoon, thermometer, hydrometer and test jar, and wine
thief. Rinse thoroughly.
1. Add 2 liters (one-half gallon) of hot water to the bottom of
your sanitized primary fermenter. Stir the water vigorously and slowly sprinkle the contents of package(s) #1
(bentonite) onto the surface. Stir for 30 seconds to ensure even dispersal, and to break up any
2. Grasp the neck of the large bag firmly, carefully remove the
cap, and pour the contents into the primary fermenter with the bentonite solution. Add 2 liters (half gallon)
of warm water to the bag to rinse out any remaining juice, and add it to the fermenter.
3. Top up fermenter to the 23 liter (6 US gallon) mark
with cool water. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds.
NOTE: Making the kit to a full 23 liters (6 US gallons) is crucial to the functioning of the fining
agents and stability of the finished wine. If you make it to any other volume, it will not turn out correctly,
and any problems you may experience may not be solvable.
4. Draw a sample of the juice and use your hydrometer and test
jar to check the specific gravity. It should read between 1.070–1.085, depending on the wine type.
NOTE: Mezza Luna White & Red kits start at 1.085–1.095.
5. If your wine kit contains oak or elderflowers, tear open the
package(s) and sprinkle them into the primary fermenter now. If your kit has more than one package of oak, add
them all. Stir them under the surface of the liquid.
6. Ensure that the temperature of the juice is between 18–24ºC
(65–75°F). Open your package of yeast and sprinkle it onto the surface of the juice. Do not stir.
7. Cover the primary fermenter and place in an area with a
temperature of 18–24ºC (65–75°F). Fermentation should start within 24–48 hours.
2. Secondary fermentation
Clean and sanitize siphon rod and hose, hydrometer and test jar,
wine thief, carboy, bung and airlock. Rinse well.
After 5–7 days draw a sample of the juice and use your hydrometer
and test jar to check the specific gravity. It should be 1.010 or less. You must rack (transfer) the wine into
a 23-litre (6 US gallon) carboy at this time. Note: the lower your fermenting temperature, the longer it will
take to reach this stage. If your gravity is not at or below this level, wait (testing the gravity each day)
until it is.
1. Put the primary fermenter up at least three feet on a sturdy
2. Carefully siphon wine into a clean, sanitized 23 liter (6 US
gallon) carboy. Leave most of the sediment behind. This will leave a space at the top of the carboy.
Do not top up at this stage. This space is required for stirring and additions during stabilizing
3. Attach airlock and bung to carboy. Remember to fill airlock
halfway with water.
4. Leave carboy in fermentation area for a further 10
3. Stabilizing and clearing
Clean and sanitize hydrometer, test jar, wine thief and spoon.
After 10 days, check your specific gravity. It should be 0.996 or
less. Verify a stable gravity by checking again the next day. If the gravity has changed, leave the wine until
the reading is stable on two consecutive days. If you do not verify this reading, your wine may not
clear properly! For Mezza Luna Red
and Mezza Luna White: these wines will not ferment below 0.998. This is normal. Once the
gravity reaches 0.998 on two consecutive days, you can proceed with fining and stabilizing.
1. Do NOT rack the wine before stabilizing and clearing. Winexpert kits require the sediment to be stirred
back into suspension. Racking the wine off the sediment prior to fining will permanently prevent clearing.
Please be sure to stir all of the sediment up from the bottom.
2. Vigorous stirring is required during this stage. Without vigorous stirring, gas in the wine will prevent
clearing. At each stirring, whip the wine until it stops foaming. Drill-mounted stirring devices (see your
retailer) can save labor.
1. Dissolve contents of package(s) #2 (metabisulphite) and
package(s) #3 (sorbate) in 125 ml (½ cup) of cool water. Add to carboy and stir very vigorously for 2 minutes
to disperse the stabilizers and drive off CO2. Again, be sure to stir up the yeast sediment from the bottom of
IF YOUR KIT CAME WITH A SMALLER BAG (F-PACK)
I. To ensure room in your carboy for the contents of the pack,
remove 500 ml (2 cups) of wine. Reserve this for topping up the carboy (see below).
2. Shake the F-pack bag, carefully remove the cap, and gently
pour contents into the carboy. Stir vigorously for 60 seconds. Your gravity will now read between 0.998 and
1.005 depending on the style of the kit.
3. Shake contents of package(s) #4 (chitosan or isinglass
clarifier). Carefully cut open the corner of the pouch(es) and pour contents into carboy. Stir vigorously for
another 2 minutes to drive off CO2 gas. (See note above: your wine may not clear if this stirring is not
4. Top up carboy to within 5 cm (2 inches) of the bottom of the
bung. (Never top with water, new instructions available april 2013 will indicate to top with
WINE) or reserved wine from the F-Pack addition if available. Ensure airlock is filled halfway with
water and reattach bung and airlock. Leave the wine 14 days to finish clarifying.
5. After the 14 days, check your wine for clarity by drawing a
small sample into a wineglass and examining it in good light. If it is not completely clear, leave for another
7 days. Do not bottle cloudy wine: it will not clear in the bottle. If you wish to filter your wine, please
contact your retailer for assistance.
After 14 days, you are ready to proceed to Step 4
Clean and sanitize 30 - 750ml(25.4 fl.oz) wine bottles, siphon
rod, hose and siphon filler. Rinse well.
NOTE: If you are concerned about disturbing the sediment on the bottom of the carboy when bottling, clean
and sanitize a primary fermenter or carboy, rack the wine into it, and bottle from there.
Winexpert kits contain very low levels of sulphite compared to commercial wine. If you want to age your wine
more than 6 months, you must add extra metabisulphite to prevent oxidation. Clean and sanitize a primary
fermenter or carboy and rack the wine into it. Dissolve 1.5 grams (¼ teaspoon) of potassium metabisulphite
powder in 125 ml (½ cup) cool water and gently stir it into wine. This extra sulphite will not affect flavor or
1. Siphon your wine into clean, sanitized bottles and seal
with a good quality cork. Be sure to leave two finger-widths of space between the bottom of the cork and
the level of the wine in each bottle.
2. Leave bottles upright for three days before laying them on
their sides for ageing, to allow the corks to seal. Store bottles in a dark, cool, temperature-stable
Your wine will benefit greatly from extended
ageing in the bottle. Try to wait at least six months before you try your first sample—but a year is