Should I keep my USElite concentrate refrigerated?
Grape concentrates, being a food product will certainly benefit by being refrigerated if stored for an extended period. Generally speaking, they should not be left unrefrigerated if you are going to keep them for over 2 months before using. The consequences of extended exposure to temperatures over 75 F. will be a browning off on whites and a slight color degradation on reds. Our juices are refrigerated until ordered, then concentrated to order. They are packed, inventoried and sent to you in a short period of time. We do not inventory large amounts of kits or bladders. Each kit ordered is made individually then shipped. Proper inventory at the winery level will negate any heat/aging problems.
Why do the pH levels in US Elite concentrates appear so high?
Grape juice concentrates, when diluted and fermented, rise in TA about 1.2 to 1.8 grams per liter (parts per thousand). The pH will drop to proper levels during fermentation.
How do USElite product differ from other kits?
Good question. The wine kit industry caters to customers who generally bottle their wine in four to six weeks. In order to facilitate this, the wine is heavily fined, filtered then stabilized. You will find that our recipes follow the more traditional wine making methods.
The recipe calls for an extended period in the primary fermenter. This allows for better fermentation and also allows the particular yeast selected to act on the wine.
You will notice that we ask you to rack the wine three times. By doing so, you remove most of the tartarates and sediment, making the filtering process much easier. There is no need to go through the degassing process.
Our oenologist recommends a longer oaking period. Some recipes call for pre and post fermentation oaking, allowing for a much deeper oaking effect.
We generally do not encourage the use of potassium sorbate in dry wines. If the wine has fermented completely and is not to be sweetened there is no reason for stabilizing as long as adequate amounts of sulphite are added according to the Elite recipe.
The wines you make will be ready to drink in about two months but will continue to age and develop for a much longer time. Expect your whites to top out at 18 months and reds at 24 months, depending on storage temperature.