Directions: California Connoisseur Ingredient Kit

Please read all instructions before beginning.


Day 1: Remember to sterilize your container and equipment before proceeding.

  • Carefully pour contents of bag into your primary fermenter.

  • Rinse bag to fermenter using 8 to 10 cups of warm water.

  • To 2 cups of hot water in a clean bottle or blender, add the contents of Packet No. 2 (Bentonite). Shake bottle or blend for 2-3 minutes to dissolve. Add to primary fermenter

  • If your kit contains one of the following: Oak granulars, dried elderberries or dried elderflowers, add to the mix now. 

  • Add sufficient water to bring contents of primary fermenter to the 6 U.S. gallon mark and stir well. The resultant temperature should be 70-77 F. If the temperature is not in this range, cover container and allow to stand in suitable environment until it is achieved.

  • Add Wine Yeast (sprinkle on top), cover with lid or plastic sheet and tie down. 

  • Place container in a warm spot (70-77 F.) and leave to ferment for 7 days or until the specific gravity on the hydrometer drops to less than 1.010. Should the temperature be lower than recommended, allow an extra two or three days.


Day 8: Most of the fermentation will be complete at this point. The specific gravity should be less than 1.010 but if not, wait a few more days before proceeding to the next step.

  • Siphon wine into carboy leaving sediment behind. We strongly recommend not topping up ensuring properly balanced wine.

  • Attach half-filled fermentation lock, and leave carboy to complete fermentation (approximately 12 days). Check specific gravity every other day, and when the reading is less than 0.995, and you get two consistent readings in a row, it is time to go to the next step.


Day 20: All fermentation should now be complete. Do not execute the next steps until fermentation is completed (the specific gravity should be less than 0.995 and no yeast activity is seen). Allow extra time if required. 

  • Siphon the wine into a plastic carboy or glass carboy fitted with a fermentation lock

  • To 1/2 cup of cool water add the contents of Packet No. 3 (Potassium Metabisulphite). Stir to dissolve. Add to wine and mix thoroughly.

  • Stir the wine in the carboy to remove the unwanted carbon dioxide gas.- Repeat the procedure several times (at least 6 to 8) over the next 2 days. (Remember to replace the fermentation lock after stirring.)


Day 22: At this stage the wine must be completely degassed or the fining agent will not work. 

    • To 1/2 cup of warm water add the contents of Packet No. 4 (Potassium Sorbate). Stir to dissolve. Add to wine and mix thoroughly.

    • Position the carboy on a table so that no further movement is required prior to bottling.

    • If you are planning to add sweetener or conditioner, do so at this stage.

    • Add the contents of Package No. 5 (Fining Agent) into the wine and mix thoroughly.

    • Refit fermentation lock or rubber bung and leave the wine undisturbed to clear for up to 6 days.


Day 28: Your product should now be ready to filter and bottle. If the wine has not cleared yet, leave for a few more days. It is recommended that you filter the product prior to bottling. If aging your wine for longer than 6 months, add 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Metabisulfite dissolved in wine prior to bottling.

  • Siphon wine into a clean sterilized carboy leaving any remaining sediment behind. 

  • Filter the product using a medium pore size filter that has been properly prepared. Follow your filter's instructions. 

  • Siphon the clear wine to sterilized empty wine bottles allowing 1 - 1-1/2 inches head space between bottle cork and wine. 

  • Insert sterilized wine corks using a hand corker. Corks may be sterilized by soaking 15 minutes in sterilizing solution.

  • Wait 24-48 hours before inverting the bottles once corked. This will allow expansion time for the corks, and will decrease the chances of leakers.

Although the wine is very acceptable at bottling time, it will continue to improve if allowed to further mature in a consistently cool, dark place, oriented on their sides.

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