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Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Beginners Wine Making Forum > Juice Bucket Chianti

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Old 08-27-2015, 08:57 PM   #11
rustbucket
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brottman,

The juice bucket does not come pre-inoculated. The V116 yeast is taped to the top of the bucket by the Florida distributor. The bucket will be shipped in a refrigerated truck to a vegetable packing house about 8 miles south of my home. The juice does not get inoculated until I bring it home and physically pitch the yeast.

This is the second juice bucket that I've purchased. I started in this hobby last fall with the purchase of a juice bucket of Sauvignon Blanc. All I did with that bucket of juice was pitch the V116 yeast and hope for the best. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

This year, I know a little more. Now I'm thinking about acid levels, oak tannin, corks, and, as of tonight, MLF.

Ron

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Old 08-28-2015, 09:36 AM   #12
rustbucket
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I found answers to the questions I raised regarding the use of White Labs - WLP675. The malolactic yeast is added when the Brix level reaches 5, or 1.02 SG. I'll, therefore, start the my wine using the Lalvin BM4X4.

Here is the source link to the information I'm referencing:
http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp67...actic-cultures

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Old 08-28-2015, 10:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustbucket View Post
Craig and Heather,

You two have peaked my interest in MLF. Craig, your Russian Roulette comment was a wake up call; and Heather, your description of the difference in taste after MLF, tart versus smooth, showed me the benefit of MLF. Fortunately, I held back my order to Label Peelers for the oak and yeast anticipating that I might get some good recommendations from members of this forum. As a result, I have the ability to add an MLF culture to the order.

Label Peelers has White Labs Malolactic Bacteria Liquid Yeast - WLP675. I called them about it and they said that this malolactic bacteria yeast is added to the primary fermenter. Unfortunately, I failed to ask them if any specific nutrient is needed to promote MLF with this yeast. As mentioned in a previous post, my initial plan calls for the use of Lalvin BM4X4 yeast because of the favorable properties this particular yeast imparts to a full bodied red wine. Can I, or more importantly, should I use both yeast strains in the primary fermentation bucket, BM4X4 and WLP675, thus deriving the benefits of both cultures?

You both encouraged additional tannin in one form or another. Based on both of your recommendations, I've added oak powder to my order and will use that in the primary. I also decided to switch from oak spirals, which I was looking forward to trying, to oak chips. The chips will be added at the time of the second racking. This change came about after consideration of what I've read about the intensity of the taste imparted by oak spirals. That intensity coupled with the oak enhancement from the oak powder may be a little much. I've used oak chips before in wine kits and found that they impart a subtle oak flavor, which I like.

Heather, in looking over your list of "This is what I have made", I noticed that you added lugs of grapes to your juice bucket wines. Is adding squeezed grapes to a red wine juice bucket recommended to get the necessary solids for body?

You have both provided me with very good information. Thanks again.

Ron
Reds usually ferment on the skins, and that adds lots of beneficial things in terms of body and tannins. I typically get 18 pounds of fresh grapes to add to the juice buckets. If you have access, that is a beneficial thing; if not, it can be something you try in the next batch. An option to replace the role of grapes is to add enological (grape) tannins from Scott Labs; you can order these online, and I like this in terms of convenience. Some folks add zante currants, which are raisins. Other folks add elderberries. The goal for all of these is to add some type of grape or fruit skin tannin in the primary for a red wine. None of this is mandatory but it's beneficial.

You are adding oak, so that will fill the role of wood tannins excellently. Oak powder in primary works, as does chips or spirals during aging. The goal is to get slightly more oak flavor than you finally want to drink, because it will fall back a bit during aging.

Congrats on taking the MLF plunge!! For MLF nutrients, I typically add yeast nutrients, but I know there are more specialized ones that you can order. I would suggest stirring during MLF once a day, or whatever you have time for. The White Labs MLB is an easy culture to use given that it's in liquid form. I have had it work well. If you find that MLF doesn't seem to progress, you can also use the powder form of MLB which is VP41.

BM4x4 is a yeast I have used with good success.

I think the interventions you have planned will make a great Chianti, especially after aging.

Good luck,
Heather
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:46 PM   #14
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So how did your wine come out?

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Old 08-12-2016, 02:54 PM   #15
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I would also like to know how your bucket is doing. I also got a bucket from Pardo Grapes in Tampa, last fall, which supply Papagni products. Also got 3 lugs of grapes, all Cabs Then. This spring I got 3 buckets of Chilen Juice. All still in carboys. We really need to sample last falls & compare. Roy

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Old 08-13-2016, 03:24 PM   #16
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I had just finished reading an article in Wine Maker Magazine on Pinot Noir wine making when it was time to pull the trigger on my Chianti juice bucket purchase. Feeling fate weighing on me, I changed my planed Chianti order to a Pinot Noir juice bucket.

The wine was bottled in May after some bulk aging. It is still young; but I opened a bottle a few days ago to try it and found it to be dry and extremely fruity. Hopefully that fruitiness mellows over the next few months. If it does, it will be a nice casual drinking wine.

When I got the juice, it was already fermenting from natural yeast. There was a lot of foam on the surface from the natural yeast. I added Lalvin 4X4 yeast after the juice reached room temperature. Within 24 hours, the Lalvin 4X4 yeast had taken over the ferment and the foam dissipated.

Checking the acid levels, I found that tartaric acid was 0.25. I added 12 tsp of acid blend and brought it up to 62.5% tartaric acid and 4ppt sulfuric acid. Based on the tasting result of my first bottle, I think that I could have added more acid to the must.

ABV was calculated to be 11.7% based on the differences in the starting and final SG numbers. In actuality, it may be a little higher than that since fermentation started with the juice bucket's natural yeast before I took the initial SG reading.

My two juice bucket forays from Pardo, a Sauvignon Blanc and the later Pinot Noir, have been positive. I got good drinking wines from each. A few days ago Pardo sent me an email with this year's selections. Comparing this year's prices with last year's, I noticed that they are about $5 to $8 less. It is nice to deal with a vendor like Pardo who passes his cost savings on to his customers.

This season, I'm looking mightily at the Burgundy blend. Roy and Knockabout, let me wish you the best experiences with your juice bucket purchases.
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Old 08-13-2016, 03:48 PM   #17
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Ron, after reading through this thread it is nice to see that your hesitation about straying from kit wines has been alleviated. Always good to do something new and get a nice drinkable wine in return. Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us!

Good luck on your ventures this fall.
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:53 PM   #18
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The provenance of bucket juices has long been subject to some scrutiny. Purists who grow and process their own grapes may have "tootin'" rights, but for the amateur who wants to get "somewhat" involved, the bucket offers an adequate and reasonable path to a drinkable if not enjoyable end!! Individual tastes dictate which way to go. I've been satisfied with all of the buckets I've done including quite a few repeats. A toast in advance
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:19 PM   #19
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Rustbucket, glad to hear your Pinot Nior worked out well. I may have to get a bucket from Pardo. My future daughter in law's fav wine is P N. I have a 6 gal kit bulk aging for a future wedding, may have to add a bucket. No sudden wedding plans, so I probably still have time. Thanks for the response, Roy

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Old 08-14-2016, 01:36 PM   #20
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Update on bucket wine tasting. This thread got us thinking, we haven't tried our Cabs in a while. So, #1) the Pardo juice bucket, Oct 2015, no additions, it was a little weak, light in color and body. 2) Our "House Cab" which is a Home Winery concentrate, 5 pints to 5 gals, (not 4 pints, per directions ) and a lb of dark raisins. It's a little darker color, a little more body, honestly we just like it better. But we drink a LOT of it. 3) Pardo grapes 3 lugs, i.e. 108 lbs to 7 ish gallons of Cab Wine. Dark color, more body, interesting taste, not you typical Cab taste but good, really smooth. We ranked the 3 Cabs in the reverse order I listed them. I.e. #3 was our Fav! So this year I'll still get 3 juice buckets but I'll add 12 lbs of fresh grapes to each bucket & more tannins & ????. We will get at least 4 lugs. So we can make another 7 gals from all grapes. Roy

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