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Old 05-19-2017, 11:04 AM   #11
dcbrown73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
At punch down last night, temp was 83 degrees and we were down to 11 brix. Temp was at 86 degrees this morning and we are noticeably at the top of the fermentation curve!

I do not know if I said this, but we came up for a name for this particular batch... How does this sound?...
Not bad. Being a particular fan of some fantasy books. I'm partial to Stormbringer.

Though this is your wine not mine!
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:59 PM   #12
JohnT
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So, what is the equivelent of " Winemaker's dish pan hands"?

Got all my equipment clean and ready.

Currently at 6 brix and 86 degrees.
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:58 AM   #13
JohnT
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What a weekend!

The wife was away attending my niece's graduation. The good news is that I was so busy that I did not have any time to miss her.

On Friday, after work and after punching down, I spent the evening scrubbing and cleaning the press, tank, buckets, strainers, pump, and hoses. When all the equipment was clean, I sat down and shared the peace and quiet with a bottle of my 2014 merlot. My stomach then reminded me that I had not had my dinner. Since I was so hungry, what I ate did not matter much so long as it was food. To make a long story short, it was frozen tortellini and jarred sauce.

I noticed that fermentation was going gang-busters! The plastic sheet had a nice crown showing the amount of CO2 being produced. (PIC 1). I send a photo to my brother saying "there is nothing sexier than my bulge!". Got him laughing on that one. Friday evening, brix fell to 6.0.

On Saturday, we pressed the Chilean. I woke up at 5am, got coffee going, did a little bit of organizing, and started skimming off the cap at about 7:30. My brother showed up and we had the cap in the press by 9am. (PICs 2 - 4).

The color extraction was deep and dark. Just the way I like it! Brix were down to 3.5. Normally the brix is a lot lower but the grapes were very cold and I had to spend extra time to warm them up. As a result, I pitched the yeast much later than normal. I also went with a cooler fermentation (not exceeding 86 degrees). Waiting a day or two to press was out of the question. That damn job of mine once again is "crimping my style"!

With the press loaded, closed, and engaged, we turned our focus to pumping the free run juice to the tank. What hard work! Stick a column strainer into the vat, stick the intake pipe into the column strainer, run the output end to the tank, then hit a switch! Took all of 30 seconds.

With the tank loaded, it was back to the press. We backed off, opened up, and gave the grapes a good forking. I have a large fork that I made when blacksmithing just for stirring grapes. It is a really nice tool if I can say so myself.

We then put the remainder of the skins into the press, tamped it down, then closed the press up, set the dial, flipped the switch, and sat down to relax and wait. We ended up forking the grapes twice more until we had no choice but to dial the pressure up in order to keep a small stream coming off of the press.

This is the point where the battle really begins.

Both my brother and I are Hungarians. We are a VERY impatient breed. It was once said that a Hungarian can get behind you in a revolving door, and come out ahead of you. When pressing, there is always a battle over when to break the press down. It is always my brother wanting to break the press down and my trying to distract my brother in order to delay it.

It is almost a game. It's me saying "hey, she is flowing at a good sip per second" or "come on, I bet we can get at least another couple of bottles out of this". It is all playful in nature and we both were laughing pretty hard about it. In PIC 5, you can see the stream with about 150 bars of pressure applied. in PIC 6 and PIC 7 & 8 you can what 1008 pounds of grapes was reduced to!

When we were reduced to dripping, and with the press increased to 300 bars of pressure, I had mercy on my brother and finally agreed that it was time to break the press down. Of course I did have to tease him by saying "we could have gotten another case out of that!!!

Note: I am my Father's son. My Dad would use an 8-foot pipe on a ratchet press to increase the leverage applied to get every last drop. My dad really HAD to get every last bit out of his grapes! By the time we broke his press down, there wasn't spent skins but dust in there. You could take a handful and blow them into the wind like a ripe dandelion. WWDD (what would Dad Do?) is my pressing catch-phrase.

Our total yield was pretty close to my "dead reckoning". We filled the 300 liter tank plus two carboys. One carboy is for topping up when we rack off the gross lees. We put the final pressings in the other carboy and marked it accordingly. This will not be used for top off and will be kept separate.

By noon, we had all of the equipment scrubbed, clean, and put away. We then got the press and winery floor hosed down and clean and my storage shed swept, organized, and all locked up. Time to relax a bit and shared a glass of wine. ONE glass and only ONE glass!

How we laughed and carried on. It was one of the best times I have had in quite some time. To think that growing up we were at each other's throats. How times and minds change over time!

Not wanting the fun to end, we hatched a plan to move the festivities to his house. "Lets cook something and why don't you spend the night"?

.. to be continued in the "what's for dinner?" thread.....

BTW, It rained!
IMG_20170519_162625_915.jpg   IMG_20170520_083602_349.jpg   IMG_20170520_083531_824.jpg   IMG_20170520_083545_064.jpg   IMG_20170520_103700_567.jpg  

IMG_20170520_103715_011.jpg   IMG_20170520_124816_836.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:15 AM   #14
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I did my first racking yesterday to remove the gross lees. Brix is pegged at 0. It was Nice to see that fermentation had completed.

I added a pound of XOV oak (4X4 inch squares) and made sure to taste it.
For a 2 week old wine, the taste is amazing. MLF is currently underway and, according to my highly calibrated wine analyzer (aka my tongue), is about 1/2 way there.


This is going to be one of the good ones!
I just hop that I can remember that my brother gets half.
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:10 PM   #15
jswordy
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I am so glad you ADDED PIX! Makes it a lot cooler to read/see. Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:29 AM   #16
JohnT
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I tasted the Chilean this weekend. It registered "Buttery" on the old "Tongue-o-meter". Being satisfied with the MLF, I raised the SO2 to 50ppm. Wine is clearing nicely!
IMG_20170604_145017061[1].jpg   IMG_20170604_145026726[1].jpg  
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