Recent content by NorCal

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  1. NorCal

    Barbera Harvest Acidity

    That is crazy acidity and early ripeness. If it were me I’d hold out until the grapes couldn’t stand another day, harvest, water back to 24. Go through fermentation, mlf, cold crash over the winter and then and only then look at adjusting based on taste, not a pH number. I’m not one for...
  2. NorCal

    Barbera Harvest Acidity

    The leaves look healthy, like the vines are getting sufficient water and those clusters look like they are pretty far along. We are watering 2.5 gallons at a time, twice per week. Forces the vine to grow deep to get the water. Check the seeds, they are a good indicator of ripeness. I’m...
  3. NorCal

    Barbera Harvest Acidity

    Hey James, Welcome. Where in NorCal are you? I'm situated in Placer County (Loomis). 24 brix? We still have a month or so to go in our local vineyards. How many gallons per week are you watering? Are the clusters exposed to the afternoon sun? You can lower acidity through additions, but...
  4. NorCal

    Taking on a vineyard project - Merlot

    Visited the vineyard today. The spraying for the leafhoppers did nothing to curb those critters. I think if my spray had any effect, it was only on the buggers I sprayed, which was limited to my row. I did see some evidence of deer or critter eating a cluster or two, but it was pretty...
  5. NorCal

    Newbee 2020 Pinot Noir plan

    Some I didn‘t say not to use the products, they have their place. I only use them if there is a problem you are trying to fix, not as a planned step in the process. The products are a tool in the tool box of wine making. I have added mlf during and after fermentation. I tend to go with...
  6. NorCal

    Newbee 2020 Pinot Noir plan

    My approach is less is more, get great grapes and do as little intervention as possible. - pick at a 23-26 brix with an acceptable pH. - Don’t add water, unless brix above 26.5 - Adjust pH only if way out of wack <3.2 or >3.7 - only add Lallyzyme, Opti red, booster rouge, redulees , TanCor, or...
  7. NorCal

    How to reduce bitterness in wine

    I had an astringent wine that got much better with time. It took a good three years In the bottle, but it smoothed out.
  8. NorCal

    Next Level Oak

    Welcome. Very innovative. I’m a spiral fan, because of the cost effectiveness and quality of oaking it provides. I’m alway open to options. What I didn’t see on your site is a recommended “dosage”. How many of sections does it take to give you second year barrel equivalent wine in a 5...
  9. NorCal

    Bottling from the carboy ...

    The biggest reason the kit manufacturers tell you to bottle right away is so you will buy another kit. Let the wine age, your patience will be rewarded with a better tasting, more evolved wine.
  10. NorCal

    Bronco 44 Gal. White Round Trash Can (3-Pack) by Carlisle

    This will be quite the adventure. Be sure to get the lids too, or avoid any sharp turns on the way home :)
  11. NorCal

    Organic treatments for vines

    Rachel Hensley Cooperages 1912 │ Office Manager 707.255.5900
  12. NorCal

    Blichmann WineEasy - anyone tried it?

    @Snafflebit (the wife has a horse, so I get the snafflebit name) bit gave this a like, so it resurfaced this 5 1/2 year old post. What a memory. I've since done many more ferments and pressings through the Blichmann Wineasy and have had only two pressings where it was an issue. The original...
  13. NorCal

    Next steps in the long haul

    The 'ol my friend wants to know question :) If you doubled the dosage; 100ppm SO2, you would be able to detect it immediately, but would fade over time. I've had wine approach 300 ppm total SO2 (not free) and it was still fine. I believe the legal limit is 350 ppm total SO2. I would think...
  14. NorCal

    Cold box wine storage project

    I had a coolbot that I got when I purchased all the equipment when I first started. Since I was good with keeping the wine in the "60's, I sold it to a local winery. I purchased a $10 controller (see post #31 on page 2) on ebay and has been working like a champ.
  15. NorCal

    Cold box wine storage project

    Thanks @koolmoto Please do share your box. I know of a few others built as well, it would be nice to have other peoples design ideas shared as well. One thing that I have found is the placement of thermocouple for the controller makes a huge difference. Finding a place where the unit will...