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  1. J

    pH and TA Madness

    This is getting pretty frustrating that the numbers look pretty good preferment and then swing wildly during fermentation and MLF. My Chilean Syrah started on 5/13 has changed as follows: pH: 3.52 ->3.23 TA: 0.42 -> 0.79 I had a hell of a time reducing acid on my Chilean Merlot from last year...
  2. J

    Degassing during Cellaring

    So I have a cellar that I keep at about 60F which I use for bulk aging carboys for about 12-18 months before bottling. I also use the AIO vacuum pump which I use to rack the wine 2-4 times over this period. Given that I am bulk aging for over a year and also vacuum racking I don’t feel like I...
  3. J

    Barrel vs Flextank

    Interesting read at the 6 month mark on an experiment between the two vessels: https://www.techniquesinhomewinemaking.com/blog/6-month-progress-report-on-my-comparative-study-on-the-evolution-of-wine-aged-in-a-flextank-vs-a-second-year-oak-barrel/
  4. J

    Dual Yeast

    I’ve been wanting to try splitting a batch of the same must and fermenting it on 2 different yeasts so I did it this spring with my Chilean Syrah. I split the must 50/50 and one got BM4x4 while the other got RC212. Both of the fermentation’s were pretty similar in terms of temp and time. Before...
  5. J

    Cold Soak?

    Curious if many people have tried this? I’m looking to try to increase extraction of color and flavor from a Syrah and will be working with a batch small enough where I can easily control temp to keep it where I want it for however long I want to. Questions that I’ve been mulling over: 1) How...
  6. J

    Forgo Topping up?

    Came across this video of a commercial winemaker who doesn’t top up barrels for ~18 months. Says that a good seal can be maintained by keeping the bung at the 2 o’clock position and will result in a vacuum so no need to top up to displace air. He says that the process of topping up itself...
  7. J

    2020 Chilean Grape Plans

    Last year I made about 7g of Chilean Merlot. This year I wanted to try something different like a Malbec, Carménère or Syrah but can’t decide. Was thinking that maybe instead I could try a blend which is typically harder to do at my scale but at 18# crates I have more options. Maybe mix in some...
  8. J

    Wine Explosion! My Fault???

    So my RJS Amarone Classico arrived, double boxed. I took it out of the first box, stripped the plastic covering off the top and sides and down to the bottom, then went to lift the box off the rest using the cutout handles near the top of the box. I suppose you can tell by the title what happens...
  9. J

    RJ Spagnols Favorite RJS En Premier Kit

    Looking to make a red. Previously made the Australian Cab, Super Tuscan and the Amarone Classico. The latter 2 have been my favorites so was thinking of redoing one of them. However, open to suggestions if anyone thinks any of the others that I haven’t yet tried are any better?
  10. J

    Milwaukee MW-102 pH Meter

    Just bought this as it seems to be recommended on this site quite a bit. I noticed that the electrode cover is very difficult to remove and after using added some 4.01 buffer solution (don’t yet have storage solution) to the protective cover and tried to put it back on but it doesn’t want to go...
  11. J

    How long is too long in a carboy?

    So have a few wines that are already oaked ready to bottle but considering getting a barrel and thinking about holding them in carboys for another year until the barrel is neutral. As long at the carboys are topped up and receive periodic kmeta is there any reason they can’t wait in the carboy...
  12. J

    Possible to barrel without SO2 measurement?

    Considering getting a barrel but one of the things that I had read is that the “1/4 tsp k-meta every 3mo” rule of thumb no longer applies since you are no longer in glass. I know that not everyone agrees on that rule of thumb but it’s worked for me so far (3 years) so I can live with it. Is...
  13. J

    First Transfer and Air

    The MoreWine manual for reds suggests that you want to splash-rack during the first transfer by running the wine down the side of the carboy to expose it to air for only this transfer. I’ve been using the AIO so wondering if I am missing out on anything now that I am not getting any air...
  14. J

    To Barrel or it not to Barrel?

    So I have moved from kits to fresh grapes because I have not been really impressed with even the high end kits. My first AG batch is only from April so not yet sure if it will give me what I am looking for but considering getting a barrel. I’m at the point where I’m not trying to increase my...
  15. J

    Numbers looking good at crush?

    Just picked up 3 lugs of Lodi Cab for my 2nd ever all grape batch. Did a Chilean Merlot in the spring and had trouble with acid and pH so was really wanting to avoid adjustments this time if at all possible. Think I am In good shape but open to opinions: 25 Brix pH=3.5 TA=0.6 Only thing I...
  16. J

    Grape Quality

    I get my grapes from Consumers Produce in Pittsburgh and noticed that they have several varieties of grapes from different vineyards. Looking at making a Cabernet this spring and noticed that they have several varieties: “Cabernet” $49/lug “Costamagna” Cab $69/lug “Lanza” Cab $84/lug There are...
  17. J

    Is this MLF Finished or Not?

    I coiniculated VP41 about a month ago and have done a few tests. It’s still seems like a faint spot is left but it doesn’t seem to have changed over the last few weeks. What say you?
  18. J

    Other Any suggestions for a good Pinot Noir kit?

    Title says it all [emoji6]
  19. J

    How many years supply on hand?

    Interesting thread on volume of storage. Didn’t want to hijack that one but another good question is how many years supply do you currently have (fermenting, bulk aging or bottled) based on average consumption and anticipated gifting? Figure I’m at about 4 years.
  20. J

    Managing MLF

    So I co-inoculated with VP41 about 10 days ago and pressed off the skins on day 7, then racked off gross lees on day 8. The MoreWine manual suggests that I stir everything up a few times a week so the MLB doesn’t get buried in the remaining sediment but I am worried about O2 exposure. To stir I...
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