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  1. NDengineer

    Rat/squirrel rodent damage

    Thanks for the input. No, I do not have a dog, though I'm sure that would help! CO is pretty restrictive on trapping vermin, but I still get dozens each year. However, I still see rat/squirrel/raccoon activity most nights in our gardens and around our chickens. I may need to try more daily...
  2. NDengineer

    Rat/squirrel rodent damage

    What deterrent have you found successful against rats, squirrels and other rodents eating your grapes? For the second year in a row now they have eaten every last ripe grape off my 20 vines of marquette and traminette. One day the grapes are not yet ripe, and a few days later they are all...
  3. NDengineer

    Metallic Taste... Potassium Bicarbonate?

    I have a batch of raspberry rhubarb wine with some serious off flavor - mostly metallic. Sources seem to suggest metallic off flavors come from metal pots, tin cans, etc, but nothing in my brew has been in contact with metal (all ingredients harvested from my garden, plastic fermenter, glass...
  4. NDengineer

    Oak Toast for Cabernet Sauvignon

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to use oak cubes, and try the medium plus toast. Maybe I'll throw in some medium cubes too, since I have some left. I'm not interested in those light toast flavors.
  5. NDengineer

    Oak Toast for Cabernet Sauvignon

    I'm making my first Cab using the Master Vintner Cab kit, and would like some suggestions on what level of toast to use for oak cubes. A 50/50 combination of american and french oak seems like it should balance out the wine. I'm leaning towards medium-plus toast, but have medium, medium...
  6. NDengineer

    Apple Wine Q

    Good question sour_grapes. The wine has sugar added to target about 11% ABV, and the cider to hit about 5%. In addition, I plan to stabilize the cider and then make it sparkling.
  7. NDengineer

    Apple Wine Q

    I made some pear wine and pear cider (perry) about a month ago. I cut out the worms and rotten spots, crushed the fruit, and then attempted to press, but the pears were too soft, causing a mesh in the basket press. I ended up just putting all the crushed pieces/pulp in large straining bags...
  8. NDengineer

    Shoots keep breaking - marquette

    Pat, I have never given the vines any fertilizer, so that shouldn't be an issue. You'll have to update us with how the Marquette fairs on a VSP/LWC trellis. If TWC is difficult for Marquette grapes, why is it so highly recommended? For example, I bought my vines from Double A Vineyards...
  9. NDengineer

    Shoots keep breaking - marquette

    jgmillr1, thanks for the suggestion of mid-wire cordon. It sounds appealing, and makes sense that it would support the new shoots. I'll see how things go this year and decide whether or not I want to put in the effort to modify the trellis and re-train. I'm on the front range of CO, so we do...
  10. NDengineer

    Shoots keep breaking - marquette

    The shoots on my marquette vines keep breaking. This is year 3 on a TWC trellis system, and about half of all the new shoots have now broken off and died. They break off at the base of the shoot, and I find another one dead every few days. Some plants only have 1 or 2 shoots left...
  11. NDengineer

    Frozen and Lost Buds

    UDPATE: Most of the vines continued to produce new buds, though they've typically sprouted from the cordon, and not the spurs. Some cordons aren't growing any shoots from the outer 1/2, so I may need to regrow part of the cordon if no buds form at the end of the season. I didn't need to...
  12. NDengineer

    Frozen and Lost Buds

    Grapeman and treesaver, thanks for your responses so far. I'm hopeful that they'll keep putting on buds, and grow from the spurs or at least the cordons like I want them to. I'll try removing some of the shoots at the base of the trunks, but I'm hesitant to remove all of them in case no buds...
  13. NDengineer

    Frozen and Lost Buds

    I need some help deciding how to prune my vines this year. this is year 3 for my marquette grapes, and I lost at least 2-3 sets of buds due to spring frosts and snows. All spurs were budding earlier in the year, but froze. Each of the vines is still alive and growing, but not where I'd like...
  14. NDengineer

    Pick a Wine Kit & Win a Wine Kit Giveaway

    Winexpert Eclipse Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon please!
  15. NDengineer


    I ferment to dryness then backsweeten if I'm looking for some residual sweetness. I've found that backsweetening to a specific SG (e.g. 1.010) doesn't reproduce consistent "sweetness" results. Batch A may have had an SG of 1.005 and tasted semi-dry. Batch B was then backsweetened to the...
  16. NDengineer

    The HomeBrewSupply Wine Kit Giveaway!

    Signed Up. Winexpert™ Eclipse Washington Columbia Valley Riesling Wine Recipe Kit
  17. NDengineer

    Optimal Sequence to Balance and Finish Wine

    What is the best order to balance and finish a wine before bottling? Attributes like acidity, bitterness, and residual sugar all interact to some degree. What's the way to balance each item just once, and not have to rebalance it once the other components are balanced? I typically make...
  18. NDengineer

    All in One Wine Pump Giveaway!

    Add me to the list!
  19. NDengineer

    White Wine Does not Clear with Bentonite or Sparkolloid Powder

    I added the pectic enzyme about two weeks ago, and now it's incredibly clear! I have to rack it off the sediment, but it looks awesome so far. Thanks for the help Poni.