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  1. Ajmassa

    Kickstart stuck ferment

    Dayum! Almost buried it! Glad it wasn’t worst case scenario. If I recall correctly tho didn’t you have this same exact hydrometer issue last year?
  2. Ajmassa

    MLF Friendly Yeast for Co-inoculation in Cab / Merlot blend

    My 2¢— if you are using a strong malo bacteria and co-inoculating then it almost nullifies any yeast’s mlf “unfriendliness” anyway. If doing sequential-inoculation then it becomes more of an issue, but the bacteria is otherwise getting to work early before the yeast can alter the...
  3. Ajmassa

    Operation Massa Family Red - Muscat-Alicante-Zinfandel

    My old yellow rubber concrete pouring boots wouldn’t do the trick. Would probably need to break out my old overall fishing waders! Though I think my little DIY wooden punchdown tool will be able to handle the task. Unless Olivia wants to jump in. Had her hand destem & crush a small amount...
  4. Ajmassa

    Operation Massa Family Red - Muscat-Alicante-Zinfandel

    Lol. Yes! And I wanted to do something different. Just thinking out loud as I go. No regrets! Thank you for that. I kinda jumped into this blind. Just that little bit is helpful to have even as a reference point. Much obliged sir. And would be very very cool if you are right...
  5. Ajmassa

    Operation Massa Family Red - Muscat-Alicante-Zinfandel

    No real point in seeking specific adjustment advice. Too many variables and what’s done is done. But if anyone cares to hear my trials and tribulations I’ll gladly explain. 30% whole cluster at the bottom of the fermentor might be the stupidest winemaking decision I’ve ever made in...
  6. Ajmassa

    Dealing with smoke

    just found out earlier this morning that my grapes will NOT be coming in at all, damaged by smoke. I was more than looking forward to these too since my supplier here on the east coast had Napa Valley grapes available for the first time ever. Would have been a big leap from my typical grapes...
  7. Ajmassa

    How apparent is MLF when going well?

    More than once while running mlf on a few wines simultaneously, I’ve had one carboy looking very active with little bubbles steadily rising up. Many carrying little pieces of lees solids- Some shooting up the sides like a torpedo. Solid sinks back down. Bubbles all over & floaties goin up and...
  8. Ajmassa

    Homemade vs. Commercial and what I am doing to close the gap

    I’m thinking it’s multiple little nuances like this when all combined together can be the difference between an 89 point wine and a 95+.
  9. Ajmassa

    Must temperature

    Still very convenient regardless if paying much attention to fermentation temps or not imo. For Hydrating yeast. Or cold grape/juice must warming up— the Temp is my clock. And for so cheap it’s a great tool to have.
  10. Ajmassa

    Must temperature

    You do need it! this gun is the absolute best and you will never have to fuss over reading temps again. I have that exact gun @Johnd linked up from amazon. 4 years old & still works perfect. Depot sells em for $100. Cant go wrong with amazon.
  11. Ajmassa

    Operation Massa Family Red - Muscat-Alicante-Zinfandel

    Family Red— Take 2 2020 version Goin for this one again 2 years later but making many changes. Totally blew up the blend compared to 2018. I wanted to back off the muscat and ditch the Alicante. Muscat was strong juice and took 2 years to fully allow all the flavors to live in harmony...
  12. Ajmassa

    2020 Fall Grape Season Coming Up

    GP still essentially the Harford equivalent. https://www.winemakingtalk.com/attachments/scanned_from_a_lexmark_multifunction_product08-19-2020-125349-3-pdf.66205/?hash=51920c5a7c7cd64063df0b4e8e0189c4
  13. Ajmassa

    2020 is happening.

    @CDrew curious why is it that I’ve never heard of Primitivo until reading your postings? Is there a reason it’s not a more popular varietal?
  14. Ajmassa

    Yeast Storage for next year

    @mainshipfred I’m gonna give that fermentis hd135 a shot tonight on 30gal 👍
  15. Ajmassa

    Yeast Storage for next year

    Just rehydrated some factory packaged d254 yeast from 2.5 years ago. Stored room temp Took off perfectly. Did the same with 6mo. old avante in ziplock. Also not refrigerated. Also took off perfectly. I like to live dangerously! Lol
  16. Ajmassa

    New jersey winemakers talk

    Very nice! And you’re already more legit than majority of the neighborhood people making wine just from the amount of thought you’ve already put into it. Also, I’m pretty sure they just specify Italian varietals- that is, varietals of Italian origin. But it’s not necessarily juice from...
  17. Ajmassa

    New jersey winemakers talk

    Not just by the flies themselves, but also the brutal assault from the wife- since every fly now seems to trigger her deep seeded resentment! Lol Apparently not enough time has passed for it to be a funny anecdote to recall just yet. Will revisit this after an issue-free wine season...
  18. Ajmassa

    Fermenting with Stems...

    Well judging based off this pre-game lug of petite sirah I just picked up- it’s a big nay-No on the stems. a gorgeous shade of green in its own right, especially in contrast to the dark berries. Unfortunately my vast stem research 👀 showed consensus at green = no. (Seeds however are brown &...
  19. Ajmassa

    Fermenting with Stems...

    Yeah I put some thought into it. Not too concerned with residual sugar, but also I’m not pushing the % either. Confident it’ll eventually go fully dry. (Using a strong yeast this time. Not natural). Doing a field blend of 4 varietals. 8 lugs: zin 4. Syrah 2. Muscat 1 Petite Verdot 1 If...
  20. Ajmassa

    New jersey winemakers talk

    Not sure how bad it’s been for others, but in my area the fruit flies are here. Seeing them around a good bit despite no wine fermenting, no fruit on counter, no nothing. Yet still seeing them throughout the house. Not a lot. But frequently enough that they’re presence is felt Can only imagine...