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  1. CoteRotie

    Driving me crazy.

    Hmm.. Are you making wine from frozen must?
  2. CoteRotie

    Broken carboy

  3. CoteRotie

    to rack or not to rack after MLF is complete

    After pressing, I settle my Pinots in stainless, then rack once into barrel. After that I age in barrel for 1 year without racking at all. That's been very successful for me with Pinot. Other varieties like Syrah would need racking along the way as they tend to have reductive...
  4. CoteRotie

    Adventures in Wild Fermentation

    I think UC Davis did a study a while back and found that just about all "wild" (i.e. uninoculated) yeast fermentations finished with a commercial strain (as checked by DNA analysis). However, I think those were all done in commercial wineries. If you've never made wine in this house maybe you...
  5. CoteRotie

    Addition of K ferm to grape must

    I agree with this- If you add too much too late the yeast can't metabolize it and you're stuck with off flavors (not to mention stuff you may not want to drink) in your finished wine. So I wouldn't add the full amount.
  6. CoteRotie

    "wet ashtray"

    Got word today that my grapes are a no-go this year, the vineyard is just on the edge of the glass fire. I only feel bad for all the folks up in wine country who have lost homes, wineries, vineyards, inventory, etc. I just feel lucky that we were unaffected by fires so far this year, though...
  7. CoteRotie

    Anyone making 100% Norton wine here?

    Wow, would be really interesting to see what CA planted Norton is like. I haven't tried much and what I have hasn't been impressive, but who knows what's possible? Another variety you don't see planted much here is Pinotage. I've tried it and the "burnt rubber" is something I can't get past...
  8. CoteRotie

    "wet ashtray"

    Thanks for the info, good luck and keep us posted on how the wine evolves!
  9. CoteRotie

    "wet ashtray"

    Definitely interesting- You're already pressing Merlot and Cab? When and where were they harvested? What was the Brix at harvest? I'm still waiting for my Sonoma Cab to ripen, and I'm also worried about smoke taint.
  10. CoteRotie

    Grapes in fridge

    There's almost no doubt that they are safe, but you should look for rot or less than optimal fruit and remove those berries before crush. If fruit and stats look good there's no reason not to go ahead.
  11. CoteRotie

    Jack Keller's orbiturary

    Oh no, sorry to hear that. I remember Jack from the old Usenet wine discussion groups, always ready to help anyone out. He has to have the record for making wine from the widest variety of things.
  12. CoteRotie

    Most active fermentation, and it's signficance

    There's no "correct" answer. Some winemakers ferment for as long a 2 months at temperatures as low as 45 F. I think that a couple of weeks is probably a good starting point, but the danger of the long slow ferment is that CO2 production isn't high, and more oxygen can be absorbed at lower...
  13. CoteRotie

    Most active fermentation, and it's signficance

    I wouldn't worry about the wild yeast, especially if you added some SO2. It's almost for sure that a commercial strain of Saccharomyces is doing your ferment. Even though you added nutrients, reds may have other nutrients due to the skins being present, so your yeast may like the environment...
  14. CoteRotie

    Most active fermentation, and it's signficance

    Fermentation speed depends on the temperature, strain of yeast, amount of nutrients and sugar, SO2 level (if any) and probably several other things I'm not thinking of at the moment. It can easily get out of control (not sure about the kits, haven't used them) and cause excess temperatures in...
  15. CoteRotie

    Choosing 1 strain of MLB

    I use Chris Hansen CH16, but as someone mentioned any of the big name cultures should be fine.
  16. CoteRotie

    Confusion on when to start MLF (using Brix)

    Though I haven't seen any research on it, the conventional wisdom is that inoculating after dryness ensures that the ML bacteria aren't competing with the yeast for nutrients. If you're providing plenty of nutrients or your must's YAN and nutrient profile is good it likely doesn't make much...
  17. CoteRotie

    Digital Refractometer

    @sour_grapes has it exactly right. My experience with the digital refractometers (at least the ones I've tried) is that they're harder to use and fussier than a good optical unit, so I gave up and just use my old fashioned one. One less thing that needs batteries.
  18. CoteRotie

    Dealing with smoke

    I'm in the same boat. I have some $$$ Cabernet fruit from the Moon Mountain AVA in Sonoma coming this year, and I have no idea if there's smoke taint. Trying to be patient to see how things come out. Would be good to keep this thread going and post information as it comes in.
  19. CoteRotie

    Reusing Oak barrel for non MLF wine after completed MLF wine age in it

    Agree with the above, I've heard that it's almost impossible to prevent MLF in a barrel if it contained a wine that underwent MLF in the past. I suppose a high temperature steam cleaning and lysozyme might do it, but it's a risk.
  20. CoteRotie

    Extended Maceration

    Good points, I do have a glycol chiller and jacketed tank, so I was able to avoid problems likely by keeping the must cool. There's a lot of CO2 still left after fermentation, so not really "counting" on the MLF to provide more protection, just maybe slow down the rate of decline of the already...