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  1. chicken

    Did I turn my wine into Vinegar?

    How does it taste?
  2. chicken

    Operation Massa Family Red - Muscat-Alicante-Zinfandel

    It was 42 lbs of muscat, 72 lbs zinfandel. I don't know how that proportion was decided upon (maybe upon the advice of the guy we bought our wine press from?). We also did a batch with 120 lbs with just zinfandel, and a couple of "false wines." That was our first year making wine. We were...
  3. chicken

    Operation Massa Family Red - Muscat-Alicante-Zinfandel

    Great thread! I'm inspired to try something like this myself next fall. Looking back through our wine log, I see that we made something we called "zincatel", a mixture of muscat and zinfandel, back in 1988. Frustratingly, our notes are rather incomplete, so I have no idea how well it came out!
  4. chicken

    Forgot the Bentonite

    No worries. You can use it or kieselsol and chitosan later, or even use nothing at all if you like. Until last year's chardonnay (first white wine I've made), I had never used any kind of fining agents at all. We let our reds bulk age for about a year before bottling, and rack 2-3 times during...
  5. chicken

    Just Racked Out Of Secondary

    Once you've got a good pipeline going, it gets easier to give the wine plenty of time before bottling, and before drinking. We typically bottle our red wines a year or so after they were pressed. And then try to leave them for a year before drinking. They can be drunk earlier, but I've noticed...
  6. chicken

    Airlock vigorously bubbling and blowing water out

    I've never had that problem.
  7. chicken

    Airlock vigorously bubbling and blowing water out

    That can happen with a vigorous fermentation. You can use a blow off hose for awhile until it calms down (fit a siphon hose into the bung instead of an airlock, and put the other end of the hose into a container of kmeta or star san).
  8. chicken

    Corking Problem

    I got Portuguese floor corker last year, and cannot believe I waited so long. Even though I usually only bottle 2-4 cases at a time, it was well worth it.
  9. chicken

    Topping up MLF wine with non MLF from same pressing?

    Not really an option this time, since the point was to put only part of the batch through MLF. MLB was added after pressing, to only one carboy. If I was putting the entire batch through MLF, I would consider co-inoculating.
  10. chicken

    Topping up MLF wine with non MLF from same pressing?

    I was too lazy to go out and get a bottle of cab franc, so I went ahead and topped up with non-MLF, and used lysozyme for peace of mind I am happy to report that the wine that went through MLF is decidedly less sharp, and seems to have a fuller taste and mouthfeel. Perhaps this will convince...
  11. chicken

    Topping up MLF wine with non MLF from same pressing?

    Thanks. I'd like to use wine from the same pressing, since that's what's at hand (I have an extra 750ml bottle of non MLF left over after a recent racking). Just wasn't sure how much I should worry about MLF restarting later.
  12. chicken

    Topping up MLF wine with non MLF from same pressing?

    Until recently we have been pretty laissez-faire/flying by the seat of our pants as far as the winemaking process. (No testing or adjusting of sugar or acid, inconsistent racking and sulfiting, no MLF, no fining agents, forgetting to top up, etc.). Our wine is good, but I think could be...
  13. chicken

    Is this to much head space?

    That's brilliant! I will have to try that!
  14. chicken

    How do you know when ready to bottle?

    I just bought a package of Titrets, after reading that thread! Even though our laissez faire methods have worked well enough up to now, I'd like to see what I can do to improve our wine. I figured testing for so2 is one of those things I can do to up our game.
  15. chicken

    How do you know when ready to bottle?

    I have not been as consistent with racking and sulfiting as I should be. With racking, sometimes life just gets in the way and more time goes by than I realize. And with sulfiting, when we first got into winemaking I was way more leery of sulfites than I should have been, and wanted to use as...
  16. chicken

    How do you know when ready to bottle?

    I bottle after about a year, sometimes a little later if I just don't get around to it. The wine is pretty clear by then, even though I have never used clearing agents or filtered.
  17. chicken

    Driving off C02

    I have never degassed a wine in my life. I didn't even know it was a thing until maybe a few years ago. Since we bulk age about a year before bottling, and usually rack several times, I guess the co2 works its way out on its own over time. We've never had an issue with fizzy wine in the bottle.
  18. chicken

    Corks and a corker.

    Mine is arriving today! I'm so excited!
  19. chicken

    Floaties during MLF - Cab/Merlot from grapes

    We have never washed ours. I was under the impression that it wasn't necessary, and might even dilute the must. But I freely admit that I may not have the most up to date information, mostly going by what we learned 30+ years ago when we first started winemaking. What is everyone else doing?
  20. chicken

    Sanitizing..,

    Yeah, I do all the time. You can also use K-meta.
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