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  1. Racer

    Some animal is eating my grapes...advice needed please

    My problem raccoon this year is definitely a juvenile. I kicked it out of my vines a week ago. I do mean that I put my boot to its butt in an unkind way. This morning I now have a 4" x6" hole in my bird netting and about 1 dozen clusters stripped clean with lots of grapes on the ground. :m If...
  2. Racer

    Some animal is eating my grapes...advice needed please

    You cant lay electric fence on the ground it would just short it out and be of no use to you. You can attach it with insulators to your fencing you already have installed. The damage you describe sure sounds like what a small raccoon would do. I have one that found my grapes this year again...
  3. Racer

    Grapes in Illinois for 2012

    I called caputos this year after trying to find out when one of my other sources might be getting grapes in. I cant find that source on the web and so far bev arts isnt advertising grapes on preorder so far this year either. The produce manager said all stores get wine grapes and juice at the...
  4. Racer

    Grapes in Illinois for 2012

    Caputo's sells grapes and juice. They are supposed to be getting them the 2nd week of september. The closest store to us is in naperville 111th and rt. 59. I have gotten grapes and juice for the last 3 yrs from Bakker produce in Griffith In. I believe both of these places are getting grape...
  5. Racer

    Concord and Frontenac

    You don't have to worry about them crosspollinating for winemaking purposes. Only if your trying to breed a new type of grape would you need to worry about a random cross from planting different types of vines next to each other. If you'd like to see some established vines and talk about grape...
  6. Racer

    Who's Growing What?

    Red wine vines: 10 Marquette 4 NY95's 2 St.Croix 1 Norton White wine vines: 8 Valvin muscat 6 LaCrescent 6 Prairie star 4 Frontenac Gris 2 Frontenac Blanc Wish I could just relocate to N.C. and start a real vineyard though.
  7. Racer

    Malolactic fermenation- Need an explanation please

    It is usually done to red wines. It helps the taste profile of the wine and it also helps with keeping the wine stable too.An MLF can happen naturally but since it is a bit more finicky then yeast it's better to add an MLF culture to your wine to help it make it thru to completion without problems.
  8. Racer

    Thick Pear Must Problems!!

    I've used a kitchen strainer and a nylon straining bag doubled up to try and remove excess pulp. Some times I've had to try and strain things a few times to remove enough pulp to try and get a starting s.g. After getting my refractometer life got a lot easier trying to check troublesome musts.
  9. Racer

    Thick Pear Must Problems!!

    Do you have access to a refractometer?
  10. Racer

    My First Press Day

    Nice pictures of your first pressing! Hope the wine continues thru primary and mlf (if your planning it) and turns into one of your best efforts for you.
  11. Racer

    When to Press

    When the juice starts getting converted to alc. the refractometer will no longer give you an accurate reading without compensating for the change. I always use a hydrometer to get the most accurate reading on a must during fermentation.
  12. Racer

    2011 Fresh Grapes From California via FVW's

    Mike don't worry too much about pressing off outside. I have the same issue every year I get premium grapes more california. I have pressed off in snow showers and haven't had a batch stick on me because of the cold. I just make sure to have everything completely ready to go then bring out one...
  13. Racer

    Battonage...?

    Yes, I don't do any fining or clearing until after I'm done with battonage. I do add So2 after primary fermentation is complete though(if its a white wine). If its a red wine it needs to remain SO2 free until after MLF is complete. If you do try a longer time on battonage like I do you might...
  14. Racer

    Battonage...?

    I usually do battonage with chardonay to give it more mouth feel. The biggest thing I try to make sure of is that the wine gets racked off of the gross lees after primary fermentation is complete. Once that is done I then just try to remember to gently stir the fine lees back into suspension on...
  15. Racer

    what are the lower brix levels for rose and sparkling?

    I've only made a few batches of sparkling wine but have always used 19º brix as a starting s.g. The home wine makers manual by Lum Eisenman shows a starting range of 17 to 20º brix. My valvin muscat was picked on the early side due to raccoon problems this year. It is just about ready to go into...
  16. Racer

    Should i plant blackberries or grapes in northern wisconsin

    Just to add to things. You shouldn't take a full crop from grape vines until year 4 after planting the vines in your ground. If your going to leave by year 5 you will get 2 harvests and 5 years growing experience if you move after harvest time in year 5.
  17. Racer

    Oak Advise Requested

    It really comes down to personal taste as to what works for you. But what I do using oak alternatives is try to stay to 2-3 oz. of oak chips or cubes per 6 gallon batch of red wine. Med. plus toast level is a good happy medium for me and my taste buds. I also like to add the oak into primary...
  18. Racer

    Marqette's in NW Indiana

    I try to delay prune( also known as long or double prune) each spring. If you wait till late in the dormancy season or prune so you leave 6-10 buds per shoot( any time during the off season) you are trying to let apical dominance make buds you don't want to keep break bud first. If you get an...
  19. Racer

    Marqette's in NW Indiana

    I'm in zone 5 too(Joliet Il.) and have 10 marquette vines going into their 3rd and 4th year ( I've been replanting some vines). They should work out well for you. Some of the pro's and con's Ive seen so far are. Con's It is early to break bud so can get damaged by frost in the spring...
  20. Racer

    what vines to purchase

    When vines get dug out of the ground the damage to the roots sets them back enough that you might as well call them 1 year old vines when you get them. So buying an older vine doesn't get you any earlier production from them. I was gifted a vine that I had removed for a vineyard so they...
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