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  1. tjgaul

    Sorbate & K-meta combined

    I saw this quote in another thread. I just started 2 Eclipse kits (Stags Leap Merlot & Sonoma Pinot Noir). They also came with a combined Sorbate and Sulphite package. Are the manufacturers trying to make things simpler or is there some concern with all of the experienced home winemakers...
  2. tjgaul

    RJ Spagnols RQ 2018 Riesling F-pac

    I just picked up one of the leftover RJS 2018 RQ kits - Virtue German Riesling. It's an 18L kit with 2 smallish F-pacs included, along with QA 23 yeast. The F-pacs are very jelly like which tells me that they are heavy on sugar. I'm leaning toward including part or all of one F-pac in primary...
  3. tjgaul

    Finger Lakes gets another boost in the polls

    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2018/09/21/finger-lakes-best-wine-region/?fbclid=IwAR2ApAIDAKqRSldx31H7JGaOfpzAdjOvThXngpfxYr0Jvcjnp6J793uErV4 I don't know about number one, but certainly a great wine region.
  4. tjgaul

    Keuka Lake Vineyards - 2018 Riesling Pick

    Saturday was the annual volunteer Riesling picking day at Keuka Lake Vineyards (Finger Lakes). Volunteers show up at 9AM to pick grapes all day with a break for a delicious lunch. This year we were fortunate to be part of a fun and enthusiastic crew. The 15 of us picked 2 blocks, somewhere...
  5. tjgaul

    Keuka Lake tour - round 2

    It's our last night camping near Keuka Lake, just a mile or so down the road from Dr. Frank's. Did a similar trip 2 years ago. Here is/ was the itinerary: Monday-Seneca Lake Miles Wine Cellars Hermann Wiemer Shaw Vineyards Tuesday-Keuka Lake Dr Konstantin Frank Heron Hill Keuka Lake...
  6. tjgaul

    Degassing out of primary ?

    Now that I have my new AIO wine pump I have a question about CO2 when transferring out of primary. If you're going to rack out of the primary vessel to a carboy at S.G. 1.000 - 1.010 and want to go totally dry then you would still have some fermentation yet to complete. Does using the AIO for...
  7. tjgaul

    Oak toast levels

    I stopped at the local HBS last night to pick up a few supplies and grabbed a bag of dark toast oak chips. I have never used dark before, just medium and light. I thought it would be a good addition to the toolkit for some bolder reds. The kid (sorry, but anyone under 25 looks like a kid to...
  8. tjgaul

    Blending Different Aged Wines

    Now that I have a little time and experience under my belt I've been experimenting with parsing out batches into small quantities and blending various kits together, along with employing several of JoesWines techniques. In doing so I am often mixing together wines that are a range of ages from...
  9. tjgaul

    WineXpert Hot Nebbiolo Ferment - Any concerns?

    I started a Winexpert Selection (16L) Nebbiolo kit a couple days ago. I am fermenting in my basement, which is quite cool. I substituted RC 212 for the provide EC-1118 (pitched dry), added 1 tblsp nutrient and covered the top with a light cloth to allow it to breath (ie: no airlock yet). I...
  10. tjgaul

    WineXpert To Stir or Not to Stir - before racking

    This is a follow-up to other threads relating to the application of skin pacs directly into the must vs. using the mesh bag provided. I attempted the former last year and had quite the time with the initial racking out of the fermenter. The next couple batches I used the bag. However, after...
  11. tjgaul

    Other Tannin - How much, when, what type?

    I've played with oak (spirals, cubes & chips) and I like what it does for the wine, but my reds are still a bit one dimensional and could use more body and complexity. I'm thinking that some tannin additions might be part of the answer. I have added small amounts of standard tannin powder (see...
  12. tjgaul

    WineXpert Yeast Selection - big red kits

    I'm going to be starting 2 kits soon and I am looking for yeast recommendations, I have an Eclipse Lodi OV Zin kit and a Sommelier Select OV Cab Sauv kit on the shelf and I have open fermenters so it's time to pitch some yeast. Both kits are 18L with skin packs and both came with EC-1118. I'm...
  13. tjgaul

    Other Oak Additions - Need to Boil?

    I'm just wondering if anyone does any preparatory/sanitizing work on their oak before adding it to the wine. When I add extra chips to the primary I just toss them in right from the bag, but when I add them to the secondary I have let them steep in a small amount of boiling water for a few...
  14. tjgaul

    Other Use the Hydrometer

    Last year about this time I made an experimental 3 gal batch. I used Alexanders concentrate - most of a can of zin blush, one can of pinot noir and about 100 ml of gewurztraminer, plus water and sugar to get 3 gal @ 1.084. This was a total guess to see what would happen. Fermented it down to...
  15. tjgaul

    Not so Sweet Afterall

    I bottled up a new batch of DB and last year's Concord from local grapes. Both were 3 gal batches fermented dry and back sweetened to taste. This was the 2nd round for me making DB so I pretty much went with the volume of simple syrup I ended up using the last time. We did some bench tests on...
  16. tjgaul

    RJ Spagnols Age Makes a Difference

    I know this is not news to most of the readers of this site, but WOW, what a difference a little age makes. I just started making kits in May 2016 and it wasn't until my 3rd & 4th batch that I made any reds. In June 2016 I made a California Connoisseur Pinot Noir and a RJS Grand Cru Cabernet...
  17. tjgaul

    Other Haze - Pectic or other?

    I made a conglomeration of one gallon each - Niagara (Welch's 100% White concentrate) - Concord (from grapes) and raspberry. Each wine was fermented separately, degassed and allowed to age 5-7 months. I used super-kleer on the Niagara and it had wispies at both rackings. The 3 were blended...
  18. tjgaul

    New vines - Are these flower clusters?

    I planted a small vineyard this spring. 26 vines in 3 rows. I decided to go with a lot of diversity and see what works. I figure that several of the reds and whites could be readily blended or even co-fermented until I have sufficient volume. The first pic shows the list of what is in the...
  19. tjgaul

    Other Bourbon barrel aged Zin

    Seeking thoughts on an idea. I have tried a few of the bourbon barrel aged Cab Sauvs and Zins and I have found them to be interesting. I don't think I need a case of this, but I thought I might experiment with a gallon. Here's what I was thinking. Take an oak spiral and break off three...
  20. tjgaul

    RJ Spagnols Riesling Tweak Suggestions

    I'll be starting a basic RJS Grand Cru Riesling (style) kit next weekend. My goal is to get a fairly acidic dry Riesling with good bouquet and (hopefully) some minerality. In doing a little research I noticed that some of the Finger Lakes Rieslings that I like best were slow fermented over...
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