2018 Nappa Cab Sav

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jburtner

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Hi, I'm making four buckets of 2018 Calistoga Napa Cab Sav from Winegrapesdirect.com this season.
http://winegrapesdirect.com/2018-cabernet-sauvignon-frozen-grape-must-2/

Also ordered two five gallon Merlot juice buckets from Walkers Wine Juice - These will ferment on the CS skins once pressed and use some for bottling, blending, and top-up.
https://walkerswinejuice.com/shop/merlot/

Might do a 3rd skin ferment with a kit wine for something or another but have a little time to decide.

The Cab Sav is listed with these spec's so I'll measure once I've got it thawed and blended but interested in recommendations for adjustments and yeast. I'll need to take stock of additives I have on hand and order anything else I need soonest.

Calistoga Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Brix: 24.7, pH: 3.91, TA: .66


We'll document the process here.

Cheers!
-johann
 

jburtner

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Buckets arrived and are thawing. These will go into a 32g brute which i’ve had soaking in a mixture of star san, kmeta and citric acid for a couple days in anticipation of arrival. These buckets were shipped last friday. Six days in the mail and still not completely thawed. Very nicely packed.

Came with some BDX yeast, go ferm, opti-red, ft rouge, and a mix of light and medium toast cubes. I’ve got VP41 in hand and will co inoculate after lag phase.

Cheers!
-johann
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Johnd

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Buckets arrived and are thawing. These will go into a 32g brute which i’ve had soaking in a mixture of star san, kmeta and citric acid for a couple days in anticipation of arrival. These buckets were shipped last friday. Six days in the mail and still not completely thawed. Very nicely packed.

Came with some BDX yeast, go ferm, opti-red, ft rouge, and a mix of light and medium toast cubes. I’ve got VP41 in hand and will co inoculate after lag phase.

Cheers!
-johann
View attachment 56776 View attachment 56777

Curious to see what your BRIX and pH come in at when you actually measure, looked like you might need a touch of tartaric.

It'll be nice to reuse the skins for your Merlot, plus they'll come with VP41 and yeast already on board!
 

jburtner

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I’m going to take some measurements later tonight and I moved it all into the 32 gallon brute. Hope there’s enough room for the cap. Each bucket also came with 30g of tartaric. Probably pitch yeast tomorrow or Saturday and I’m starting the yeast now so i’ll have a nice colony going. I think I’m going to stick with the supplied BDX.

Merlot juice is ready once I press - maybe next weekend.

Cheers,
Johann
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jburtner

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Tonight brix measures in the area of 24.7 and pH of a 1cup blended and strained must sample is about 4.18. Higher than I was hoping. I’m going to start by adding 60g tartaric and retest as it comes up to temp.

-johann
 

jburtner

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Started the BDX and rehydrated with some go ferm. Added a cup of must juice and they’re loving it. I’ll add another cup of must juice before bed tonight. Also gave the must a dose of scottzyme color pro. It’s about 25*F so having a nice cold soak.

-johann
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jburtner

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After the 60g tartaric addition last night to four buckets of must, A test sample of juice this morning reads pH 4.03. I’m concerned about adding enough to bring it down to the 3.6 range.

-johann
 

stickman

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Frozen must is notoriously difficult to get accurate sugar, acid, and pH numbers. Warming a sample of grapes will not cut it, the must needs to be near fermentation temperature with adequate mixing to blend the entire lot, don't make any significant additions until then.
 

Johnd

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After the 60g tartaric addition last night to four buckets of must, A test sample of juice this morning reads pH 4.03. I’m concerned about adding enough to bring it down to the 3.6 range.

-johann

With a TA of .66, you do need to be a little cautious, as we know, TA is what we perceive in our tasting, not the pH. As @stickman said, make sure your must sample is proper. I prefer to get a well mixed sample, warm it, run it through a blender, strain off all of the solids, and then test for pH and TA. pH should rise and TA should lower through AF and MLF, so you do have a little freeboard there........
 

jburtner

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Thanks guys! Next season I'm considering a larger batch and a larger barrel - maybe shooting for 20 gallons of wine.

I have been mixing the must well as it warms up and taking a sample of about 1 cup berries + juice, blending, straining, and warming up to room temp. The pH readings have been consistent. I have not done a TA test yet.

Once I'm done testing the sample I add the remainder of the sample into the yeast starter which is building the colony over a day or two as the must warms up and cold macerates. Getting the pH down to protect it asap is my goal with the hope that I can get rid of any excess TA throughout the MLF, cold stabilization, and AF.

I added 60 more grams tartaric this morning and it's down to a pH of 3.85 which I think is pretty good at this point. About 45*F earlier this morning.

To 20 gallons of the Cab Sav must I have added 1lbs of french oak chips.

I'll be preparing another sample as the must continues to warm up and mixes.

In addition to MLF I'll be cold stabilizing this winter (and potentially next winter as well) in a section of the winery that get's pretty cold with the weather.

Cheers!
-johann
 

jburtner

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This afternoon my blended and strained sample measures pH of 3.70 and TA of 0.95 g/L. I haven't measured the merlot juice yet but it says Acid: 0.50 so that's my Aces in the hole and I'm going to need a bigger boat...

Cheers!
-johann
 

stickman

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Make sure when you prepare the sample that the grapes and juice have been warmed up before straining. Also be sure any pH testing is done on samples that have been warmed to room temp, if you try testing pH on 45F must it will give a false high reading, possibly .1 or .2 units high.
 

jburtner

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The final acidity measurements were pH 3.74 and TA 0.9

My yeast starter was going quite well so yesterday I mixed it with about 1.5 gallons of must. By evening that bucket was forming a cap so I fed a little fermaid O and late evening pitched the whole thing into the main fermenter. This morning we have a nice firm cap and fed the rest of the first half of the fermaid O regimen.

Preparing MLB now.

Cheers!
-johann
 

Johnd

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Be interesting to see your post AF / MLF numbers, that .9 TA number is a little scary. In years past, I’ve seen those numbers rebound back in the direction of the starting point.
 

jburtner

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Vacation is over so punching down morning and evening. Already dropped 40 SG points and added second round of nutrients. Smells and looks great. Looking forward to the press probably this weekend and starting the merlot.

Cheers!
Johann
 

jburtner

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I realized that my TA titrant solution is probably out of date so I ordered another bottle to retest and confirm TA readings. I know my pH calibration solutions are accurate because I also confirmed with a solution of cream of tarter saturated with distilled water and measured pH 3.56 which is a good test to confirm calibration in the desired range.

Anyone know whether I would get unusually high TA results with old 0.133N NaOH?

Thx,
Johann
 

dmguptill

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NaOH reacts over time with carbon dioxide in the air to generate sodium carbonate, lowering the potency. If the concentration was lower than expected, you'd have thought you titrated more acid than you actually did, which would give a high TA value.
 

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