Cap is gettin’ a wee bit slooshy and SG is at 1.012. Looks like It’s going to be a Monday night after work pressing the grapes and moving the new wine into glass for next steps. I might be able to get another day of maceration on the skins and press Tuesday evening.
Hope the new NaOH 0.133N arrives in time and I’ll check the merlot juice #’s as well and adjust before pitching it onto the pomace.
Might pick up a kit tomorrow just to have a bit more of something on hand for blending and topping up and a 3rd wine through four buckets of skins on a six gallon kit.
SG was down to 1.010 this afternoon so i’m holding out to press tomorrow night for a little more extraction action. I was expecting it to drop more. Seems like it might have slowed a little. I stick my head in the fermenter and the CO2 bite isn’t as strong either.
We lit an orange candle last night for the harvest moon and the grapes. I have good feelings about this wine.
The pressing went very well last night. I’m estimating 2 six gallon carboys plus maybe a 3gallon one once I rack iff the gross lee’s. I had ordered some AIO accessories including Steve’s racking tube which performed like a champ.
The two Merlot juice buckets went right on top of the pomace and it’s capped as of this morning. Merlot pH was 3.49 and SG of 1.092. No adjustments.
We drank a decanter of the new wine and a decanter of last years pinot and had an interested neighbor give a hand. He might get in on some grapes next order.
Racked off the gross lees after 24h. Only about an inch if heavy sediment. Blended free run and press wine. 200# of calistoga cab sav has netted about 13 gallons to complete any AF and MLF. I’ll wrap a heating pad and keep the fine lees in suspension to keep warm till MLF is done.
Merlot is moving along nicely on the second ferment of these skins.
Not perfect nor lab grade control but the cellar stays a nice chilly temp and this setup with one heating pad shared by two six gallon carboys and a one gallon jug wrapped in reflectix should keep things at a good MLF temp.
Consistent tiny bubbles in the cab sav carboys indicate a strong MLF. I haven't run a paper chromatogram yet and will once airlock activity stops along with TA tests t see where we're at.
AF is done or near done @ FG around 1.000 on the merlot juice this morning so will be pressing that tonight. Expecting just short of 10 gallons merlot after pressing and maybe 9 gallons after racking off the gross lees. That's going to work great in a 6 and 3 gallon carboy with some top up perhaps in a 750.
Other tasks to complete soon or this week are racking some pinot and preparing it for bottling, racking (and maybe blending) a chilean PV and Syrah that's been bulk aging about 18mos and preparing for bottling, racking a chardonnay and a pinot grigio kit off the lees (sur lie'd both of those), and starting another chardonnay bucket.
I've got a neutral barrel that will soon be empty and need to fill with something.
I was concerned about my addition of tartaric acid and potential high TA. Tested this last week and it's very good and smooth. Still have a full carboy that i'll definitely not be blending. I expect there will be plenty of diamonds at next racking.