2019 Cab

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by stickman, Dec 5, 2019.

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  1. Dec 11, 2019 #21

    stickman

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    Yes, those are holes to allow air to be pulled in during draining, you can actually hear the difference if you cover them momentarily while draining.
     
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  2. Dec 12, 2019 #22

    stickman

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    The sg is dropping as expected, 20 brix, cap 72F, wine 64F, tomorrow I'm anticipating the "third day runaway" so I lowered the temp in the garage to 56F for tonight. Added another dose of nutrients. The co2 doesn't appear to be affecting the pH reading very much, was 3.60 and now 3.59; however, the co2 would definitely cause an error on the high side if you conducted a TA titration.


    Drain 3.JPG

    Brix.JPG

    pH.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  3. Dec 12, 2019 #23

    jgmann67

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    What is your plan for an mlf? At this point, I’m guessing it’s either post-AF or not at all (can’t imagine).
     
  4. Dec 12, 2019 #24

    stickman

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    @jgmann67 I've been doing sequential MLF for many years and haven't had any issues with MLF completion, the chromatogram is usually complete in less than a month, and I don't even add MLF nutrients. I'm not sure why MLF seems to go without problems, I speculate that it's due to low use of SO2 and good quality/quantity of nutrients during yeast fermentation, so I'm not complaining, but now that I've said that, this batch will probably have some MLF trouble......
     
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  5. Dec 12, 2019 #25

    stickman

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    Completely drained the cap, those are 6gal pails so maybe 27gal free run, cap at 75F, wine at 65F, 18 brix, so far so good.


    Drain.JPG

    Free Run.JPG

    Cap drained.JPG
     
  6. Dec 12, 2019 #26

    Johnd

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    Looks awesome!! When you press your grapes, I'd love to see what drainage strainer / apparatus you have at the bottom of your fermentation vat that allows the free run to flow so well. Looks a lot faster than vacuum pumping it out with a racking cane and gajillion hole pipe....................
     
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  7. Dec 12, 2019 #27

    jburtner

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    Beautiful! Are you separating the free run at this early stage?

    Cheers,
    johann
     
  8. Dec 12, 2019 #28

    stickman

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    @jburtner no not separating the juice now, it all gets dumped back into the vat, it's just a way of allowing the cap to drain under its own weight.

    @Johnd The whole vat can be drained in a matter of minutes, I do have an internal strainer installed now, but I've also used the vat without it. Without the strainer the outlet will plug up near the end of fermentation, mostly with seeds and some skins that sink, and needs to be reamed out, but even then, once the flow is started the whole vat can be drained. To some extent it depends on how you conduct fermentation, if you really beat up and tear the skins during punch downs, or extend skin contact until the cap falls, then an internal strainer is definitely needed (or the gajillion hole pipe). I made the strainer from the plastic cage of a spent filter cartridge. I'll get a photo of the strainer once everything is drained; it's a little larger but similar to this one I use in the Brutes, something about the shape of the holes resists plugging.

    Strainer[1] - Copy.jpg
     
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  9. Dec 12, 2019 #29
  10. Dec 13, 2019 #30

    stickman

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    Cap is near 81F, wine is at 72F and 13 brix, pH 3.59, drained and returned, added the last remaining dose of nutrients, so now we just hope all ends well.

    IMG_0438.JPG
     
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  11. Dec 13, 2019 #31

    mainshipfred

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    It appears you treat yours as a pump over rather then a punch down. Is that correct?
     
  12. Dec 13, 2019 #32

    stickman

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    @mainshipfred That's generally true depending on what the skins look like, I'll let any whole berries ferment internally for a while, then I'll punch in the later half of the fermentation if the skins hold up well, that's to ensure the skins are mixed well and the juice has been released from any remaining whole berries, if the skins are tough and holding color I'll punch more, I'll go gentle or stop if they start to disintegrate.
     
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  13. Dec 13, 2019 #33

    Ajmassa

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    ^^^ Fully Aware every winemaker has different techniques and desired characteristics that affect decisions —- but for me I just don’t wanna screw anything up while trying to make the best product I’m able to make with my limited means.
    As far as stems go, the small amount that make it through I read can be helpful for a bold wine if they’re brown. My fam would just let it ride with all of em anyway lol. So good with that.
    But as far as whole berries go, assuming we’re talking about big reds, I never knew the protocol. I do standard punchdowns and some batches had a lot of whole berries make it thru crush and punch downs. There’s not much resistance to break this skins really. And I’ll be vigorous as hell in my punches once cap is saturated. But the actual initial punch I’m just shoving it down. The brutes can be 1’ thick so requires some muscle, but with whole grapes buried in that condensed cap doesnt seem like it would break the skin.
    Is it because in later stages the skins are broken down more making this easier to do? Even if I wanted them broken (which I did) how do you punch to do it?
     
  14. Dec 13, 2019 #34

    mainshipfred

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    If I remember correctly pump overs help eliminate the release of the harsher tannins. It's also my understanding the simple act of the grape being removed from the stem is enough for the enzymes and yeast to enter the grape without having to be fully crushed. I do believe you are correct though in the fermentation process weakening the skins perhaps even without enzymes.
     
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  15. Dec 14, 2019 #35

    CDrew

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    This rack and return looks great. Nice going.

    I have to say that the Brehm must looks perfect.

    Curious why the "rack and return" vs a simple punch down?
     
  16. Dec 14, 2019 #36

    Johnd

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    Rack and return is a much gentler process than punching down as there is no mechanical intervention. It doesn’t break down the grapes as readily as punching, typically resulting in a subdued release of tannins and higher preservation of aromatic properties.
     
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  17. Dec 14, 2019 #37

    stickman

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    Currently at 10 brix, cap 81, wine 72. Did a midnight punch, then drained and returned several pails over the top, you can see the difference with many skins completely deflated with some torn apart. I checked the berries that look whole and, at least in this case, they are fermenting on the inside, foamy wine squeezes out from the stem hole.

    Punch.JPG
     
  18. Dec 14, 2019 #38

    stickman

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    Did a mid-day complete drain and return, got about 30gal of free run, allowed the cap to drain for 30 minutes after free run, currently at 7 brix, cap 80F, wine 72F. Taste is good, nothing unusual, as expected the tannin is becoming more noticeable as the sugar content drops.


    free run.JPG

    drained skins.JPG
     
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  19. Dec 15, 2019 #39

    jgmann67

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    Enjoying this thread. That’s some spectacular looking wine.
     
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  20. Dec 16, 2019 #40

    jburtner

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    Very interested in this procedure instead of punching the cap. I've got some Carignan must coming in soon but probably won't be able to implement a drain/filter before this batch is fermented.

    Do you eventually mix the press juice with the free run or do you age and bottle them separately - or it just depends...?

    Cheers!
    -johann
     

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