2019 Harvest Journal

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by Boatboy24, Sep 14, 2019.

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  1. Sep 14, 2019 #1

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

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    Well, we are off and running already, with Virginia white grapes arriving this week. Thanks to @mainshipfred, I got in on some Viognier and Petit Manseng from a local winery.

    The Viognier was harvested, crushed and pressed last Thursday (9/5). Got juice on Tuesday, 9/10. Brix was just about perfect, at 22.9 and pH a surprising 4.01. I added 60g of tartaric to my 6 gallons and will make any further required adjustments after fermentation. I rehydrated BA11 and let it rip on Tuesday night. The following morning, we were off and running. I've done two doses of Fermaid-O since.

    The Petit Manseng was harvested early this Thursday (9/12). We had a little heat wave and Wednesday and Thursday were both well into the 90's with solid humidity. The grapes were crushed, sulfite and got enzymes. We started pressing around 5:30pm. Brix was 26 and pH at 3.1. This one should be interesting, with those numbers. I tasted the 2017 made at this winery a few weeks ago and the notes showed residual sugar of 0.3% and noted it's bright acidity. From 108lbs, I got almost 8 gallons of juice - very happy with that yield. The winemaker had added rice hulls at crush, so I'm sure that helped. First thing Friday morning, I hit 5 gallons with QA23 and the remaining with some BA11. I'll probably combine after primary, depending on container space. Both were fermenting this morning and I gave them the first dose of Fermaid-O.

    CA grapes are due to arrive on the 28th. I'm doing two ~12 gallon field blends this year. The first is Zinfandel/Petit Sirah. The second is Touriga Nacional, Tempranillo and Syrah.
     
  2. Sep 15, 2019 #2

    mainshipfred

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    Jim, unless my math was completely wrong or my pH reading wasn't right I was trying to get the Voignier to 3.65 which is more of an adjustment than I like. At 1 g/l to reduce it by .1 I came up with 81 grams of tartaric and added only 55 grams. When I checked yesterday I got 3.53, you may want to check yours again. I'm also going to bump the brix up to 24 and leave the Petit Manseng as it is.

    As a comparison I used BA 11 and 58W3 on the Viognier and BA 11, QA 23 and VL3 on the Petit Manseng all fermenting in the cooler at 55.

    Yesterday I picked up 3 lugs of Alicante from S and S. Initial readings at crush is brix 21 and pH 3.58 and will check again this morning. Plan on using BDX, AMH and either Clos or Syrah.
     
  3. Sep 15, 2019 #3

    Boatboy24

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    Fred: I calculated the adjustment to 3.6 and don't recall the exact number, but it was approaching 100g of tartaric. I decided to go halfway and added 50g. Upon tasting, it seemed a little flat (though hard to tell with all that sugar still in there). So I added 10 more grams and decided to hope for the best. I didn't mess with the sugar at all.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2019 #4

    Boatboy24

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    Viognier was down to 0.992 tonight, so I racked to a carboy. Something I've never seen before: what appeared to be tartaric acid crystals on the sides of the bucket. A good amount of solids on the bottom. This is my first white wine from grapes and I did add tartaric. Will be interesting to see where the pH ends up, but I'm not certain that a chunk of my acid adjustment didn't end up on the sides and bottom of the fermenter.

    Petit Manseng is chugging along with no issues thus far, aside from quite a bit of foam from both yeasts. Usually that subsides after a day or two, but it persists as of tonight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  5. Sep 18, 2019 #5

    stickman

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    That's not exactly tartaric acid on the sides and bottom, I'm sure you know it's potassium bitartrate, as the alcohol content increases, the solubility of the bitartrate decreases so it precipitates, but it does represent part of your acid addition dropping out. If you were at the magic 3.6 pH then it may still be there, but if you got down to 3.5 preferment then it may have dropped to 3.4 or 3.3 with the precipitation (probably a good thing).
     
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  6. Sep 18, 2019 #6

    whackfol

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    Be careful with your assumption that by adding 1g/L TA the pH will go down by .1. pH is not a linear scale. The total acid measurement is more linear. However, again relating the two in any way other than directional can create trouble.

    If you are going to use pH (and I do also), my experience suggests that you will be well served adding smaller doses and testing along the way. I find I usually need less than I thought. Also, it's a lot easier to add than reduce acid.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2019 #7

    Boatboy24

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    Agree 100%. I usually calculate what I'd need to hit my target, then add half of that.
     
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  8. Sep 19, 2019 #8

    jsbeckton

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    Yes, then for the next step I am usually thanking my lucky stars I only added half!
     
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  9. Sep 20, 2019 #9

    Boatboy24

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    Racked the Petit Manseng just now - it was at 1.000. It tastes excellent. Similar to the Viognier, I had tartrates on the sides of the bucket. Only with this wine, I didn't add any tartaric, since pH was at 3.1. I suspect I'll end up being very glad that I had some drop out. Had a lot of solids and lost about a gallon. Down to 7 for this batch.
     
  10. Oct 3, 2019 #10

    Boatboy24

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    Got the fermenters cleaned up last night. Counting down.
     
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  11. Oct 3, 2019 #11

    mainshipfred

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    Couldn't have asked for better weather for the WW pick up. Grapes delivered Friday, going down to the 40s at night and 60s on Saturday for the pick up.
     
  12. Oct 5, 2019 #12

    Boatboy24

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    Looking forward to it! It's been a long week. I'm going to bed early and will hopefully wake up well rested and ready to go.
     
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  13. Oct 6, 2019 #13

    Boatboy24

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    Successful crush yesterday. The fun continues today with an acid adjustment on the Touriga, along with yeast pitching. IMG_1048.JPG fullsizeoutput_be1.jpeg IMG_1058.JPG IMG_1064.JPG IMG_1063.JPG
     
  14. Oct 6, 2019 #14

    stickman

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    Looks good, I always enjoy seeing photos at crush time.
     
  15. Oct 8, 2019 #15

    Boatboy24

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    Punchdowns started tonight. Added the first dose of Fermaid. Between my own baseball practice and the Nats game, didn't have time to hydrate and pitch the MLB. Will do that tomorrow.
     
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  16. Oct 8, 2019 #16

    mainshipfred

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    Go Nats
     
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  17. Oct 9, 2019 #17

    Boatboy24

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    Caps in full force tonight (especially on the D80 and D254 Touriga). The house smells like a winery! Got the MLB pitched, punched down the caps, and now watching the Caps as I prepare a late dinner. Let's go, Caps!
     
  18. Oct 9, 2019 #18

    sour_grapes

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    Hmmm, you missed working the word "caps/Caps" into one of the sentences in this post. Maybe you need to revise that sentence? :D
     
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  19. Oct 10, 2019 #19

    Boatboy24

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    Second dose of Fermaid added at tonight's punchdown. I also racked the Petite Manseng and Viognier and added sulfite and Lysozyme.
     
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  20. Oct 11, 2019 #20

    Boatboy24

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    Caps on all 4 fermenters are not what they were 48 hours ago, but they still re-form fairly quickly. Still, holding out until Sunday. Parents and at least one of my sisters will be here. Perhaps both and members of their families as well. So I'll have plenty of hands for pressing. Dad is bringing a batch of his "damn, I swear these came straight from Italy" meatballs and sauce. May lose a few bottles that day.
     
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