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2020 Cab Blend

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Jay A

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Nice. Did you have an opportunity to check ph & brix of each pail as a comparison? Just curious if the process of freezing the must had any effect on numbers.
 

stickman

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@Jay A No I didn't check each pail, it is difficult to get good numbers until the must is fully thawed and mixed, even then the numbers aren't very good because you're only getting what little juice has come out of the berries, and at that point the skin hasn't yet made its contribution. Since I make a starter, it's convenient to get the numbers after the heating and cooling process, otherwise it would be best to sample and do the blending and straining method before testing, or just wait until after the must has soaked a while and approaches fermentation temperature, although any adjustments are better off if made sooner rather than later.
 

Jay A

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Understood Stickman, certainly looks like your off to a great start. Keep the updates coming!
 

stickman

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Just moving along as expected, cap 77F, wine 71F, 5 Brix, pH 3.55, I'm just starting to taste the tannin through the remaining sweetness, I'm reducing the amount of draining and aeration and will taste and adjust as necessary, might be looking to press in a few days, but we'll have to see how things play out.

Drain.JPG

Brix.JPG

Cap.JPG
 

Johnd

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Just moving along as expected, cap 77F, wine 71F, 5 Brix, pH 3.55, I'm just starting to taste the tannin through the remaining sweetness, I'm reducing the amount of draining and aeration and will taste and adjust as necessary, might be looking to press in a few days, but we'll have to see how things play out.

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Loving that color!!! And I swear I can smell it all the way down here in LA!!
 

CDrew

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Just 4.5 days in and you're within sight of the end. Despite the relatively cold temperatures. Very nice.

Do you rack directly into the flex tanks, or is there an intermediate settling step to get it off the gross lees?
 

stickman

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@CDrew I've gone straight to the flex tanks, or more recently into pails with lids snapped on, but I always transfer off of the gross lees, usually no longer than three days.

Yea the fermentation has been going well, I added the starter early Wednesday morning, so really it's been closer to 7 days, you could say 6 days since the cap came up the following day.

@Johnd The aromatics are what's making me think about pressing slightly earlier than what I would normally do with a heavy Cab, not sure yet, tasting every day at this point.
 

CDrew

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You are right there. Very nice. You can press anytime now that's convenient and it will finish off. Looking forward to a Friday report.
 

stickman

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Pressed earlier today as planned, everything went well, got about 30gal free run and 6gal of press. I'll transfer off of the lees in a day or two, and add the CH16 ML culture. The neighbor and I did a little tasting with some crackers cheese and salami, the wine is really nice once the co2 blows off, the fermentation was very clean, it will be interesting to see the evolution after the ML completes.


Drained Cap.JPG

Press.JPG

Glass.JPG

Empty Vat.JPG
 

stickman

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After pressing I let the wine settle for 2 days and then racked it off of the gross lees, and at the same time added a couple of french oak staves and CH16 ML culture. I ended up with one full 30gal flextank and 1 full 5gal carboy. The storage area is at 64F, which is about as cold as this area will get during the winter. At this point, 10 days after culture addition, the ML activity is easily visible.

ML.JPG
 

stickman

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Over the past few days I noticed my cellar cooling unit was starting to cycle for long periods of time, though it was still maintaining the temperature set-point. The unit is now 19yrs old and I figured it's time to install the spare unit I bought "used" back in late 2015. The new unit is a CellarCool and is slightly taller than the old Vintage Keeper, so I had to modify the wall opening accordingly. Since the unit is used, I figured I better open it up and have a look before installation. It turns out the case is riveted together, so to remove the cover I had to drill out the rivets. After cleaning I put the cover back on with small sheet metal screws, but during installation it then dawned on me why they used rivets. The unit is designed to be shoehorned between the standard stud spacing, so the screw heads were just large enough to prevent the unit from fitting between the wall studs. Remember, I'm doing this work by myself, standing on a ladder trying to jam the 81 lb unit into the opening, needless to say no go, I had to remove the front screws, slide the unit in, then put the screws back in. I managed, but WTF, I used tiny #6 sheet metal screws and the heads were still too thick. So far, I'm living and still learning.

Installed Interior.JPG
 

sour_grapes

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Over the past few days I noticed my cellar cooling unit was starting to cycle for long periods of time, though it was still maintaining the temperature set-point. The unit is now 19yrs old and I figured it's time to install the spare unit I bought "used" back in late 2015. The new unit is a CellarCool and is slightly taller than the old Vintage Keeper, so I had to modify the wall opening accordingly. Since the unit is used, I figured I better open it up and have a look before installation. It turns out the case is riveted together, so to remove the cover I had to drill out the rivets. After cleaning I put the cover back on with small sheet metal screws, but during installation it then dawned on me why they used rivets. The unit is designed to be shoehorned between the standard stud spacing, so the screw heads were just large enough to prevent the unit from fitting between the wall studs. Remember, I'm doing this work by myself, standing on a ladder trying to jam the 81 lb unit into the opening, needless to say no go, I had to remove the front screws, slide the unit in, then put the screws back in. I managed, but WTF, I used tiny #6 sheet metal screws and the heads were still too thick. So far, I'm living and still learning.

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I suppose it is too late, but I could lend you my pop rivet gun! :)
 

Ajmassa

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wood studs? Never underestimate a good ok’ heavy 28oz hammer and a break of the wrist to shift the studs.

otherwise - shaving down the studs at the screw head locations woulda been my second option with the multi-tool.
love the multi tool. definitely a game changer. if you don’t have one, then go get one! removing the screws every time to remove/install will get old

Glad you were able to get the job done though. Nothing like working solo on a ladder and holding heavy material when something doesn’t fit. lolFCC54B5B-15B9-472F-B18D-5CEF8343AFFB.jpeg
 

stickman

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@Ajmassa Yep you're right, a multi tool would be nice to have, I have a belt sander and thought about using that to shave the studs, but I was too confident and had already prepared the opening, vapor barrier wrapped, flanged and taped, I was determined to get it into the hole one way or another. I'll get it right on the next maintenance round.

@sour_grapes Thanks, maybe your pop rivet gun and some aluminum rivets would be easier to drill out, the original rivets were steel no less.
 
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