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CDrew

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After a cold start yesterday morning, at 60F, it took 24 hours to really take off. But now it's really going and foam is coming up a bit through the airlock. The must has warmed a bit to 64F. I may have to use a blow off tube system like in beer making. But it looks like a happy fermentation. It got the first feeding of Fermaid O 1gm per gallon. This Allegro yeast looks to be the white wine equivalent of the Avante Yeast. Starts strong and ferments clean.

In other news, the 3rd pail is still MIA. Wine Grapes direct emailed me yesterday on Sunday, that they would replace the missing pail even if it arrives (4 days late!) no problem so pretty good communication overall. Assuming the #3 pail of white wine juice appears soon, I can highly recommend them as a good source. I'll likely double my white grape order for next year assuming I'm not in town when it's time to pick.

WGD also sells a nutrients pack that's premeasured and easy to use. I used everything but the yeast they supplied (QA23). I made an epic starter, which is why I think it took off so fast despite the low temp. EPIC STARTER And they even supply a premeasured Tartaric pack to adjust the pH. I thought that was a nice touch.
 

Ajmassa

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Sounds great. And think when purchasing must through the mail— that tartaric pack/recommendation is somewhat standard. I recently looked into a brehms must purchase and noticed they do this same thing as well. And I agree. It’s a great touch to make sure you make the best wine possible.

curious why you are using Fermaid O. Any specific reason why you went with O?
 

CDrew

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Sounds great. And think when purchasing must through the mail— that tartaric pack/recommendation is somewhat standard. I recently looked into a brehms must purchase and noticed they do this same thing as well. And I agree. It’s a great touch to make sure you make the best wine possible.
curious why you are using Fermaid O. Any specific reason why you went with O?
3 reasons-
1-It's what they sent with the pails
2-It's what I have at home anyway
3-I like it better

Seriously, I feel that it works as well as Fermaid K without causing the real rush of fermentation that you get with Fermaid K. edit: and in warm conditions, I feel the Fermaid O does not cause as much heat build up at peak fermentation. This is just an impression though.

Even so, and despite the cool fermentation, I'm worried when I get home at 1am tonight, there's going to be a mess to clean up!
 
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Ajmassa

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3 reasons-
1-It's what they sent with the pails
2-It's what I have at home anyway
3-I like it better

Seriously, I feel that it works as well as Fermaid K without causing the real rush of fermentation that you get with Fermaid K. edit: and in warm conditions, I feel the Fermaid O does not cause as much heat build up at peak fermentation. This is just an impression though.

Even so, and despite the cool fermentation, I'm worried when I get home at 1am tonight, there's going to be a mess to clean up!
Good ol’ diammonium phosphate isn’t a bad thing though! No need to be so disrespectful towards DAP!

Did those buckets come with a numbers panel including a YAN level btw?
 

ceeaton

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AJ, I think the idea is to use both Fermaid K and O early on and use only O later in the fermentation. The yeast can use the O later on when the alcohol levels and stress on the yeast increase and not leave unnecessary nutrients after fermentation is finished for the nasty things to propagate in your finished wine. Just what I have heard and read before.
 

CDrew

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Good ol’ diammonium phosphate isn’t a bad thing though! No need to be so disrespectful towards DAP!

Did those buckets come with a numbers panel including a YAN level btw?
No YAN value but otherwise have pretty complete chems on the WGD website.

Not at all disrespectful to Fermaid K and I've used it a bunch. I will use again. But if WGD is recommending Fermaid O, and I have no experience with mail order must/juice, I'm willing to go with WGD recommendations/dosing at least the first time out. But like I said, I used up all my Fermaid K this past year but still have enough Fermaid O left for this 15 gallon fermentation.

I'm liking this Allegro yeast too. Dropped Brix 2 points in the first 24 hours after pitching, I'm expecting a big drop tomorrow. Even at 64F is rocking along pretty good. The yeast is rated to 60F, but I think it would go lower just based on what I'm seeing.

Right now I'm following the WGD program. The must is still in the buckets, I drilled a hole in the top to fit an airlock and will move to carboys when I'm at Brix of 12. This AM I stirred briefly for just a bit of O2 exposure, and measured the brix directly in the bucket.

Like I said, this bucket thing is a reasonable option if you can't pick your own, but honestly, next year if at all possible, I'll source locally, it just that the SB harvest always seems to fall when I'm on the annual trip up North. I'm still having fun with it though!
 
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crushday

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Looks like you’re in good shape albeit only at 2/3rds capacity. Too bad... Next year, place your order and I’ll bring it to you when I pick up my CF...
 

CDrew

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Looks like you’re in good shape albeit only at 2/3rds capacity. Too bad... Next year, place your order and I’ll bring it to you when I pick up my CF...
Honestly, I should have ordered more. The must is pretty nice. It tastes fantastic. Good colors and flavors already present before fermentation. But picking the grapes in hand gives you more control. But I'd rather catch Salmon in Alaska then pick Sauvignon Blanc in California, so it is what it is. Next year will be different, for better or worse.

Appreciate the idea, that you can bring it here. I'm still hoping to get some CF with you and @NorCal . Maybe in 2021.
 

CDrew

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The missing 3rd pail of Sauvignon Blanc must has arrived after a sojourn to Salt Lake City. So it traveled from the WGD world headquarters in Oregon, to Sacramento, then from Sacramento to Salt Lake City, then to Reno, then to Roseville, and finally to my doorstep. ANd even though it's clearly marked on every side to keep it upright and fragile, it arrived on it's side with a box that had been repaired at least once. AMazingly the bucket did not leak, which was a shocker. THe juice might be usable, it smells yeasty but not bad or vinegary. WGD was non-committal if I should use the juice or not. Not sure what I'll do but for sure it will stay separate from the other two.

I have to give props to WINE GRAPES DIRECT. I sent them pictures of the wandering must pail and they got back immediately that another would be on the way next week. So I'm very happy with Wine Grapes Direct and think they are a good outfit and will definitely get repeat business from me. Already plotting 2021, especially if @crushday stops in Portland on the way south.D1967AD2-8ECE-4CEA-9330-836706E76839.jpeg57CF445B-CF1E-4FC3-8678-6F1FD2D4D4B4.jpegF2602367-81E1-4A92-A08C-8A2C13B55444.jpeg
 

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stickman

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It's not funny, but it is almost comical how things get treated during shipment, starts out as a nice clean straight sided box with fragile sticker, then you see it at the destination, the cardboard patch, dented and banged up wrinkled box with conveyor belt burn.
 

Ajmassa

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It's not funny, but it is almost comical how things get treated during shipment, starts out as a nice clean straight sided box with fragile sticker, then you see it at the destination, the cardboard patch, dented and banged up wrinkled box with conveyor belt burn.
And to top it off with a shiny red bow—the “This End Up” sticker half ripped up & pointing right -lol. It’s meme worthy tbh
 

winemaker81

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Ferment is separately and see what happens. Things may work out well, and in any case, you've lost nothing but a bit of time.🙂
 

robert81650

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Looks like a great deal,,,,,,I'm like you I would wanted to pick the 3 row left............................
 

CDrew

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Ferment is separately and see what happens. Things may work out well, and in any case, you've lost nothing but a bit of time.🙂
So that's what I'm doing. I was going to toss it (the yeasty smell likely the start of a natural fermentation) but the juice still tasted very good. So I made a double strength Allegro starter (2g yeast per gallon) hoping that the yeast would get going fast and overwhelm whatever natural process was starting. The Allegro yeast is a "killer factor" yeast so hopefully becomes quickly dominant. This strategy seems to be working because it's bubbling away this am, about 14 hours after pitching the yeast, and it smells good too. I set it in the warmest room in the house and it's 67F this morning, so I'll move it to a cooler room today to ferment.

Just an interesting comparison. My first two on time buckets arrived at 37F after 2 days in transit From Portland to Sacramento. So while not frozen, that's still pretty good. There was no evidence of natural activity. The wandering must arrived at 60F, so not as bad as it could have been, but definitely had a slight yeasty smell, though no bulging of the lid or anything. I'm glad has been cool and not hot. The company, Wine Grapes Direct, uses better packaging if the buckets are going further, and supposedly the contents can remain frozen for 5 days, which is enough to get to the East Coast. They show the better packaging here.
 

CDrew

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A minimal update.

To me, it's interesting that that the Sauvignon Blanc is dropping about 4 brix every 24 hours, but the semillon is going about 1/2 that rate. They are about 64F. I have no idea why they would be different. They are literally side by side with the same yeast and the same nutrients. But they are active and going. But Semillon is slower than Sauvignon Blanc. These are the last wines not racked to long term aging. White wine is a different thing and I'm learning. ANd the wandering Sauvignon Blanc is darker than it should be, but it's fermenting OK with no bad smells. I still plan to keep it separate.

But today, I racked the red wines not previously racked. Primitivo (30 gallons plus a residual carboy), Barbera (15 gallons), and Primitivo Rose (10 gallons). So every 2020 red wine is in stainless or HDPE (Intellitanks). I'm trying to get away from glass carboys, but it's difficult for that last little bit.

But the 2020 Primitivo is really good, even now. Funny, it tasted sweet enough I got out the hydrometer, but it's -2 Brix so it's dry despite how it tastes. For about 30 minutes I was thinking "oh shit" that fermentation did not finish, but it did, and it's just the early big fruit taste. But, it's really, really, good. I am super happy with it. I can't wait until 2021 to work with it again. But lots of residual CO2 so did a vacuum rack at high power!
 

David Lewis

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I just ordered from Wine Grapes Direct at @crushday 's recommendation 2 pails of Sauvignon Blanc and 1 pail of Semillion. Going to do a blended fermentation and will use Lysozyme at the end to prevent MLF. Shipping is expensive, almost worth a road trip to Portland!

I'm also going to use another Renaissance yeast-Allegro- which is a white wine yeast but with H2S preventing genes. I had to buy 500gm of it, so I'll use it next year too on Rose and more white wine projects. I was going to try TR-313 but Lodi wine labs does not carry that one.

Here is some info:


View attachment 67536
Hey CDrew.. Maybe we can arrange a swap some time. I drive down from Portland with a bunch of pails. You drive north with a bunch of grapes. We meet in the middle?? 😀

Edit... Nevermind... It looks like @crushday beat me to this offer :)
 
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CDrew

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Two updates.

All the 2020 Red wine has completed MLF and is racked and sulfited. 80+ gallons in a small closet space. It stays right at 60F, though for a couple of weeks might get to 56. Also in there are 2 small carboys of 2019 Primitivo Reserve that I want to bottle around Spring of 2020. It was left over from the main bottling and there's about 9 gallons of it with just a hint of medium oak.

The second update is 5 gallons of the Sauvignon Blanc that WGD sent as a replacement for the one that was a week late, is nearly finished fermenting-brix today was 5 and dropping 3-4 brix per day so I racked it into a 5 gallon carboy so it can finish up and then already be in glass. I'll come back with a pic of that.

I have to say that Wine Grapes Direct really went above and beyond. They shipped a replacement pail without question. I also think that the amount they ship is genius. Instead of shipping 5 gallons, which wouldn't quite fill a 5 gallon carboy at the first rack out of the pail, they ship 5.25 gallons. So at the first rack, it will perfectly fill a 5 gallon carboy with no head space with just a tiny amount of dregs left in the bucket. Nice attention to detail for home winemakers. I'll edit back with a picture that illustrates this.

Also for the last 5 brix, I moved the carboy to a warmer part of the house. I was reading on the Gusmer site, that the Allegro yeast likes just a bit of warmth at the end to finish dry. I've had it at 63F and for the last 5 brix it will be 70F. The room it's in gets a bit of AM sun, so I put an old tee shirt around it to keep it mostly dark and out of the even indirect light.




9E7E5E09-F1A9-4519-A813-BDEBC02862F8.jpegDE0CE248-A33C-4731-8839-8BCF1D92BA2B.jpeg

Why it rotated this image, I do not know, but you get the idea.
 
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