2021 Cab and Merlot vintage begins

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Snafflebit

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The wines race toward the finish line. It is time to reserve a bladder press.

The merlot is tasty but softer than the cabs, even after the acid addition. I think the merlot will blend well with the low-brix cab.

Water addition has not harmed the flavor of the wines, in my opinion. Time will tell how they change in a year.
 
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Snafflebit

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How long is it safe to keep the wine in the primary fermenter on skins before pressing? I would like to wait for the merlot to hit 1.000 SG before pressing, while keeping the other wines "in stasis". I was thinking about wrapping the tops of the fermenters with plastic wrap and putting the lids on, these containers are Huskee trash cans.
 
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stickman

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I'm sure you'll be fine until pressing, you may smell some acetaldehyde( rotten apple), but don't be alarmed, just gently push down on the cap to get some wine to flow on top to keep it wet. A little acetaldehyde is good for young red wine, the color and tannin will react and bind the acetaldehyde which forms on the cap surface. A piece of 6mil poly placed directly on the cap helps if you get nervous, but shouldn't be needed for this short time.
 

Snafflebit

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I'm sure you'll be fine until pressing, you may smell some acetaldehyde( rotten apple), but don't be alarmed, just gently push down on the cap to get some wine to flow on top to keep it wet. A little acetaldehyde is good for young red wine, the color and tannin will react and bind the acetaldehyde which forms on the cap surface. A piece of 6mil poly placed directly on the cap helps if you get nervous, but shouldn't be needed for this short time.
Okay, glad I asked. I did not think of putting wrap on the cap to keep the cap from drying out. Like a variable capacity tank
 

Nebbiolo020

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View attachment 79053
The wines race toward the finish line. It is time to reserve a bladder press.

The merlot is tasty but softer than the cabs, even after the acid addition. I think the merlot will blend well with the low-brix cab.

Water addition has not harmed the flavor of the wines, in my opinion. Time will tell how they change in a year.
Water additions aren’t really scary I work at a winery and due to the brix we have to add 100 gallons of water to our white wine this year.
 

Rice_Guy

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Water additions aren’t really scary I work at a winery and due to the brix we have to add 100 gallons of water to our white wine this year.
@Nebbiolo020 i hope you give a lot of little tidbits like this. My hunch is that there are “ in the instruction book” rules which get broken all the time when one is looking at commercial folks ,,, and why would that choice give the best quality out of three possible directions, :b
 

Nebbiolo020

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@Nebbiolo020 i hope you give a lot of little tidbits like this. My hunch is that there are “ in the instruction book” rules which get broken all the time when one is looking at commercial folks ,,, and why would that choice give the best quality out of three possible directions, :b
I will try to add some helpful information if it can be applied to home winemaking. A lot of commercial winemaking involves trial and error we screw up as well and look for creative new ways to solve problems so I can tell you that we do break supposed rules all the time.
 

Snafflebit

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This is the levels where the wine was pressed. Even the vats of -1° Brix had plenty of carbonation slowly filtering through the cap. I think that pressing could have waited even a week later in a cool place.

Press day is always exciting, and I put everyone to work while I "relaxed" by making sure there were the right size bottles available and records kept of all the free-run vs. press wine.

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IMG_1212.JPEG

It was a pretty good haul of wine for 2021.
 
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CDrew

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I have that same bladder press-it looks like a Speidel 40L. Curious why you elected to not use the inner cloth liner? I've always used, but it's kind of a pain. Is it any more difficult to clean up? If it isn't I may omit the cloth liner next press.

Excellent data reporting!
 

Snafflebit

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good eye. It is a Speidel 40L stainless steel. I rented it and it did not come with a fabric liner but I know what you are talking about. There were no issues with cleaning. A nylon brush gets anything out of the slots but I saw no reason to scrub it. I think the liner helps get the pomace cake out faster.
 
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Maheesh

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I put a regulator on mine and set it to one bar this year, came out nice
 

mainshipfred

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I have the same one as well and have yet to use the bag. If you press slow enough you get very little squirting. I do go to 2 though for the finished wine I want to age. I then take it to 3 and blend them all together in case I run out of topping wine. You really don't get much more going to 3.

Here's my question though, at what point to you consider the bar? If you take it gradually to 2 or 1 1/2 the pressure goes down once the grapes relax. Do you press until the 1 1/2 bar remains constant?
 

CDrew

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Here's my question though, at what point to you consider the bar? If you take it gradually to 2 or 1 1/2 the pressure goes down once the grapes relax. Do you press until the 1 1/2 bar remains constant?
The overpressure safety valve on mine opens at 2.5 so 3 is not a thing.

You can sort of tell. If you open the inlet and it immediately gets to 1.5 and no juice comes out, you're done. I rarely go above 1 and don't get much more going to higher pressures.
 

mainshipfred

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The overpressure safety valve on mine opens at 2.5 so 3 is not a thing.

You can sort of tell. If you open the inlet and it immediately gets to 1.5 and no juice comes out, you're done. I rarely go above 1 and don't get much more going to higher pressures.
Sorry, but still unclear. If I stop the water at 1.5 it will immediately start dropping. If I stop it at 2 it might drop and stop at 1.5. This will be my second using it so I'm still learning.
 

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