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2nd year making Wine

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GreenEnvy22

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Hi all,
This is my 2nd year making wine from the Muscat vines in our backyard. Last years (http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=578580) turned out great! we love it.

This year has been a much hotter and drier summer in our region. I was already expecting less of a harvest because I could see there were less bunches in the spring.

The grapes this year are way sweeter than last year. Last year they were at 16 brix when we harvested, and we sweetened them upto 18.5. I wanted to wait longer but they were falling off the vines so had to pick.

This year they were at 21, so don't need any sweetening.

The downside though is that while we got about 75 L of juice last year, this year we only got around 25 L. I think last year the vines were overloaded and exhausted so this year less of a crop. I'd like to try to stabilize it around 50 L of juice per year.

Anyway, pressed last week, SG at about 1090, added some kmeta, DAP, and fermaid, and K1-1116 yeast. I raided the acidity a bit too, it was reading about 0.4g/L, bumped it up to 6.5. (last year it was over 9) After about 60 hours it took off like crazy. I had put a solid lid on the bucket with an airlock because of the number of fruit flies around, and it totally filled up the airlock and spilled onto the lid. This is the first time I used a crusher as well.

This morning it's all died down, and SG is at about 996. Everything seems good so far.
Now I'm awaiting a few hundred pounds of Dornfelder grapes to be dropped off so I can press those. Most of it we make like a white, pressing immediately, but this year I'll do 1/3 of it like a red (never done a real red).

We also have about 10 Riesling vines that are now 2 years old. They produced some fruit, but not enough to bother making wine. I haven't picked those yet. I may keep the juice for sweetening or making jelly or just juice for the kids.

We also planted 4 different table grape varieties (1 vine each) this summer, so in a couple of years may have some of those (and the kids can stop picking at my Muscat!).

Some pics below. Compare the amount of grapes to last years link above, huge difference.

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drainsurgeon

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Looks great! Wish I could find a good deal on a press. They are all so expensive! Maybe by next summer. I'll keep watching Craigslist.
 

Scooter68

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Your experience with the change in size and sweetness is exactly what you can expect when the weather is dryer. Your flavor is more intense and the sugar level is higher per pound. You have the same amount of sugar and flavor as last year in reality but with less water content (Smaller grapes) each grape tastes sweeter and weighs less. Same with a lot of fruit and vegetables - on one hand we are dissappointed about the size of the produce but the taste is so much better because it's concentrated.

So no sugar needed and your wine should have more flavor in the end.


In our garden I dread a big rain just when our tomatoes are ripening. They start bursting from all the water pumped up into them by the plant. The trick is hitting that balance like you are looking for. Sounds like that goal of 50 l is about right so you don't have to add sugar and the flavor will be solid. BUT this year's wine should be a knockout on flavor so enjoy.
 
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GreenEnvy22

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Your experience with the change in size and sweetness is exactly what you can expect when the weather is dryer. Your flavor is more intense and the sugar level is higher per pound. You have the same amount of sugar and flavor as last year in reality but with less water content (Smaller grapes) each grape tastes sweeter and weighs less. Same with a lot of fruit and vegetables - on one hand we are dissappointed about the size of the produce but the taste is so much better because it's concentrated.

So no sugar needed and your wine should have more flavor in the end.


In our garden I dread a big rain just when our tomatoes are ripening. They start bursting from all the water pumped up into them by the plant. The trick is hitting that balance like you are looking for. Sounds like that goal of 50 l is about right so you don't have to add sugar and the flavor will be solid. BUT this year's wine should be a knockout on flavor so enjoy.
Yea we dread a big rain too at times, we have lots of tomatoes as well.

Lots of my relatives are in the grape growing business so they also are a bit nervous around big rainfalls or storms this time of year.

My pH meter came in today (lost my old one), at 3.32 which is pretty good I think. It's about 25% less acidic than last years which was 3.20, and was on the more acidic end.
 

Johny99

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Beautiful, and I've never made Muscat but those numbers would make me very happy for a. Nice summer white. Good job!
 

JohnT

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I agree with scooter.. Last year, the grapes were more hydrated and perhaps a little less ripe. This definitely accounts for the difference. Let us know how the end product compares to last year. My guess is that it is going to be much better.
 

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