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A 2020 Cab Franc journey with fellow WMT member

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crushday

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Crushday,
Thanks for the response
1. We will most likely being the same quantity or slightly more next year
2. Red Grapes are fermented
3. The 120 is more than we would like to spend but would work if we save time with reduced press cycles

Sounds like you ran a little over 300 lbs each press cycle how long did it take you to press 1900 lbs?
Just the pressing, 3-4 hours. I was also pressing four varieties so the basket fills were as follows:

1. Petit Verdot (1) [partial 1/2 to capacity]
2. Merlot (1) [partial 4/5 to capacity]
3. Cab Sauv (1) [partial 3/4 to capacity]
4. Cab Franc (3) [This was the only variety that I filled to capacity first two times and 1/2 the third time]

Total day was 8 hours but included set up and clean up.

I asked about white grapes because it would require more pressings to tear through 2700 pounds of whites than fermented reds...

Let me know if you need more info.
 
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mainshipfred

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I was once told or read that you shouldn't partially fill a bladder press. Rather you should partially inflate the bladder so you have full capacity. Did you not find this the case? I don't yet have one and was just wondering.
 

crushday

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I was once told or read that you shouldn't partially fill a bladder press. Rather you should partially inflate the bladder so you have full capacity. Did you not find this the case? I don't yet have one and was just wondering.
I’m actually not following your question. Partially filling the bladder press predetermines that the bladder will partially inflate. I noticed, during each press that was not filled to capacity, that the bladder would touch the side of the cage well before I could notice the effects of the press against the skins.

Can you rephrase the question?
 

DPCellars

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I went through crush, fermentation, and press with ZERO fruit flies. Bought all these traps based upon the onslaught last year. Not a single fruit fly this year. My wife was very happy. :)
 

sour_grapes

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I’m actually not following your question. Partially filling the bladder press predetermines that the bladder will partially inflate. I noticed, during each press that was not filled to capacity, that the bladder would touch the side of the cage well before I could notice the effects of the press against the skins.

Can you rephrase the question?
Not Fred, and never used a bladder press. I think you two are using two different definitions of "partially filled." I think Fred is saying that if you dump a less-than-full load of grapes in, then you will observe the effect you describe, viz., the bladder will touch the side of the cage at the top of the press. I think he is instead suggesting that you partially inflate the bladder, making the empty volume between the bladder and the cage smaller. Then put in the must you have, filling up that space. Now the must will be evenly distributed top to bottom, and your press won't feature the bladder touching the cage prematurely.
 

Boatboy24

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I went through crush, fermentation, and press with ZERO fruit flies. Bought all these traps based upon the onslaught last year. Not a single fruit fly this year. My wife was very happy. :)
You had no fruit flies because you had plenty of traps. If you weren't so well prepared, they would have known and would have reacted accordingly.
 

crushday

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Not Fred, and never used a bladder press. I think you two are using two different definitions of "partially filled." I think Fred is saying that if you dump a less-than-full load of grapes in, then you will observe the effect you describe, viz., the bladder will touch the side of the cage at the top of the press. I think he is instead suggesting that you partially inflate the bladder, making the empty volume between the bladder and the cage smaller. Then put in the must you have, filling up that space. Now the must will be evenly distributed top to bottom, and your press won't feature the bladder touching the cage prematurely.
The way you describe (and Fred) makes more sense. Inherently difficult to judge void of experience, however. Makes sense all the same.

My experience was the top “sqeeze” was radiantly less thick as it moved vertically higher. Didn’t experience any difficulty throughout.

I will also add this little fact. Pre-filling, as to check functionality, resulted in the bag to inflate disproportionately as I observed. To me, that made sense given the pliability of the rubber reservoir and the nature of rubber to expand at the point of least resistance.
 
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crushday

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Looks amazing so far. I'm impressed at the level you've jumped in at (equip and quality of grapes and volume) and the way you're been gathering and using info from some of the experienced people on this forum. Great job all around! Keep up the updates and maybe share comparisons with NorCals progress from same grapes.
Krafty, very kind of you. I seem to remember that you were headed to CA about the same time as me. How did that trip turn out. How’s your fermentation?
 

DPCellars

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You had no fruit flies because you had plenty of traps. If you weren't so well prepared, they would have known and would have reacted accordingly.
The traps are designed to attract and kill with extreme prejudice. My traps were emptier than my pockets after 10 minutes of slot play in Vegas. Baffling to me. Maybe it's all the smoke in the air from all the fires.
 

NorCal

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Nicely done on the barrel carts. What was your total yield on the Cab Franc? How does it taste? Are you going to mlf?
 

crushday

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Nicely done on the barrel carts. What was your total yield on the Cab Franc? How does it taste? Are you going to mlf?
NorCal - already inoculated with CH16.

I was able to get 88 gallons of free run and pressed wine:

300 liters (79.25 gallons) Speidel tank (pictured)
23 liters (6 gallons) PET carboy (pictured)
Two 1 gallon glass jug (pictured)

Tastes amazing already! Can’t wait to try aged in barrel after 18-24 months!!

Glass in background contains Petit Verdot.


6A37DDE4-0B7F-43DB-8A5B-DC4E3BEDC192.jpeg7C2EC6B1-A8E0-4F10-B8C0-1920C12D384D.jpegCC31A803-9ACC-4E6B-BD07-621E8EA023F3.jpeg
 

crushday

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Quick question to the collective. Some info first:

I'm planning on letting MLF run its course until Saturday, October 3rd. I'll run a chromatography test that morning and I'll know the results the next day. If it's done, I'll rack.

Question: Is there any reason I should rack prior to this? You can see from the PET carboy pic, I have some lees residue. This is consistent among all vessels. I don't want to pick up off flavors but I don't want to move the wine prematurely or unnecessarily.

What's going in the barrel is a Bordeaux blend of 39 gallons of Cab Franc, 14 gallons of Livermore Merlot, 4.5 gallons of Livermore Cab and 2.5 gallons of Petit Verdot. I'll mix 4 gallons of the blend for topping up over the next 18-24 months. The rest will be stored 100% varietal.

The remaining CF (49 gallons) will be racked to (1) 26 gallon Speidel and (1) 15 gallon Speidel, (1) 6 gallon carboy.

I can wait until end of the month to rack, right?
 
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Kraffty

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I just finished re-reading the section in More-Wine red guide on MLF and they say DO NOT rack during MLF. and to stir a couple of times a week to suspend the lees as nutrients for the CH16.
 

CDrew

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Unless there is some major funk detected I normally wait until the ML is finished before racking.
I agree. If you're off the gross lees, the fine lees are food for the MLF bacteria. Previously, I've seen MLF done in 2-3 weeks if co-inoculated, so your plan is reasonable. And you'll test first and remove all doubt!
 

NorCal

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Quick question to the collective. Some info first:

I'm planning on letting MLF run its course until Saturday, October 3rd. I'll run a chromatography test that morning and I'll know the results the next day. If it's done, I'll rack.

Question: Is there any reason I should rack prior to this? You can see from the PET carboy pic, I have some lees residue. This is consistent among all vessels. I don't want to pick up off flavors but I don't want to move the wine prematurely or unnecessarily.

What's going in the barrel is a Bordeaux blend of 39 gallons of Cab Franc, 14 gallons of Livermore Merlot, 4.5 gallons of Livermore Cab and 2.5 gallons of Petit Verdot. I'll mix 4 gallons of the blend for topping up over the next 18-24 months. The rest will be stored 100% varietal.

The remaining CF (49 gallons) will be racked to (1) 26 gallon Speidel and (1) 15 gallon Speidel, (1) 6 gallon carboy.

I can wait until end of the month to rack, right?
Hey @crushday, You got a very good yield at 13.6 pounds/gallon. I’m usually at 15-15.5 Sounds like an awesome line-up and a lot of great blending options. I looked at how long it took for my Cab Franc to complete mlf. Over the last 3 years, it was between 6-8 weeks from inoculation. I just let the wine sit (don’t stir) until mlf has completed, but I add acti-ml when I add mlb.
 

crushday

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I just let the wine sit (don’t stir) until mlf has completed, but I add acti-ml when I add mlb.
6-8 weeks... Ok, since I’m in this for the long haul I’m in no particular hurry. Also, in terms of my yield. You were very generous with my quantity. I might owe the HOA a bit more coin...

I’ve only recently become aware of any type of nutrient for the bacteria. I don’t have any on hand and have not ordered any. If I ordered some today, it could be 2-3 weeks before something is delivered. The whole world of merch delivery has been upended... Previous to these recent batches (Merlot, Cab, Petit Verdot and Cab Franc) I’ve had three other batches complete w/o acti-ml or similar adjunct.

I still have tiny bubbles ascending to the surface in all vessels. Is it necessary this time? I can add this to my shopping list in the future and I wonder if I’m too late for this round. What say you?

As an update. All of my SG is down to .995 or .994. I’m happy with the primary fermentation.
 

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