Advice for a beginner

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Cibb

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I'm picking out my first juice buckets and grapes for this fall.

I'm intending to start easy and expand as time goes on.

Right now my plan is

Muscat: I'm going to reserve some juice to back sweeten as my wife and I love the sweeter muscato wines.

A 6 gallon Merlot Juice bucket with 1 lug of grapes to add body. My question here is would you ferment seperate or together? I'm intending to do them together but wanted advice.

My next wine I'm torn on. I'd like to do a Pinot Noir juice bucket with a lug of grapes but I've read this wine is picky and some haven't recommended it for new wine makers on various blogs. Is this true? Is it one that's picky?

My other considerations to replace the Pinot would be a Sangiovese or Barbera.

Thanks again for any information.
 

dralarms

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Muscat is good. I'd short a little water instead of shorting juice. You can sweeten once it's finished.

Mellott and pinot noir I'll have to leave to someone else who has more experience with juice buckets.
 

rustbucket

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I can only cite my own experience with a juice bucket Pinot Noir I made during my second year in the hobby. Although, I like Pinot Noir commercial wines, the one I made is no where close in flavor.

My Pinot Noir was made from just the juice, no grapes added for body as you propose. The yeast used was Lalvin BM4X4. No additives were necessary as the vendor assured me that the juice had been balanced for acid and PH at the source. The wine came out highly fruit forward. It is over the top. I'm not found of it but I do drink it from time to time.

Starting out, I think that I would head the advice you received about staying away from Pinot Noir. Attempt it after you've had some experience and understand acid and PH testing and adjustments.
 

Cibb

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Muscat is good. I'd short a little water instead of shorting juice. You can sweeten once it's finished.

Mellott and pinot noir I'll have to leave to someone else who has more experience with juice buckets.
I was thinking of keeping some out to back sweeten. Would you just use wine conditioner and water? I'm curious as to why the use of water is all.
 

Cibb

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I can only cite my own experience with a juice bucket Pinot Noir I made during my second year in the hobby. Although, I like Pinot Noir commercial wines, the one I made is no where close in flavor.

My Pinot Noir was made from just the juice, no grapes added for body as you propose. The yeast used was Lalvin BM4X4. No additives were necessary as the vendor assured me that the juice had been balanced for acid and PH at the source. The wine came out highly fruit forward. It is over the top. I'm not found of it but I do drink it from time to time.

Starting out, I think that I would head the advice you received about staying away from Pinot Noir. Attempt it after you've had some experience and understand acid and PH testing and adjustments.

I think I'll do the sangiovese and I can blend it with the merlot for a few bottles at the end.
 

dralarms

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I was thinking of keeping some out to back sweeten. Would you just use wine conditioner and water? I'm curious as to why the use of water is all.
I don't use wine conditioner at all. I tried it once and it added a nasty taste tommy wine
 

ceeaton

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I was thinking of keeping some out to back sweeten. Would you just use wine conditioner and water? I'm curious as to why the use of water is all.
I think your original idea of keeping some of the juice out (maybe in the refrigerator) and replacing it with some water with sugar added (or a juice that you like) would work just fine. Just remember to stabilize (add Kmeta and some Sorbate) before backsweetening with whatever you decide to use.

As far as the Pinot Noir, I did a juice bucket and a lug of grapes, Spring a year ago (2016), and it is tasting pretty good. It doesn't have the mouthfeel of a heavier wine, but the flavors coming through seem pretty complex for such a young wine (only about 14 months old). Not sure when I will bottle it, but if it improves at all it will be a very drinkable wine. I think you are held hostage to the quality of the juice you get, so the "finicky" nature I think can be applied more to growing the grapes and when to harvest them verses getting a ripe lug of grapes and juice bucket and making a batch of wine.
 
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