Amelioration, must adjustments, and pitching yeast

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distancerunner

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In the past we've worked with Central Valley and Lodi grapes. We bought some Mettler grapes last fall to add to the Lodi grapes. In the spring, the grapes from Chile were gorgeous. Both were very easy to work with by comparison. So we decided to take the plunge and buy Lanza Vineyard grapes from CFP.

The grapes are much higher brix than we're used to dealing with. The Sangiovese is at 27 and the Merlot is 25, Even the Cab Sauv is at 21. I'm not a fan of rocket fuel. Besides, high alcohol wines are hard to balance. (And can affect my balance, too.)

Some stats:

Sangiovese27.2 brixpH 3.78TA 4.8136L must
Merlot 25 brixpH 3.96TA 4.9150L must
Cab Sauv21 brixpH 3.91TA 3.016.5L must


After cold soaking for three days and puzzling over what to do about these numbers it was time to act. I fed the numbers into Fermcalc. These are the results:

Our targets for the Sangiovese are 21 brix, pH 3.4, and TA 6. After cranking it through we added 254g of tartaric acid to 26L of water. That brought the must to pH 3.47. TA is roughly 6.

Our targets for the Merlot are 23 brix, pH 3.4, and TA of 8. Added 350g of tartaric acid to 8L of water. TA is close. pH is 3.57. Still okay.

Our targets for the Cab Sauv are 21 brix, pH 3.4, and TA of 7. Added 50g of tartaric to the must. TA is close. pH is 3.42.

Each got a proper dose of FT Rouge and Opti-Red. Inoculated with 1L starters of Avante yeast that were begun twenty four hours before. We plan to dose with Fermaid O at the one third sugar break.

Amelioration is way outside of my comfort zone. I've never had to do it before. I hope that I've done this right.

We also got one lug of Cabernet Franc. When I pitched the yeast a cap was formed. There was a slight odor of ethyl acetate. I'm hoping that the Avante will take care of that, too.
 
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Juniper Hill

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Looks good. You can consider a 10% Saignee on the Cab Franc and Sangiovese if you like rose. Will help prevent watering down of the flavours of your reds. Remember to add extra nutrient when ameliorating with water.
 

distancerunner

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Saignee is a good idea. We may pull some juice this afternoon.

The ethyl acetate odor appears to be tamped down a bit this morning. Just a little bit of fruit is the aroma. It's only been twelve hours since pitching the yeast. Maybe the Avanti is killing off the bad guys.
 
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