Beginner's diary - Shiraz making

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Obelix, Feb 16, 2018.

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  1. Feb 16, 2018 #1

    Obelix

    Obelix

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    Hi,

    My fist batch of wine ever - how exciting.

    I thought I could share the plan with this frum and hopefully be stopped by you guys before I do something stupid.

    My target - 150L of Shiraz.
    (I should mention I'm located in Perth, Western Australia.)

    I got a press and crusher, a brand new 350L VAT, a brand new 200L VCT, 3 x 50L converted beer kegs, sugar level measure, two galvanised buckets, slowly piling bottles for later.
    Grapes pre-ordered - 10 to 12 boxes of 24kg of Swan River Shiraz..

    Yeast - Enoferm Shyrah arrived quickly from , Potasium Metabisulfite , American Oak, Yeast food and protect, plus a straining cloth on order. to arrive on the 19th of Feb.

    My plan is as follows :
    Day 1
    • Morning - Pick the grapes and crush them into a VAT under my carport.
    • Morning - Add the correct amount of Potasium Bisulfite and mix
    • Midday - have a nice lunch with the family and friends and get drunk on my friend's last year's wine ;-)
    • Afternoon - start preparing the yeast
    Day 2
    • Morning Mix the yeast into the VAT
    • Add Enoferm Yeast Food and Protect
    • Add American OAK in
    • Cover the VAT
    • Afternoon - turn the grapes
    Days 3 to 6
    • Twice a day - turn the grapes
    • Measure sugar levels daily - scream for help to this forum if necessary
    Day 7
    • Press the grapes
    • Strain to the VCT - which will be in the house - a bucket at the time I guess...
    Day 7+
    • Monitor fermentation daily
    • Decide what to do when the fermentation stops...
    Are these steps reasonable? What have I missed?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  2. Feb 16, 2018 #2

    Obelix

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    Some issues:
    • The VAT does not have a bottom pipe installed - didn't have time - so I'll address it using buckets.
    • The grapes are maturing fast, and I was told it may be ready as soon as this Sunday (in 2 days) - panic !!!
      Need to sanitise equipment, test the crusher on the VAT, etc.
    • The order from Easter States has been delivered by Forrest Gump apparently on foot.
      Ordered on the 3rd, Australia Post taken it on the 5th of Feb, and won't be here before Monday the 19th.
      This is a problem, as I'll crush the grape on Sunday, and the order contains Bisulfite - hence I need to buy more tomorrow. $20 extra in unnecessary costs.
      The rest (Oak, yeast food etc - could be added later)
     
  3. Feb 16, 2018 #3

    DoctorCAD

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    Let your hydrometer guide you not a calander.
     
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  4. Feb 16, 2018 #4

    Johnd

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    Have you given any thought to measuring pH, TA, and BRIX? If so, you’ll need those tools, as well as the ability to make adjustments to your must. Perhaps the vineyard can run a quick test or two for you......

    This is a red wine, do you plan on MLF? if so, you’ll need MLB and nutrients to conduct that fermentation as well. If your grapes are in good shape, consider skipping the sulfite addition at crush, your yeast will take over, and your MLB will thank you.
     
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  5. Feb 16, 2018 #5

    Obelix

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    Thanks - a good point, need to read up on the levels - better than timing.
    A slight information overload at the moment - reading too many articles.
     
  6. Feb 16, 2018 #6

    Obelix

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    Thanks. - didn't even consider not adding bisulfite - I would rather avoid it if I could. Will monitor the grapes condition upon the picking.

    Not sure I would go too far with the checks - it's all a bit overwhealming at the moment.
    May still get to it as I progress through the process.

    The MLF will depend on the progress - as well as me possibly being dragged away for a few months on a short notice (hopefully not).
    If I find I have time for the MLF, for the learning purpose, I might transfer 50L to a beer keg, place a bunt with a syphon, and do MLF in one keg only.
    The comparison of the results should teach me something for the next year.
    At the moment I don't know what the expressions like "more mouthfull", "more volume", etc. mean in real terms - a difference in the final product test should tell me.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2018 #7

    Obelix

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    Some progress - the pending parcel arrived today (yeast food and protect, oak chips, straining cloth), and installed a bung to the vat.
    Setting up the stands for the VAT and the Variable Capacity Tank (VCT) using pavers , and assembled the VCT bits.

    Plus a bit of a reprieve - the grapes will be picked up on Monday instead of tomorrow - so all going well.
    The grower advised us that two customers already picked their Shiraz, and the grapes are in a gret condition.

    Still have a few concerns :
    Should I buy 10 or 12 boxes to get 150L - with each box containing 22-24 kilograms.
    Will the 350L vat hold 240 - 270 kg f grapes when crushed (volume wise)

    If someone could share their experience with me it would be great.
     
  8. Feb 17, 2018 #8

    Johnd

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    This is not an exact science, as grape yields differ. Had to do some conversions to my normal units, pounds and gallons, but you should be just fine. 270 kg is about 600 lbs, which normally would yield around 60 gallons of must, converting 60 gallons back to liters is 227 L, plenty of room for fermenting / cap management. My yield from must volume to finished wine (after all rankings, clearing, etc.) usually runs in the 65% - 70% range, 65% of 227L is 148L, you appear to be on the right track.
     
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  9. Feb 17, 2018 #9

    Obelix

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    Excellent - thanks a lot John.

    After pressing - I need to fit the liquid into a 200L VCT - I'm sure 227 litres of must will reduce to well under 200 litres.

    Sorry about the units..
    I have a bit of a grasp with the Imperial distance and weight units but still struggle with with the volume.
     
  10. Feb 18, 2018 #10

    Obelix

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    I intent to put the oak chips into the mast and discard before pressing.
    If I put the oak chips into a plastic net - I.E. a potato/onion net liek we find in supermarkets will the plastic react with wine?
     
  11. Feb 18, 2018 #11

    stickman

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    I just throw the oak right into the must during primary, it gets discarded with the skins during pressing and racking. During the primary, use light toast or untoasted oak if you have it; it is more reactive for binding proteins and preserving native tannin.
     
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  12. Feb 18, 2018 #12

    Obelix

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    Great, that's easy.Thanks.
    I presume they will just float on the surface, but will still get a decent soak, as the must is turned daily.
    And, yes, purchased untoasted American Oak.
     
  13. Feb 18, 2018 #13

    Obelix

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    Looking at the yeast nutrient "Fermaid A" in front of me - the label says 10-30grams per hectolitre.
    The spec sheet says 35-40 grams per hectolitre.
    Well, they should make up their mind.

    How to add it ?
    • Should I stagger it every few days - or add all in one go?
    • Together with yeast? Separatelly? Before? After?
    On a different subject, a friend went to the vinyard today and checked the BRIX - 22.5 - seems spot on...
    Definitelly picking the grapes tomorrow morning.
     
  14. Feb 18, 2018 #14

    stickman

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    Here is the product data sheet that explains the nutrient addition rate. Without knowing the starting nutrient content of the must, you can only estimate the addition, which is the reason for rough ranges provided on labels.



    Fermaid Addition Table.png
     
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  15. Feb 18, 2018 #15

    Obelix

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    Thanks Stickman.
    Makes it more clear now.
    I obviously don't have any means to test the YAN levels so will go with 10-20gm.
    The temperature prediction is al in 30C so I've been luckly. Usually, this time of the year we get scorchers in high 30s to 42C.
     
  16. Feb 19, 2018 #16

    REDRUM

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    Good luck Obelix!
    I am scheduled to pick shiraz for this Saturday. Baume is at 13 (i.e. Brix 23.5 or so) and will go up a bit but this week is looking quite warm so hopefully it doesn't spike too much & the acid remains balanced.
    Also getting grenache on the same day ... a later-ripening grape so we'll see!
     
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  17. Feb 19, 2018 #17

    REDRUM

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  18. Feb 19, 2018 #18

    Obelix

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    Redrum - some of my friends are picking their Grenache on Wednesday from the same vinyard.
    30 boxes of Grenache - they'll mix in 5 boxes of Shiraz. The owner said the timing is right, and if they don't pick up soon, they may miss the best of it.
    Let us know how it goes for you.

    I was worried last night as the tropical low kicked in - (a cyclone up North affecting the weather here), and some rain sprinked - but luckily it hasn't really rained.

    Picked the grapes this morning. 12 boxes at 25kg of grapes in each.
    Crushed into the VAT - the machine crushed it in 10 minutes. The level is appx 300L. More than expected. I was actually surprised it fitted.
    The extracted juice shows 23.5 BRIX.

    The grape was drying a bit, but is otherwise looking very healthy. Any grapes with mould on them were cut and left on the ground. Not much of these at all.

    Mixed 2 and half flat teaspoons of Potassium Metabisulfite.
    Also added 125g of American oak chips.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  19. Feb 19, 2018 #19

    Obelix

    Obelix

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    re: Super Syrah
    Thanks Redrum - JohnD already provided it to me via another thread.
    That's a good one. Very educational.
     
  20. Feb 20, 2018 #20

    Obelix

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    Diary continues:
    • Yesterday -
      • Yeast water - 1.5L of tap water placed in a jug so chlorine can evaporate from it before yeast is added tomorrow
    • 20/02
      • Max Temperature expected - 29C
      • Morning Temperature 25C
      • GoFerm – 80 grams dissolved into 1.5L of luke-warm water
      • Enoferm Syrah – 60gm of yeast added to above
      • 15 minutes later – some juice added - left to adjust the temperature
      • Fermaid A – dissolved in 1L of warm water and added to must before yeast
      • Must temperature 22C - Yeast equalised to 24C – added to must
      • Gave it a good mix - cover
      • 4pm - must stirred - obviously fermenting.
        Pretty hard to move the mass - now smells a bit like bread doe :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018

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