Beginner's diary - Shiraz making

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Obelix

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It's great to have that option.
It's possible it takes 4 weeks just to get there.
 

Ajmassa

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Congrats on the Shiraz being a success. I really did enjoy reading along with this thread. Hearing the resident wine critic publicly giving his stamp of approval has gotta feel good too.
Good luck with your Primitivo/Zin.

(I also took Johnd’s suggestion on inoculating mlb right after yeast lag phase and have had 100% MLf success rate in all attempts.)
 

Obelix

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Thanks Aj.
Yes, really appreciate John's feedback. It's easy to be subjective so his feedback is very helpful.
The wine turned out pretty good.
Beginners luck? :)

I was quite lucky with the grapes and the weather. Followed the wine making bible and received a lot of good advice here.
Learned heaps along the way :)

The Malo should arrive by Wednesday when I'lI'll innoculate straight away.
 
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Johnd

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The wine turned out pretty good.
Beginners luck? :)
Luck? Maybe, but I’m betting not. You started with good fruit, and didn’t make any mistakes. Did you hit every decision / option out of the park? Probably not, but who does.... Grapes want to be wine, we just have to guide the process and not screw up what nature has already designed.
 

Obelix

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Thanks for your support John :)
It has been quite intense trying to avoid mistakes.
Should be easier this year, although it's a different grape, also making the Rose :)
 

heatherd

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I think I’d only try it if I could get fresh fruit or frozen must, gotta get the skins and all.........
I bought two buckets of chenin blanc juice and one Cab juice bucket that I paired with frozen must for a two-continent cab. They're still clearing....
 

Obelix

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So a frozen must. I was wondering how it arrives from afar. Makes sense.
 

Obelix

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A bit of panic...today was 35C, measured 30C under the carport where the vat is.
Brix dropped from 18 to 11 in a day.

The panic is due to the next few days being 36-40 C.
Friday will be 34 before it goes back to 40s so I' ll target Friday to press.
Given how quickly the BRIX is dropping have no doubt it will be zero by then but how to survive the heat of the next few days.
Will freeze a few containers with water to help cool the mass.

My luck seem to be running out. ..
 
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Johnd

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A bit of panic...today was 35C, measured 30C under the carport where the vat is.
Brix dropped from 18 to 11 in a day.

The panic is due to the next few days being 36-40 C.
Friday will be 34 before it goes back to 40s so I' ll target Friday to press.
Given how quickly the BRIX is dropping have no doubt it will be zero by then but how to survive the heat of the next few days.
Will freeze a few containers with water to help cool the mass.

My luck seem to be running out. ..
Yup, that's too hot. I live in an area similar in temps to yours, very hot, and as a result, ferment in large containers in my home with air conditioning. See if you can find some dry ice to cram in there to cool it down, too much higher and you could start to develop H2S problems, yeast death, mlb death, none of which you want. Wrap the vat in a wet towel and blow fans across it, punch down frequently to release heat through the cap, circulate cool water through a food grade tubing coil submersed in the must, all good options to help.
 

Obelix

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I'm envious John - It would be nice to have a shaded/air-conditioned garage... sigh...
When you say "food grade tubbing coil" - what is this? Copper tube? Plastic wouldn't dissipate heat well.

36C just now, 30C under cover, the must is 30C. 38C expected tomorrow.

Must temperature is 30C - bearable, but risky. I dropped in three frozen bottles of 1.5L each this morning. They got thawed in a few hours.
High temperatures are pushing the Brix down quickly. Brix was 11 last night and 4 this morning. As a comparison, the Rose , which is fermenting in the house went from 11 to 9 Brix overnignt.
The VP41 went in yesterday morning, and I have no idea if it will survive. Have another pinch in the fridge, and will add it in after pressing. The ph till shows 3.4 - but there would be no reason to go up any time soon.

The maceration is finally happening properly. The skins are collapsing and the cap is much easier to turn. It would be great to leave it on the skins for another 3-4 days, but better to salvage what I can.
So - maintain the temperature today, and press it tomorrow early morning.
I'll press it hard to extract tannin, but I don't think it will get the "depth" of a good quality Zin without sitting on the skins 3-4 days longer...but lessons learned...

The must is very red - as opposed to purple colour of Shiraz I had last year.
The origin of Primitivo and Zinfandel is from my home region in Croatia where this vine is called "Crljenac" .
Crljenac is not a dictionary term, but a local slang for something that is of a clay-reddish colour.
I now understand why, the must is very pink-red in colour.
Wonder what will be the final colour. All the "Crljenac" vines in my home region are intensely dark, slightly brownish. But not red.
 

Slappy

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Sorry to be off topic Obelix but how did you go about shipping a bottle to Johnd in the states? I was going to ship some wine to a friend there and another forum member but could not find a way to send it. Can you please let me know.
 

Obelix

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Sorry to be off topic Obelix but how did you go about shipping a bottle to Johnd in the states? I was going to ship some wine to a friend there and another forum member but could not find a way to send it. Can you please let me know.
Will PM you.
 

sour_grapes

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When you say "food grade tubbing coil" - what is this? Copper tube? Plastic wouldn't dissipate heat well.
No, no, do not use copper. The must is very acidic, and could dissolve unhealthy amounts of copper into your wine. I am pretty sure that when John said "food grade," he was intentionally signalling NOT to use copper.

I agree, plastic won't be a super-efficient conductor of heat, but it will get the job done.
 

Johnd

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No, no, do not use copper. The must is very acidic, and could dissolve unhealthy amounts of copper into your wine. I am pretty sure that when John said "food grade," he was intentionally signalling NOT to use copper.

I agree, plastic won't be a super-efficient conductor of heat, but it will get the job done.
Yes, sour_grapes hit it perfectly, definitely do not use copper. Stainless tubing, or food grade plastic.

I don’t ferment in an air conditioned garage, I do it in my house in 50 gallon food grade trash cans on wheels. Crush / destem outside into the cans, roll them in for fermenting, back out a week later (or so) for pressing. Wine comes back into the house in carboys to finish MLF at 75F, then into the wine room at 55 for a couple months before barreling.
 
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Obelix

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OK - will stay away from copper. Thans.
I'll ask my wife's uncle if he could make me a stainless steel coil for the next year. It's over for this year.
Today was hot, but I managed to keep it at 30C and under.The must finished the day at 1 Brix. Everything seems well and active.
I can breathe again :)

Tried the wine - it's tasty- a bit more acidic than desired but that should be addressed by the MLF.
Ideally, I would keep the must going for another day, but pushing towards 40 tomorrow so an early start for me and my wife to press the wine.

Now, I carry 1 bucket at the time between the carport and the back room - about 12-15 times, and dump it directly into the VCT.

Your method John seems safer but quite laborious.
My backroom is around 3.5m x 2.8m. It is also a storage for my fishing gear, windsurfing gear, camping gear.My wife even cramped a single bed vertically against the wall.
I added two VCTs, one 200L food grade plastic container, one 30L plastic brewing container, 70 bottles, 5 flagons, 2 buckets...a few stools, 3 beer kegs...
No chance in hell to be able to do it like you do.
Not much room left to move - and I'll have to rake the VCT in three days - in that space. After everything is done, my 300L VAT goes in too :)
 

REDRUM

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Got that. I actually thought you were talking about South America.
South Australia is the largest wine region in Australia, and I'm not sure if the grapes are ready at the same time. Redrum may advise if he gets s chance to read this.

Still, definitely early. In Dalmatia (South Croatia) it would be ready a full month later.
In McLaren Vale (the region I'm most familiar with in SA) their harvest officially kicks off tomorrow, but some grapes (esp some white varieties) would have been picked already.
Don't know about Primitivo - I am trying to get my hands on some so your post has prompted me to try to get onto that ASAP!
Shiraz is a little while away - possibly 3-4 weeks.

Also, I can vouch for the quality of your shiraz... great wine. :dg

Here in Aus biosecurity regulations are a big thing (for example, SA and WA are along with Chile some of the biggest grape growing regions to have avoided phylloxera) so we don't usually move grapes between jurisdictions .... so it always surprises me on this forum to read about people just casually ordering grapes from all over the world!
 

Obelix

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Cheers Redroom. Appreciate your nice words. I liked your wine too. Very nicely done. We all liked it here.
Well, not sure about your area, this Primitivo I got on Saturday, some people got theirs a week before me.
It's amazing to get it this early.
 
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