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Black Spanish wine - high pH, tastes sour after fermentation

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zaismas

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Hi all,

(Sorry this is long!) First year in making wine. We used our own Black Spanish grapes grown in our little vineyard. Because we have so few plants, I froze the grapes immediately after harvesting. We did this for a few years and finally this year, we made the attempt to make wine!
The Brix was only 18 so I had to dilute with water and add sugar. I carefully followed the instructions in Home Winemaking Step by Step by Jon Iverson and Techniques in Home Winemaking by Daniel Pambianchi. I had my husband check my math as well. So we ended up with SG of 1.080 with Brix ~19. I added a Campden tablet and waited overnight then I added Montrachet yeast with nutrient. (I ordered a equipment kit from Midwest Supplies and that is what it came with).
Fermentation started that evening and then was very vigorous for about 3 days. I stirred it daily - the juice was very darkly colored from the frozen grapes so I did not soak on the skins. When I checked, the SG was down to -0.099. It looks like it will be a nice Rose´ - not as dark as I originally thought. I didn't smell any sulfur but when I tasted it, the wine was VERY sour! I could taste the yeast some, but the sourness was overpowering. But it doesn't really taste like vinegar. Today I checked the pH and it is about 3.7 (best I can tell with the test strip).
Thanks for reading this far! My questions are: What do I do now? Is there a way to further sweeten it? My husband would like to make some into a Port but I can't see it working well when it is so sour. Is there any way to save this wine?
On a good note, my Blanc du Bois came out fantastic and I think it will be a very good wine!

Thanks in advance for any advice!
:?
 

Julie

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Hi zaismas,

Welcome to WineMakingTalk. Your wine is tasting sour because the yeast has converted all the sugar to alcohol. What is your hydrometer reading right now? You should have left the grapes on for a few days, this would have given you a better color.

How big of a batch is this? You need to add k-meta and sorbate then you can backsweeten a little to take the edge off the sourness. We have a tutorial section that I think you would find very beneficial.
 

zaismas

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Julie, thanks so much for the response! I've got around 5 gallons. At this point, I'm less worried about the color & more worried about the taste. The most recent hydrometer reading was -0.099 so I believe primary fermentation has completed more or less successfully.
 
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sour_grapes

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It cannot be the reading you report. I am guessing your hydrometer reading was probably 0.990, but cannot say for sure. Here are a couple of videos that will help learn how to read it. [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty7PAJaBsts"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty7PAJaBsts[/ame]

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPKsYsKlWOc"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPKsYsKlWOc[/ame]
 

ibglowin

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I am thinking you need to practice the 3 P's of wine making. Patience, Patience, Patience. You made wine and not beer. You need to let it rest for a few months and re-taste it. You will be surprised at how much it has settled down and changed. You can always back sweeten it down the road if you want. You will need to pick up some Potassium Sorbate to stabilize it and prevent it from refermenting after you add more sugar.
 

salcoco

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I assume you have pressed the wine from the skins. rack after three days off of the gross lees. add so2, approximately 1/4 tsp for 5 gallons. rack again in three weeks. let sit for about two months and then taste. A sour taste maybe a wine that is to acidic. however with the Ph at 3.7 this does not correlate. as suggested patience and see what it tastes like after a period of aging.
 

zaismas

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Thank you all for the help! I never did well in Math so I was thinking less than 1 is negative... That's why my hubby checks my math! Lol! So the correct final SG is 0.999. I'm certainly willing to wait for it - I was just afraid that it was no good after all of our efforts. Especially since my Blanc du Bois already tastes pretty darn good! I'll rack again in 3 weeks, then wait some more.

The only other concern I have is that my carboys aren't full since these made smaller batches. Can I vacuum out the oxygen well enough or is it better to get better sized carboys?

We've got a 1 liter barrel that we plan on putting some of the Black Spanish into to age for some port. But I'll tackle that in a few months!

Cheers!


Dalia Hunter
 

sour_grapes

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The only other concern I have is that my carboys aren't full since these made smaller batches. Can I vacuum out the oxygen well enough or is it better to get better sized carboys?
"Vacuuming out" won't be good enough. You can get smaller carboys, as you suggest. Other options are to add marbles to the carboy, and/or to use a commercial wine to top off with.
 

zaismas

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I got smaller carboys to let my wine age.


Dalia Hunter
 
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Hi all,

(Sorry this is long!) First year in making wine. We used our own Black Spanish grapes grown in our little vineyard. Because we have so few plants, I froze the grapes immediately after harvesting. We did this for a few years and finally this year, we made the attempt to make wine!
The Brix was only 18 so I had to dilute with water and add sugar. I carefully followed the instructions in Home Winemaking Step by Step by Jon Iverson and Techniques in Home Winemaking by Daniel Pambianchi. I had my husband check my math as well. So we ended up with SG of 1.080 with Brix ~19. I added a Campden tablet and waited overnight then I added Montrachet yeast with nutrient. (I ordered a equipment kit from Midwest Supplies and that is what it came with).
Fermentation started that evening and then was very vigorous for about 3 days. I stirred it daily - the juice was very darkly colored from the frozen grapes so I did not soak on the skins. When I checked, the SG was down to -0.099. It looks like it will be a nice Rose´ - not as dark as I originally thought. I didn't smell any sulfur but when I tasted it, the wine was VERY sour! I could taste the yeast some, but the sourness was overpowering. But it doesn't really taste like vinegar. Today I checked the pH and it is about 3.7 (best I can tell with the test strip).
Thanks for reading this far! My questions are: What do I do now? Is there a way to further sweeten it? My husband would like to make some into a Port but I can't see it working well when it is so sour. Is there any way to save this wine?
On a good note, my Blanc du Bois came out fantastic and I think it will be a very good wine!

Thanks in advance for any advice!
:?
Hey, my wife are talking some about wine making. What state do you live? We are in louisiana
 
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