Blending Suggestion, please...

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crushday

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Looking for a suggestion here. I started at 12 gallon batch of the Hightail Merlot on June 1st. The SG stopped at 1.001. I'm disappointed because I'm certain that it will be too sweet for me. I say this because one of my earliest kits was the LE 2016 Cab Franc. It also has a FG of 1.001 and it is too sweet for my taste. I basically only serve it to those who prefer off-dry reds. I've received strong reviews, though I personally don't like it.

Unless someone out there knows how to remove a bit more sugar from the HT Merlot, I feel like my only other option is blending.

Any suggestions? Help me salvage $300+ worth of wine.
 
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Brian55

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Looking for a suggestion here. I stared at 12 gallon batch of the Hightail Merlot on June 1st. The SG stopped at 1.001. I'm disappointed because I'm certain that will be too sweet for me. I say this because one of my earliest kits was the LE 2016 Cab Franc. It also has a FG of 1.001 and it is too sweet for my taste. I basically only serve it to those who prefer off-dry reds. I've received strong reviews, though I personally don't like it.

Unless someone out there knows how to remove a bit more sugar from the HT Merlot, I feel like my only other option is blending.

Any suggestions? Help me salvage $300+ worth of wine.
Maybe you shouldn't have "stared" at it. You probably made it nervous. :b
 

salcoco

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I would do some bench trials with some alcohol or brandy. not suggesting a port but just a slight blending to remove sweetness. 1/4 cup samples with 1/8 tsp brandy amount might do the trick. blending with a commercial Cabernet would also work.
 

crushday

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I would do some bench trials with some alcohol or brandy. not suggesting a port but just a slight blending to remove sweetness. 1/4 cup samples with 1/8 tsp brandy amount might do the trick. blending with a commercial Cabernet would also work.
Your idea has some serious merit. I'll keep it in mind.
 

jgmann67

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So. A question first: have you done anything to your wine (added sulfites or sorbate)? If the answer is no... then:

June 1st seems like a long time for a fermentation. And by most metrics it is.

But, maybe do a starter yeast with an E1118 or something similar and warm the wine to 75+, see if you could plow through that last little bit of sugar.
 

crushday

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Hi, Jim. No sorbate but K-meta. I'm in a carboy (since August 11) and just did a second racking this morning. Won't touch it again now until January. I have another 6 gallon HT Merlot (started January 19 with Avante yeast) bulk aging that finished at .993. I could technically blend these two together and get a net 12 gallons with a finished gravity of .997. But, that seems a little too sweet too. And, potentially solves only half of my dilemma.

I'm super bummed as this is one of seven batches (nine kits in all) I started all on June 1st. Without exception, I used RC212 as the yeast. This one and a RJS Super Tuscan have a FG 1.001 and 1.000, respectively.

George
 

jgmann67

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Hi, Jim. No sorbate but K-meta. I'm in a carboy (since August 11) and just did a second racking this morning. Won't touch it again now until January. I have another 6 gallon HT Merlot (started January 19 with Avante yeast) bulk aging that finished at .993. I could technically blend these two together and get a net 12 gallons with a finished gravity of .997. But, that seems a little too sweet too. And, potentially solves only half of my dilemma.

I'm super bummed as this is one of seven batches (nine kits in all) I started all on June 1st. Without exception, I used RC212 as the yeast. This one and a RJS Super Tuscan have a FG 1.001 and 1.000, respectively.

George
Worse case, you can do another Merlot and blend 3. If you ferment to 0.990, your overall could get you to about 0.993.

When do you rack from your primary generally (in terms of SG)?

How long is your wine in the primary?
 

crushday

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Worse case, you can do another Merlot and blend 3. If you ferment to 0.990, your overall could get you to about 0.993.

When do you rack from your primary generally (in terms of SG)?

How long is your wine in the primary?
I use FastFerment conicals so primary and secondary are all in the same vessel. I didn't move the wine from the FF from June 1 til August 11.

I will make a couple more Merlot kits and blend. I'll do the same with the Super Tuscan. Experience expands and so does my cellar!
 

crushday

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Have you checked the calibration on your hydrometer of late? Grasping at straws but.....
Yep, I'm certain my measurements are sound. I use Tilt hydrometers and they are all within 1/1000.
 

jgmann67

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I use FastFerment conicals so primary and secondary are all in the same vessel. I didn't move the wine from the FF from June 1 til August 11.

I will make a couple more Merlot kits and blend. I'll do the same with the Super Tuscan. Experience expands and so does my cellar!
There are worse things.
 

Donatelo

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I am no expert, but if it was mine, I'd try to restart the fermentation with E1118 yeast. Perhaps you used too little yeast at the Primary. I packet does 1 to 6 gallons, and I'm not a big fan of the RC212. I have had such good luck with E1118 in several kits of Merlot.
 

NorCal

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Another option is to start another kit, with Avante and step feed in the stuck ferment.

Side note: If 1118 is a hammer, Avante is a sledge hammer. Avante plowed through my brandy enhanced wine, even above 20% abv. It was a freight train that couldn’t be stopped.
 

jgmann67

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In the future (and if you’re moving you’re wine from primary to secondary at 1.03), you might leave your wine in the primary a little while longer. It’s okay if it finishes there.
 

crushday

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Another option is to start another kit, with Avante and step feed in the stuck ferment.

Side note: If 1118 is a hammer, Avante is a sledge hammer. Avante plowed through my brandy enhanced wine, even above 20% abv. It was a freight train that couldn’t be stopped.
NorCal, the HT Merlot kits are sold out everywhere. What would you suggest as a good blending Merlot? WE Stag's Leap, RJS En Primeur Chile Merlot, Cellar Craft Showcase Washington Merlot or Master Vintner Sommelier Select Old Vine Merlot? All have skins and the MV is only 16L. Something else?
 

NorCal

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NorCal, the HT Merlot kits are sold out everywhere. What would you suggest as a good blending Merlot? WE Stag's Leap, RJS En Primeur Chile Merlot, Cellar Craft Showcase Washington Merlot or Master Vintner Sommelier Select Old Vine Merlot? All have skins and the MV is only 16L. Something else?
I have never made a kit, others would be better to recommend.
 

Brian55

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WE makes a 1 gallon Merlot kit, RJS makes a 3 gallon Merlot kit.
 

jgmann67

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I have made the Eclipse Stags Leap a few times and it never disappoints.
 

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