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Chambourcin Fermentation Advice 2nd Year

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kartracer088

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I am about 1 1/2years into wine making and have made a half a dozen Wineexpert kits, two years of strawberry wine, and now this is the second year of making Chambourcin.

This year's Chambourcin:
Picked 93 lbs of grapes from local vineyard. Destemmed and crushed by hand, yeilded about 10 gallons of must and put into 3 five gallon buckets.

added ½ tsp per gallon of pectic enzyme,
added ¼ tsp per 3.3 gal per bucket of k meta powder
added 1 lb can sugar per 3.3 gallon per bucket to raise the brix from 19.5 brix up to 22 brix.
Lidded with air locks in the basement at 70 degrees F

Let set overnight.

Next day measured:
checked SG at 22 brix, 1.090 SG
pH = 2.79 to 2.99
measured TA = .975%

Primary fermented for 12 days, punching down twice a day. On the 3rd day, a cap was forming and got to 4 or 5 inches thick over the next few days. Towards the last couple of days, the cap as mostly gone, almost nothing on the top. I pressed and racked on the 12th day. Put the 9 gallons into a 3 gallon and a 6 gallon carboy.

measured SG=0.990, pH = 3.30, TA = .975%

Last years batch at this time was
SG=0.990, pH = 3.65, TA = .81%

What is odd to me is that since it has been in the carboys for a couple of weeks, I have seen absolutely no activity on the air locks. I like using the "S" type locks because you can see the pressure building up by the fluid levels, but both have been neutral the whole time. I know the SG indicates full fermentation, but I expected to see some activity.

Is this typical????

Acidity by the numbers is high, by taste I think not so bad, but is very early. I plan on doing a malolactic fermentation again this year. Any thoughts on what I should use and when I should do that????

I use a Yyeast 4007 liquid malolactic culture last year, primarily because it was what the local wine store had and it was cost effective for the size batch of wine.

This has been a great forum to follow, hopefully with some more experience, I will be able to contribute something useful to others as well.
 

cmason1957

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At that sg, you are done fermenting. No more sugar, no activity in the airlock. Besides those things lie all the time and activity there means nothing.

Sounds like it is about time to put the malolactic bacteria in your wine and let it do what it does. Those numbers seem pretty good to me, the ta may be a little bit high, but if you like the taste that is really the more important thing.
 

Boatboy24

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There could CO2 in your wine and that could be throwing your pH reading off.
 
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Stressbaby

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I'm with @cmason1957, I'd pitch the MLB.

AF is done so the only thing you might see in the airlock is either degassing or spontaneous MLF and airlock activity isn't reliable for either.
 

kartracer088

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there is a lot of lees in the bottom of the carboys, should I rack before doing the malolactic fermention?
 

Stressbaby

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there is a lot of lees in the bottom of the carboys, should I rack before doing the malolactic fermention?
I do, but I'm a relative noob and there are many ways to skin the cat.

This year I'm using VP41 but reading about it, I'd think you'll be fine with Yyeast 4007.

I like Chambourcin, I planted 10 vines this past spring. Of the 7 varieties I planted, it is the most stately, handsome vine. I made wine last year from a neighbor's grapes - adjusted preferment pH to 3.5, Montrachet, CH16, oak cubes. I wound up blending in 15% of an uber-fruity Syrah before bottling just to bring the fruit forward a bit. Very nice wine however.
 

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