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Chambourcin wine, next steps, sour taste

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kartracer088

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I am looking for recommendations for next steps before bottling.

TimeLine:
9/28/2016
picked 100 lbs of chambourcin grapes

9/30/2016
Manually destemmed and crushed resulting in 9.5 Gallons of must, TA =0.75%, BRIX = 20
Added 4.5 oz powered sugar per gallon to raise the Brix
Added pectic enzyme and K-Meta

9/31/2016
Started Primary fermentation with RC212 yeast
fermentation ambient air temp 75degF

10/8/2016
pressed the must resulting in 8.5 gallons
Specific gravity = 0.994
TA = 0.75%

10/18/2016
racked the wine off lees
tasted wine, no sweetness, can taste yeast, Tasted similar to a winexpert Trinity Red blend right after it had feremented.

10/19/2016
measured PH = 3.65
measured SG - .990
measured TA = .81%
Air Temp 70deg F

10/21/2016
innoculated carboys WYeast 4007 liquid malolatic bacteria
Air Temp 70deg F

Rocked carboys every 3 to 4 days throughout Malolactic fermentation.
could see bubbles after rocking up through Mid December.

1/7/2017
Racked wine

1/14/2017
checked free SO2 at 8ppm(Aeration test) Added partial campden tablets.

2/11/2017
checked TA = 0.7%, PH = 3.8

2/18/2017
checked free SO2 at 24ppm(Aeration test)

So now I am looking for reccomendations on how to finish out this process. I plan on adding 3 grams of Sulfite powder to the 8.5 gallons to bring the free SO2 up, but is now also the time to rack it one more time and add a clarifier? I have 2 packs of Super-Kleer K.C. that I could use.

My wife and I tasted the wine. I thought it tasted pretty good for my first try at an Ohio chambourcin, but she thought it tasted kind of sour, and maybe it does. Should I consider back sweetening for off dry?

Should I add any Sorbate? The kits I have made all used this at the time of clarifying.

Since I started this Chambourcin project, I have tasted about half a dozen other local winery's Chambourcin's and have only found one that I really liked. Most tasted a little gamey. Sorry, I am not very good a describing how thing taste.

Would like to hear what you all think:ib
 

Tnuscan

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Looks like a nice course, I would of racked 2 days after pressing, this was probably the reason of the yeast taste. Racking 2 days after gets rid of a lot of the gross but leaves enough for the mlf process.

Maybe split the batch,(meant split a gallon batch) to me, it's a little early to bottle. And letting it bulk age will be the answer for clearing. Again pull out a gallon and do a test.

Might even pull a liter out and add some Tartaric Acid, then cold stabilize for a few weeks. To see what you can lower the pH to.

Other than that looks like you did well, should have some nice wine. Oh and you may wish to add a little, tannin riche extra, or not, it's up to you.

A little oak, and time in bulk, so changes can be easier made, keep an eye on the SO2, it'll need a little attention at that pH.
 
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MisterEd

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Other than oaking I have a hands off approach to letting wine mature. I only rack twice before bottling usually. If you can afford to let it go for 6 months or more in bulk the result should be superior to early bottling.
 

lisanordmann

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I would not add sorbate to your wine since you put it through mlf. The sorbate will give a geranium taste/smell to your wine. It is very early to think about bottling. I would age it for several more months. It should smooth out with some aging.
 

Tnuscan

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At one time I bottled earlier, this forum taught me to bulk a while and this will give you a chance for corrections and/or additional time for dialing it in.
 

Flame145

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I would not add sorbate to your wine since you put it through mlf. The sorbate will give a geranium taste/smell to your wine. It is very early to think about bottling. I would age it for several more months. It should smooth out with some aging.

I agree / never add sorbate to a wine that's been thru ML Fermentation. Let it age. I wouldn't even think about bottling to a least 1 year. Even then after I bottle I still let age at least another year in the bottle at the very minimum.

Its amazing how good a wine can become with some patience and time.
 

Stressbaby

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I will add to the chorus of "NO" to sorbate.

How clear is it? You used powdered sugar which has some cornstarch in it.

Also, maybe I missed it, but do you know whether it finished MLF?
 

kartracer088

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Thanks for all the great input, it is very much appreciated.

I added the metabisulfite to protect the wine. I will continue to monitor this and adjust. I can see that as a bulk age, I am going to lose a little wine, 20ml per test and a few more oz. tasting along the way.

Concerning MLF, I don't have a way to test for completion, but I stopped seeing bubbles from agitating the carboys in late December, and it has been over 3 months, so I am assuming it is complete. I racked it Jan 7 th, 82days after the start. The tempurature ranged from 68 to 75 degrees over that time period. Is it necessary to test if I am going to age in bulk for another 6 months?



The wine, at least what I have been pulling up the top, is as clear as any reds I have seen. The powered sugar I used did not have cornstarch in it, I checked the label on the bag.

I have the batch split up in a 3 gallon, a 5 gallon and a gallon jug. the head space is good in the two large carboys. I purged the head spaces with a 75% Argon/25% CO2 Gas Mix.

I have some american oak chips that I bought at the time I picked the grapes and was thinking of oaking the 3 gallon carboy, and then monitoring the taste. And then the 5 gallon carboy later if I liked it.
How much chips ship I add?

Given the chips are loose, I assume I will need to rack the wine off them after a few weeks.

I have read on the forum that adding oak chips during aging can be unpredictable and some have recommended soaking the chips in vodka before adding them, so I would appreciate any recommendations on this process.

So I won't add the sorbate. I don't plan an back sweetening, it was just a thought of a way to adjust the taste if we didn't like the end result. It will be another 6 months to a year before we know that anyway.

If you didn't use sorbate and you wanted to back sweeten what are the options?
 

Tnuscan

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Sorry bad advice on sorbate (corrected it), do not add sorbate after doing mlf.
 
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Tnuscan

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Thanks for all the great input, it is very much appreciated.

I added the metabisulfite to protect the wine. I will continue to monitor this and adjust. I can see that as a bulk age, I am going to lose a little wine, 20ml per test and a few more oz. tasting along the way.

Concerning MLF, I don't have a way to test for completion, but I stopped seeing bubbles from agitating the carboys in late December, and it has been over 3 months, so I am assuming it is complete. I racked it Jan 7 th, 82days after the start. The tempurature ranged from 68 to 75 degrees over that time period. Is it necessary to test if I am going to age in bulk for another 6 months?



The wine, at least what I have been pulling up the top, is as clear as any reds I have seen. The powered sugar I used did not have cornstarch in it, I checked the label on the bag.

I have the batch split up in a 3 gallon, a 5 gallon and a gallon jug. the head space is good in the two large carboys. I purged the head spaces with a 75% Argon/25% CO2 Gas Mix.

I have some american oak chips that I bought at the time I picked the grapes and was thinking of oaking the 3 gallon carboy, and then monitoring the taste. And then the 5 gallon carboy later if I liked it.
How much chips ship I add?

Given the chips are loose, I assume I will need to rack the wine off them after a few weeks.

I have read on the forum that adding oak chips during aging can be unpredictable and some have recommended soaking the chips in vodka before adding them, so I would appreciate any recommendations on this process.

So I won't add the sorbate. I don't plan an back sweetening, it was just a thought of a way to adjust the taste if we didn't like the end result. It will be another 6 months to a year before we know that anyway.

If you didn't use sorbate and you wanted to back sweeten what are the options?
A man I know does not do mlf and he sweetens his just a tad, other than that I've never drank one that was sweetened.
 

JohnT

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One thing I see is this...

For a PH of 3.8, I recommend maintaining a SO2 level between 49 and 79 PPM.
 

kartracer088

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So I think the Chambourcin taste starts good, but it has a sour finish on the tongue. What might be the cause and what can I do to change it? I don't really want to sweeten it, I prefer a dry wine.
 

Tnuscan

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I wonder if the mlf completed?

When you take your measures (acids) are you making sure the wine is degassed? If so then there might be a few things to try, with a 3.8pH and a 7g/L TA.

1- Do a controlled sample test using Tartaric acid.

2- Do a sample test using tannin riche extra.

3- Mix with a wine that has a lower pH (more acidic pH).

These are my thoughts, I'm not new to making wine, I am new to trouble shooting ,with these unbalanced acids. Maybe someone with more experience will chime in.
 
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kartracer088

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I am kind of new to winemaking, started last year about this time and have made 5 wine expert kits, a wine from fresh strawberries and now this Chambourcin from 100lbs of grapes.

I suppose MLF could still be occuring, but I waited 3 months after I started it, and didn't see any more gassing activity, I have since then sulfited to protect the wine as it ages.

I don't know how you do tests 1 and 2 that you recommended, could you elaborate?

Also, what is the thought process on mixing the wine with a lower pH wine?

I have my chambourcin in 3 different carboys, the smallest of which is a 1 gallon glass jug. So I decided to try cold stabilization on it to see if it made a difference. It has been at 35 degF for the past few days and I will wait a couple more days before I taste it to see if that has had any effect.
 

Tnuscan

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I am kind of new to winemaking, started last year about this time and have made 5 wine expert kits, a wine from fresh strawberries and now this Chambourcin from 100lbs of grapes.

I suppose MLF could still be occuring, but I waited 3 months after I started it, and didn't see any more gassing activity, I have since then sulfited to protect the wine as it ages.

I don't know how you do tests 1 and 2 that you recommended, could you elaborate?

Also, what is the thought process on mixing the wine with a lower pH wine?

I have my chambourcin in 3 different carboys, the smallest of which is a 1 gallon glass jug. So I decided to try cold stabilization on it to see if it made a difference. It has been at 35 degF for the past few days and I will wait a couple more days before I taste it to see if that has had any effect.


Morewine has a lot of info that is probably easier to understand than me.

https://morewinemaking.com/content/manuals

http://morewinemaking.com/public/pdf/benchtrial.pdf


What I use is 50ml samples (5 to 6 wine glasses).

Take 1g of your product, add distilled water to 10ml. Each ml contains 0.1g of product to a liter.

Glass 1 is the control sample , it doesn't get any additions/untouched.

Each glass gets 0.5ml increase 1ml, 1.5ml, 2ml, 2.5ml

What ever you decide as your final, multiply dosage and add to your carboy.

Play it safe, add less than final dossage amount and work slowly towards your goal.
 

Tnuscan

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I had the opposite on my Chambourcin, it was more acidic, the Cynthiana had a higher pH. I think that is what confused me so. lol I've been having to add k-bicarb to my Chambourcin, you will need to add tartaric acid and cold stabilize. To drop your pH which will raise the TA. If you put a gallon in the fridge you will dial it in. You should see lots of little flashy like sparkles it will drop to the bottom and you''ll rack off of the crystals, let warm to room temps, degass sample test. Between acid additions and chilling maybe you can get close to a 3.5 to 3.6 pH and a 6. or 7. TA.

On the tannin (if you even want any) just add very small amounts to the wine and taste a while afterwards. After you get the acids where you want them.

What I meant by blending with a more acidic wine is to bulk age this batch and make a more acidic batch this fall and mix them. It was just a thought. Thats what I wll do with my Muscadine thats very acidic. I don't want to add k-bicarb to it, I'm afraid I will taste it.
 
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Tnuscan

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@kartracer088 I would like to know how the pH and TA changes after you do the CS. Thanks.
 

kartracer088

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After cold stabilization for a week, the sour taste is almost gone. Before, I could taste the sour on the middle of my tongue. That is pretty much gone now.

I will post the TA and pH later this weekend.

I think I am going to add some oak to this test jug and see what that does next.
 

kartracer088

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Before cold stabilization: TA = 0.7%, PH = 3.8
After cold stabilization:TA = 0.58%, PH = 3.95
 

Tnuscan

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I had the opposite on my Chambourcin, it was more acidic, the Cynthiana had a higher pH. I think that is what confused me so. lol I've been having to add k-bicarb to my Chambourcin, you will need to add tartaric acid and cold stabilize. To drop your pH which will raise the TA. If you put a gallon in the fridge you will dial it in. You should see lots of little flashy like sparkles it will drop to the bottom and you''ll rack off of the crystals, let warm to room temps, degass sample test. Between acid additions and chilling maybe you can get close to a 3.5 to 3.6 pH and a 6. or 7. TA.

On the tannin (if you even want any) just add very small amounts to the wine and taste a while afterwards. After you get the acids where you want them.

What I meant by blending with a more acidic wine is to bulk age this batch and make a more acidic batch this fall and mix them. It was just a thought. Thats what I wll do with my Muscadine thats very acidic. I don't want to add k-bicarb to it, I'm afraid I will taste it.
Before cold stabilization: TA = 0.7%, PH = 3.8
After cold stabilization:TA = 0.58%, PH = 3.95
This is why the tartaric acid addition was needed before CS. The pH needs to be lower than 3.6 to lower it, using CS. If it is above 3.6pH it raises the pH.

EDIT: Here is a good article on PH,

https://winemakermag.com/547-phiguring-out-ph
 
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