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Ajmassa

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My family has always made wine solely from fresh Californian juice every fall. It's how I learned and all I had known. Yeast, k-meta, and 9-12 months time were the only ingredients we ever used. So tinkering with a few kits this past year has really opened me up to a whole world of new possibilities.
With that being said, Spring harvest orders are being taken and I am probably going to do about three different 6 gallon batches. I'm leaning towards a Chilean Pinot Noir and Carmenere, as well as possibly my 1st all-white with a South African Semillon. I would love to play around with these and try different techniques to make a better final product. But other than additives for adjusting my levels, i'm really too green to just start throwing ingredients into the buckets like a mad scientist without some sort of direction. Thought about oaking the reds in the primary as well as in bulk aging. Adding tannins is another thought. Been researching MLF too. The Semillon I'm clueless but making a rare South African varietal sounds like fun.
Worst case scenario I fall back on our old school technique. But any suggestions, advice, or tips at all would help me. Still not set on which types to make. There's many varietals offered and I wanna have fun with these.
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Decisions decisions decisions.
 

ceeaton

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Yeast, k-meta, and 9-12 months time were the only ingredients we ever used.
....
Worst case scenario I fall back on our old school technique.
Looking at the offerings reminds me of canvassing seed catalogs in December and January to plan the garden, makes for pleasant dreams at night. You have the basics down and they've worked so far, so I'd trust them to work in this new venture. Research here and add a technique every season, and before you know it we'll all be asking you for advice!

I just racked a Chilean Pinot Noir from last Spring. I used a juice bucket and some added grapes in a bag, did an MLF, added some oak and have been racking every 3 months and adding 1/4 tsp Kmeta as I go. Smelled really promising, just wish I could have tasted it...maybe in another 25 days or so (gave up alcohol for 40 days because @JohnT suggested it and I'm a lemming at heart).

Have fun, I look forward to your posts as you make your wines (posting here serves as notes later when our memories fail).
 

JohnT

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Not a lemming, but a

Master of your domain!!!!!


all others shall envy your mighty abilities of self discipline and control!


:spm:spm:spm:spm
 

Ajmassa

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Not even a taste? Your tough man. A taste sounds perfectly justified to me. You gotta know what's doin don't ya? That's some will-power. More power to ya!
MLF sounds like something I'll be attempting soon. Possibly with one of these spring harvest batches. Without ever attempting though it does seem slightly complicated. But all signs and research point to MLF on juice batch = better wine. Every time.
Oaking yes. and a possible grape pack (maybe even from a different varietal! Livin on the wild side. Nikki sixx and Tommy lee may have toured the world drunk and high, but have they ever added a Cab Sauv grape pack to Sangiovese primary? I doubt it)
 
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ceeaton

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Not even a taste? Your tough man. A taste sounds perfectly justified to me. You gotta know what's doin don't ya? That's some will-power. More power to ya!
MLF sounds like something I'll be attempting soon. Possibly with one of these spring harvest batches. Without ever attempting though it does seem slightly complicated. But all signs and research point to MLF on juice batch = better wine. Every time.
Oaking yes. and a possible grape pack (maybe even from a different varietal! Livin on the wild side. Nikki sixx and Tommy lee may have toured the world drunk and high, but have they ever added a Cab Sauv grape pack to Sangiovese primary? I doubt it)
I'm not tough, it is just my desire to last longer than my wife, competition is everything!

MLF is easy. Buy it, add it. Now it's nice to have a way to test that it's done, but some here just wait for the tiny bubbles to end and taste until it softens up, then wait a month. Plus the test kit can be used a gazillion times and is less than $75 from PI Wines.
 

Stevelaz

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What Mlf do you prefer? Im also looking into adding it to my Chilean juice this year. I was thinking of using the white labs...
 

heatherd

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My family has always made wine solely from fresh Californian juice every fall. It's how I learned and all I had known. Yeast, k-meta, and 9-12 months time were the only ingredients we ever used. So tinkering with a few kits this past year has really opened me up to a whole world of new possibilities.
With that being said, Spring harvest orders are being taken and I am probably going to do about three different 6 gallon batches. I'm leaning towards a Chilean Pinot Noir and Carmenere, as well as possibly my 1st all-white with a South African Semillon. I would love to play around with these and try different techniques to make a better final product. But other than additives for adjusting my levels, i'm really too green to just start throwing ingredients into the buckets like a mad scientist without some sort of direction. Thought about oaking the reds in the primary as well as in bulk aging. Adding tannins is another thought. Been researching MLF too. The Semillon I'm clueless but making a rare South African varietal sounds like fun.
Worst case scenario I fall back on our old school technique. But any suggestions, advice, or tips at all would help me. Still not set on which types to make. There's many varietals offered and I wanna have fun with these.
View attachment 34705
Decisions decisions decisions.
I have made a couple Chenin Blancs and they are delightful. That said, Semillon is popular in France: http://winefolly.com/review/have-you-heard-of-semillon-the-3rd-most-important-french-white-wine/
 

heatherd

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@Stevelaz I generally use the VP-41 because it has been super reliable for me over several years.
 

ceeaton

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What Mlf do you prefer? Im also looking into adding it to my Chilean juice this year. I was thinking of using the white labs...
I've used VP41, CH35 and CH16, all successfully. Never tried the White Labs, though I do use their product for my beer making ventures and have had much success over the years.
 

Ajmassa

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Stevelaz

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@Stevelaz I generally use the VP-41 because it has been super reliable for me over several years.
Thanks, Ive been looking at that one too. it seems to be the favorite here.

Since we are on the subject how would you distribute it to your wine for smaller batch. The smallest package of vp-41 is for 66 gallons of wine. I will probably be doing 4 buckets of Chilean Merlot this year, so 24 gallons. I will be doing the primary in one large barrel. I will then transfer to a 15 gallon demijohn, a 6 gallon carboy and the rest in a 3 gallon carboy. How exactly should i add the vp-41 to the wine? I read somewhere that you can never ad to much but you can add to little, but not sure if i should add the whole package to 24 gallons? Thanks!
 

Ajmassa

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Well to keep the MLF convo goin I have another question. Everything discussed with Maleolactic seems to revolve around fresh juice wine. Has anyone ever done an MLF in a kit???
It seems like it could be very beneficial. And could produce an overall better product no?
I ask because I'm day 4 into a new kit primary. It's the LE Sauv Blanc Rosè discussed in a different thread. Any thoughts on this? Or Is there a valid obvious reason as to why one should NOT do MLF in kits?
 

Stevelaz

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I only have one kit under my belt. But from what i have read is that you should NOT do anything extra with it because it is already balanced to give you a good wine at the time frame they say. The only thing different from the directions is aging it longer which i am doing. Like i said, im no expert so id like to here what more experienced kit makers say....
 

Ajmassa

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The only thing different from the directions is aging it longer which i am doing.
Which I'm surprised they do. 6 weeks is kinda crazy to me. It will taste young every time. Which means it's not ready to bottle. ALWAYS Age longer.
I thought adding Malo ferm would actually help out with that possibly. And give the wine a more mature taste and nose earlier than it would without MLF.
 

Stevelaz

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Yes, use the entire package. I might add it to your fermenting bucket a day or two before you rack, mix it in really well and you should be good to go.
Thanks for the advise! Thats kinda what i was thinking, adding it to the bulk before transferring to the smaller vessels. Except, wouldn't it be a good idea to rack it of the first lees before adding mlf??
 

Tnuscan

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Many times folks ask about why no Mlf in kits. I read this on Facebook a week or so ago from non other than the Godfather of kits Tim Vandergrift :

That is an excellent question, Tim Hawley!

The answer lies in the reason why MLF is conducted. Foremost, it's to reduce malic acid content: the bacteria convert it into lactic acid. Diacetyl is a (usually welcome) side effect.

Wine kits are already stabilised and acid balanced. Reducing their acidity will not improve them in any way--not ever.

In addition. whenever a kit is low in acid, malic is the acid of choice for additions. Unlike tartaric it's utterly stable in temperature swings. So if you remove the malic, you're aggressively unbalancing something a winemaker did on purpose.

Mostly moot, however: kits tend to start off less than 3.2 pH, and have minimal solids and bare-bones nutrient levels. You could waste a lot of malolactic culture trying to get one going, and never succeed.
@cmason1957 Hope you don't mind, just think this is a great post.
 

zadvocate

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Additives for Brehm buckets

I am getting Merlot Chilean grapes and Chardonnay bucket. In addition to the MLF, you might want to try this and it is really reasonable. there is one for red and one for whites. The amounts should be the same for any white frozen or fresh bucket (no skins so same amountjuice). I am buying one of these for my chardonnay bucket. I already have the ingredients for the red pack.

https://morewinemaking.com/products/additive-pack-brehm-frozen-fruit-whites.html

RED
https://morewinemaking.com/products/additive-pack-brehm-frozen-fruit-reds.html
 
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