Easing into grapes

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jgmann67

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I vote stay the course - ferment to dry and appreciate Mrs B’s willingness to pitch in.
 
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CDrew

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I agree with everyone else. Let your wife do the punchdowns. Let it ferment close to dry. I usually press at -0- Brix and let it do the last little bit

An encouraging story-I had a similar thing last year, where I had to be away 2 days with two 25 gallon ferments in progress. And, I asked that in between each individual ferment, she had to resterilize just to reduce the risk of cross contamination. In the end she did a great job, and enjoyed it enough that this year she asked to do the mid day punch downs while I was at work. Figure the more they invest in the process, the more supportive they will be.
 

crushday

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Update: I pressed the skins this morning. Specific gravity measured at .993. Mrs. B did great. I had six gallons of free run wine and 1.25 gallons of pressed wine. I decided to add the pressed wine to the free run. I know others try to keep those separate but I didn't taste a significant difference between the two so I mixed them. I have it under air lock to complete fermentation and MLF.

Following the plan, I also started the three WE LE19 Tempranillo kits and added four cups of pomace to each. They are already fermenting. I assume the VRB yeast from the Brehm is still active. I was going to use VRB anyway. Also, I realized after including the pomace that I'm inadvertently introducing the CH16 bacteria too. Some regret about that right now. I'm hoping that I didn't just start what will become "flabby" Tempranillo.

I also started 18 gallons of MM All-Juice Masters Cab and 18 gallons of WE Lodi Cab, both inoculated with Avante yeast. Both had skins and oak chips. MM provided light toast and WE provided medium toast.

Here are some pics from the "press"...

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CDrew

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Outstanding. Color extraction looks great. I agree about combining press and free run, especially at this volume.

Where did you get that nice stainless funnel?
 

Johnd

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You shouldn’t worry too much about the MLB in the skins, I’ve done it with no ill effects at all. Just make sure to remember that you can’t use any sorbate. If you do feel like the wine is lacking some acidity, it’s easy enough to do taste trials and add a little tartaric to the party....
 

CDrew

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I purchased the funnel at my LHBS... I actually have three of them. PM your address and I'll mail you one.
That's a very kind offer but I found one on Amazon for small $$. But really, I appreciate it.

Looking forward to further updates!
 

crushday

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Update: I’ll be moving the Brehm batch to a carboy on Sunday - tasted it last night. Although it tastes fantastic, it is very tannic. Having made nearly 100 kits (91, and counting), none of those have this level of tannins to my taste. I’m hoping (and, guessing) they’ll soften in time. I’m in no hurry to bottle or consume this wine. It’s not even slated for a barrel until May 2021 and bottled in November of that year. I’m giving it the gift of time.

The original plan was to finish with Riche or Riche Extra but have a question about that now.

Can someone speak to the tannin level and what I might expect in the future?
 

Johnd

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Update: I’ll be moving the Brehm batch to a carboy on Sunday - tasted it last night. Although it tastes fantastic, it is very tannic. Having made nearly 100 kits (91, and counting), none of those have this level of tannins to my taste. I’m hoping (and, guessing) they’ll soften in time. I’m in no hurry to bottle or consume this wine. It’s not even slated for a barrel until May 2021 and bottled in November of that year. I’m giving it the gift of time.

The original plan was to finish with Riche or Riche Extra but have a question about that now.

Can someone speak to the tannin level and what I might expect in the future?
I've never had the need to add any tannin products to my grape wines, extraction has always seemed to provide plenty to work with. In young wines, the taste is very disjointed, often fruity followed quickly by tannic puckering and maybe even a little bitterness in the finish, in addition to perhaps a little green taste or even sourness. Some of this can also be contributed to CO2 still being present in the wine, but the wine should improve vastly from here. Over time, tannins combine into longer chains and some drop out in the form of sediment, the overall effect is a softening of the tannins to the taste. The fruit may come and go a bit as the wine ages, but should shine through in the end. The young, green tastes subside, CO2 dissipates, and if you've got decent fruit and done a good job as a winemaker, it'll all come out in the wash, you'll have a very nice wine to be proud of. The most important part of your plan is already in place, time.
 

ibglowin

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I have always added a dose of Tannin FT Rouge (pre-AF) to all my fresh grape wines going all the way back to 2010. If you like long lived powerful wines this is a key ingredient IMHO.

I've never had the need to add any tannin products to my grape wines.
 
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CDrew

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Sounds great. The astringent tannin taste now does not surprise me at all. It's normal. It will fade slowly. I agree that young wine seems to taste like young wine for a long time, maybe 18-24 months, then it comes together over a few months. I'm quite happy with my 2017s at this point and just starting to warm up to my 2018s. Though the Petite Sirah has a (long) way to go!

Someone here mentioned to wait a minimum of 18 months before tasting, and I basically agree with this, though invariably small amounts get tasted for quality control when racking!.

I too use a small amount of FT Rouge, but much earlier in the process(during fermentation), and if you are happy with things now I would not add more tannin.

When your Tempranillo is bottled,, I'll trade you 2019 tempranillos if you'd like to do a swap.
 

crushday

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Sounds great. The astringent tannin taste now does not surprise me at all. It's normal. It will fade slowly. I agree that young wine seems to taste like young wine for a long time, maybe 18-24 months, then it comes together over a few months. I'm quite happy with my 2017s at this point and just starting to warm up to my 2018s. Though the Petite Sirah has a (long) way to go!

Someone here mentioned to wait a minimum of 18 months before tasting, and I basically agree with this, though invariably small amounts get tasted for quality control when racking!.

I too use a small amount of FT Rouge, but much earlier in the process(during fermentation), and if you are happy with things now I would not add more tannin.

When your Tempranillo is bottled,, I'll trade you 2019 tempranillos if you'd like to do a swap.
Sets my mind at ease. A swap is clearly on the horizon. I’ll PM you after bottled!
 

crushday

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What is the diameter of the large end of the funnel and the diameter of the spout end?
The funnel is 9.5” wide. The spout is 3” long and tapers down to a 3/4” opening at the end. Hope that helps.
 
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