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Other Extended Maceration Eclipse Lodi 11 Cab

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AZMDTed

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Following up on a recent post that included clips of Tim Vandergrift experimenting with extended maceration on an Amarone kit, I've decided to give it a try with a WE Eclipse Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon. Here's his first video on his experiment: [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qkKYoym2g4[/ame]

If there's interest I will post follow ups as I go along.

Tim used a 6.5 gallon Big Mouth Bubbler for his. Having seen some of the foam that can happen during primary in a bucket I've ordered a 7 gallon Fermonster to do this in. The kit juice and water will consume six gallons and the grape skin pack another 1/2 gallon. I figure that the 7 gallon (plus more in the neck) should give me plenty of room to foam.

Here's my plan:

1. I will do primary, secondary, and extended maceration for 7 weeks in the Fermonster before my first racking.

2. After conversing with Joeswine I've decided to a cup of Currants to the grape skin pack. I intend to add the skin pack and currants to the strainer bag that comes with the kit. I had thought of letting them all go free in the Fermonster much like a grape wine would be, but I'm thinking that the bag will make punch down and wetting of the skins easier and quicker as I do it throughout the 7 weeks. I think I need to be conscious of too much oxygen exposure as I punch down after the first two weeks. Alternatively, after the first two weeks I may just rock the Fermonster side by side without removing the airlock to see if that will be sufficient to re-wet the skin pack.

3. I'm planning on using BM 4X4 yeast rather than the kit yeast. I've used it on a few kits now without any issues, and it seems to be a low foamer. I will add it about 12 hours after adding the skin pack and currants.

4. I'm going to let it go through primary with just a towel covering the top for a week and then put a lid and air lock on for the rest of the time.

That's the plan at the moment. The kit and FerMonster arrive on Wednesday. Any suggestions or thoughts from you all?
 
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Johnd

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I'll be watching as well. My vote would be to add your skin packs and currants in loose, as I believe it allows for greater extraction. Punchdowns will be easier without the bag being a collector of CO2 and floating your goodies back up to the top. Just my two cents.
 

AZMDTed

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I'll be watching as well. My vote would be to add your skin packs and currants in loose, as I believe it allows for greater extraction. Punchdowns will be easier without the bag being a collector of CO2 and floating your goodies back up to the top. Just my two cents.
I haven't done a grape fermentation before so I apppreciate your experience. Will lose skins and grapes stay under longer on their own? How long would you do a punch down before you just let it sit? Maybe I'm too paranoid about oxygen. My gut says that I may be able to go a month with opening it up and stirring/punch down without too much risk but the last three weeks make me nervous.
 

Johnd

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I haven't done a grape fermentation before so I apppreciate your experience. Will lose skins and grapes stay under longer on their own? How long would you do a punch down before you just let it sit? Maybe I'm too paranoid about oxygen. My gut says that I may be able to go a month with opening it up and stirring/punch down without too much risk but the last three weeks make me nervous.
My first few grape ferments were punched down with my plastic spoon. No big deal, you'll have a lot less skins to worry about. Good practice if you plan to go grape. I find that the bags float up very quickly after pushing it down, bailed on bags last year. I have no empirical data to prove that the extraction is better, but it seems intuitive that floating loose, not confined in a bag, the free access around the skins would improve it. A bag is certainly more tidy, but I'm ok giving that up.
 

jgmann67

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I googled the rest of Tim V's videos on this and know how the story ends. Awesome that you're trying it. I'm going to watch and learn...
 

jburtner

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Do you add kmeta once AF is done to protect it? I may have missed that detail in the vids.

Must like to keep it fairly chilled if possible.

Cheers!
-jb
 

jgmann67

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Do you add kmeta once AF is done to protect it? I may have missed that detail in the vids.

Must like to keep it fairly chilled if possible.

Cheers!
-jb

It didn't appear that they added kmeta until after the extended maceration in the videos. Tim skipped the clarifiers and didn't filter, either.

I don't have the same type of primary and if I tried this in a bucket, I'd worry about oxidizing the wine.
 

jgmann67

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I had thought of letting them all go free in the Fermonster much like a grape wine would be, but I'm thinking that the bag will make punch down and wetting of the skins easier and quicker as I do it throughout the 7 weeks.

I'll bet that after the first 3 weeks, the grapes will lose most of their buoyancy.
 

AZMDTed

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Thanks for all the thoughts. So, new plan, I will just go ahead and put the skin pack and currants in without the bag. I think that will help with the fermentation tannins as they're supposed to be applied to the cap directly and it will ensure max contact with the wine. I'm still concerned about oxygen exposure, so once I see the airlock slow down to a bubble every 30 or 45 seconds I'll probably stop punching down/stirring the grapes and let it ride. After three weeks I'll move it to my wine cellar. The cooler temperature should deter oxygen infusion and the fermentation should be long over so it shouldn't affect that.

A few of the papers I've read on extended maceration talk about 3 weeks as the extended time. Tim went for 8 or 9.
 

Johnd

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Thanks for all the thoughts. So, new plan, I will just go ahead and put the skin pack and currants in without the bag. I think that will help with the fermentation tannins as they're supposed to be applied to the cap directly and it will ensure max contact with the wine. I'm still concerned about oxygen exposure, so once I see the airlock slow down to a bubble every 30 or 45 seconds I'll probably stop punching down/stirring the grapes and let it ride. After three weeks I'll move it to my wine cellar. The cooler temperature should deter oxygen infusion and the fermentation should be long over so it shouldn't affect that.

A few of the papers I've read on extended maceration talk about 3 weeks as the extended time. Tim went for 8 or 9.
When your wine is finished fermenting and is "dry", why wouldn't you go ahead and add the sulfite at that time? It'll give you a measure of protection from the oxygen that is giving you concern, as well as keeping other potential organisms in check. If my recollection is correct, it's the alcohol that is doing the work once your yeast have ceased to work on the skins / seeds..........
 

AZMDTed

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John, you and jb make a good point on that. I see no reason not to do that and it will give some more protection. So before it goes into the cellar it will get dosed with Kmeta.
 

jgmann67

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John, you and jb make a good point on that. I see no reason not to do that and it will give some more protection. So before it goes into the cellar it will get dosed with Kmeta.
From the videos and blog, it doesn't appear that Tim V. sulfited his wine during extended maceration. There's got to be a good reason. While I share the concern about oxidation, I'd want to know for sure why Tim didn't do it before making the decision to go ahead with kmeta.
 

AZMDTed

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From the videos and blog, it doesn't appear that Tim V. sulfited his wine during extended maceration. There's got to be a good reason. While I share the concern about oxidation, I'd want to know for sure why Tim didn't do it before making the decision to go ahead with kmeta.
Jim, I'll do some research on that and see if I can find something that talks about the effect of KMeta after fermentation. From what I know now I don't think it makes a difference as we add it during aging and I've not heard anything about it negatively effecting polyphenol development. WE instructions for Eclipse kits with skins says that no topping up is needed all the way to bottling, which is, by kit instructions, 53 days, almost 6 weeks after starting. That gives me confidence that an initial dose of Kmeta would keep the wine safe for at least the first six weeks.

Watching the videos again I noticed a couple things. First, in the first video the extended maceration wine has an airlock on it. In the second video it has a solid lid. We can only guess when he put that on. Second, the skins are still floating on top in the second video after 9 weeks. No indication if he did any further stirring or punchdowns after the first 3 weeks (or any during those first 3 either). If he didn't then it seems like there was only the bottom layer of skins and grapes in contact. Also, he's using a slightly smaller carboy to keep them in, 6.5 g v the 7 g I'll be using. His wine level looks low to me and I wonder if he had an issue with foam in the smaller carboy and reduced the water addition. Either way, I will have a larger air surface area than he does. His wine/air level was at the neck, mine will be at the wider bottle level, or close to there. I'm hopeful that putting an airlock on it after a week and not removing it from weeks 3 to 7 that there will be enough released CO2 to protect it. But then that begs the question: Risk oxygen exposure to keep the skins and raisins wet few days or so or leave them alone. We're doing a group project here so all thoughts are welcome.

Thanks all for your input. This is our experiment so all ideas are welcome. I do warn you though, I suck at flowery descriptions of wine during tasting. Nonetheless I will try to describe it as best I can when we get to that point.
 

ceeaton

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Thanks all for your input. This is our experiment so all ideas are welcome. I do warn you though, I suck at flowery descriptions of wine during tasting. Nonetheless I will try to describe it as best I can when we get to that point.
Be nice if you could identify someone on this forum who has made the Lodi Ranch kit this Fall that you could swap a few bottles with when completed, that way you'd have a "standard" of sorts to compare it to. Maybe you'd even get lucky and find someone who is full of flowery descriptions and kill two birds with one stone.
 

jgmann67

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Be nice if you could identify someone on this forum who has made the Lodi Ranch kit this Fall that you could swap a few bottles with when completed, that way you'd have a "standard" of sorts to compare it to. Maybe you'd even get lucky and find someone who is full of flowery descriptions and kill two birds with one stone.
LOL - I know a guy exactly like that (I see him every morning in the mirror - eeesh is he ugly)!! :db
 

Johnd

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An excerpt from the UC Davis website, in Lesson 6 on Red Wine Making:

"The pH of the must will impact extraction. Low pH values tend to be toxic to living cells as the cytoplasm acidifies. Non-viable cells are more susceptible to lysis and leaching of internal components. Therefore, the relative pH of a must may impact extraction. In reality, differences in must pH play only a minor role in extraction. A far more major role is played by temperature. Simply put, the higher the temperature the greater the rate and extent of extraction. This is largely because rates of diffusion increase with increasing temperature. High temperatures of fermentation (30°C or higher) result in maximal extraction of skin components in roughly seven days or less depending upon the varietal and other factors. The length of time the skins are in contact with the fermenting must is also an important factor. The longer the time of exposure, the more complete the extraction. Also, the longer the time of exposure, the higher the ethanol concentration of the exposure. Ethanol is also toxic to most living cells, speeding cell death and release of cellular components. Enzyme treatments, specifically enzymes with catalytic activity destabilizing plant cell walls (pectinases), will also increase extraction by increasing deterioration of the cells. Sulfur dioxide, as mentioned in a previous lecture, if used at high concentration can also accelerate extraction by impacting plant cell viability. However, the concentrations needed (200 ppm or greater) are higher than what is normally used in wine production (20 to 50 ppm). Finally, extraction is obviously dependent upon the total amount of a given compound available to be extracted."

If I'm understanding correctly the post fermentation maceration, and if you put faith in the UC Davis info, the high alcohol content is your friend in this process to further destroy the cell walls and release the compounds in the skins and seeds, the SO2 levels are unlikely to be high enough, but it doesn't sound like it's going to inhibit what you are hoping to achieve.
 

dcbrown73

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If you go without the mesh bag. How do you "press" the skins when you are done if you don't actually have a press?

The best I can do now that I know of it squeeze the bag once I'm ready to discard it.
 

AZMDTed

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If I'm understanding correctly the post fermentation maceration, and if you put faith in the UC Davis info, the high alcohol content is your friend in this process to further destroy the cell walls and release the compounds in the skins and seeds, the SO2 levels are unlikely to be high enough, but it doesn't sound like it's going to inhibit what you are hoping to achieve.
Thanks John, that's very useful. I think most of the Napa wine makers graduated from UC Davis so that's a pretty definitive source to me. Kmeta at week three or so will be just fine. Thanks for finding that.
 
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