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First batch of wine from grapes

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DCTWinemaker

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I crushed and de-stemmed 72 lbs. of Pinot Noir grapes from Lodi today. My SG=1.11 adjusted for 69 degree must. My pH is really high at 4.1.

I didn't have enough Pectic enzyme and I don't have any Tartaric acid (only an acid blend which I know you shouldn't use with wine grapes.) I know, I know! I should have had all my supplies in stock! Didn't realize that I needed so much pectic enzyme, I only had .5oz liquid. I added the entire bottle but I know it's not enough.

Questions...

1) Is ok to leave the must alone for 36 hours until i can get to a brew store, or am I endangering my wine by not adding the yeast within 24 hours? If it's ok, is it ok to add more pectic enzyme after 36 hours?

2) I and have a 7 gallon and a 2 gallon fermentation bucket almost full. Not sure what the estimated liters would be when it comes to determining how much Tartaric acid to add.

Any help and suggestions are welcome. I've waited the whole year for the harvest and I don't want this wine to crash and burn on the vine (no pun intended)!
 

sour_grapes

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Pinot Noir at 1.110? That's, umm, pretty hefty, even for Lodi. Are you sure about that?
 

mainshipfred

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1.11 does seem high, as for the pectic and if they have it I would recommend Lallzyme EX, it's only .1 grams per gallon and comes in an 8 gram package. For the tartaric use 1 gram per gallon to reduce it by .1 pH. I use total must volume for the calcs and don't think it will be a problem to start your fermentation now and add the enzymes and acid later.
 

CDrew

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Congrats DCT, you're a winemaker now! I hope it turns out great.

I can second the recommendation for Lallzyme. I've used both the EX and the EX-V and both will do the job and require surprisingly little to do it. You can buy a larger amount of it since it stores well at room temp.

Even though I live 20 miles north of Lodi, I did not know that any Pinot Noir was grown there.

I'd be pretty anxious to not start fermentation now. Your grapes were probably picked early last week to get to the East Coast, so the sooner fermentation starts, the better in my opinion.
 

DCTWinemaker

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Thought I’d share a few pix since this is my first grape fermentation. Thanks to Rick of The Home Winemaking Channel on You Tube for the great idea of using a milk crate as a crusher/de-stemmer!
 

Stressbaby

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I had the same issue this year. I ended up with about 900# of grapes and I was not prepared with all of the needed supplies.
FYI, acid additions do not have a linear effect on pH. Be careful and go slowly.
 

DCTWinemaker

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It is suggested that pectic enzyme be added with the k-meta to the must during crushing and de-stemming. The reason is that pectic enzyme helps with the color and flavor extraction, especially with pinot noir grapes. I adjusted my pH down from 4.07 to 3.47 at 25 brix. 24 hours later, I added my yeast nutrient (1/3 of the recommended amount up front), and pitched my yeast. I am now in active fermentation. My intent is to add the remaining 1/3 yeast nutrient at around a SG of 1.07 and 1.035. This keeps the fermentation on a steady and manageable level rather than it being a volcano up front.
 

DCTWinemaker

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I had the same issue this year. I ended up with about 900# of grapes and I was not prepared with all of the needed supplies.
FYI, acid additions do not have a linear effect on pH. Be careful and go slowly.
Thanks SB for the suggestion of going slowing on the addition of acid. I read it's a lot easier to lower the acid than to bring it back afterwards. I calculated the amount of TA required and then cut it by 30%. It put my pH just where I thought it should be since fermentation and MLF will increase the pH. I appreciate your help.
 

NorCal

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It will be interesting to see two things:
- if the pH stabilizes where you adjusted to (mine tends to find a way back)
- if the TA is so high from that big of adjustment that the wine will be acidic to the taste. (I’m reticent about adjusting more than .2 pre ferment)

Hopefully it turns out the way you want.
 

porkchopmessiah

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Just out of curiosity since I did my first crush this season....if you were able to hold the cap submerged with like a stainless steel grate or mesh would there be any benefit or harm to the wine instead of punching down?
 

Johnd

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Just out of curiosity since I did my first crush this season....if you were able to hold the cap submerged with like a stainless steel grate or mesh would there be any benefit or harm to the wine instead of punching down?
We punch down for a few reasons that come to mind, to keep the skins/pulp in contact with the fermenting juice, to prevent the cap from being exposed above the must for too long, which can lead to growth of mold, mildew, etc., and to release heat, CO2 and other gases generated

If you were able to hold the cap down with a grate or mesh plate, I can't imagine that it would be harmful in any way. I suppose one could have problems releasing heat and gases, there are other ways to control fermentation temps. It might not do quite as good of a job exposing the skins to the fermenting wine, as they would by compacted up against the mesh and probably wouldn't have the level of exposure to the liquid. Plus, it's rather enjoyable to punch down, see the changes in the must as fermentation progresses, and enjoy the smells of the wine as it progresses.
 

Ignoble Grape

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We punch down for a few reasons that come to mind, to keep the skins/pulp in contact with the fermenting juice, to prevent the cap from being exposed above the must for too long, which can lead to growth of mold, mildew, etc., and to release heat, CO2 and other gases generated

If you were able to hold the cap down with a grate or mesh plate, I can't imagine that it would be harmful in any way. I suppose one could have problems releasing heat and gases, there are other ways to control fermentation temps. It might not do quite as good of a job exposing the skins to the fermenting wine, as they would by compacted up against the mesh and probably wouldn't have the level of exposure to the liquid. Plus, it's rather enjoyable to punch down, see the changes in the must as fermentation progresses, and enjoy the smells of the wine as it progresses.
"Enjoy the smells of wine as it progresses."

Opened up the garage door this morning to punch down and the a waft of grapes hit me from 10 feet away. My, it is marvelous!
 

DCTWinemaker

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Porkchop....Also during punch down, I like to push the cap down and bring up grapes from the bottom. This way the same grapes aren't always on the top getting dried out. I also gently swirl the bottom of the bucket to mix up the lees, allowing the yeast to completely do their job and help eliminate the chance for unwanted odors to develop. Just make sure you don't press down hard and crush the seeds, which will release bitter tannins into your must.
 

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