Fontana Chardonnay with Joeswine Tweaks

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Ron0126

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This is my first kit and I'm using a Fontana Chardonnay I purchased from Amazon (next up is the Cabernet Sauvignon). Here are my tweaks inspired by Joeswine "Tweeking Cheap Kits" http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51904

and by Ambugaton's willingness to share
http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56845

1. Dissolved bentonite in 1 cup warm water until smooth and lump free
2. Added juice from kit
3. Rinsed juice bag with warm water to get residual juice (2x)
4. Added 1 cup of medium toast French oak
5. Filled bucket to 5 gallons (rather than 6)
6. SG reading: 1.092 -- good enough for me
7. Rehydrated yeast for 15 min in one tablespoon sugar and 104 degree filtered water then pitched
8. Took pH reading of 3.2
9. Stirred daily
10. Have sampled a bit and it's delicious


Once primary fermentation is complete, I plan to:
-rack to a secondary
-add a bag of dried apricots
-add the zest of 1/2 grapefruit
-add chems per instructions and clarify
-put the bottle army to work (they're getting a bit restless)

Note on the pictures below, the SG pic was from late on the third day NOT the first day.

Does anyone see anything I'm missing?

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Mismost

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I've done apricots in Chardonnay before and like it. I like the grapefruit zest and it is powerful stuff....I suggest using a bag and a string....taste it and pull when it's where you like it.

I also went 5 allons, but mine was a bigger kit....that Chardonnay is a stout, thick, strong....actually better if you add a 1/4 bottle of water which would put it right back up to around 6 gallons. I suspect you are good at 5 gallons.
 

Rocky

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Ron, be sure to check the ingredients on the dried apricots. They are normally treated with a preservative (likely a sulfite) and this could have an effect on the wine if you add it in secondary when the SG is still around 1.020 or so. Joe is the man on this, but I would wait until the wine fermented to dry before adding anything with preservatives.
 

Ron0126

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Ron, be sure to check the ingredients on the dried apricots. They are normally treated with a preservative (likely a sulfite) and this could have an effect on the wine if you add it in secondary when the SG is still around 1.020 or so. Joe is the man on this, but I would wait until the wine fermented to dry before adding anything with preservatives.
Yes, they do have sulfites. I'll wait until it's completely dry.

Good catch. Thanks.
 

Stressbaby

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I'll second the caution from @mismost on the grapefruit.
I've pulled the grapefruit in as little as a couple of days.
 

Ron0126

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I'll second the caution from @mismost on the grapefruit.
I've pulled the grapefruit in as little as a couple of days.
Thanks. I'll take your advice (and @mismost's) and check the flavor regularly.
 

joeswine

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Fontana white

so far so good i my self have never used dried apricots,probably would have tried fresh ones and when you do use the zest leave it alone until your ready to bottle,there are all ways of adding the zest my style is to have full contact (wine to ) zest)..WHEN THE ZEST HAS DONE ITS JOB IN THE WINE IT WILL TURN WHITE SORT OF AND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE VESSEL.

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Ron0126

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UPDATE:

6/1/17 -- racked into a secondary SG: 0.998 pH: 3.2
6/9/17 -- racked again SG: 0.996 Degassed for 15 minutes with homemade wine-whip. Added sorbate pkt and k-meta pkt
6/21/17 -- added clarifying packets four hours apart
6/26/17 -- clearing nicely

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wineforfun

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Your flow looks spot on ..stay the course.
Couple of questions, following this thread.
First, grapefruit keeps getting mentioned as a Chardonnay additive. The pic @joeswine always shows, shows a green color. All the grapefruit I see are yellow on the outer.
Second, his other pic states orange with everclear yet those are green looking fruit.
What am I missing with both issues?
 

joeswine

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What I was depicting was the zest falling out in to the bottom of the ball jar. I didn't explain that correctly sometimes I use the pics I have just as an example of what you should see, sometimes I need to be clearer. The example shows lime zest that's just the example. Was to late to change titles,oh well ...........
 
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wineforfun

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What I was depicting was the zest falling out in to the bottom of the ball jar. I didn't explain that correctly sometimes I use the pics I have just as an example of what you should see, sometimes I need to be clearer. The example shows lime zest that's just the example. Was to late to change titles,oh well ...........
Ok, that makes sense as I keep reading about you using grapefruit zest on the Chardonnay yet I keep seeing lime zest in the pics. I was confused as to which one to use.
 

joeswine

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lemon is also quite good but a little sharper to the finish.
 

Ron0126

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Almost 2 months later ... racked twice, cleared with Chitosan and Kieselsol, plan to bulk age another couple of months and pop a cork around Thanksgiving. ImageUploadedByWine Making1500216607.147905.jpg
 

Ron0126

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Update: Added 1/8 cup of French Oak chips about a week ago. Sampling didn't offer much oak flavor to speak of and I like a very lightly oaked Chardonnay so we will see how this progresses. Still bulk aging under a towel to keep out any light.
 

wineforfun

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@Ron0126 I forgot you had this thread going, thanks for updating it. I like your detailed notes, it is how I do things. Wine is looking real good and clear.
Look forward to hearing more about your extra oak addition and if you think it did anything. I started with a little extra up front but not sure about adding later. I don't like a very oaky Chardonnay.

Did you end up adding the apricots?
 

Ron0126

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Did you end up adding the apricots?
I did. Saw no ill effects from any potential preservatives. I could be wrong but they did seem to add some nice mouth-feel and flavor. I added them in the primary.

I've attached my work-in-progress wine log I keep my notes with (seems I change something every few batches). It's fun to look back over the last 14 batches I've made since January and see what I changed and what I've made. Looked at the stack of papers two days ago and said, "Oh yeah ... where is that strawberry wine?" It was about 4 months old and tasted okay but when I mixed it 50/50 with some Lemon-Lime Skeeter Pee, it was outstanding! Had to restrain myself from drinking the whole thing.

Feel free to "tweek" the log or use it if you like. If there's anything on there I should add, let me know that too! It's in PDF but I created it in Excel. For some reason, the site won't let me upload an xls or xlsx file.

View attachment Winemakers Log.pdf
 

wineforfun

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I did. Saw no ill effects from any potential preservatives. I could be wrong but they did seem to add some nice mouth-feel and flavor. I added them in the primary.

I've attached my work-in-progress wine log I keep my notes with (seems I change something every few batches). It's fun to look back over the last 14 batches I've made since January and see what I changed and what I've made. Looked at the stack of papers two days ago and said, "Oh yeah ... where is that strawberry wine?" It was about 4 months old and tasted okay but when I mixed it 50/50 with some Lemon-Lime Skeeter Pee, it was outstanding! Had to restrain myself from drinking the whole thing.

Feel free to "tweek" the log or use it if you like. If there's anything on there I should add, let me know that too! It's in PDF but I created it in Excel. For some reason, the site won't let me upload an xls or xlsx file.
I'll see how this goes and then make a decision on any apricots, more oak, etc. Hoping it resembles a Chardonnay when done.

It is only my 5th kit. I mostly make fruit and specialty wines.

I know what you mean though, I find bottles of wine in my basement I forgot I made, as far as they have been aging for awhile. I built a 144 wine bottle wooden rack. I keep every slot labeled with what it is and what date I bottled it.

That is a great looking log. Thanks.
For me, I am old school and write everything down in notebooks. From start to finish and every step, measurement, etc. along the way. Then try to comment on taste when I open one of the bottles.
 
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