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Homemade vs. Commercial and what I am doing to close the gap

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ZebraB

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interesting about adding dry ice directly into the must to keep the temp down for initial cold soak. I would have been scared that it would leave some imparting taint, but guess not.

Thanks for sharing
 

JoP

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Came across a little article with the Caldwell Bineyards winemaker describing their process. Thought it was interesting to see how a high end joint does it. They give a cold soak before AF and at the end fill the headspace with gas till cap drops. Also noticed he does not add acid yet is able keeps the so2 ppm low despite ph around 4.
Anyway, here’s the link WBM_2019_01_January
View attachment 66350
Hello Ajmassa,
I can’t access this article, it says:
“The publisher chose not to allow downloads for this publication”
How did you access it?
Thanks
 

Ajmassa

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Hello Ajmassa,
I can’t access this article, it says:
“The publisher chose not to allow downloads for this publication”
How did you access it?
Thanks
Yea it was a funky link. But works on my iphone. No downloading needed. It’s just like a digitial version of the magazine. Wine Business Monthly from Jan ‘19. That’s why I included a screenshot showing the main part about the winemaking. Here’s all of it. Hope the quality transfers and able to be read. BA9E896A-C59A-4227-816E-283544B78354.jpeg7B98F351-9503-44A9-B879-70A36EE3F8BD.jpegE262E1C6-1A52-42C8-8BAD-8AC89E9D1EE4.jpeg
 

NorCal

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One of the major limitations noted for the home winemaker is the ability to cost effectively and accurately control fermentation temperature. One of the major benefits to me is that the lower temperature extends the fermentation time, providing more time on skin for better color and flavor extraction, and maintaining as much fruit flavor as possible. My typical red fermentation:

Day 0 25 brix, GoFerm, innoculate yeast
Day 1 22 brix, sign of fermentation, add FermK
Day 2 15 brix usually 1/3 done late in day, add FermK
Day 3 7 brix,
Day 4 4 brix
Day 5 <1 brix
Day 6 Press

One of the workarounds I have tried in extending the fermentation time is reducing the amount of starting yeast. I can say this has been successful in extending fermentation by 2-4 days. I've been adding 65% -70% of the recommended grams of yeast.

This time, I may have pushed my luck or found the limit of what I should do. I added around 50% of what I would normally add (.6 grams of yeast / gallon of must) This is a fermentation that I am doing for a Bordeaux blend, that is for the heavily weighted to Merlot. Here are my notes thus far.

Day 0 26 brix, GoFerm, innoculate yeast
Day 1 23 brix, sign of fermentation, add 50% FermK
Day 2 20 brix
Day 3 15 brix add 50% FermK
Day 4 14.5 brix
Day 5 11.5 brix
Day 6 9.6 brix
Day 7 7.8 brix
Day 8 6.2 brix
Day 9 4.8 brix (added a 25% dose of FermK)
Day 10 3.7 brix
Day 11 2.8 brix (where we are now, will updated this post)
Day 12 1.2 brix
Day 13 .8 brix
Day 14 .2 brix. Success!

Cab Franc fermentation temps have stayed between 78-84 degrees, using Avante yeast. While looking at my numbers as I type, I would say they look good. However, I've been sweating this one quite a bit. I have been taking brix measurements with precision hydrometers and there have been a few instances where the brix level did not changed in a 12 hour span. I thought for sure the ferment was stuck more than once. I'm hoping to press on day 13, which will be my longest ever ferment for a red by 3 days.

While the recommendation of how much yeast/gallon of must varies some, most recommend 1.2 grams of yeast per gallon of must (brix >24.5). Avante has a recommended range. I did speak with a Fermentation Specialist at Scott's lab on what is happening biologically and she thinks that the ferment isn't reaching a "critical biomass" and that because it is taking this long that there are other organisms competing for the available nutrients. She saw this as a risky way to achieve my objectives, with the risks being a stuck fermentation, oxidation, off flavors from non-sacc yeast, acetic acid spoilage. She recommended looking into enzymes, EXV and sticking to an efficient fermentation schedule.

Will I do it again? Probably not, but hopefully this wine will finish out and be nice bold and flavorful wine.

Note how dark this wine is for a Cab Franc!
707EFCAB-696D-48E2-A369-9D02FB44AAF0.jpeg
 
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Ajmassa

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I would think that technique would just extend the lag phase—not slow down the entire thing. That would bother me as well. Hopefully not too stressed and all works out. Extremely useful info you shared.

I have been rehydrating my yeast with GoFerm and mixing into the must since starting grape wines. But for the 1st time w/ grapes I just sprinkled the yeast on top and left it be. This extended my lag phase by a full day I believe. Will do this again in a couple weeks. and also going for a cold soak to try and get 10+ total days on skins. Sounds like 70% yeast could help too (NOT 50%!). Thanks for sharing all that
 

BI81

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Came across a very interesting article on various winemaking techniques and the impact on phenolic extraction.

A Review of the Effect of Winemaking Techniques on Phenolic Extraction in Red Wines

I haven’t made it through the entire paper yet, but figured some would find it relevant to this thread and most of our goals in making the best wine possible.

The main points I’ve taken away so far are that cold soaking prior to alcoholic fermentation may actually be detrimental to long term color stability, and the impact that fermentation temperature has on extraction is extremely important.
 

BI81

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One of the major limitations noted for the home winemaker is the ability to cost effectively and accurately control fermentation temperature. One of the major benefits to me is that the lower temperature extends the fermentation time, providing more time on skin for better color and flavor extraction, and maintaining as much fruit flavor as possible. My typical red fermentation:

Day 0 25 brix, GoFerm, innoculate yeast
Day 1 22 brix, sign of fermentation, add FermK
Day 2 15 brix usually 1/3 done late in day, add FermK
Day 3 7 brix,
Day 4 4 brix
Day 5 <1 brix
Day 6 Press

One of the workarounds I have tried in extending the fermentation time is reducing the amount of starting yeast. I can say this has been successful in extending fermentation by 2-4 days. I've been adding 65% -70% of the recommended grams of yeast.

This time, I may have pushed my luck or found the limit of what I should do. I added around 50% of what I would normally add (.6 grams of yeast / gallon of must) This is a fermentation that I am doing for a Bordeaux blend, that is for the heavily weighted to Merlot. Here are my notes thus far.

Day 0 26 brix, GoFerm, innoculate yeast
Day 1 23 brix, sign of fermentation, add 50% FermK
Day 2 20 brix
Day 3 15 brix add 50% FermK
Day 4 14.5 brix
Day 5 11.5 brix
Day 6 9.6 brix
Day 7 7.8 brix
Day 8 6.2 brix
Day 9 4.8 brix (added a 25% dose of FermK)
Day 10 3.7 brix
Day 11 2.8 brix (where we are now, will updated this post)
Day 12 TBD
Day 13 TBD
Day 14 TBD

Cab Franc fermentation temps have stayed between 78-84 degrees, using Avante yeast. While looking at my numbers as I type, I would say they look good. However, I've been sweating this one quite a bit. I have been taking brix measurements with precision hydrometers and there have been a few instances where the brix level did not changed in a 12 hour span. I thought for sure the ferment was stuck more than once. I'm hoping to press on day 13, which will be my longest ever ferment for a red by 3 days.

While the recommendation of how much yeast/gallon of must varies some, most recommend 1.2 grams of yeast per gallon of must (brix >24.5). Avante has a recommended range. I did speak with a Fermentation Specialist at Scott's lab on what is happening biologically and she thinks that the ferment isn't reaching a "critical biomass" and that because it is taking this long that there are other organisms competing for the available nutrients. She saw this as a risky way to achieve my objectives, with the risks being a stuck fermentation, oxidation, off flavors from non-sacc yeast, acetic acid spoilage. She recommended looking into enzymes, EXV and sticking to an efficient fermentation schedule.

Will I do it again? Probably not, but hopefully this wine will finish out and be nice bold and flavorful wine.
There’s an Inside Winemaking podcast where Jim Duane talks about inoculating with half of the recommended dose because he has intrinsic feelings that yeast companies (and all companies for that matter) are trying to sell more yeast. He makes incredible wines and hasn’t had any issues doing so, so take that for what it’s worth. I wish I could remember which episode it was so I could reference but my brain is failing me at the moment.
 

BI81

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I would think that technique would just extend the lag phase—not slow down the entire thing. That would bother me as well. Hopefully not too stressed and all works out. Extremely useful info you shared.

I have been rehydrating my yeast with GoFerm and mixing into the must since starting grape wines. But for the 1st time w/ grapes I just sprinkled the yeast on top and left it be. This extended my lag phase by a full day I believe. Will do this again in a couple weeks. and also going for a cold soak to try and get 10+ total days on skins. Sounds like 70% yeast could help too (NOT 50%!). Thanks for sharing all that
I don’t know that I’d be comfortable slacking on yeast nutrition with out YAN numbers, the last thing you want is volatile sulfur compounds in your wine. But, if you’ve got good grapes the results could be an amazing wine with added complexity, just a gamble and another risk/reward decision to be made.
 

NorCal

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I have decided that I am going to add a post crush sorting step to my process next season. I decided to move forward on the project after pulling this much stem material out of the 400 pounds of Cab Sauv I recently crushed. I did not use my crusher and this amount seems quite excessive, but it did drive home the point that by removing this material, it should improve the quality of my wine.
DIRTY MUST.jpg

Here is my plan. Since my method is to have a macrobin of grapes in the back of my truck, I will use my current sorting chute (maybe shorten) for the pre-sort inspection. Will need a tall step stool for people to stand on to do the pre-sort.
Slide1.JPG
I will need to create a stand for the destemmer to sit on and then build a post crush sorting chute that will dump into a bucket. The bucket can then be dumped into another macrobin, my Wineasy or Brutes for fermentation. The height of the post crush chute should allow for chairs. I'll probably use a donor folding table for legs and shorten one end an inch or so.

Slide2.JPG
Any thoughts or feedback?
 
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GR!

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I think it’s a great idea! This past crush, I sorted right off the chute and got a similar amount of stems out of 300lbs of grapes. Although its probably not as feasible for the quantities you're doing, here is my setup...

IMG_2496.jpeg

My wife stands at the top (where I am in the pic) and sorts the grapes and tosses them into the hopper. I stand to the right of the lower brute and crank with my right hand and grab stems with the left. Not bad for 300lbs, not recommended for 3,000lbs!
 

Boatboy24

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Curious how the grapes will make their way down the post-crush chute. Assume it's gravity, but wondering how much help they'l need. Do you picture a person on each side, plucking stems and pushing grapes down the chute?
 

NorCal

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I envision gravity will take the juice and a push by the sorter(s) will slide the grapes down the now crapless chute. It will definitely add some time or labor to get the job done. Hopefully this Covid thing will be behind us by next season and I can get back to inviting friends and family.
 

Renegade.Rich

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Hi NorCal and others,

I read that this thread is about what the professional wine maker is doing that the amateur is not. In my wine journey I have made the step from amateur to professional. I am wondering if people here have thought of doing similar. Things I have found that are different are:-

- taking risks
- getting financial backing
- sharing
- a strong eye on the marketing in much of what you are doing
- working at scale
- cold temperatures!
- becoming a jack of all trades
- belief in yourself and your product

You can find some of the story for me and my partner among the main articles and blogs at Renegade and Longton .
 

GR!

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Hi NorCal and others,

I read that this thread is about what the professional wine maker is doing that the amateur is not. In my wine journey I have made the step from amateur to professional. I am wondering if people here have thought of doing similar. Things I have found that are different are:-

- taking risks
- getting financial backing
- sharing
- a strong eye on the marketing in much of what you are doing
- working at scale
- cold temperatures!
- becoming a jack of all trades
- belief in yourself and your product

You can find some of the story for me and my partner among the main articles and blogs at Renegade and Longton .
I was always curious how disgorging works on a commercial scale
 

Rice_Guy

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consider ten or twelve inch concrete block, it can go away when crush is done
‘Will need a tall step stool for people to stand on ‘
I will need to create a stand for the destemmer to sit on and then build
Any thoughts or feedback?
 
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