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

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mainshipfred

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200ppm sounds really high to me. Maybe not for commercial wines, but far more than I use for my own.
FWIW, I just weighed a few 1/4 tsp of K-meta and the average was 1.95 grams. Using Fermcalc with an initial SO2 of 0, 1.95 grams of K-meta and 6 gallons it took the SO2 to above 50 ppm. If one were to use the 1/4 tsp method and bulk aged for a year using every three months of racking and sulfiting it would be over 200 unless something changes when it becomes bound. This does not take into consideration pre ferment additions or that given off by fermentation itself. Again I'm not sure about what happens when it becomes bound.
 

NorCal

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FWIW, I just weighed a few 1/4 tsp of K-meta and the average was 1.95 grams. Using Fermcalc with an initial SO2 of 0, 1.95 grams of K-meta and 6 gallons it took the SO2 to above 50 ppm. If one were to use the 1/4 tsp method and bulk aged for a year using every three months of racking and sulfiting it would be over 200 unless something changes when it becomes bound. This does not take into consideration pre ferment additions or that given off by fermentation itself. Again I'm not sure about what happens when it becomes bound.
Yes, we are talking total SO2 (not free SO2) not exceeding 200ppm, including any pre-fermentation additions. His point is that above that level that the sulfur additions influence the wines taste in a negative way.

He did not speak specifically to whites, but with the pH, it would certainly be below the reds. Interesting to note that they barrel age their whites for 10 months, mostly neutral French oak.
 

mainshipfred

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Yes, we are talking total SO2 (not free SO2) not exceeding 200ppm, including any pre-fermentation additions. His point is that above that level that the sulfur additions influence the wines taste in a negative way.

He did not speak specifically to whites, but with the pH, it would certainly be below the reds. Interesting to note that they barrel age their whites for 10 months, mostly neutral French oak.
I realize everyone doesn't have the means to measure SO2 but I always thought the 1/4 tsp method was an over kill. especially if aging in glass. As far as aging whites in barrels I posted in another thread I neutralized a barrel specifically for whites. I've had the Viognier in it for about 2.5 months and it's quite nice. As much as I would like to leave it there until spring I have another I would like put in so probably 3 months each. That is interesting though since except for Chardonny's I believe most wineries age their whites in SS.
 

mainshipfred

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Did the topic of TA ever come up or do they only speak of pH.
 

4score

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Not sure of your age but here in Ohio if you are 60+ you can take up to 20 hours of a college course. There is Vesta which is online, take Cellar Operations, and you get to intern at a winery and learn 1st hand about Winemaking. I am in the Kent State enology program, but I am paying for the full course. I have a small winery in Cleveland, Ohio area. (1000-1500 gal) We put 3 wines in the SF Chronicle and just won a Double Gold, Gold, and Silver. The most important things I have learned are yeast selection, blending yeast, blending barrel types, blending varietals. Holding back 5-10 percent freerun in a carboy to blend in / at bottling for more fruit. Pre and Post must analysis. Proper fermentation temperatures like 80-90 for reds under 60 for whites. Enzymes to add for extraction of phenols, and color. Whites are way harder to make than reds for me at least. Many other small details that all add up to great wines.
Congratulations on your success at the San Francisco Chronicle Competition. That's fantastic.
 

4score

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200ppm sounds really high to me. Maybe not for commercial wines, but far more than I use for my own.
200 ppm isn't that high for me when trying to baby-sit 4.0 pH wine for > 18 months. We've been adjusting to 3.6 -3.7, but need to take our foot of the SO2 pedal a bit. 50 ppm was a common add. Going to aim for 20-30 going forward.
 

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I previously posted part of an article about SO2 in this thread, it confirms much of what is being said about SO2 here. Several points were made in the article, but the primary one was that the molecular so2 charts shouldn't be followed with high pH wines; the recommendation is 20 to 30ppm free during bulk aging. The point about the 200ppm total so2 was also made.

https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/high-ph-after-mlf.70626/
 

Ajmassa

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Did the topic of TA ever come up or do they only speak of pH.
I initially got the idea to adjust down to under 3.6 without regard for TA from that one interview on the winemaking podcast. Remember that? That winemaker was saying he still measures it at crush but doesn’t factor into his decision making at all. Even when questioned further he doubled down- “3.6 or under. No exceptions.”
Now with multiple reliable sources I’m stoked to confidently make aggressive adjustments w/o second guessing it.

Btw, since my NaOh expired year ago I haven’t replaced or tested TA at all and it’s been kinda nice.
 

mainshipfred

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I initially got the idea to adjust down to under 3.6 without regard for TA from that one interview on the winemaking podcast. Remember that? That winemaker was saying he still measures it at crush but doesn’t factor into his decision making at all. Even when questioned further he doubled down- “3.6 or under. No exceptions.”
Now with multiple reliable sources I’m stoked to confidently make aggressive adjustments w/o second guessing it.

Btw, since my NaOh expired year ago I haven’t replaced or tested TA at all and it’s been kinda nice.
I was just curious since all the commercial guys I know don't deal with TA.
 

stickman

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I also posted a previous article regarding the TA issue. We have to keep in mind the context here, the type of grapes, and where the grapes are grown etc., more times than not, in California, the mature grapes that come in with high pH often are also high in potassium, so most of the tartaric acid added to achieve say a 3.6 pH, ends up eventually precipitating out as potassium bitartrate. This method, adjusting down to 3.5 to 3.6 pH when needed, has worked for me with grape must from California.

I don't have experience with grapes other than California or Washington, but reportedly some grapes can have issues with high malic acid causing the high pH, either because of the variety or because of cool climate and harvest conditions, under ripe fruit etc., in this case, adding acid to lower the pH would probably be the wrong thing to do.
 

Ajmassa

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I was just curious since all the commercial guys I know don't deal with TA.
Very interesting. I knew you were dialed into the scene down there but I didn’t realize you talked shop that far in detail. Or that the local Maryland winemakers are also not dealing with TA. I actually thought it was somewhat of a faux pas. Though it seems to be more status-quo then I realized. These guys in Amador, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma, the Maryland winemakers etc etc.
 

mainshipfred

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Very interesting. I knew you were dialed into the scene down there but I didn’t realize you talked shop that far in detail. Or that the local Maryland winemakers are also not dealing with TA. I actually thought it was somewhat of a faux pas. Though it seems to be more status-quo then I realized. These guys in Amador, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma, the Maryland winemakers etc etc.
I'm actually in Northern Virginia at the foot hills of the Blue Ridge and Bull Run Mountains.
 

jsbeckton

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Cold soak below fermentation temps, in the 50’s, bringing up the temp when it’s time to ferment.
Great stuff! Any mention on length of the cold soak or if they add any enzymes during this period?

It was mentioned that fermentation temps were a big factor. Maybe I missed it but did they say what those temps were (only made not of the cold soak temp above).

Thanks again for passing all this great stuff on!
 

NorCal

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I was just curious since all the commercial guys I know don't deal with TA.
I specifically asked about TA and he said that he knows what it is, because it comes on the panel from the lab, however he doesn’t take it into account when making pre-ferment adjustments, only pH.
 

NorCal

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Great stuff! Any mention on length of the cold soak or if they add any enzymes during this period?

It was mentioned that fermentation temps were a big factor. Maybe I missed it but did they say what those temps were (only made not of the cold soak temp above).

Thanks again for passing all this great stuff on!
Cold soaks 3-5 days (that I remember) and I don’t recall discussing peak temps, only that they warm up to enable fermentation. Maybe @4score can recall if it was mentioned.
 

NCWC

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Whites wines a lot less here is the table for red and white. I personally would never go over 63 no matter the pH.
Table
pH Desired So2
2.90 11
3.00 13
3.10 16
3.20 21
3.30 26
3.40 32
3.50 40
3.60 50
3.70 63
3.80 79
3.90 99
4.00 125
 

Rice_Guy

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Just a thought but you may want some business cards with “consultant”
You would think it would be that easy, but not in California where you cannot volunteer for a for-profit business. It is hard to believe.
A very interesting thread! Glad you got in. THANKS!
 

jburtner

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This is awesome and thanks for sharing! Interesting that no concern regarding TA was indicated. Was there an upper TA limit discussed at all WRT getting pH down to 3.6 range pre-AF?

Cheers,
johann
 

NorCal

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This is awesome and thanks for sharing! Interesting that no concern regarding TA was indicated. Was there an upper TA limit discussed at all WRT getting pH down to 3.6 range pre-AF?

Cheers,
johann
TA wasn't discussed, besides it not being a factor they take into account during their wine making. Perhaps this is due to the nature of the fruit in our region, where the fruit always ripens, but maintaining acidity is the challenge.
 
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