Kraffty's Crush 2021

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Kraffty

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Everything went as planned, Spent Saturday night in Phoenix, Olive Garden for dinner, Pat Benatar Concert with a fun twist, back to the hotel safely, a few drinks, a little sleep and waiting at the warehouse at 7AM when they opened to pick up the grapes. Made it home by 9:00am and had grapes crushed and everything cleaned up by Noon.
Me.jpgTina&Debi.jpgSupervisor2.jpg
The neighbors (Tina and Debi) came back a couple hours later for a late lunch/early dinner of tacos. Had a great time that lasted till about sundown.
Dinner.jpg
Girls.jpg
Concert surprise and Wine progress update next.
 

Kraffty

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So we expected to see just Pat and Neil doing an acoustic show but instead the stage was set for a full band. Lights go down and out come John Waite. He still sounds pretty good. Next they clear the stage and reset again for a full band and Pat puts on a full rock show with a serious concentration of her early 80's hits. It almost felt like Lori and I were back at the LA sports arena in 1982, except the audience was 40 years grayer and 5 or 6 steps slower.

I was determined to take a different approach with this years grapes. I wasn't satisfied with the color or body of any of last years wine and decided to go for the extended pre-ferment maturation (slow soak). I kept the musts between 47 and 54 with big Ice bombs for 72 hours and it gave me extra time to make adjustments slowly before pitching yeast just an hour ago. The difference in color is amazing. Instead of the green grey pinkish starting point I already have a pretty deep red on the Cab and Grenache and the Zin looks inky dark. I expect it all to deepen as the ferment gets underway. Plan to keep temps low, 75 to 80ish but will see how that shakes out. All treated with standard enzymes, nutrients a few ozs of french oak chips and all with the same BM 4x4 yeast.
Cab.jpg
Grape numbers were all over the place. Brix was 22 cab, 24 Zin and 27 Grenach. I upped the cab and lowered the Grenache a point and a half. Acid was .33 in both the Cab and Grenach so I brought them up to .58 before running out of acid. More on order. Zin was good. PH meter took a dump and a new one should be here Friday. Temps at 64 right now so hopefully I have some lively yeast action by tomorrow. Also started a bucket of Chardonnay Juice. It's in a water bath at about 75 degrees and already down to 1.02 so it'll probably go into a carboy Friday.
An exciting start!
 

crushday

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So cool. And, stellar idea to provide a cold soak in the middle of the Arizona desert. I love this site - so much innovation!
 

mainshipfred

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So we expected to see just Pat and Neil doing an acoustic show but instead the stage was set for a full band. Lights go down and out come John Waite. He still sounds pretty good. Next they clear the stage and reset again for a full band and Pat puts on a full rock show with a serious concentration of her early 80's hits. It almost felt like Lori and I were back at the LA sports arena in 1982, except the audience was 40 years grayer and 5 or 6 steps slower.

I was determined to take a different approach with this years grapes. I wasn't satisfied with the color or body of any of last years wine and decided to go for the extended pre-ferment maturation (slow soak). I kept the musts between 47 and 54 with big Ice bombs for 72 hours and it gave me extra time to make adjustments slowly before pitching yeast just an hour ago. The difference in color is amazing. Instead of the green grey pinkish starting point I already have a pretty deep red on the Cab and Grenache and the Zin looks inky dark. I expect it all to deepen as the ferment gets underway. Plan to keep temps low, 75 to 80ish but will see how that shakes out. All treated with standard enzymes, nutrients a few ozs of french oak chips and all with the same BM 4x4 yeast.
View attachment 78778
Grape numbers were all over the place. Brix was 22 cab, 24 Zin and 27 Grenach. I upped the cab and lowered the Grenache a point and a half. Acid was .33 in both the Cab and Grenach so I brought them up to .58 before running out of acid. More on order. Zin was good. PH meter took a dump and a new one should be here Friday. Temps at 64 right now so hopefully I have some lively yeast action by tomorrow. Also started a bucket of Chardonnay Juice. It's in a water bath at about 75 degrees and already down to 1.02 so it'll probably go into a carboy Friday.
An exciting start!
Grenache looks about right, the Cab probably a little light but that's the darkest Zin I ever seen.
 

Kraffty

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Everything seems to be going according to plan so far, mostly. I've been able to keep my temps in a pretty tight range right around 75 degrees during ferment. My TA and PH are not ideal but within (barely) all listed acceptable ranges I've found. Cab and Grenache are at 7 and 7.5 TA with PH 3.1 and 3.2. Zin is 6 and 3.55. I don't think I'll try to adjust, MLF will probably help. My new PH meter came in yesterday, I calibrated and tested and what a difference it makes. Quick and consistent compared to my old 13.00 version that just drifted all over the place. I'm a little over half way through and guessing I'll be ready to press on tuesday as long as I keep the temps down. Trying to decide whether to add the CH16 tomorrow or wait till after pressing, leaning towards going with the early add this year since I'm doing everything slightly differently and it seems to be working well.

PHmeter.jpg
 

Kraffty

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I had a first yesterday! My Zin reached 1.00 and I decided to move it to carboy. I use a stainless steel perforated pot (approx 3 gal with a gazillion 3/8" holes) sunk into the center of the brute to pull my free wine from before pressing. This is the first time I've pulled 6 gallons, enough to fill my carboy, without having to press at least one final gallon out of the grapes to equal 6 gallons. I'm thinking the combination of 3 day cold soak and 8g of pectic enzyme, because I didn't order enough Lalzyme, along with the 5 day cool ferment gave me a lot more break down and extraction. Also gave me more flavor and color than I think I've ever had.

I had about 5 gallons of skin soup left and since I didn't really want to set up and then clean my press, I dumped it into and mixed with my Cabernet. I figured it might add a bit more color to the cab and a 10 to 15 percent addition of zin would blend nicely with the Cab. I'm at 1.002 and 1.004 with the Cab and Grenache so I'll probably move them to carboys today. It'll be interesting to see what volume of free run comes from them too.
 

Snafflebit

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I rented a a destemmer that looks exactly like the one in your picture, but without a motor. Is that a Kraffty addition? I wish I had thought to set the destemmer on a tote. Mine came with a steel sluice to drain into a bucket. The steel acts more like a drumhead and splatters grapes towards the victim in charge of watching the bucket.

And I have the same pH meter, and I love it. I needed to buy more calibration solution this year. Amazon has this available in premixed packets
Atlas Scientific pH Calibration Set (3 Pouches)
 

mainshipfred

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I rented a a destemmer that looks exactly like the one in your picture, but without a motor. Is that a Kraffty addition? I wish I had thought to set the destemmer on a tote. Mine came with a steel sluice to drain into a bucket. The steel acts more like a drumhead and splatters grapes towards the victim in charge of watching the bucket.

And I have the same pH meter, and I love it. I needed to buy more calibration solution this year. Amazon has this available in premixed packets
Atlas Scientific pH Calibration Set (3 Pouches)
I never much liked the premix packets. You might want to consider the two pack bottles of 4 and 7 for just a few dollars more.
 

Kraffty

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Carboys.jpg
...and this ends this portion of our 2021 production...

Looks like the hardest work is done for the year aside from stowing away the big stuff. I did end up having all free run wine on all three reds. Mixed and pressed all the skins and ended up with about 4-1/2 gals of pressed blend. Lots of sediment in that and will probably rack down to 3 gals. once it settles for a day or two. I'm thinking of sulfating the Chard and throwing it in the fridge for a month or two to see if the Cold Crashing I've read about works. CH16 was added to all reds yesterday so now it's just stir and wait.

I don't know why I never considered setting aside some pure cab, probably my limited assortment of carboys. Appreciate the thoughts on buffering solutions, will store that address in my browser for next year. @Boatboy24 I seem to remember you asking about using Noblesse, and while I'm not sure this is any proof, I can say that in my cab and grenache I used Opti-Red but used 12g of Noblesse (cause I ran out of Opti-red) in the Zin and it's depth of color is astounding, think I'll use it on all reds next year. All grapes were "Pia" brand from Medera county, Cal. central valley and not high end but the difference between last year and this is day and night - attributed to the cold soaking once again.

Hope everyone had as successful and enjoyable crush as I did this year. Already thinking it might be time to go a little bigger next year, we'll see...
 

ibglowin

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Looking good Mike!

View attachment 78987
...and this ends this portion of our 2021 production...

Looks like the hardest work is done for the year aside from stowing away the big stuff. I did end up having all free run wine on all three reds. Mixed and pressed all the skins and ended up with about 4-1/2 gals of pressed blend. Lots of sediment in that and will probably rack down to 3 gals. once it settles for a day or two. I'm thinking of sulfating the Chard and throwing it in the fridge for a month or two to see if the Cold Crashing I've read about works. CH16 was added to all reds yesterday so now it's just stir and wait.

I don't know why I never considered setting aside some pure cab, probably my limited assortment of carboys. Appreciate the thoughts on buffering solutions, will store that address in my browser for next year. @Boatboy24 I seem to remember you asking about using Noblesse, and while I'm not sure this is any proof, I can say that in my cab and grenache I used Opti-Red but used 12g of Noblesse (cause I ran out of Opti-red) in the Zin and it's depth of color is astounding, think I'll use it on all reds next year. All grapes were "Pia" brand from Medera county, Cal. central valley and not high end but the difference between last year and this is day and night - attributed to the cold soaking once again.

Hope everyone had as successful and enjoyable crush as I did this year. Already thinking it might be time to go a little bigger next year, we'll see...
 

Boatboy24

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@Boatboy24 I seem to remember you asking about using Noblesse, and while I'm not sure this is any proof, I can say that in my cab and grenache I used Opti-Red but used 12g of Noblesse (cause I ran out of Opti-red) in the Zin and it's depth of color is astounding, think I'll use it on all reds next year. All grapes were "Pia" brand from Medera county, Cal. central valley and not high end but the difference between last year and this is day and night - attributed to the cold soaking once again.
Sounds like a successful crush - congrats! Yep, I did ask about the Noblesse and am going to try it this year. Among other things, I'm doing a double (12gal) batch of Malbec. I'm going to split it and use OptiRed on half and Noblesse on the other. They'll be combined by the time they go to barrel aging but I'll be sure to take observations a few times prior to that. Comparison notes will be posted.
 

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