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winemaker81

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In a different thread, can't recall which, someone posted about chilling the must post-fermentation for ~3 weeks. Supposedly that works, but I would be highly concerned that the gross lees are going to settle and begin decomposition.

I also vote to press today.
 

crushday

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Thanks @CDrew and @winemaker81 - pressing three of the batches today!

I just grabbed gravity numbers:

(Pressing today)
Carignan 1.002
Zinfandel 1.004
Pinot Noir 1.010

(Pressing later)
Petit Verdot 1.050
Petite Sirah 1.056
Cab Sauv 1.070

The petites and the cab had starting gravities that were north of 120.

I’ll post pictures later...
 

crushday

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Quick question - does the thickness of the cap prevent oxygenation? The Petite Sirah and the Cab have 18-20 inch thick caps. The Verdot about 15 inches. I’ve only been punching down 3 times a day and have the space heated to 70 degrees. The big wines are slow, which I actually want, but it seems too slow...

Any answers and direction?
 

CDrew

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What's the temp of the wine itself? I'd probably bump the temp a bit just to get it complete. Limited by non-professional equipment, I like to see things complete so they can be better protected. Which is why my white wine fermentation is 65 is going to make me nervous until it is complete.

Have fun pressing today!
 

winemaker81

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Hmmmmm ... sorry, I have no knowledge regarding oxygenation. However, if your cap is that thick, I'd punch it down twice a day. That's simply a gut feel.
 

CDrew

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Any theory why the cab in particular is so far behind? ANything different that stands out?

But congrats on the great crush.
 

chitownwine

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Looking great. I have a similar transfer pump I tried using to pump free run to tank and it would keep getting clogged in the small filter canister even using a rough pvc filter like yours. Yours seems to be flowing nicely to your wall mounted tanks.
 

crushday

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Any theory why the cab in particular is so far behind? ANything different that stands out?

But congrats on the great crush.
The only thing I can think of is starting gravity. The Cab was 30.1 brix - I added 3 gallons of water to dilute. The PV and PS also had high brix - I think there's simply more sugar. And, I was purposely keeping the heat down for the sake of the Pinot. Now that it's in secondary, I turned up the heat. I'd like the remaining must up to 80-85 degrees. To answer your previous question, I checked the temp at the last punch it was was 72 degrees on the PV and 75 on the Cab and PS. The PV is in a 25 gallon fermentor and the Cab and PS are in 45 gallon. And, during the press, all three were exposed to the outside air of 38-45 degrees. Today's high was 46 but I was done by that time it hit that. I have everything back in order now and things should take off nicely.

Here's the press quantities:

Pinot Noir: 23 gallons free run and 6 gallons press
Carignan: 14 gallons free run and 3 gallons press
Zinfandel: 13 gallons free run and 4 gallons of press

Bacteria is doing it's job and yeast are finishing up soon.
 
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crushday

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Looking great. I have a similar transfer pump I tried using to pump free run to tank and it would keep getting clogged in the small filter canister even using a rough pvc filter like yours. Yours seems to be flowing nicely to your wall mounted tanks.
Funny thing about that little pump. I installed that filter because I keep sucking up seeds and they clog the pump. I have to take it apart to clean and unclog it. The filter, first use today, clogged immediately with lees and I took it out. I did pick up two seeds today and had to clean the pump out. I need to figure something out. Perhaps I'll get a muslin bag for my GHP...

I perform secondary using fast ferment conicals. They work great. Once the bacteria is done, all the fine lees fall out to the collection ball. I also have 14 gallon fast ferment conicals that have their own stands.
 

crushday

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It's sad that most of us live far apart. Pressing is a group activity, a party. It would be a blast to get a group together.

My son helped me press this year's 2nd run -- as much as it's hard work, it's a lot of fun!
That would be great to have someone to do this with. I typically do it all by myself. My wife helps me bottle and she runs the corker.
 

chitownwine

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I tried wrapping my pvc tube with a mesh bag and then that became the point of clogging. I ended up using my all in one to vacuum into 6 gallon carboys which I then racked into my tanks. I was trying to use a pump like yours to skip the extra step of a carboy. I guess only other option is a larger must type of pump but those are pricey.
 

Ajmassa

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Odd about the Pinot color. How did it look during the ferment?
I had a cab come in extra light like that Pinot. I didn’t have multiple ferments goin on at once for direct comparison, but it was noticeably lighter grapes and juice during the ferment in hindsight. I just didn’t really take notice it was that much lighter till after transferring and seeing the light color run thru the hoses.
All other variable were decent-the grapes just didn’t have much color to offer apparently. I flirted with the idea of adding Mega Purple or similar product, but ultimately ended up blending some extra dark inky Malbec into it to darken it up. The mega purple just felt too much like cheating.
 

crushday

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Odd about the Pinot color. How did it look during the ferment?
It was light in color from the beginning. But, the Cab, PV and PS are all super inky so that contrast highlighted the light color of the PN. I tasted it and it’s good. I’ll know more in a couple weeks when I rack again. I’ll submit a pic then.
 

Ajmassa

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It was light in color from the beginning. But, the Cab, PV and PS are all super inky so that contrast highlighted the light color of the PN. I tasted it and it’s good. I’ll know more in a couple weeks when I rack again. I’ll submit a pic then.
I haven’t made a Pinot yet aside from a kit I did once. Been thinking about doing one soon. This one you did was from up your way correct? Fruit from Wash or Oregon? If I had any choice it would def be from up there.

To be brutally honest I think the movie Sideways turned me away from making Pinot. Not lying. Paul Giamatti’s emotional monologue about Pinot grapes and how fragile they are, and all the extra TLC required to make a great Pinot, and just all the reasons as to why he loves Pinot——- it made me almost put it up on a pedastal — to the point I subconsciously think: “do not attempt. You will screw it up!” Lol. One day I’ll make one. Anxious to see how this one ends up. Love the updates. Keep them comin!
 

AaronSC

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Pinot is definitely in a class by itself, IMO, in being tough to work with. I made three from fresh grapes and two turned out poorly. I believe the first one may have been from a champagne clone -it had very little color and was very 'gamey' -it got blended with some other grapes. Next time I tried cold soaking for a week and then fermenting -same outcome. The was before all the enzymes and things like Lalvin EX made this easier. I gave up on pinot after that. The last season I made wine in the Finger Lakes (2010) I impulse purchased 70 lbs, because the place I was getting my grapes from had extra and she said the were the best they had ever harvested. These were great grapes -23.5 Brix and .75 TA. This time I changed tactics again and made a fruity style pinot with no ML -ended up as my favorite wine of the year and was gone way too soon. My conclusion is that pinot is made more by the farmer and nature than by the wine maker, even more than most wines...
 
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