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crushday

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@stickman, thanks for the numbers. However, even though I ordered the 2020 cab, what I got was 2019. I didn’t even check at the pick up site because all the buckets had a think frost. It was not until the next day that I realized I was given the wrong Cab. Same source - different year.

The 2019 Cab is listed as 29.1 Brix. When I measured it, it was 30 Brix. So, wanting a more alcoholic Cab, I only added 3 gallons of water. I maybe should have added 5 total.

I could press the PS and PV on Sunday - and, the Cab later in the week. But I have a very busy week at work this coming week (unless our governor shuts us down on Monday, which is the rumor based on my daughter-in-law, who is a State Patrol officer).

I’ll post gravity again tomorrow and let you know...
 

winemaker81

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I'd wait until tomorrow to press, and probably not the CS. You'll get more from the grapes if you let the wine drop to 1.000 or less.

I WFH and work early hours, so quitting at 3PM and starting pressing works for me during the week. Not so for many folks.
 

crushday

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I’m going to press the Petit Verdot today. Gravity is 1.001. I’ll leave the other two as is right now. The PV has a loose cap, still formed but you can tell we’re at the end. THe PS and CS both have fairly formed caps but the gravity didn’t move much overnight:

Petite Sirah: 1.006 - one click overnight
Cab Sauv: 1.018 - two clicks overnight

I realized this morning that it‘s been misguided of me to want to press all the wines on the same day - whatever, George... The wine is ready when it’s ready and that likely isn’t going to be convenient.

So, I’m resolved to pressing when the wine is done even if that means after work one or more days this week. Set up and clean up is a chore but I’m the one that started six batches all at once...lol!
 

winemaker81

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I realized this morning that it‘s been misguided of me to want to press all the wines on the same day
I disagree -- it makes sense to want to press on the same day, as the startup and clean up are the same, regardless of how much wine is pressed. Whether or not the yeast is cooperating? Mother Nature has her own agenda ...
 

Boatboy24

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I did press the Petit Verdot. I was able to get the following quantities:

Free run: 10 gallons
Press (1 bar or less): 4 gallons
Press (3 bar): 1/2 gallon

Overall I’m happy with the wine and will press the others as necessary.

A few pics:

View attachment 68304View attachment 68305View attachment 68307View attachment 68308
By the looks of it, you had plenty of time on the skins.

FWIW, I try to press all my wines at once (they are usually all crushed and pitched at the same time). Some are more done than others, but if they're all 1.010 or less, I'm happy. I'd have to go back through my notes, but I think I had one that was pushing 1.020 one year.
 

crushday

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@Boatboy24 Jim, I’m really fearing a couple stuck fermentations with the PS and the Cab (especially the Cab) as both had high Brix. Even though I diluted, both of these have been a slog. As long as the cap continues to form after punching I’ll be patient.

75 gallons of must with too much residual would seriously suck. I would be using it for the next five years as blending wine. I’m cringing thinking about it.
 

winemaker81

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@crushday, what is the temperature of the musts? A bit of heat might stimulate things. Have you experienced environmental temperature swings? That may have stunted things. I'd punch down the cap twice a day as it may stimulate the yeast (this is anecdotal, I don't have real documentation that it works).

If it was me? For the PS, give it a day or two more, and if the SG is not moving, press. If the CS's SG is not moving, I'd hit it with yeast and a half or quarter dose of nutrient.

My comment on letting the SG get to 1.000 before pressing is to give the wine more time to extract goodness from the pulp. You're getting that anyway (the one thing stuck fermentation is good for!), so if you're feeling nervous about it (I would!) press the CS. It would be nice to get the SG lower, but if it's below 1.020, I agree that it's pressable.

As @Booty Juice said, it will ferment to completion in the carboy, and that avoids a lot of environmental contamination that could occur in an open fermenter.

A tip -- each time you punch down, wet a clean paper town liberally with K-meta and wipe the inside of the fermenter just above the cap, removing chunks sticking to the side of the fermenter. This eliminates a place where organisms can grow. I do this with grapes and juice (after stirring). Sulfite is released in the air above the wine and it may help with preventing spoilage.
 

CDrew

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Good luck @crushday with the cab. Honestly if the SG is dropping, even slowly, I'd stick with it. If fermentation sticks with Avante yeast, it would be the first time I'd heard of that, and it can tolerate 17% alcohol, so I think you're ok.

Maybe a heating pad under the fermenter for a few hours? I did that with the semillion last week, since the room it's in is just 60F, and even within 2-3 degrees rise, the was notably faster fermentation. If you could get it to 70 or 75F you would optimize your chances. I used a seed starting mat that is about 90F on the surface and it seemed to do the trick.

And according to Gusmer, the lower temp limit for Avante yeast is 65F. So it likes things 5-10 degrees warmer than a lot of other yeasts.

I had one other thought. Does WGD sulfite the must before shipment? If so, that could make fermentations more difficult. I didn't ask, but it's a question.

Very interested and will follow your progress.
 

crushday

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Just checked on everything...

Both the CS and the PS have nicely formed caps. Nice suggestion @winemaker81 on cleaning the “chips” of dried skins above the cap. I actually wondered about that today when I punched down.

Checked the gravity. I’m happy to report these numbers:

Petite Sirah: 1.002 (four clicks overnight)
Cab Sauv: 1.011 (seven clicks overnight) - great news!

To answer @CDrew and @winemaker81 on the temp. I moved the musts to my fermenting room after the second day (November 2) because I saw heating my entire garage as a waste. Moving six active ferments to my little fermenting room was tight but it’s been a cosy 70 degrees most of the time. About a week ago I bumped it up to 75. The must on both is around 76.

I’ll know more tomorrow but I suspect that I’ll be pressing tomorrow after work.

I could do the PS tonight. Any reason it can’t sit there another day? Off flavors? Too much tannin from seeds?
 

Boatboy24

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@Boatboy24 Jim, I’m really fearing a couple stuck fermentations with the PS and the Cab (especially the Cab) as both had high Brix. Even though I diluted, both of these have been a slog. As long as the cap continues to form after punching I’ll be patient.

75 gallons of must with too much residual would seriously suck. I would be using it for the next five years as blending wine. I’m cringing thinking about it.
You are far from a worst case scenario, and you always have the "ferment-a-brick" yeast - EC-1118.
 

stickman

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The photo in post #82 has quite a few raisins, so I would guess the original measured brix of 30 was 1 or 2 below actual. It should complete, but might be slow with accumulating alcohol, even with the water addition you might still hit 16 to 16.5 ABV.
 

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