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Local Cabernet Franc grapes

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ceeaton

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Figured I'd start a thread since there aren't many on Cab Franc, especially ones from Spring Grove, PA. My record keeping also isn't the best so this is a nice place to put measurements so I don't lose them. Picked up my grapes this afternoon. Picked this morning/crushed and destemmed. Paid about $140 for 105 lbs, not bad. He did let me drive his cart to help him pick up some lugs of Concord that were in the field, very ripe, lots o' bees. It was fun and I didn't even knock a whole row out (they are pretty closely space, very little room for error). The owner (Jeff) sulfited and enzymed them right after crush (50 ppm - he has a vinmetrica to test SO2). I added more Lallzyme EX when I got them home. Very clean, a few greenies that are rather tart, but I'll take the measurements any day. He picked them earlier than he wanted to because the deer were feasting now that the local corn is mostly harvested in his local area.

pH 3.47, 22 brix (1.091 @ 72*F), TA 6.0 g/L; plan on pitching either GRE or D21 yeast tomorrow morning. Still on the fence post as to how much if any simple syrup I will add, will probably do that in the a.m.

And for all you M*A*S*H lovers, this wine will be the first I'll name, and I'll name it Franc Burns.

10-5-16_cab-franc-burns.jpg
 
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ceeaton

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Decided to add 30 oz of sugar made into a simple syrup in 2 cups of water with 1.5 g of tartaric acid to help maintain the TA (did last night). SG up to 1.097 (corrected for temp). Rehydrated GRE yeast in 10 g Go Ferm, pitched when within 5*F of grapes in the bucket. Will add Opti-red after work today if there are any signs of activity, which I expect there might be as the GRE I used a few weeks ago doesn't fool around and gets going pretty quick.

On the fence post as to whether I'm adding any FT Rouge, might just add some French oak chips for sacrificial tannins.
 

ceeaton

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We have lift off, sizzling like a steak on medium low (small sizzle) but hey, it's only been 11 hours since I pitched the yeast. Punched the foam and yeast on top down into the bucket to distribute it better (had poured the Go Ferm/yeast mixture on top this morning). Plan on an Opti Red and 1/2 Fermaid O addition before bed time. Didn't measure the SG since I'm lazy and have to go pick one daughter up from cheerleading practice, the other from her field hockey game. Will do so later and add it to this post.
 

ibglowin

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I would add some Tannin FT Rouge for sure. It can help tie up pyrazines which is what causes the vegetal (bell pepper) stink.
 

ceeaton

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I would add some Tannin FT Rouge for sure. It can help tie up pyrazines which is what causes the vegetal (bell pepper) stink.
I wouldn't be overdoing it by adding a dose of the FT Rouge and 2 oz of French med chips would I?

Edit: well, if it's too much I can just age it longer. Usually additions this early don't amount to too much, oak character wise. They just do good things you'd miss if they weren't there, but you can't quite put your finger on what they are. Added 56 grams of French medium chips and 8 grams of FT Rouge (and now I'm out of that).

10-6-16_franc-burns-oak.jpg
 
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ibglowin

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Oak chips won't do anything for pyrazines. I had to add bentonite to my Cab Franc as well as Tannin FT Rouge to suck it up.
 

ceeaton

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Oak chips won't do anything for pyrazines. I had to add bentonite to my Cab Franc as well as Tannin FT Rouge to suck it up.
Was this the infamous batch you had to blend to use? And I should be able to still add the bentonite at this point since fermentation is just starting, right? I know, full of questions, but I'd hate to mess up 8 gallons of red wine. Especially really good smelling red wine at this point.

Second question. Did you notice the issue before the wine went dry, ie. could you taste it from day one?
 

ibglowin

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Yea this was stuff from 2011 which was the coolest on record even for Kalifornia. I added the bentonite post fermentation as I didn't know what the hell to do with 6 gallons of Bell Pepper wine........

It helped but I still blended it away..... :)
 

ceeaton

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Really nice thick cap formed this morning. Punched it down and used the opportunity to remove a few green stems and under ripe grapes. Found a few whole clusters, that looked nice, so hand destemmed them. Kids have off today (extended Columbus day?) so my wife and I were up around the same time. She commented on the fermentation smell (in a positive way), I have to admit I smelled a little oak and fresh grapes and that was it. Must be getting used to this wine making thing already.
 

ceeaton

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Came home to a nice thick cap (image doesn't do it justice). Looked like an engine block with the cylinders cut out as I punched it down, very resilient. Still has a nice smell, no funky odors, but then I didn't have any with my White Zin bucket that I used the GRE yeast on. Will have to check the SG tonight to estimate TTP (time to press). Used AMH yeast on the Zin batch a few weeks ago and that was as slow as molasses running uphill in January. I know this one will move along much quicker. Hoping for Monday since I'll get home early from work and be able to enjoy the process and not hurry it along.

10-7-16_Frank-Burns_cap.jpg
 

ceeaton

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Woke up this morning to no off smells, slight smell of alcohol and a thick, thick, cap. SG checked in around 1.060, had forgotten to add Opti-red, so did that, and added other 1/2 (6g) of Fermaid O since I'm at about 1/3 sugar depletion. Might not be ready to press on Monday, though stranger things have happened. Maybe that Fermaid O will kick up the rate a bit, will check SG again on Sunday afternoon.
 

ceeaton

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Got home today and checked the SG this afternoon, it was 1.022. So definitely not pressing today, probably not pressing tomorrow, but Tuesday is a scheduling nightmare, with my wife attending her evening class, and yours truly in charge of carting my daughters home from practices. Might have to get up early and press Tuesday morning, not optimal, can't drink wine before going to work and expect to keep my job, but I can celebrate later in the day before I hit the sack.

The cap and all associated fermentation smells seem normal on this batch. Pretty good chance it will get done without any issues.
 

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Sounds like it is going nicely. I love CF, did it in '13, ,14, doing a small lot this year and plan on doing 60 gallons next year. Are you going to blend it with anything; cab, merlot, petit verdot?
 

ceeaton

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Sounds like it is going nicely. I love CF, did it in '13, ,14, doing a small lot this year and plan on doing 60 gallons next year. Are you going to blend it with anything; cab, merlot, petit verdot?
This is my first try on Cab Franc grapes. I've done local Chardonel, Dornfelder and now this Cab Franc batch. I'm trying to make any varietal of grape that I can grow. So at this point, unless I take a gallon or so and mix it with an old Merlot/Cab Sauv/Malbec blend I made (to make a nice Bordeaux blend), I'll probably leave it be and see if I fancy the grape more than I do the Dornfelder. Next year I think I'm aiming to make a batch of Noriet or Marquette from the vineyard owner I've been purchasing from locally.

Eventually I hope to pick one or two reds and whites and plant them in the back yard so I can learn what it takes to grow my own grapes and make wine from them. Someday if my time doesn't run out on this Earth, I'd love to plant a small vineyard to occupy my retired years, but I've got a few more working years until that can happen (not that growing grapes isn't hard work). So the current project is improving physically so I can endure and hopefully thrive until I retire.
 

ceeaton

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SG was down to 1.006 or so this afternoon. Kids didn't have school so this was my best chance to press and not have to rush the process. Free run and pressed juice both had nice flavor, not too much bitterness or over the top tannins. At this point I think I have close to 9 gallons, but still need to rack off of the gross lees in a few days, once fermentation finishes up. I think the rain the week before they were picked had a larger impact than expected with the "juiciness" of the grapes.

Have 6 gallons worth in my 7.9 gallon fermenter with an airlock. Need to transfer the 3 or so gallons to a carboy tomorrow morning, sitting in an old juice bucket with an airlock, though lot's of head space in that one. Figure one day will be okay since it is still actively fermenting.

10-10-16_Franc-burns-press-2.jpg

10-10-16_Franc-burns-press-1.jpg
 

ceeaton

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Racked into carboys so that I could get less airspace, still actively fermenting (SG 1.001) so will let stay as is until it goes dry. Then I'll rack off of gross lees and pitch the MLB.

Main issue this morning was trying to seal up the food saver pouches of Zin and Cab Franc used skins. They are taking up too much space in the freezer now that I have about 25 quarts of frozen tomato sauce, so I'm planning to toss them into a WE SE Int'l Malbec kit w/skins. Will just have more skins, way more skins. I'll keep a small frozen pouch of each, but the rest is destined for that kit when I make it tonight.
 

ceeaton

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Racked off of gross lees and pitched CH16 yesterday. Hoping it gets through MLF as fast as my Lanza Zin did. Took a sample to throw on the sheet with the Cab Franc sample and it clearly looks like it is almost done in a few short weeks.
 

jgmann67

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Racked off of gross lees and pitched CH16 yesterday. Hoping it gets through MLF as fast as my Lanza Zin did. Took a sample to throw on the sheet with the Cab Franc sample and it clearly looks like it is almost done in a few short weeks.
Wait, is your Lanza Zin done with MLF already??
 
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