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My 2nd Go at Winemaking...

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FunkedOut

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Friday night, I racked the D254 batch to a 6 gallon carboy after squeezing the bag of skins pretty well.
Added sulfites and degassed a good bit (5 minutes at -25"Hg).
I still needed to top up the carboy with 1.75 bottles of wine; that's like 3 pints.
No oak cubes, yet. I added the clearing agents and will rack again in a month before adding those.

Tonight was the night to start the D80 batch.
Prepared the kit the same exact way, only this time, I didn't lose a pint of good juice when adding the skins.
I placed the bag over the mouth of the fermonster and poured the skins in with an extra set of hands.
The level of must was up over the 6.5 gallon mark before pitching the yeast.
After a lot of stirring, the highest gravity I could measure is 1.092.

The D254 batch was measuring 1.095 at pitching time and peaked at 1.098 the next day.
We'll see what tomorrow brings...
 

FunkedOut

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The D80 batch only measured as high as 1.094. I guess there is some variance from kit to kit.
The D80 definitely got off to a slower start, but got caught up pretty quickly.
D80 took 1 more day to hit the 1/3 sugar break than the D254, but came in just a few hours behind on hitting the 2/3 sugar break.

This morning, I decided to button up the fermonster and leave it sealed for the rest of the 8 week extended maceration. Measured 1.017.
I used a stopper in the fermonster lid with two holes; an airlock in one and a 16" thermowell in the other.
Not really interested in using the thermowell for measuring temperature, but so far, it's doing a great job of keeping the skin bag submerged.
Hopefully, it will hold so I don't have to slosh it around for next couple of weeks.
6DBE4E29-0481-4B6E-921F-C2EA43BE0BE6.jpeg
 

FunkedOut

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The D254 batch has been in a carboy with the oak cubes that came with the kit for 6 weeks now.
I will be racking off the oak in another 6 weeks.

The D80 batch is in a carboy, degassed with the sulfite and clearing agents in.
I will be racking that before the year is out and adding the oak cubes that came with the kit for 3 months.

The D21 batch is currently in the fermonster starting on week 3 of its extended maceration.
This batch was the stinkiest of the three. They were all treated exactly the same.
Rehydrating the dry yeasts with GoFerm Protect and spring water.
Fermaid K, half dose at the onset of fermentation and the other half at the 1/3 sugar break.

The kits all had slightly different OG's / FG's:
D254 = 1.098 / 0.991
D80 = 1.094 / 0.991
D21 = 1.092 / ? (don't want to open it up until I add sulfite at the end of the 8 week EM)

They all had good fermentations, with the D254 being a bit quicker.
yeast = 1/3 break / 2/3 break
D254 = 2.5 days / 3.5 days
D80 = 3.5 days / 4.5 days
D21 = 3.5 days / 4.5 days
 
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FunkedOut

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These 3 kits were started every 8 weeks.
I will be shaving a week or two off each racking from the earlier batches so that they will be due for a racking at the same time.
I am aiming for August of 2020.
That day, I plan to taste and compare the different yeasts.
Try some blends a few different ways.
Should be a good time.

Thinking I will bottle a few of each yeast individually and blend the bulk of it.
Probably let it sit for another 3 months after blending before I bottle that.
 

FunkedOut

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The D254 batch got racked off the oak cubes today.
(8 week EM, 1 month clearing with finings, 3 months on kit-supplied cubes)

It tastes great!
A bit sour, but way, way less so than the first Malbec kit I made.
The oak level is subtle, but present.
And the tannin level is perfect, to a bit strong.
Mouthfeel is great. No watery feeling like the Malbec.

Thinking of adding some tannin complex and a touch of glycerin for sourness.
On my first kit (Malbec), the tannin complex just about disappeared after 3 months of bulk aging. The sourness did not go away.
Whatever I decide to do this batch, I plan to do to the other two, blindly, so I can taste just the difference in yeasts.
Is that a bad idea? Should I treat each batch independently?
I cannot imagine that the different yeasts will produce vastly different wines...
 

FunkedOut

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I think I'll treat all three kits identically, so I can learn exactly how much difference yeast makes in wine. In beer, yeast is huge!
Hard to tell the difference at the moment, because one kit has oaked for 3 months, one is mid-oak and the last has not started yet.


Just updating this information below for posterity...

The kits all had slightly different OG's / FG's:
yeast = OG / FG
D254 = 1.098 / 0.991
D80 = 1.094 / 0.991
D21 = 1.092 / 0.990

They all had good fermentations, with the D254 being a bit quicker.
yeast = ⅓ break / ⅔ break
D254 = 2.5 days / 3.5 days
D80 = 3.5 days / 4.5 days
D21 = 3.5 days / 4.5 days
 

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