Quantcast

My 2nd Go at Winemaking...

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

FunkedOut

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
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

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
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

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
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
 
Last edited:

FunkedOut

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
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

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
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

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
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
 

FunkedOut

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
Got some catching up to do...
The first batch (D254), I added glycerin, same as I added to my first kit.
Before I got to my second batch (D80), I had a few bottles of my first kit and found that the sourness had completely gone away.
...and I was left with a sweet wine. Not terribly sweet, but not dry at all.

Batch 2 & 3 (D80 & D21) got no glycerin at all.
I knew I either had to chuck the D254, or blend it all, equal parts to minimize the glycerin.

Today, I bottled the first carboy of the blended wine.
This wine is absolutely fantastic!!!
Sounds cliche, I know, but this is as good as any $20 wine I've ever bought.
Very relieved that is the case, as I have more than 7 cases worth!

Having been through a year's cycle on the wine kits, I am starting to learn what young wine tastes like, and what will be left in some time.
You can't read enough to get that.
 

Vinobeau

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2015
Messages
131
Reaction score
66
Location
Oshkosh
Question is, do you think the D21 kit will have bulk aged long enough to taste halfway representative of its end state?
I may just have to take a leap of faith and blend it at equal ratios and hope for the best.
Plan is to fill a carboy or two with the blend(s) and bottle the rest, as individual yeast wines at that time.
Then let the blend bulk age for another 12 weeks before bottling.

IMO, it all depends on how sophisticated your taste is. I believe the first thing to do is taste the three individual wines, then try to determine what you want it to taste like and blend toward that goal. In my experience, blending three wines will end up negating certain flavors / tastes, not enhancing any.
 

FunkedOut

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
163
Reaction score
62
Answer is no. The D21 kit was still very young compared to the first two.
Having tasted these kits along the way, I can mentally (with the aid/deception of memory) follow their path along the way.
I could taste the maturity between the first two as well, although less pronounced.

I did some bench testing at different blend rates, with only 2 of the wines as well as rates of all 3.
I was pretty well smashed at the end of it all.
My hands were tied on this blend, as the first kit had too much glycerin.
It was a bit of a relief and simplified things a great deal.

The D254 was a great wine. Had all the fruit you'd want in a wine and no fruit juice taste. It was deep and rich.
The D80 was similar, but the tannins were stiff and short. Less fruit and jam.
The D21 was my least favorite and very bright. If anything, I would ease up on the D21 a bit in the blend.
About the 3:4:2 (D254 : D80 : D21) mark was probably my favorite.

Although I liked the D254 better than the D80, when blended, I liked turning up the volume on the D80.
Wifey didn't like any of the wines but loved all the blends with no preference between blends.
She was blind to the variables.
 
Top