Need help with tart wine

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Khristyjeff

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There is a recent thread on cold stabilization/crashing. IIRC, for best results, the wine should be held below freezing, maybe 26F?

From practical experience, if you can chill the wine and if the tartaric acid is oversaturated, the crystals will drop. My cellar is 58F in the winter -- yesterday when I racked, most containers had a thin layer of crystals. Note that my wines are not highly acidic, but crystals formed anyway.

Temperatures approaching freezing will get the most result, but anything below 60 F may help.
Thanks @winemaker81 It's on the front porch and is at least colder temps than my basement. We'll hope for the best.
 

Steve Wargo

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Thanks Steve for the detailed response. I tried the MF because I had read it might help. To answer your questions, I really don't have a way of knowing if MF finished. My understanding is that to test for that is out of my price range. Are you aware of a good way to test? I also had a slight rotten egg taste/smell early on and that is gone now so we're making progress!
Interesting and helpful that you started your Petite Pearl at the same time and our pH levels were about the same. The Vineyard where I picked the grapes listed the Brix but I don't remember for sure--maybe 21-23? I don't remember mine being heavy bodied after crush (but this was my first time from grapes) and didn't add any water like you did. In hindsight that maybe would have helped?
For now I've got it on the front porch and we'll see what happens. BTW, did you add any oak to yours? I had read where one winemaker did this and won some awards.
I think that we are all learning the best way to produce very good wine with the petite Perl, even the established vineyards are still experimenting. I haven't added oak to the petite Perl. I know a vineyard that oaks in neutral French oak barrels. I can still taste faint hints of oak in their Perl wine. I read on the 32 parallel Wisconsin website that they blended their petite Perl with 25% Marquette and won a prize for that particular lot of wine. Not sure if it was oaked. They are a Hybrid cold-hardy vineyard. You might be able to call them and ask a few questions. P.S. One of the things I didn't mention was that I added pectic enzyme a day before adding the yeast slurry to the must. I think it broke down the grape skins a little more than normal fermentation and extracted additional color. Like I said in the previous post, the wine is like black ink. Very tasty what I can tell from the few ounces that I did a taste test. I do not know an inexpensive way to test malic acid content in red wine. Maybe a lab will do it cheaper than buying the stuff to do it yourself. Good luck.
 

Khristyjeff

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I think that we are all learning the best way to produce very good wine with the petite Perl, even the established vineyards are still experimenting. I haven't added oak to the petite Perl. I know a vineyard that oaks in neutral French oak barrels. I can still taste faint hints of oak in their Perl wine. I read on the 32 parallel Wisconsin website that they blended their petite Perl with 25% Marquette and won a prize for that particular lot of wine. Not sure if it was oaked. They are a Hybrid cold-hardy vineyard. You might be able to call them and ask a few questions. P.S. One of the things I didn't mention was that I added pectic enzyme a day before adding the yeast slurry to the must. I think it broke down the grape skins a little more than normal fermentation and extracted additional color. Like I said in the previous post, the wine is like black ink. Very tasty what I can tell from the few ounces that I did a taste test. I do not know an inexpensive way to test malic acid content in red wine. Maybe a lab will do it cheaper than buying the stuff to do it yourself. Good luck.
Good info Steve. I should give them a call. Wine people I talk to tend to be very helpful.
The owner of the vineyard where I picked the grapes said they like to blend with Marquette but since this was my first time from fresh grapes, I wanted to keep it simple. Maybe Marquette in the Fall?
The pectic enzyme may have made a difference. I'll make a note of it for the future.
As far as "black ink color," I didn't have a press other than my hands, so I don't think I got all the color out of the skins that others might. It still looks dark but not like you describe. I'm still optimistic that we'll get something good out of this to drink in addition to the new stuff I've learned. Thanks again.
 

Rice_Guy

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Good information @Rice_Guy about the Titratable acidity and pH. I didn't know that. You mention tannins; I did oak this for awhile. Could that help things over time? Or are you thinking I should add powdered tannins? I know often times less is best, so. . .
I've moved the wine to our front porch (temps today in the upper 30's). On a side note, my basement wine storage area has been in the 50's, and one of my kit wines dropped a bunch of wine diamonds. Hopefully with the even lower temperatures we'll have success with the Petite Pearl. Thanks again for your help.
I have no opinion on tannin, age related chemistry is interesting and the repeated comment is “the wine improved”, one of the reactions is precipitation of diamonds. By the way commercial folks seed with cream of tarter or a commercial version of tartrate crystals to speed the process.
11% alcohol should not freeze till 28F at which time you are making a slush that could be filtered out leaving you with a port, ,,,we are almost at March so you have lost two months of cheap refrigeration.
 

winemaker81

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I didn't have a press other than my hands, so I don't think I got all the color out of the skins that others might.
I don't want to depress you, but squeezing by hand leaves probably 1/3 of the wine behind. Last fall I performed a "medium" press with a basket press (no way to measure, my guess is 3/4 bar) on 576 lbs of grapes, producing 40+ gallons of wine. I added 15 gallons water to the pomace to make a 2nd run, and when I pressed hard, I got 20 gallons of wine. My first pressing left 1/8 of the wine behind.

Fall 2019 I purchased a used #40 basket press using Facebook Marketplace. Normally these are $600+ USD, but I got a really good deal, including 54 and 25 liter demijohns + a few toys + junk I threw out. I'd like a bladder press, but the ones I've looked at are out of my price range.

The #40's basket is 16" wide, 20" high, with an 18.5 gallon capacity. In 2019 I made three 5 lug batches (180 lbs each), but in 2020 I changed to four 4 lug batches (144 lbs each) as that is more manageable for me when I'm alone. The press handled 5 lugs at once with no problem, and it would probably hold 7. I like this size as the opening at the top is large enough to easily pour the must in, so I wouldn't want a smaller one. Note: This puppy weighs over 150 lbs, so I take it apart to move it, and the base is still heavy.

I'm telling you this, as it will help you determine what press you need if you buy one. You'll have to search for the capacity of other basket press sizes, as "#30" isn't exactly descriptive ...

One piece of advice: DO NOT BUY CHINESE. My experiences with Chinese manufactured hardware of all types has been extremely poor, and the reviews I've read on wine making equipment have been equally poor.

More advice -- don't buy too small, as you'll end up suffering with it, or selling it and buying a bigger press. I suggest that you read the descriptions and use a tape measure to help visualize how big the press actually is.

If a manufactured press is out of consideration, consider building a press. There are many types of homemade presses that do at least do a better job than pressing with your hands. Anything that will multiply your strength is good.

Note: my press is low to the ground so I constructed a base using the wood from the palettes the grapes arrived on. I took 4 palettes, ripped them apart, selected the best wood, and built a base (+ used an old 2x4 I had hanging around). Pictures of the assembled base are here. I didn't have room to store it inside, so it remained outside for a year -- after the 2020 pressing I junked it, as it had degraded. But no problem -- I learned a lot from building it, and the 2021 grapes will arrive on more palettes. The new one will be built a bit lower, so that the spout clears my tallest bucket by 6", plus I'll glue all joints in addition to the screws.
 
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Khristyjeff

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"I don't want to depress you," Not at all depressed, Bryan. I pretty much go with the flow. This is a hobby that I'm really enjoying and don't want to allow any phase of it to create stress.:h
Your press looks awesome. I can dream!
The vineyard where I picked the grapes also offered free pressing. But with a 3-1/2 hour roundtrip drive, "not exactly secure containers" sloshing around in the family car, and no helper along, I just decided to get what I could out of them.
I thought if I return there next year, I may just pick white grapes as they can be de-stemmed and pressed during the same visit. Otherwise, I'll have to get a better plan in place for transporting the reds. Thanks again for your good advice, Bryan.
 

Steve Wargo

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Good info Steve. I should give them a call. Wine people I talk to tend to be very helpful.
The owner of the vineyard where I picked the grapes said they like to blend with Marquette but since this was my first time from fresh grapes, I wanted to keep it simple. Maybe Marquette in the Fall?
The pectic enzyme may have made a difference. I'll make a note of it for the future.
As far as "black ink color," I didn't have a press other than my hands, so I don't think I got all the color out of the skins that others might. It still looks dark but not like you describe. I'm still optimistic that we'll get something good out of this to drink in addition to the new stuff I've learned. Thanks again.
I made a mistake about the name of the place. here is the website https://www.44wineries.com/shop-now/red-wines/petite-pearl-reserve/
 

sour_grapes

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I think that we are all learning the best way to produce very good wine with the petite Perl, even the established vineyards are still experimenting. I haven't added oak to the petite Perl. I know a vineyard that oaks in neutral French oak barrels. I can still taste faint hints of oak in their Perl wine. I read on the 32 parallel Wisconsin website that they blended their petite Perl with 25% Marquette and won a prize for that particular lot of wine. Not sure if it was oaked. They are a Hybrid cold-hardy vineyard. You might be able to call them and ask a few questions. P.S. One of the things I didn't mention was that I added pectic enzyme a day before adding the yeast slurry to the must. I think it broke down the grape skins a little more than normal fermentation and extracted additional color. Like I said in the previous post, the wine is like black ink. Very tasty what I can tell from the few ounces that I did a taste test. I do not know an inexpensive way to test malic acid content in red wine. Maybe a lab will do it cheaper than buying the stuff to do it yourself. Good luck.
Did you mean Parallel 44? I have enjoyed a few of their wines.
 

Mc vintner

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I’m fortunate enough to have a good size storage space under a staircase aka “Harry Potter closet” that’s against an outside wall in our “mud room” (those living in the northeast should know what that is). Temperature in the closet ranges 39 to 45 degrees depending on outside temp. Good for storing my three hybrids during winter months with great results in dropping acid crystals. Right now storing 40 gallons of wine in carboys after just finishIng third racking. I’ve had great results each year reducing the tartaric acid and tartness of our wines by using this storage space.
 

Khristyjeff

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I’m fortunate enough to have a good size storage space under a staircase aka “Harry Potter closet” that’s against an outside wall in our “mud room” (those living in the northeast should know what that is). Temperature in the closet ranges 39 to 45 degrees depending on outside temp. Good for storing my three hybrids during winter months with great results in dropping acid crystals. Right now storing 40 gallons of wine in carboys after just finishIng third racking. I’ve had great results each year reducing the tartaric acid and tartness of our wines by using this storage space.
That sounds like refrigerator temperatures. Very fortunate. I have a great setup in the basement, but to get the 6 gallon carboys to the cold front porch I have to carry them up a flight of old rickety stairs. Wasn't looking forward to that, but I made it.
 

Khristyjeff

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Was at the Parallel 44 last fall but have not made it to the Door 44(both just 30-45 mins away). Not sure if they have grapes at Door 44, will have to take a drive in a few weeks to find out.
I read an article where they won an award for their Petite Pearl wine. Wouldn't mind trying a bottle but shipping was kind of pricey.
 

sour_grapes

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Was at the Parallel 44 last fall but have not made it to the Door 44(both just 30-45 mins away). Not sure if they have grapes at Door 44, will have to take a drive in a few weeks to find out.
It was actually at Door 44 that I had the wine I spoke of. You got me curious, so I checked their website. They say that there is a 6-acre vineyard at Door (Sturgeon Bay), and a 10-acre vineyard at Parallel (i.e., Kewaunee). (I put the place names in for others, not you!) However, I have the idea that Door is newer, and the wines still come from Kewaunee?? I don't know that for sure, just an impression I picked up somewhere...
 

Rice_Guy

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It was actually at Door 44 that I had the wine I spoke of. You got me curious, so I checked their website. They say that there is a 6-acre vineyard at Door (Sturgeon Bay), and a 10-acre vineyard at Parallel (i.e., Kewaunee). (I put the place names in for others, not you!) However, I have the idea that Door is newer, and the wines still come from Kewaunee?? I don't know that for sure, just an impression I picked up somewhere...
Door and Parallel 44 are the same company
 

Reluctant Chemist

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I think that we are all learning the best way to produce very good wine with the petite Perl, even the established vineyards are still experimenting. I haven't added oak to the petite Perl. I know a vineyard that oaks in neutral French oak barrels. I can still taste faint hints of oak in their Perl wine. I read on the 32 parallel Wisconsin website that they blended their petite Perl with 25% Marquette and won a prize for that particular lot of wine. Not sure if it was oaked. They are a Hybrid cold-hardy vineyard. You might be able to call them and ask a few questions. P.S. One of the things I didn't mention was that I added pectic enzyme a day before adding the yeast slurry to the must. I think it broke down the grape skins a little more than normal fermentation and extracted additional color. Like I said in the previous post, the wine is like black ink. Very tasty what I can tell from the few ounces that I did a taste test. I do not know an inexpensive way to test malic acid content in red wine. Maybe a lab will do it cheaper than buying the stuff to do it yourself. Good luck.
 

Reluctant Chemist

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The Accuvin TA tests go for about $30.00 for a pack of 10 from their retailers. If your wine is a lot higher than their range, you can dilute 1 part wine plus 1 part water, and multiply your answer by 2.
 

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