New Ideas for CAB/MERLOT

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Jimmyharts

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Hey,
It's nice to see such an active wine forum.
My best friend and I have been making wine for years. The exact same recipe that was taught to us by our friends dad.
15 Cases of Merlot mixed with 15 Cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. We get the stems removed and have grapes crushed. From there we take care of the rest.
Personally we love the wine but wanted to try and change something up so we can have some fun with it.

I see woodchips, spirals, fruit juices etc.

I was trying to find some videos on youtube trying to explain how to add these items but they were not the best.
Does anyone have any ideas that I could try that would make the wine even better?
Please also let me know what stage to add and when to remove. That was the biggest issue with the videos. Those instructions were not clear enough to risk destroying 54L of hard work!
 

Jim Welch

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Yeast selection can have a big effect on some of the subtle nuances of a wine. Not that what you mention won’t help but yeast is often overlooked. What kind of yeast have you been using?
 

Jimmyharts

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Yeast selection can have a big effect on some of the subtle nuances of a wine. Not that what you mention won’t help but yeast is often overlooked. What kind of yeast have you been using?
No yeast
We actually only use the grapes and nothing else
 

Jbu50

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Lots of folks out here follow the MoreWine! manuals. They are excellent. Download and read "MoreWine! Guide to Red Winemaking". They are free.

 
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If you want to have fun and don't mind the extra work try fermenting them separately and to bench trials once they are finished for a different blend. I can just assume you age in glass but perhaps you might consider a barrel for the oaking and micro oxygenation. Chips are generally used during fermentation as a sacrificial tannins. Staves, spirals and others are for post fermentation.
 

Jim Welch

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No yeast
We actually only use the grapes and nothing else
Ok, no yeast added at least, you are relying on the naturally occurring wild yeast already on the grapes.
While not of Italian extract myself I know this is a traditional Italian (perhaps other too) winemaking technique. My father remarried to a woman the daughter of Italian immigrants so have seen a lot of this type of red wine.
Cultured yeast is cheap and almost all types are naturally occurring grape yeasts that are very consistent. You might improve your wine with an appropriate cultured yeast but if you’re happy with what you make…
 

Jimmyharts

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Ok, no yeast added at least, you are relying on the naturally occurring wild yeast already on the grapes.
While not of Italian extract myself I know this is a traditional Italian (perhaps other too) winemaking technique. My father remarried to a woman the daughter of Italian immigrants so have seen a lot of this type of red wine.
Cultured yeast is cheap and almost all types are naturally occurring grape yeasts that are very consistent. You might improve your wine with an appropriate cultured yeast but if you’re happy with what you make…
Im always willing to do small experiments.
I want to see if we can improve on the flavour.
Ill look into yeasts tonight
 

Jim Welch

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Im always willing to do small experiments.
I want to see if we can improve on the flavour.
Ill look into yeasts tonight
I’ve not done spontaneous fermentation, I.e. relying on wild yeast, so no experience but from my readings I hear they can be great, good, fair, or poor depending which strain is/becomes dominant. I’ve had some that I would’ve had more and I’ve had some I wouldn’t.
Not knocking that approach at all but you’ll get much more consistent results with a cultured yeast.
Doing them separately, as Fred mentioned above, and even using different yeasts is another good approach if you have the equipment.
If you use a cultured yeast consider a hydration aid like Go Ferm, yeast nutrients, and even a starter. I know that sounds like a lot of complications/work but it is worth the effort imo.
 
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