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Newbee 2020 Pinot Noir plan

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ZebraB

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Since this year will be my first attempt at making wine from grapes, I would appreciate any advise on how to tweak my following plan.

Day 1 - Crush and Destem
  • Pick out unwanted leaves and spoiled grapes
  • Hand separate out approx 25% grapes to manually destem or see how milk crate container method works and adjust
  • Use a clean milk crate in a larger container. Roll whole grapes on milk carton to separate out the larger stems.
  • Pick out the larger remaining stems in the juice carton (the less bits & pieces the better).
  • Hand crush grapes and try to achieve 20 - 30 % whole grapes remaining (Porter Creek website states that this prolongs fermentation and adds a textural component)
  • Add 50 PPM of potassium metabisulfite
  • Determine Brix - Optimal Brix is 22 - 22.5. Add sugar or distilled water as needed
  • Determine the PH - Optimal PH is 3.2 - 3.3 (Add tartaric acid or potassium bicarbonate as needed)
  • Store in refrigerator @ 45 degree overnight
Day 2 - Pitching the yeast
  • Warm up juice to 78F
  • Add Lallyzyme - EX
  • Add Go Ferm Nutrients
  • Add Opti- Red
  • Add Booster Rouge
  • Mix yeast (Not sure yet) - Lalvin RA17 and Lalvin RC212 , or Brio (most likely) - will target final temp based on selected yeast
  • Cover with towel
Day 3 to 5- Fermentation
  • Punch down 2 - 3 times daily
  • 1.04 SG
    • add additional yeast nutrients Fermaid K
    • Add reduless
- at 1.020 SG
  • Add MLF yeast
  • Add Malo-Opti-Plus?
Day 6 - Color extraction
  • Slowly Raise temperature to 86F for 1 day for maximal color extraction
Day 7 - Slow reduce temperature back to 78F - not to stress out yeast

Day 8 - 9
  • Stop punching when wine is finished fermentation

Day 12 - 14 (target day 13)
  • Press off skins. “in a green year do not leave for extended maceration after 8 day to avoid green tannin extraction” - extracts too much seed tannin - bitterness
  • Likely will not separate free juice from pressed juice. (taste both and then decide)
  • Add Tan‟Cor (TAN130)
  • Under airlock carboy
Day 14
  • Rack off lees
  • Add SO2 (target depending on PH and OH content)
  • Add 2 French Oak sticks - med toasted

Note: one of the best pinot noir I have had was from Porter Creek and they us the traditional style. So the following link is what I could find on fermenting pinot noir the traditional way.
 

cmason1957

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Few comments, instead of adding just distilled water, if your sugar level is too high, you will want to affect tartarus acid to about the same ph add your current must. Also, there is no need to add reduless, unless you develop a h2s issue.

How many pounds are you doing? Much more than 100 pounds and you will want to see about getting them crushed/destemmed where you get your grapes by machine.

I wouldn't add tancor and then rack in three days. I would wait until after you rack of the gross lees. If you wait until 1.020 to add mlf (and yes to Opti malo), I really would wait until after you rack of the gross lees. Many folks add mlf at the first signs of a cap forming.

And remember, let the grapes and your hydrometer guide you, not the number of days.
 

NorCal

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My approach is less is more, get great grapes and do as little intervention as possible.

- pick at a 23-26 brix with an acceptable pH.
- Don’t add water, unless brix above 26.5
- Adjust pH only if way out of wack <3.2 or >3.7
- only add Lallyzyme, Opti red, booster rouge, redulees , TanCor, or any other product if (thx Rocky) there is a problem that you are trying to fix. Good grapes don’t need additives.
- don’t mix yeast. If you want multiple yeasts, ferment separately
- you can’t make wine by the calendar, you press, rack when the wine tells you it’s ready.
.
 

Rocky

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@ZebraB, I highly recommend you follow NorCal's advice to the letter. If you do, you will astound yourself and your friends with the quality of your wine.

Also, I believe NorCal meant, in bullet 4, "only add Lallyzyme, Opti red, booster rouge, redulees, TanCor or any other product IF (not "unless") there is a problem you are trying to fix. Good grapes don't need additives." Amen to that!
 

ZebraB

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Thanks for the good feedback. Much appreciated!!!!

I plan on only doing 100 lb. I have been doing kits the past year and my equipment is stocked for 6/5 gallon temp control. Not sure I want to invest more this year to accommodate a larger batch size. Yes. I will use the hydrometer as the ultimate timeline.

The grapes will be coming from a local organically grown source but it is off a 4 year old vine so not sure what to expect. I would anticipate that the grapes will be good for early vines. I will take your advice and not add those products. I found with kits these additives help so good to know that you don't need them for good grapes.

I am not sure about MLF. I debate between doing during fermentation (easier) for after fermentation (better but problematic). I still have time to research and make a final decision. It is good to know if I start during fermentation, to start when the cap forms
 

NorCal

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Thanks for the good feedback. Much appreciated!!!!
... I will take your advice and not add those products.
I didn‘t say not to use the products, they have their place. I only use them if there is a problem you are trying to fix, not as a planned step in the process. The products are a tool in the tool box of wine making.

I have added mlf during and after fermentation. I tend to go with post fermentation, because my wines tend to be higher pH. Co-inoculation of the mlb tends to finish sooner. Since the mlf produces CO2, protecting the wine, the longer I can go before adding SO2, the better for me in managing my total SO2 additions in 11-18 month barrel aged wines.
 

ZebraB

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The tools sound like the art part of winemaking. I might ask for more advice if my wine ends up more like a picture by numbers than a piece of art. I did not know about the CO2 aspect of MLF post fermentation, but makes sense. It sounds like a better approach that I will definitely try
 

ZebraB

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I just got a call from the Vineyard and the grapes are at a Brix of 14.6. The smoke slowed the ripening and rain is comming. They stated that it is my call if I wanted proceed or not. They are concerned about botrytis rot with the rain coming and not sure how much more it would ripen given we are in Washington. Would you go ahead and add sugar and be diligent about keeping stems out and adding some tannins or would you skip?
 

Snafflebit

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In Champagne region they will use low Brix Pinot Noir grapes, not much choice most years for them. But I think you will use every trick in the book to get the most color out of those grapes.
 

NorCal

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I just got a call from the Vineyard and the grapes are at a Brix of 14.6. The smoke slowed the ripening and rain is comming. They stated that it is my call if I wanted proceed or not. They are concerned about botrytis rot with the rain coming and not sure how much more it would ripen given we are in Washington. Would you go ahead and add sugar and be diligent about keeping stems out and adding some tannins or would you skip?
At best you could make a Rose, but an 8% abv wine made from unripened grapes may not be all that good. If the grapes were free and I had the time, it would only cost time and a package of yeast. If I had to buy the grapes, I'd pass.
 

ZebraB

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Yes. I feel like I got coal for Xmas. But it has been a very cool summer and the smoke when they needed the sun the most. I feel sorry for the grower because it is thier entire crop that they are dealing with.

I called them and I'm going to see what happens after the rain comes. They have stated that they have had some success with seaweed spray and fungus this year so let's hope. It is suppose to get warmer after the rain. They seem very good people and I would like to keep this open for the future. It just is a wierd year. If this doesn't work then I see frozen buckets in my future.
 

DPCellars

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Since this year will be my first attempt at making wine from grapes, I would appreciate any advise on how to tweak my following plan.

Day 1 - Crush and Destem
  • Pick out unwanted leaves and spoiled grapes
  • Hand separate out approx 25% grapes to manually destem or see how milk crate container method works and adjust
  • Use a clean milk crate in a larger container. Roll whole grapes on milk carton to separate out the larger stems.
  • Pick out the larger remaining stems in the juice carton (the less bits & pieces the better).
  • Hand crush grapes and try to achieve 20 - 30 % whole grapes remaining (Porter Creek website states that this prolongs fermentation and adds a textural component)
  • Add 50 PPM of potassium metabisulfite
  • Determine Brix - Optimal Brix is 22 - 22.5. Add sugar or distilled water as needed
  • Determine the PH - Optimal PH is 3.2 - 3.3 (Add tartaric acid or potassium bicarbonate as needed)
  • Store in refrigerator @ 45 degree overnight
Day 2 - Pitching the yeast
  • Warm up juice to 78F
  • Add Lallyzyme - EX
  • Add Go Ferm Nutrients
  • Add Opti- Red
  • Add Booster Rouge
  • Mix yeast (Not sure yet) - Lalvin RA17 and Lalvin RC212 , or Brio (most likely) - will target final temp based on selected yeast
  • Cover with towel
Day 3 to 5- Fermentation
  • Punch down 2 - 3 times daily
  • 1.04 SG
    • add additional yeast nutrients Fermaid K
    • Add reduless
- at 1.020 SG
  • Add MLF yeast
  • Add Malo-Opti-Plus?
Day 6 - Color extraction
  • Slowly Raise temperature to 86F for 1 day for maximal color extraction
Day 7 - Slow reduce temperature back to 78F - not to stress out yeast

Day 8 - 9
  • Stop punching when wine is finished fermentation

Day 12 - 14 (target day 13)
  • Press off skins. “in a green year do not leave for extended maceration after 8 day to avoid green tannin extraction” - extracts too much seed tannin - bitterness
  • Likely will not separate free juice from pressed juice. (taste both and then decide)
  • Add Tan‟Cor (TAN130)
  • Under airlock carboy
Day 14
  • Rack off lees
  • Add SO2 (target depending on PH and OH content)
  • Add 2 French Oak sticks - med toasted

Note: one of the best pinot noir I have had was from Porter Creek and they us the traditional style. So the following link is what I could find on fermenting pinot noir the traditional way.
I know I'm a little late to this party, but about your milk crate.... I was going to do that, then I saw the egg crate ceiling light diffusers. I place them over my fermenting bin and two of us go to town. I crushed and destemmed about 1000 pounds this year doing this method. Surprisingly, my hands survived. My back was not too happy, but it worked like a charm and must faster, as you can have two people working simultaneously. (I'm cheap).
 

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ZebraB

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I got a call 5 days ago and the Brix had range 11 -21 (avg 17.5) with some botrytis, but grapes tasted good. Since my hubby was in CA helping Mom with honey dos, I retired a year ago and covid, I felt well what else do I have to do. Might as well give it a try since I bought a press, ingredients, and spent hours studying.

I sprayed the grape clusters and picked off the bad grapes, destemmed and crushed. Very manual tedious process. I was about 1/2 way though ( 5 hours) and it was getting late. So I sprayed the rest and put in fridge. I added SO2 and frozen water bottles to what I had done. Next morning. The bucket of must looked bad. I thought what a fool I was. I gave it a taste test for grins and OMG amazing flavor. Energized me to finish up. (way more work than I envisioned and low yield). The Brix was 16.5, PH was 3.54 and I overshot the TA but did not matter since I did not need to adjust acid.

Based on the attached doc, I added more yeast for a fast ferment. Plus I added FT Rough, some French oak chip and Opti-white (to hopefully help oxidation due to botrytis). I did not add the additional sugar until day 2. I wanted the yeast to go forth and multiply. Temp had been hovering 77 which is high but I want a fast ferment so....

Next morning temp was up to 80. I took a Brix and the OH adjusted indicated 1.018 SG. I added 1/2 Ferm K since it is late but want some nutrients. I also added MPF Alpha (which per directions should be co inoculated and ok with botrytis.

Today the Brix adjusted SG is 0.978. Good thing hubby is getting back today because it looks like we will be pressing tomorrow. The color is good. The flavor is light but good tasting. I am hoping that the fast ferment resulted in a lighter flavor.
 

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