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Numbers looking good at crush?

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jsbeckton

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Just picked up 3 lugs of Lodi Cab for my 2nd ever all grape batch. Did a Chilean Merlot in the spring and had trouble with acid and pH so was really wanting to avoid adjustments this time if at all possible. Think I am In good shape but open to opinions:

25 Brix
pH=3.5
TA=0.6

Only thing I added so far is Lallyzme EX and plan to pitch yeast before I go to bed along with opti-red, yeast nutrient and maybe some fermentation tannins.

Will add VP-41 when cap forms.
 

jsbeckton

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I don’t have the palate or experience to gauge how the final wine will be but the grapes and juice tasted excellent and looked great as well.
 

stickman

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Not too often you get away without having to adjust something, looks good to go.
 

jsbeckton

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On a related note. My crusher/destemmer removes about 90% of the stems but there are typically a few chunks here or there that I tend to spend time picking out most of them but wondering if I’m wasting my time. Do you guys worry about what makes it through the crusher or are you satisfied that it get 90% and that good enough?

For reference, the stems were green and not brown.
 

Boatboy24

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Numbers are just about perfect. I'd hold off on the nutrient until 'the onset of fermentation' - when things start bubbling pretty good or you've got a cap forming. As far as removing stems, unless they're sitting on top after they come out of the crusher, I don't bother. Usually, when I'm doing punchdowns, I might remove one or two though.
 

jsbeckton

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Ok, so just pressed on day 8. Updated numbers:

SG=0.998
pH=3.3
TA=0.86

So looks like the acid increased during fermentation and now is on the high side and it does taste tart.

Should I just wait and see how MF goes before doing anything else?
 

stickman

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I'm surprised the TA is that high. If it were me, I would just run the ML as is, it will just take a bit longer at a 3.3 pH. Acid adjustment to taste can be done later during bulk aging.
 

jsbeckton

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Hmm. Just recalibrated my pH meter and checked again. Still getting about the same reading.

Note I also calibrated my meter and did 2 tests for the original TA. Is it odd for it to go up that much during fermentation?
 

stickman

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Dissolved CO2 is an acid and can cause false high results when trying to do a TA test right after fermentation. The last of the sugar is probably still fermenting, so hold off until completion and fully degas the sample before the test.
 

jsbeckton

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I actually tested it again after degassing thinking the same thing but results didn’t change.

Speaking of this...how do you guys degas samples? I tried adding a few ounces to a small water bottle and shaking it up but I’m not too confident this is really getting all the gas out....being very similar to the method I use to carbonate beer samples...
 

stickman

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Warm the sample and bubble with air from fish tank air pump. If you have a vacuum pump or even a Vacuvin, putting the sample in a split and pulling vacuum and shaking is another option.
 

NorCal

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It looks like your starting grapes were perfectly in the bullseye center. I have not seen acid change that much through fermentation before.

I also don’t use additives (Lallyzme EX, opti-red, fermentation tannins) and curious why you added these things?
 

jsbeckton

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It looks like your starting grapes were perfectly in the bullseye center. I have not seen acid change that much through fermentation before.

I also don’t use additives (Lallyzme EX, opti-red, fermentation tannins) and curious why you added these things?
My experience is limited but the MoreWine manual for reds suggests it improves color, mouthfeel and fruit flavors. Also, these additives have also been mentioned frequently on this board so I thought I would give it a try. Not sure how either would impact the acid change but again my experience is limited.

I tend to try to find a balance and not make unnecessary changes but still feeling my way around here. I have a friend who does’t measure anything saying it’s all unnecessary. While I appreciate the simplicity he makes some of the worst wine I’ve ever tasted.

Again, looking for balance between stuff that helps and stuff that is unnecessary/detrimental so open to any advice.
 

mainshipfred

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It looks like your starting grapes were perfectly in the bullseye center. I have not seen acid change that much through fermentation before.

I also don’t use additives (Lallyzme EX, opti-red, fermentation tannins) and curious why you added these things?
Do you use any kind of enzyme? I can't speak for all of them but the commercial guys I know all use an enzyme. Not Lallyzme but a liquid form.
 

NorCal

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Do you use any kind of enzyme? I can't speak for all of them but the commercial guys I know all use an enzyme. Not Lallyzme but a liquid form.
I have tried most of them. I use them as a tool to solve issues with grapes. If there aren’t issues with the grapes that need to be fixed, I don’t use anything. I follow the less is more theory, but you must start with good grapes or that approach doesn’t work.
 

mainshipfred

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I have tried most of them. I use them as a tool to solve issues with grapes. If there aren’t issues with the grapes that need to be fixed, I don’t use anything. I follow the less is more theory, but you must start with good grapes or that approach doesn’t work.
You make much larger quantities than I do so I need all the extraction I can get. The Lallzyme or other enzymes help break down the cell walls for better extraction. I don't see it as an additive to improve the wine just provide more volume at press. I've always used it so I really can't says whether it has an affect or not. Might have to split a batch sometime to see what happens.
 

NorCal

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You make much larger quantities than I do so I need all the extraction I can get. The Lallzyme or other enzymes help break down the cell walls for better extraction. I don't see it as an additive to improve the wine just provide more volume at press. I've always used it so I really can't says whether it has an affect or not. Might have to split a batch sometime to see what happens.
The last time I used an enzyme it made a 1,000 pounds of Zin a mess to press / clear and the resulting wine was overly tannic. I could however see the use of the enzyme in certain cases where it would be beneficial. I am not against enzymes, but I only use it to solve a deficiency that I see in the fruit to start with.
 
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