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Old World Vs By-the-book, And Starting SG

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Lemskroob

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So i have been making wines from kits for a while now, and have been reading various websites and books and i think i am getting a handle on things, and its time to expand myself a bit.

So instead of wine kits, i am trying to make wine from fresh juice. Got two 5.3 gal batches of Cab Sav and Zin (both grown in Cali). They are at 22brix, SO2 is at 100ppm (roughly as stated on the containers), so they should be ready to go...


The guy i went with to get them, well, he is old-world Italian. His idea of sanitation is a garden-hose, and he keeps the wine in a barely insulated garage during the NY winters. His doesn't even own a hydrometer.

So far, nothing was shocking to me, as im sure this is how they made wines for thousands of years. Its only recently we have been geting out the chemistry sets to make simple wines.

however, when he said he DOES NOT add yeast, it knocked me back. I have never heard of NOT pitcing yeast. The books ive read dont even approach the subject as an option. From what i have understood, wine is two ingredients, grapes and yeast.

Now, i know there is natural bacteria/yeast on grapes that CAN create fermentation, just i thought that this was an almost never trusted source these days. Always better to pitch in your own.


So now i am left with a tough choice, either (a) not yeasting and dumping the juice in the carboy right away (for 6 weeks, according to him, before the first racking and adding meta. I guess w/o yeast, primary takes this long. Or (cool.gif dumping into my bucket for 10 days or so with some yeast, Then moving to carboy for secondary w/ meta.


My world has been flipped upside down!

Additionally, this morning i tested both juices with my Hydrometer, and was surprised to find the reading for the SG was, in the Cabernet, 1.005, and the Zin, 1.020!!!

They should be starting at around 1.100, or so i thought, which would be nearer to the 22-brix that the juice container states, and closer to the ideal starting level.

Also to note, the stated acid is 0.50

They are produced by Regina


Thanks in advance!

PS - he has been doing this for years, and his stuff tastes fine!
 

St Allie

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Hello and welcome to the forum,

There have been a few posts in our files from members that buy fresh juice and it has arrived unrefrigerated and partially fermented.

Sometimes these juice pails are inoculated by the seller with a specific yeast , often not and are fermenting on wild yeasts..

our member MJDrum posted the Sg of his pails on receipt .. they were

quote

Below are S.G. readings on my wine shipment, that was shipped Monday from Gino Pinto and received Thursday in Alabama.

Cabernet Sauvignon 1.04 & 1.03
Cab Franc 1.03 & 1.03
Merlot 1.03 & 1.02
Red Zinfandel 1.03 & 1.03
Petit Syrah 1.02
Pinot Noir 1.03
Black Box 1.026 & 1.028

unquote

you could try inoculating your juice with a commercial yeast, however it would need to acclimatise to the alcohol beforehand by making a starter and adding small amounts of your fermenting must to the starter.

I don't make wine from fresh grape juices..I'm sure some of our members that do, will be in soon, to offer insight and suggestions.

Allie
 

Wade E

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No sense in trying to add any yeast at this point on any of theose wines. Thats why I dont buy juice buckets cause it happened to me and happens a lot. If I were to buy a bucket it would have to be in front of me nd not fermenting!
 

Tom

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I personally know Mary
This is what was delivered by unrefrigerated truck from NJ to Alabama. This shows what happens in 3 days without and yeast added.
I gave her the REAL starting #'s The wine that she got was in the normal range for the variety.
 

ugh

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I have never used yeast until this year. And I only put it in my Pinot Grigio.
The reds are on there own and doing just fine. I have made wine for 4 years this way and it always came out just fine. The old timers where I buy my juice laughed at me when I told them I was putting yeast in my wine. To be honest the only reason i used it at all was because it was taking a long time to get started.
I was told whites take longer generally to get going. Some drive Chevy and some drive Ford..:D
 

non-grapenut

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I have never used yeast until this year. And I only put it in my Pinot Grigio.
The reds are on there own and doing just fine. I have made wine for 4 years this way and it always came out just fine. The old timers where I buy my juice laughed at me when I told them I was putting yeast in my wine. To be honest the only reason i used it at all was because it was taking a long time to get started.
I was told whites take longer generally to get going. Some drive Chevy and some drive Ford..:D
This is great, ugh! The more natural, the better. We only discuss chemicals here mainly to solve "issues" and to help preserve and maintain consistency in wine recipes we like to repeatedly repeat. Another good fruit with free yeast is blueberries...you probably have noticed the natural frosting of the berries...this is yeast.
 

Luc

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Another good fruit with free yeast is blueberries...you probably have noticed the natural frosting of the berries...this is yeast.
And don't forget blackberries.......
If you have a lot it's worthwhile to do an experiment with the wild yeast.

I did an experiment with plums and their wild yeast. It took of great and then the vinegar bacteria took over. That was partly my own fault as fruit flies were humming happily around at that time.
Next year when I get another load of plums I will surely try again.

Luc
 

Wade E

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Im going to stay out of this one because I dont agree with this as I dont like chancing with my money or all my effort in picking and choose to sulfite to rid my product of any bacteria and wild yeasts.
 
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Im going to stay out of this one because I dont agree with this as I dont like chancing with my money or all my effort in picking and choose to sulfite to rid my product of any bacteria and wild yeasts.
i'm there with you wade :n
 

Lemskroob

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Ok thanks for the replies everyone.

I added some yeast and its bubbling away. I will re-check in a few days till i get two days in a row of the same reading, then add k-meta and transfer to the carboy.

At that time, i will put in some oak spirals for 4-6 weeks (depending on as i taste it over time), before racking and letting it sit till next fall for bottling.

Sound like a good aproach to everyone?
 

Lemskroob

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pitched the yeast a few days ago, still bubbling a bit. Just took new readings... Cabernet still around 1.000, not surprising since it cant get much lower than that. Zin is at about 1.017 now.

Will let them go for a few more days....
 

Wade E

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Oh it can get much lower then that! Ive had a few batches go as low as .984
 

philogeek

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I realize this is an ancient thread, but I'm one of those geeks who actually reads through old threads looking for more knowledge...

I'm actually really curious how this turned out!!
 
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