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jgareri

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Hi all,

First time making white wine from freshly pressed juice. Took a trip to Niagara on the Lake last weekend and got a pail of riesling. Juice was about 3.37 pH and TA about 7 g/L.

Fermenting with R-HST yeast, and doing it at a colder temperature. Had it in an ice bath for a while but the cellar is now cold (about 12 C). Initial SG of 1.086 which will result in a pretty hefty white. I'm hoping for a long and drawn out fermentation, I'm at about 1.04 right now 6 days in.

Any thoughts on the next steps? Never done a white so I'm curious to see how others would handle it.
 

Johnd

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Hi all,

First time making white wine from freshly pressed juice. Took a trip to Niagara on the Lake last weekend and got a pail of riesling. Juice was about 3.37 pH and TA about 7 g/L.

Fermenting with R-HST yeast, and doing it at a colder temperature. Had it in an ice bath for a while but the cellar is now cold (about 12 C). Initial SG of 1.086 which will result in a pretty hefty white. I'm hoping for a long and drawn out fermentation, I'm at about 1.04 right now 6 days in.

Any thoughts on the next steps? Never done a white so I'm curious to see how others would handle it.
Long, slow, cool fermentations are advantageous for white wines, helping to maintain the flavor and aroma compounds, a good choice of process. That will help balance out your final ABV, which will end up somewhere in the 12%'s, depending upon how low the SG is at completion. I'm sure you don't know the YAN, might consider a dose of nutrients before the SG drops and further. Keep a nose on the discharge from your bubbler, focusing on making sure you don't smell any H2S.

Cold fermenting whites is fun, my last few have been done that way, fermentation nearly a month at 58F. You seem to be on a pretty good course.
 

jgareri

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Thanks - I've been doing my research and I definitely like the tropical fruit / apricot smells. I'm thinking that the fermentation will go on for a while and, as it gets colder, the cellar temps will drop a bit. I'm excited for the prospects, and dry Riesling is my favourite white
 

jgareri

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Quick question - had a great fermentation, but just checked the SG and its just above 1.000 - around 1.002. It got really cold in the cellar, from 55 - 60 degrees to 40 to 45 degrees about a week ago. I put it in a room tonight that's about 70 degrees to maybe kickstart the yeast that might still be there - will that work?
 

stickman

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70 should be fine for the finish. Did you add any nutrients during the fermentation?
 

jgareri

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70 should be fine for the finish. Did you add any nutrients during the fermentation?
I did. Once on the second day of fermentation and once around 2/3rds depletion of sugar. It was going very well so my thoughts are it got too cold and made the yeast dormant. My hope is that it will restart and complete in the next week or so on its own. I have one packet of d47 waiting but I'd prefer to not have to go that route.
 

stickman

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I agree, it will probably finish once warmed up a bit.
 

jgareri

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Checked this morning, there was quite a bit more bubble activity so it appears to be working. I'll give it 5 days or so, let it sit and then check again. the wine was clearing nicely as well, so that will delay that a bit. Given that I will have to rack off, I might do a light bentonite fining so that i only have to rack once.
 

stickman

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I agree, minimize racking if possible. I've done Washington Riesling several times in the past. I've always let it finish fermenting and then do a light bentonite fining for protein and heat stability. With a cool cellar, I haven't had any issues with leaving on the lees, they have always been clean smelling, so no rush to rack.
 

jgareri

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Short update. The wine is now back to fermenting and looks like it will finish strong. Don't anticipate it to take too long.

Out of curiosity, where did you get the Washington juice?
 

stickman

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Very good, great aromatics, I usually back sweeten with a little fructose. The wine is really for two of my sisters that like it off dry. I still have a few bottles of 2012 that have held up well other than some diamonds at the bottom.
 

jgareri

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Great to know. Niagara has some good rieslings so I'm hoping that this one comes out well. I think next year I will get two buckets from two different spots in the area to add some additional complexity to the wine
 

jgareri

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Another update: Tested the SG today and its still at 1.000, which was moderately disappointing given all the bubbles over the last 5 or so days. So, in one last attempt to finish the fermentation, I hydrated a packet of D47 I had lying around and put it in the carboy. By all accounts, the taste indicated there was some pretty good sweetness left and there's been some minor bubbling activity. At 20 C, I think the temperature will facilitate the fermentation of the remaining sugars over the next couple of days. Hopefully it all goes to plan (since the last attempt didn't).
 

Jbu50

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I've been to Watson's to check out their supplies but never bought juice or grapes from them. I did buy Ontario Riesling juice from Wiley's on a couple of occasions, which is close by. Worked out great. I didn't do much with it in terms of additives, and it came out fine, no issues!
 
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jgareri

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Just emailed Watsons today. Hopefully get a 23L pail this year and do it again
 

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