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Pick early due to wasps?

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GreenEnvy22

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Our muscat is only averaging about the 18 Brix right now, but the wasps are doing a lot of damage.
I'm not sure what to do. Pick early and have to sweeten, or wait and risk not getting a crop at all.

Thoughts?
 

GreenEnvy22

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I'm going to pick this weekend. I looked back at my notes from the last couple years. In 2015 i picked at only 16.5 brix and I sweetened to a little over 18. In 2016 they were at 21. We like 2015 a lot better. We got way more of the Muscat floral smells in the 2015. The higher brix might have washed out the flavour.
 

balatonwine

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Best time to harvest is when brix times pH squared is nearest to 200 for a white wine grape, 250 for a red wine grape. If above those numbers, harvest.

If you harvest too soon, the grape are unripe, and the acidity may be very low resulting in a difficult fermentation. And easier to correct brix than pH or TA.

But if the wasps are going after the grapes, I expect your sugar and pH balance is probably within harvest range.
 

GreenEnvy22

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Thanks for the info!
So I take it if my Brix are 18, and my pH is theoretically 3.3, I get 196 as a result, which seems good.
Will test pH tonight.
Last year this calculation would have given me 225, and in 2015 it would have been around 184.
So this year will be closest to that 200 number.
 
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mattyc

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A comment on the wasps...

The wasps decimated my grapes last year, and when I did pick them it was a miracle I didn't get stung - I felt like I should have been wearing a bee suit...

This year, mid-August when my Plums started ripening, the wasps were back with a vengeance, but I put out 6 of of these yellow jacket/wasp traps:
https://www.menards.com/main/outdoors/gardening/animal-insect-controls/lawn-insect-control/pic-yellow-jacket-wasp-trap/p-1444450745961.htm

(It was really fun to see them fill up with the nasty fellas...)

and I used Onlaught:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HD7J2S/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

(not quite as fun (can't see the bounty) but supposed to be more effective - apparently they take it back to the nest and it can kill more than just the one that at it then...)

They were almost eradicated within a week. No issues with the grapes...
 
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Johny99

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I go with the 200 number as well. The place I read it that comes to mind is "Vines to Wines".
 

GreenEnvy22

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Thanks matty, I'll be sure to do that next year.
We also have some apple, pear, fig trees, Plus berry bushes and a whole veggie garden, all crammed into a 60'*80' back yard, so lots of stuff here to attract them.
 

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