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Progressing to fresh press juice

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cuz

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I started with pasteurized pails of grape juice (not refrigerated Festa juice) and stepped up to fresh refrigerated juice (Regina). This year I want to try a juice that is being pressed from California grapes at a distributor. I have a few questions and welcome any other advice I might have left out.

Is there more potential to create a well rounded full bodied red with the fresh press? The distributor makes the analogy that juice in a pail is like a Betty Crocker cake and pressed juice is making a cake from scratch. Not sure if I agree. I have added different flavors to my pails and it's been fun experimenting. I only see the potential down side. I am told that the pails are PH, SO2, and Brix correct so there is no room for error. I bought a ph meter where you dip it in one solution than another and then test your wine. I suppose it's not the most accurate. Anyway the bottom line is I don't want to start with the pressed juice if I don't have the right tools to test it. Is it that easy to screw this up or are we all making too much out of this? I'm sure my grandfather didn't test for PH or SO2.

Another concern I have is that where the distributor is pressing is not the most sanitary place. He said I could have a pail of the Cab he just pressed that was sitting on the floor uncovered with fruit flies all around - I declined. So if I decide to get a fresh press from him what can I add to kill any harmful bacteria but won't effect the yeast?

Stick with the pails or get the fresh press?
 

Ajmassa

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All depends on how deep you wanna go! At least your researching and evaluating 1st. I took more of a “shoot 1st ask questions later” type approach, figuring it out as I go.
Juice pails are great. Made em for years w/o testing for anything. And with some age became damn good too.
But I skipped freshly crushed must and just bought the grapes Completely underprepared! Old fashioned stomping party and homemade bucket press the 1st go. Then rented and eventually bought.
A cheap ph meter- cheap TA kit- some kmeta and some tartaric acid (just in case) is pretty much the essentials.
There’s def an improvement from the pails. (Plus it’s just more fun).
But with that being said— I also just did a batch like the fam used to do. Just crushed- let it ferment on its own and now aging without messing with anything really. #NoRules

(Plus the ‘morewine red winemaking manual’ and this forum are always there to hold my hand when needed)
 
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cuz

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Thanks AJ. I was concerned about the sanitary condition of where the press is. Using buckets of juice in my basement I sanitize everything the wine touches. I just feel like I should be adding something to kill the any harmful bacteria in the fresh pressed juice. I'm afraid of salmonella or some other harmful s@#t
 

NorCal

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Thanks AJ. I was concerned about the sanitary condition where the press is. Using buckets of juice in my basement I sanitize everything the wine touches. I just feel like I should be adding something to kill the any harmful bacteria in the fresh pressed juice. I'm afraid of salmonella or some other harmful s@#t
I hit the crushed grapes with 50 ppm SO2. This should kill the bacteria living on the grapes. What is nice with wine, is that it is very inhospitable to microbe growth with 3.5 pH, 15% alcohol and free SO2. If you mishandle the wine, it can go bad, but I believe that the wine will be undrinkable before you would drink something that would actually be harmful to you. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.
 

cuz

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After you add the SO2 do you need to wait to add your yeast?
 

cuz

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one more dumb question- is 50 ppm SO2 1/4 teaspoon of Kmeta per 6 gallons of wine
 

Johnd

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one more dumb question- is 50 ppm SO2 1/4 teaspoon of Kmeta per 6 gallons of wine
It takes 1.907 grams of powdered sulfite, or 4.5 Campden tablets to get 6 gallons to 50 ppm free SO2. Don’t know what the conversion is from grams to teaspoons.
 

cuz

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I also found this from an old post from vacuumpumpman

Theoretically K-Meta is 57% SO2. 1/4 teaspoon per 5 gallons yields about 40 to 45 ppm.
 

cuz

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has anyone used the TA titrator?

Milwaukee Instruments - MA919B/1 - Titratable Total Acidity Mini-Titrator
 

cuz

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so I picked up my fresh Sangiovese juice. The distributor told me he already added yeast, go ferm, nutrients and I didn't need to do anything else - which is not what I expected. I just wanted fresh pressed juice. I took it home anyway. When I checked the SG it was already at 1.00. Now I don't know what he sold me. I was debating whether to kill any yeast he added, add sugar and start over again with my own yeast or just let it be and see what comes out of it. Will I ruin it trying to start a second fermentation?
 

NorCal

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It’s done. Rack, SO2 (unless you are going to do mlf) and store with no headspace. Adding sugar and trying to restart fermentation would be an uphill battle.
 
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