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VinesnBines

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I actually tried the weighting with my batch of second run. It was nearly dry yesterday > 1.000 but it had only been on the skins sine Sunday. I wanted more time on the skins so I decided to gamble and see what happens. I laid a plastic bag over the cap, put my half moon press blocks in two plastic bags and tied up good. For a couple hours I weighted the blocks with a 20 pound dumbbell in a plastic bag but it seemed to be too much. I left the press blocks on the cap and snapped on the Brute lid at 5 am, 10/14/2020. I'll be home sometime in the evening of Saturday 10/17/2020. I have a pet cam in the basement so now and then I pan over to the see the Brute. It doesn't look like any explosions and I'm sure my son will let me know if we have leaks. He is capable of punching down but I wanted to give the submerged cap a try. I'll update on Saturday.
 

VinesnBines

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My submerged cap worked. No off smells or molding. I will need to devise something better for the future. One of the plastic bags leaked and one of my blocks was wet. I don’t think any harm. I pressed today and had nearly 9 gallons. My first press was 14 gallons so I added 7 gallons of water and 14 pounds of sugar, so I was surprised at 9 gallons on the second run press.
I’ll say it was a success.
 

winemaker81

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I got a lot more volume than expected from last year's second run as well. I suspect that the juice remaining in the pulp is more than we realize.
 

VinesnBines

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That has to be true. I used my big press for the first press and I know I Han more torque on the first press. Anyway, I’m pleased.
 

Ajmassa

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Do you guys feel the wine from a second run is worth the aggravation ? How do the 2 wines compare when finished? I never did it but every year I read some discussions about it and get intrigued.

And do you add back to the initial volume or just a portion?
 

VinesnBines

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I’ve only made three attempts at second run but have been pleased with each. I usually tweak with either grape concentrate or raisins. The result is usually lighter in taste but not watery. I haven’t mixed first run and second run, though that is a possibility. I figure the cost of some sugar and a little time makes it worth the effort.
 

winemaker81

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@Ajmassa, the short answer is 2nd runs are worth it. To quote the guys that taught me, "second run is what you drink while the first is aging."

For every 2 gallons of 1st run, add: 1 gallon water, 2 to 2.5 lbs sugar, 1/4 tsp grape tannin, 1 tsp acid blend, yeast nutrient. In short, you get about half the volume from the 2nd. For the cost of sugar and some additives, you extend your yield by 50%.

My notes from last year are here.

Some folks pull only free run juice, while others (including me) do a light press. Don't do a hard press -- the 2nd run will be very light if you do.

I use hot tap water and dissolve the sugar in it, then add the remaining items listed above. Then stir in the pomace. This is thick, so stirring is difficult. Getting an accurate SG is tough, as there is a fair amount of completed wine in the pomace. Using the normal calculation for sugar in water should give you an idea of the final ABV, although the ABV of the wine remaining in the pomace muddies the waters. If you don't stress about that, it helps.

Last year I light pressed the 2nd run, then hard pressed it, keeping the two separate. The hard press (Squeezins') is thicker, darker, and harsher. However, it mellowed amazingly, and produced a full bodied wine that is possibly darker than the 1st run. Which makes sense -- it's got the best of the grape solids in it. One of my sons prefers the Squeezins' to the first run.

The light press 2nd run is still in the barrel -- it's lighter than the 1st run or the Squeezin's, but it's a very tasty wine that has nice complexity. It's drinkable now, but will be better after a year or two in the bottle. I'd drink it with red sauce or steak.

This year? I'm going to do what one of my mentor's did -- he divided the Squeezin's (that was his name for it, that I carry forward) between the 1st and 2nd runs -- he had 2 barrels for the 1st run and one for the 2nd run, and divided the Squeezin's equally between the three.
 

sour_grapes

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Do you guys feel the wine from a second run is worth the aggravation ? How do the 2 wines compare when finished? I never did it but every year I read some discussions about it and get intrigued.

And do you add back to the initial volume or just a portion?
I cannot recall who, but someone here advised me against a second run. I proceeded anyway.

I am glad I did, but with a huge caveat. I like to say that I made a "wine-like substance." Mine was red (Syrah), and it does not seem a lot like standard wine, but rather (chilled) is a refreshing summer porch pounder. People like it, but you would not confuse it for a red table wine. Good in granitas or sangrias or just tasty, cheap alcohol.
 

VinesnBines

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I agree that getting an accurate SG in the second run is tough. When I added the cooled sugar syrup, I had an SG of 1.090; a couple hours it was 1.040. A hard stir brought it back to 1.070 so I did some step feeding with grape concentrate and more sugar syrup. I have no clue what my starting SG was but we dropped below 1.00 at pressing. I'm of Scottish descent so I'm thrifty (read cheap); I can't stand to waste anything especially something that has some flavor left. After the second press I pretty much had only seeds.

I've made jam from the leftover fruit in country wine making. I have a wonderful blueberry jam left over from a Dragon Blood. In fact the jam is better than the DB. DB (even jacked up with fruit) is too weak for my taste.
 

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I scored a bottle of @mainshipfred ’s second run he made from @Boatboy24 ’s Carménère and Petit Verdot pomace. Fred talked it down a bit but I was keen to try a second run; especially one by him. I poured some for my wife who is French and told her Fred had made piquette. She tentatively sipped a little and said, ‘But this is not the piquette, this is good!’ Piquette has become a derogatory catch all phrase in France for any cheap, terrible wine; like what her grandfather drinks after warming it up in a little cup on the radiator in his kitchen. What Fred made was highly drinkable and if he hadn’t told me, I probably wouldn’t have known it was a second run. There was a lot of oak so that could have hidden some flaws but I thought it was successful enough for me to want to put in the effort myself. I added half a Grenache juice bucket to my spent skins after pressing this past Saturday following the suggestion here: Second Press Runs to Get More from Your Grapes - WineMakerMag.com. More expensive than water and sugar but still not bad if it gives me another 3-4 gallons of drinkable wine.
 

BernardSmith

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I agree that getting an accurate SG in the second run is tough. When I added the cooled sugar syrup, I had an SG of 1.090; a couple hours it was 1.040. A hard stir brought it back to 1.070 so I did some step feeding with grape concentrate and more sugar syrup.
I guess I don't understand why the gravity reading is so challenging with a second run. Wouldn't you assume that virtually all the sugars have been consumed by the yeast during the first run so any sugar (and so the gravity above 1.000) is going to come from the sugar you add. If you add 2 lbs of sugar then the gravity (by calculation) ought to be around 1.080 per gallon of water you add. The problem is less the starting gravity but the ABV. I just made my first batch of wine using whole grapes and after first pressing obtained 3 gallons (plus) - I have only my hands to press. I added 2 gallons of water and 4 lbs of sugar and after a second pressing I obtained another 3 gallons, so I expect that this batch is not going to be 10.5% but closer to 7%. So , my question: are second runnings typically far lower in alcohol than first runnings if the amount of wine resulting is significantly greater than the amount of liquid added OR is the additional liquid wine at the same ABV as the wine from the first batch?
 

VinesnBines

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I'm not sure why it was difficult to get a good read except that the pomace was really dry. I pressed hard the first run so as not to waste anything if the second was a flop. That may have been counter productive but I figured I'm not super strong and since the press was not bolted down, I might get by. Taste is good on the second run and the smell good. May be less tannic so hopefully drinkable sooner.

With a hand press BernardSmith, you should have a really nice second run.

Cynewulf, I did something similar last year with some cab franc skins. I dumped a cheap cab sav kit on some skins and the result was very nice. Different than the kit alone. I'm all for a second run if nothing more for experimentation.
 

winemaker81

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I guess I don't understand why the gravity reading is so challenging with a second run.
Excellent question! All your points make sense. I puzzled this one out myself, and came to what appears to be a logical conclusion. Here goes (a detailed explanation):

Last year I got 12 gallons wine (before sediment loss) from 5 lugs of Merlot. The 2nd run recipe I use calls for 1 gallon of water for every 2 gallons wine. I wanted mine a bit more robustness, so I added 5 gallons of hot tap water (instead of 6) to the primary and stirred in 2 lbs sugar for each gallon (10 lbs), stirring until clear. The SG was about right (roughly 1.090 IIRC), so I added tannin, acid, nutrient, then stirred in the pomace.

Checked the SG again, 1.054 ....

I started inventing new swear words for the occasion. Purchased another 10 lbs sugar and divided between my 3 batches (also made 2nd run from Malbec & Zinfandel). I sprinkled the sugar in and stirred hard. SG came up to 1.076. Not what I expected, but good enough for a 2nd run.

When fermentation completed I pressed all 3 batches, hard enough to get 5 gallons from each. My intention was to fill a barrel I had just purchased. Then I hard pressed the remainder and got 8 gallons total (from all 3).

To recap -- I put 5 gallons of water into each batch, got 5 gallons out. Then another 8 gallons, roughly 2.5 gallons extra for each.

My conclusion is that there was far more wine left in the pomace that I realized, about 20% based upon the stated numbers. The 1st run wine was at roughly 1.000 when pressed, so when averaged with the sugar water and including not stirring well enough? The SG I got (1.054) makes sense. I did not need to add the additional sugar.

@VinesnBines pressed his pomace hard, so he should have had a lot less juice in it. However, my suspicions is there was more wine left in the pomace than he realized.

@BernardSmith, the ABV of the 2nd run depends on the SG of the sugar water, how much sugar water was added, the total amount extracted, and the SG of the original wine. Without delving to deeply into the math, if your 1st run SG was good (above 10%) and the sugar water SG was good (ditto), you can extrapolate the final ABV as being between the two.
 

BernardSmith

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But why would the SG of the second run be "between" the first run and the SG of the water and sugar solution I added for the second run? If the additional liquid being expressed from the grapes at the end of the second run was wine from the first run and the first run's starting gravity was essentially the same as the second run's SG then why wouldn't the ABV of the second run be pretty close to the ABV of the first batch? The additional liquid isn't water. It's wine and it's wine that was made from the same juice with the same Brix as the wine that is now in the carboy after the first pressing... No?
 

winemaker81

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@BernardSmith -- at first blush, I agree this scenario doesn't make sense, but here are practical examples:

In my case, I had 5 gallons of sugar water at 1.090 and 2.5 gallons of wine at 1.000. The original SG of the wine doesn't matter, it's what the current reading is that affects the current SG reading. The weighted average is 1.060. This jives close enough with my SG reading.

ABV? We have 5 gallons with a potential ABV of 11.5, and 2.5 gallons with the ABV of the first run, 15.5%. The weighted average is 12.8%.
 

winemaker81

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I like to say that I made a "wine-like substance."
I'll guess you pressed the first run pomace hard, which leaves less for the second run. Or added more water than is recommended, which dilutes the final result.

The picture below shows my light press 2nd run, which has been in a barrel since last December and had 5 months of exposure to 6 oz medium toast French oak cubes, and the hard press -- which has received no additional oak beyond 1/2 lb fermentation oak.

Second Run 2.jpg

The one one on the left is a barrel sample, the left is the hard press that was bottled in August. Neither wine is going to win an award for "best red wine color of the year".

However, both have far more body and flavor than you'd expect, based upon the color. Sure, the first runs are better, but these wines will go with a red sauce or steak. I'd also serve them with salmon or tuna, and probably turkey (we'll find out at Thanksgiving). They also age much faster, so I'm FAR less tempted to open the first runs any time soon.

Ok, I opened last year's Zinfandel to celebrate today's pressing, so I lost to temptation.

I started this year's second run today -- I pressed the pomace harder than last year, but also added 1/3 more pomace from another wine, plus I used ScottZyme ColorPro enzyme in the first run. We'll see what difference it makes in the second run.

My results will be posted in a week or so.
 

winemaker81

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It's a toss up -- press hard to get "more" for the first run, or press lighter to improve the second run?

At literally the last minute I chose to press harder to get more 1st run. We'll see if adding the Zin pomace to the others makes a difference.
 

BernardSmith

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@BernardSmith -- at first blush, I agree this scenario doesn't make sense, but here are practical examples:

In my case, I had 5 gallons of sugar water at 1.090 and 2.5 gallons of wine at 1.000. The original SG of the wine doesn't matter, it's what the current reading is that affects the current SG reading. The weighted average is 1.060. This jives close enough with my SG reading.

ABV? We have 5 gallons with a potential ABV of 11.5, and 2.5 gallons with the ABV of the first run, 15.5%. The weighted average is 12.8%.
But it's not "the current reading" that tells the story. That liquid at 1.000 is not water. It's wine and the original gravity IS critical because that wine was trapped in the grapes until you released it with the second runnings. It is, I think, identical in principle, to someone who step feeds their yeast. You need to know the starting gravity to know the ABV. Knowing the last gravity reading you took tells you nothing about the TOTAL amount of fermentables that were in solution and so the actual ABV of the wine.. But I think your calculation is correct. The average ABV is around 12.8% but that ain't between first runnings and the second. That is an average of both and that average might be less than the first runnings OR greater than it. It depends on how much sugar you added and what the ABV of the first runnings was. An average (A+B/2) is not always less than A.
 

winemaker81

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Following is a complete explanation of my reasoning for SG and ABV -- it should make more sense and I did my best to write in English, not math geek. Be warned that it is long winded ...

First, SG:

I know the SG of the water is ~1.090, as sugar in water in the stated ratio produces this value. If fermented with no additions, it will produce an alcoholic liquid of ~11.5% ABV.

The ratio of alcohol to SG is not a linear relationship, as alcohol increases and SG decreases. [For those who are not math majors, when SG vs ABV is plotted on a graph, it forms a curved line, not a straight one.] It is also influenced by the other constituents in the wine, so an exact calculation is not possible. I read recently that the formula(s) used to approximate ABV in beer cannot be used for wine, as different ABV ranges require different formulas to approximate the value.

There are 4 formulas (that I know of) floating around that all produce different results -- I have not yet determined which ABV ranges each formula should be used for.

For this reason determining SG when feeding a wine does not produce an accurate result, not the way the original SG is. The alcohol content skews the SG readings, and the higher the ABV, the more it is skewed.

Getting back to my example, the pomace was at 1.000, so while it will contribute a bit to the final ABV, it's not part of the ABV calculation.

However, the 2.5 gallons of wine left in the pomace reduces the overall SG of the pomace + sugar water from ~1.090 to ~1.060. Checking the SG to see if it's in the expected range is good, but the exact value determined is not useful, as we cannot at that point determine how much wine is left in the pomace. I check and record the SG, but it doesn't have a practical use.

This is among the reasons I blend the sugar into the water before adding the pomace.

Second, ABV:

We use the OG and FG to calculate the ABV of the first run wine, with the expectation that when the wine trapped in the pomace ferments out completely, that trapped wine will have the same ABV. It should -- it's the same wine.

In my case, the first run wine is 15.5% ABV (final value) and we know the sugar water should produce ~11.5% ABV. The weighted average (12.8%) exists between those 2 values. I used

((5 * 15.5) + (2.5 * 11.5)) / 7.5

to determine the weighted average. This produces an approximation which is sufficient for me, as I'm not selling the wine.

This is a great discussion, as it made me look at all this in more detail!
 
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