Quantcast

Red wine too light

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

hugo1236

Junior
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Hi I am new to this site and wanted to thank all those in advance who will respond to this thread.
I did my wine last year in September and was hoping for a better result than previous years. I am new to wine making and I have learned to make wine from my father in law.

The process I’ve learned is to buy fresh grapes, crush, let ferment for 3 days and then press and lock. My father in law does not innoculate yeast. He allows for natural fermentation to occur
I’ve done my research and have decided not to allow for natural fermentation.

Now, my issue is with with colour and flavour extraction. I get a light red wine using Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This year, I thought the fermentation went too fast because the internal temperature was 29 degrees (84 Fahrenheit). Essentially what happened was, I crushed my grapes on Thursday and added kaMeta, 24 hours later added pectic enzyme, pitched the yeast on Sunday night, and the must was fully fermented according to my hydrometer by Wednesday. My father in law ferments on the skins for 3 days and gets better colour extraction in comparison to mine and a more flavourful wine. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
 

jsbeckton

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
513
Reaction score
205
I used lallyzme EX enzyme and it really broken the skins down. Had great color but fermentation was about 6-7 days. Might try keeping it a touch cooler to slow fermentation down just a bit.
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
793
Reaction score
1,021
Location
Sacramento Metro
Some random thoughts...

I think you are pressing too soon. 6-7 days at those temps would be more normal. I've never had one be done in just 3 days. What's your punch down schedule, that helps too.

2017 was my first real vintage and my Cabernet Sauvignon came out light in color. It actually tastes pretty good at this point but is still too light in color. No problem, We'll drink it up in time.

Enzymes solved this problem in 2018. Completely. Lallzyme EX or EX-V. I give it near 24 hours to work before fermentation starts. Color and flavor extraction seem greatly improved.

Your temps sound fine. That isn't the issue. My fermentations last 6-7 days. Press when it's below zero brix.

Remember too, that Zinfandel can be pretty light in color, especially if it's from the Central Valley of California. To make it darker, you'll need to blend with a darker wine like Petite Sirah.
 

hugo1236

Junior
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
I used lallyzme EX enzyme and it really broken the skins down. Had great color but fermentation was about 6-7 days. Might try keeping it a touch cooler to slow fermentation down just a bit.
What yeast did you use ?
 

hugo1236

Junior
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
I used lallyzme EX enzyme and it really broken the skins down. Had great color but fermentation was about 6-7 days. Might try keeping it a touch cooler to slow fermentation down just a bit.
I used lallyzme EX enzyme and it really broken the skins down. Had great color but fermentation was about 6-7 days. Might try keeping it a touch cooler to slow fermentation down just a bit.
What yeast do you use ? Do you you use yeast nutrients ?
 

hugo1236

Junior
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Some random thoughts...

I think you are pressing too soon. 6-7 days at those temps would be more normal. I've never had one be done in just 3 days. What's your punch down schedule, that helps too.

2017 was my first real vintage and my Cabernet Sauvignon came out light in color. It actually tastes pretty good at this point but is still too light in color. No problem, We'll drink it up in time.

Enzymes solved this problem in 2018. Completely. Lallzyme EX or EX-V. I give it near 24 hours to work before fermentation starts. Color and flavor extraction seem greatly improved.

Your temps sound fine. That isn't the issue. My fermentations last 6-7 days. Press when it's below zero brix.

Remember too, that Zinfandel can be pretty light in color, especially if it's from the Central Valley of California. To make it darker, you'll need to blend with a darker wine like Petite Sirah.
I punch down 2 a day for 3 min.
Question, what yeast do you use and do you use nutrients ?
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
793
Reaction score
1,021
Location
Sacramento Metro
I punch down 2 a day for 3 min.
Question, what yeast do you use and do you use nutrients ?
Yes, I punch down up to 5X per day at the peak of fermentation, with special attention to stir up the bottom of the fermentor.

And I use nutrients, for 2017 I used all Fermaid K and for 2018 I used mostly Fermaid O.

If you have not yet read the MoreWine guide to red wine making , you should. It's excellent.

https://morewinemaking.com/web_files/intranet.morebeer.com/files/wredw.pdf


Regarding what yeast, there are like 400 opinions. I have used Pasture Red, D254, D21, and Avante. For 2019 I'm using Avante, and likely the unused RP-15 that I have left over from last year. All of these yeasts work very well. Don't sweat the choice. Some are better than others but they all are good. For sure, Avante is the bomb. D21 also worked great for me in 2018. It gave the kinetics and profile I wanted. I would use again.

Avante is a new find and cannot make H2S, so there's that. It's super clean. I used it for my Petite Sirah last year and going forward, it's going to be my #1 choice.
 
Last edited:

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
2,584
Location
Centerville, Northern Virginia
I agree with the
Hi I am new to this site and wanted to thank all those in advance who will respond to this thread.
I did my wine last year in September and was hoping for a better result than previous years. I am new to wine making and I have learned to make wine from my father in law.

The process I’ve learned is to buy fresh grapes, crush, let ferment for 3 days and then press and lock. My father in law does not innoculate yeast. He allows for natural fermentation to occur
I’ve done my research and have decided not to allow for natural fermentation.

Now, my issue is with with colour and flavour extraction. I get a light red wine using Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This year, I thought the fermentation went too fast because the internal temperature was 29 degrees (84 Fahrenheit). Essentially what happened was, I crushed my grapes on Thursday and added kaMeta, 24 hours later added pectic enzyme, pitched the yeast on Sunday night, and the must was fully fermented according to my hydrometer by Wednesday. My father in law ferments on the skins for 3 days and gets better colour extraction in comparison to mine and a more flavourful wine. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Could be so many factors. It appears you did leave it on the skins for 6 days if you pressed on Wednesday. It also depends on the quality of the grape and the varietal. Zins can be light and I can't tell if you field blended the grapes or made them separately. If your FIL uses Alicante or some other darker grape that could be the difference. I use fermentation tannins and color boosters as well and usually my fermentations take well over the 6-7 day mark. The other thing is your FIL may just have the magic touch.
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,180
Reaction score
3,302
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
What were the brix of your grapes? How much wine are you making?

My ferments will hit mid 80's and still take a week to finish. You want a nice peak temp for good extraction. My 23 brix Cab Sauv was very light(nothing Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot didn't resolve), but our higher brix Cab Sauv was significantly darker.
 

hugo1236

Junior
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
What were the brix of your grapes? How much wine are you making?

My ferments will hit mid 80's and still take a week to finish. You want a nice peak temp for good extraction. My 23 brix Cab Sauv was very light(nothing Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot didn't resolve), but our higher brix Cab Sauv was significantly darker.
The Brix was 23. I was also worried that the must wouldn’t heat up so I put on heaters and accelerated the fest of the must during the fermentation. I think next year I will just allow it to heat up on its own
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,180
Reaction score
3,302
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
The Brix was 23. I was also worried that the must wouldn’t heat up so I put on heaters and accelerated the fest of the must during the fermentation. I think next year I will just allow it to heat up on its own
Low brix, fast ferment can lead to a light wine. If my grapes are in good shape and a nice clean ferment, I’ll be slower to press. The alcohol is a solvent that will extract the color and tannin from the skins.
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
793
Reaction score
1,021
Location
Sacramento Metro
I agree. Your grapes were not that ripe, and you only fermented 3 days. The light color does not surprize me as I have experienced the same even with a longer fermentation.

Next year use enzymes, more punch downs, and a longer ferment, and I'll bet you'll be happy with it. To hedge your bets, make some Petite Sirah and use it to blend and make a lighter wine much darker (plus, it's good on it's own).
 
Top