Quantcast

Risks from blending pre-fermentation?

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
I may be getting a little too confident, but I'll be having many "1sts" with this grape season.
- It will be my biggest all grape batch. - 54 L Demi
-1st time using actual equipment as the shotcaller,
not just a helper.
-1st time blending pre fermentation (previously
have blended juice pails directly after primaries)

I've done my research and I have a plan. I think I'm pretty solid on what needs to be done aside from a couple small items. This will be a Chianti Classico/Toscana type blend.

Question #1
Amount of lugs To yield 14.23 gallons of finished wine- x7 or x8??
Likely x4 sangio, x2 CabSav, x1 merlot If I need 8 lugs I could add one lug to any grape. (still tinkering with this. Any thoughts on the ratios are welcome. Tho this wine is essentially 'anything goes')

Question #2
Everything I read suggests to blend later for obvious reasons. I will not be doing this and throwing all the grapes together from the jump. Equipment/space needed/ and mostly time needed are all factors for this decision.
The more I read the more nervous I get. Should I be overly concerned with fermentation issues or any clearing issues later ? Or are there any pre-ferm blending tips at all? I bought both BM 4x4 and Andante yeast (no h2s). Still not sure which strain I will use.

Like I said, I'm confident I can get through this in one piece. But any insight is appreciated.
 

Kraffty

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
3,205
Location
Northern Arizona
I'm doing the exact same on one batch and can't offer experience based advice but can lend moral support. I'd bet you're going to be just fine! I just found a list of blends you might enjoy and consider.
66% Sangiovese – 16% Alicante – 16% Zinfandel
25% Cabernet Sauvignon – 75% Sangiovese —- Tuscany Blend
15% Cabernet Sauvignon – 70% Sangiovese – 15% Merlot —- Super Tuscany Blend
40% Sangiovese – 40% Primitive (Zinfandel) -20% Carignane
33% Grenache – 33% Sangiovese – 33% Alicante
60% Cabernet Sauvignon – 40% Sangiovese —- Tuscany Blend
40% Cabernet Sauvignon – 30% Sangiovese – 30% Merlot —- Super Tuscany Blend
Mike
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
2,851
Reaction score
1,142
Location
Kansas
well it takes 12-15 lbs to make one gallon of wine. using 15lbs times 14.23 divided by 36lbs per lug I get roughly 6 lugs. don't know where your math is coming from. but your blend is certainly yours not real per ferment short cuts just measure brix and acid after thoroughly mixing the must and probably one day after crush.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,597
Reaction score
6,474
Location
South Louisiana
One of the nicer aspects of blending before fermenting, is that you only have to run on set of numbers and adjust one batch for BRIX and acid. If you were doing say four different batches, you might do it four times, only to blend them later. As you said, we'll forego the conversation about the benefits of blending later.

You shouldn't expect any inherent difficulties in fermentation or clearing due to blending prefermentation, just follow "normal" protocols for nutrients and whichever clearing process you choose to employ. If you have concerns about either, just hop on here and somebody will offer suggestions. Most of all, take notes, learn, send me a bottle in two years, and have fun!!!!
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
Mike, @Kraffty, the options are endless! And deciding the ratio and varietals has been pretty fun. Especially since ya can't really screw it up.
I was buying cheap bottles of blends to see what direction I preferred to go. Close the #3 on your list. 57%sangio 29%CbSv 14%merlot
Needing only 7 lugs am I crazy to add a fourth varietal? I'm totally shootin from the hip with this. I'm at 4-2-1 Sang-CbSv-merlot. But toying with 1 less Sangio and adding Syrah or PV or CF or another CbSv. I'm rambling now--but deciding the blend is truly fun for me.
And hear's some moral support right back at ya. Your blend sounds awesome! ibglowin making it to be award winning has got to feel good. I can't lie; I wish someone said the same about the Tuscan. No doubt I'll be following along posts about your batch.
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
@salcoco thank you. I originally rounded up to 15-20lb/gal to be safe. But I still want to make an extra couple gallons for topping. And to be honest, I can be a sloppy "racker" fumbling with the AIO and get extra waste at times. I want 14.23 gal "finished" wine. So I'll be getting 7. But not 8.

And @Johnd I'm that was my exact thoughts. I'd be more than tripling my work if blending later. And just not an ideal situation for me.
I'm planning to clear with just time and patience. I've only used agents with kits. I asked because I read an article in winemaker mag about possible clearing issues if pre-blending.
I'll have roughly 90 bottles, so sending some to friends through the mail is actually a very realistic option. I really don't have anybody drinking my wine who could offer experience or constructive criticism. Casual wine drinkers mostly. You know, the kind of people who preferred a bottle of my freaking DragonsBlood over my LE Sauv Blanc Rosè.
So I would gladly send out bottles. I just don't want to do the legwork. But if I happened to receive a package in the mail containing a stamped and addressed box, I'd be more then happy to drop in a bottle or 2 and send some on down to the bayou. But on 1 condition......brutal honesty. I'm a big boy. I can take it.

Here's that winemaker mag article about blending. After a second look it seems like they were referring to having clearing issues while blending kits pre-ferm-not grapes.
https://winemakermag.com/blogs/blend-like-a-super-tuscan
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
I've got all my nutrients, my ML(vp41) and all the other PED's all ready to go. And just 1 thing left to decide which is the yeast. I bought both.

BM4x4 - The seasoned vet and proven winner.
Vs
Andante. - The rookie hot shot up-and-comer. With 0% chance of h2s.
 

ceeaton

Fifth year
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
5,061
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Southern PA
I think our grapes from our two different retailers actually come from the same basic source. For me I have averaged 1 1/3 gallons post fermented wine (after pressing before racking from the gross lees) per 18 lbs of grapes. That's using my butt on a bucket press (got an above average sized butt), not a real fruit/grape press. I'd say 1 gallon post gross lees racking is pretty average. A few of the wines I've had to top up with less than a litre of other wine to get my final volume (6 - 8 gallon batches). So I think you are in the ballpark with your starting measurements, in my opinion (IMHO for they younger crowd).

So if I order 108 lbs (3 lugs of California grapes), I'll get at least 6 gallons (if not slightly more) of finished wine, depending on the year and the varieties used.
 
Last edited:

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
Question#1: My field blend from last fall, 3 lugs Cab sauv, 2 Merlot, 1 Carignane yielded 12.5 gallons of wine. I used my bucket press and probably was less than efficient. But i would go 8 lugs, it will guarantee enough extra for topping off.

Question #2: You would definitely be able to fine tune the final product better if you ferment separately. But without adequate space myself, I choose to field blend. Field blending has been going on since the beginning of wine making. The blend I did had no issues at all throughout the process. Including clearing. I bottled after 8 months.It is quite good approaching 12 months. I have no experience with the yeasts mentioned.

Good luck, Prococci Bros website says 2 day to wine season. I doubt they will have much in yet, but I'm stopping by there om Friday to see what is in so far.
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
I definitely would rather be heavy than light. Worst case scenario is that I have more wine! And spend $40 more.
I made a bucket press in May, but for only $20 rental I'm looking forward to using an actual press. (Thanks to Jimmy from Philly Homebrew West for hooking it up) Which will also guarantee more than enough yield.
Gino pintos in jersey has almost an identical menu as Harford. But I'm likely not getting any fall grapes from there unless I get impulsive- which is extremely possible. ---Aw man, if I came home with another 3 lugs of that Washington rattlesnake hill I'd be in the doghouse for sure. I can't be a glutton. Baby steps.

I'm buying from Procacci Bros as pgentile mentioned. I don't even know where the grapes are from, but the prices are usually the same as the Central Valley/Lodi grapes.
On the phone they said their "wine season" starts Saturday sept 2nd -whatever that means. They pretty much march to their own beat over there. Let me know what they say. I wanted to swing by as well but I'm doing a job up in Collegeville for the next few weeks, normally I'd be much closer.
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
Stopped in Procacci bros today and talked to Lenny a bit. The only grapes in yet are premium zin. Tomorrow more varieties from the premium list will be in at 9am. Grapes from the regular list will be in from tomorrow through next thursday. Most coming in on tuesday. All juice pails are in.
 

AkTom

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
388
Reaction score
365
The only concern I have is, you're not gonna send me any bottles.
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
The only concern I have is, you're not gonna send me any bottles.

I really was being serious about that tho. It would be good to know someone who really appreciates it would be drinking my wine.


Stopped in Procacci bros today and talked to Lenny a bit. The only grapes in yet are premium zin. Tomorrow more varieties from the premium list will be in at 9am. Grapes from the regular list will be in from tomorrow through next thursday. Most coming in on tuesday. All juice pails are in.

Wow. Sounds like I better finish all my prep this week! It's gametime. About two weeks earlier than normal I think.

I haven't received any email with pricing, and had no idea they had "premium" grapes. Are the Regina grapes the regular and Pia grapes the premium? They're done for the day. I'll have to call tomorrow. Thank you for letting me know.
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
I tried to get detail about the premium grapes. But like I said I got to talk to him a bit a very short bit. All he would say is the premium grapes were from northern california, but he was busy and being pestered and I didn't press for more details. Tomorrow morning I'm picking up some, so I'll get a tour of the walk-ins and preview the labels and taste the grapes.

Here are the two price lists:

IMG_20170901_201847850_1.jpg

IMG_20170901_202231596_HDR_1.jpg
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
Stay warm. Those walk ins are brutal! I remember when they let me and my brother in as a kid. The workers had a good laugh at a 8 & 10'yr old having a "who can stand the cold the longest" contest.
Thank you so much for posting these and the info.
My plan was to pick everything up and crush on a Saturday--Probably a LOT of people's plans. I May split varietals 1/2 prem 1/2 reg together. But I'd need all 6 available. Fingers crossed.
I think I hear a new15 gal barrel calling my name too. Have fun tomorrow
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
@Ajmassa5983 Hey dude, my work situation changed for tomorrow, we'll have to do a bottle trade another time. Good luck and have fun tomorrow.
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,867
Reaction score
3,575
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
All good man. Been looking forward all year so it would take quite a lot for my day to be anything but awesome. Although I did have a bottle of the Bravado and Sauv Blanc Rosè with your name on it!
72° partly sunny tomorrow. Picked up the crusher from Philly Homebrew West this afternoon and I'm all prepped and ready to rock 'n' roll.
The only bummer is that as soon as I leave Procacci I won't be with anyone who shares my excitement. ---unless @sourgrapes Paul is in the northeast. If so, then yo Paul! Driveway crush in Bustleton! All the cool kids will be there!
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,432
Reaction score
9,593
Location
near Milwaukee
Are you really doing the crush in Bustleton? At a relatives house, maybe?

No, sadly, I am safely here in Wisco, waiting for my grapes. We are getting Washington grapes, so it will be sometime in the "traditional" fall season. :)
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
Well please keep my name on them and I will set aside Eclipse Old Vine Zin and a cab/merlot/carignane all-grape blend with your name to meet sometime between now and spring harvest.
 

Latest posts

Top