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jsbeckton

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So, after a delay of a few weeks on my Lanza Cab clone 169 the grapes finally came in. I was told the delay was due to not enough migrant workers to pick the grapes so they sat on the vine longer than expected.

I crushed today and here are my numbers (measured 2x) with a freshly calibrated pH meter and refractometer:

pH=3.7
TA=6g/L
SG=27.5 Brix (wowzers!)

This is my 4th all grape batch and each of the first 3 I added acid based on high initial pH and even though the numbers looked good prior to fermentation (3.5-3.6) the final acid was low (3.2-3.3).

I was really hoping to not have to adjust but the SG seems way too high so feel like I need to drop it to 25-26 which will of course dilute the acid even more...

What would you do?
 

Jay A

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Are you testing a strained sample that's temp compensated? If so, maybe water back with TA to 26. I might consider bleeding off 10% to offset dilution.
 

jsbeckton

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Yes, sample was sent through a food processor and strained. Milwaukee pH meter has a temp probe to compensate.

Can you expand on what you mean by bleeding off 10% to offset dilution? Not sure I follow.
 

Jay A

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Take 10% of juice off of skins for a batch of rose. What's left on skins may benefit from concentration,
 
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@jsbeckton this was the first year I had to knock down brix as well. I did exactly what was recommended above. Used Fermcalc for the amounts and added acidulated water. (Technically only my last measuring cup of water had the acid in it).

I’m still waiting on my cab grapes too. Almost went with the Lanza169 but decided on a cab from Rutherford in Napa. Like you this was my 1st time paying this much $. Unfortunately they ended up with smoke taint. To replace my Supplier sourced Wash St Red mountain fruit. Apparently still on the vine but I think that’s typical timing for the northwest. Still expecting high brix which seems common this year.
 
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I did a Lanza Zin in 2016, had an initial pH of 3.54 and TA of 7.9. It's now almost 4 years old, and on the last tasting it's pretty good. I guess I'll have to get another bottle out for tonight and see how it has progressed... I think you're thinking is sound, I'd even let it ride if you don't want to adjust, some Zins have quite a bit of alcohol in the flavor profile.

Edit: On reflection drinking a beer or two, maybe a reduction in the Brix wouldn't be a bad thing, other wise it is one glass and done, LOL.
 
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jsbeckton

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So I added acidulated water to bring down to 25.5Brix and about 1/2 the acid that would have theoretically dropped it to 3.5. My 24hr recheck (blended and strained) indicates that the pH was 3.63 with TA at 0.63. I’m not going to add the other half, will see what it ends up at after MLF.
I’m not terribly confident in the post adjustment change numbers because it seems highly dependent on the juice to grape ratio in my sample. I try to make it ~50/50 but even then who knows how representative that sample truly is.
 
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@jsbeckton this was the first year I had to knock down brix as well. I did exactly what was recommended above. Used Fermcalc for the amounts and added acidulated water. (Technically only my last measuring cup of water had the acid in it).

I’m still waiting on my cab grapes too. Almost went with the Lanza169 but decided on a cab from Rutherford in Napa. Like you this was my 1st time paying this much $. Unfortunately they ended up with smoke taint. To replace my Supplier sourced Wash St Red mountain fruit. Apparently still on the vine but I think that’s typical timing for the northwest. Still expecting high brix which seems common this year.

That's too bad about the smoke taint, I bet you will be happy with the Wash State fruit. But I an glad to hear the fruit is still hanging. I might still have a chance to get my Cab Franc from Horse Haven Hills.
 
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So, after a delay of a few weeks on my Lanza Cab clone 169 the grapes finally came in. I was told the delay was due to not enough migrant workers to pick the grapes so they sat on the vine longer than expected.

I crushed today and here are my numbers (measured 2x) with a freshly calibrated pH meter and refractometer:

pH=3.7
TA=6g/L
SG=27.5 Brix (wowzers!)

This is my 4th all grape batch and each of the first 3 I added acid based on high initial pH and even though the numbers looked good prior to fermentation (3.5-3.6) the final acid was low (3.2-3.3).

I was really hoping to not have to adjust but the SG seems way too high so feel like I need to drop it to 25-26 which will of course dilute the acid even more...

What would you do?

I called CFP last week to see if they had any extra grapes and was told their last 2 trucks just arrived and they probably didn't have any extra. Looking at the brix I'm kind of glad they didn't. Mario told me the problem wasn't the pickers or the fires just a high demand although I have my doubts. Good luck with it.
 

jsbeckton

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Interesting. Mario told me that “there were not enough migrant workers to pick the grapes”. Sounded like they planned a harvest a few times but couldn’t get the people so it kept getting bumped.
 

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