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Syrah/Primitivo Big Day

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CDrew

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I don't know if I'll have time to document this thread in it's entirety, but I'll take a stab at it.

It's harvest season here in Northern California and today was the day when time, grapes and friends all fell into place for an interesting harvest. We were picking Syrah this morning at 7am in the Sierra foothills near Folsom Lake. Nice grapes, hill side vineyard but under some time pressure. So a friend and I picked 300 pounds more or less of the Syrah in an hour and a half, loaded the grapes in trashcans in the minivan and rolled up to another friend's vineyard between Auburn and Grass Valley. There we picked another 300 pounds of Primitivo, and crushed the Syrah and then the Primitivo in turn. Sulfited 50ppm with the crush, added dry ice to keep things cold, ate a delicious lunch, then loaded the minivan and rolled back to Sacramento. Lets just say that loading full fermenters with 4 people is a lot easier than unloading the same fermenters with 2 people. But it's done. Like most of you, I'm garage bound and all the grapes are now in--you guessed it---my garage. And it's too hot here this week. Nothing I can do about it. Pitching D21 in the morning.

The interesting thing is, I ended up with close to 400 pounds of Primitivo must in 2 Brute trash cans which is just a whole lot of must to deal with. I think I got the lucky end of the crush dumped into one of my cans when everyone had all they wanted and there were still picked grapes left. Just finished adding pectic enzymes (Lallemand EX) and I will pitch the yeast tomorrow morning.

Syrah-Ended up with probably 275 pounds of must. A bit less than I had hoped but what we had time to do. Brix 27, These grapes were delicious in the vineyard. The juice is delicious, I'm hoping the wine will be too. Planning a co-innoculated MLF (CH16) that I'll add when the cap forms.

Primitivo-Ended up with close to 400 pounds of must, Brix 24/25. pH 3.4 Really nice condition grapes from vines planted in 2008. I have high hopes for this wine. This will be the second primitivo I've made and hoping to increase the body and color with the enzyme treatment and some Opti-red which I'm trying for the first time. Also planning a co-innoculated MLF with CH16.

So comments and suggestions welcomed. This will be the bulk of my wine year but still have 250 pounds of Cabernet coming my way in October once it's ripe. Brix on those grapes are only 21 BRIX now, so likely 3-4 weeks to go. I could use some oaking suggestions, and some tannin addition suggestions. I have a 4 pack of wine stix that will go with the Syrah. Not really sure what to do about the Primitivo, but will likely do cubes. A barrel is out of the question for storage reasons.
 

CK55

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I wouldnt have picked trash cans as they can leach into the must.
 

CDrew

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CDrew

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And the wine itself-

Had caps on both after 12 hours and so did the first feed of Fermaid O. The Fermaid O is a deviation from the Fermaid K I usually use. I read that the ferment doesn't get quite as hot. Sounds plausible but I don't really know. This will be an 80 gallon experiment!

Had full caps this morning. Punched down thoroughly and started my MLF.

Used CH16 for MLF since it was so trouble free for me last year, and I like the fact you don't need to rehydrate-just a direct pitch into the wine.

I can already tell the color is deeper and richer than last year, so maybe the Lallemand EX enzyme treatment really works!

It's great to be off and running. Going to have to come home at lunch today to punch it down. I like to do 4 times per day after a strong start. If really motivated around the peak, I'll get up in the middle of the night and punch it down a 5th time.
 

CK55

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I am interested in any facts you have to back this up. Many of us use these for primary fermentation. They are marked as being food safe and are the same plastic as found in more traditional wine fermentation buckets.
They have a coating inside to protect against acidic and otherwise dangerous stuff that ends up in trash, I was told this at least by my uncle. And I have read at least 5x about it on a couple different websites shame I didn't bookmark. And for the most part it's a different non food grade plastic.
 

Johnd

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They have a coating inside to protect against acidic and otherwise dangerous stuff that ends up in trash, I was told this at least by my uncle. And I have read at least 5x about it on a couple different websites shame I didn't bookmark. And for the most part it's a different non food grade plastic.
So your uncle told you and you've read about it 5 times on two websites but you can't cite them because you didn't bookmark them......... You've got a forum full of winemakers who are making wine in these containers, who've done the research into the plastics that go into them, communicated with the manufacturers to make sure they are safe for what we use them for, and that's your response? Really?
 

CK55

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So your uncle told you and you've read about it 5 times on two websites but you can't cite them because you didn't bookmark them......... You've got a forum full of winemakers who are making wine in these containers, who've done the research into the plastics that go into them, communicated with the manufacturers to make sure they are safe for what we use them for, and that's your response? Really?
Im just saying,I dont have experience with them, but stands to reason that it woudlnt be wise to use them for it but hey whatever floats your boat. Im entitled to saying that i think its a bad idea.
 

CDrew

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They have a coating inside to protect against acidic and otherwise dangerous stuff that ends up in trash, I was told this at least by my uncle. And I have read at least 5x about it on a couple different websites shame I didn't bookmark. And for the most part it's a different non food grade plastic.

@CK55 how about you stick to subjects you know about and not clog up my thread with speculation, innuendo, and your trashcanexpert uncle. If you have constructive comments to add, please do so. If you did something differently and you compared and have personal knowledge, then please post up your experience. But seeing as how your profile says you are 22, and near as I can tell you have 1 3 gallon carboy of wine under your belt, you might state things with less certainty and more of an open mind. We are all here to learn something. And by the way-all Rubbermaid Commercial Products "Brute" cans have a serial number that starts with "FG" which stands for food grade. The Gray and White ones meet NSF standards and stamp it on the can. Are they perfect? Probably not (they are close for the $44 they cost!) but you could do far worse. And if you have a better and cheaper alternative, please post that up so we can all go get a couple! But otherwise, stick to things you know about. If it's controversial, quote your credible sources, not uncle Billy-Bob. If you want to post up overly certain and opinionated comments, please start your own thread and post them there. But I would welcome helpful and constructive comments as I go through this fermentation and the wine making process.
 

CK55

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@CK55 how about you stick to subjects you know about and not clog up my thread with speculation, innuendo, and your trashcanexpert uncle. If you have constructive comments to add, please do so. If you did something differently and you compared and have personal knowledge, then please post up your experience. But seeing as how your profile says you are 22, and near as I can tell you have 1 3 gallon carboy of wine under your belt, you might state things with less certainty and more of an open mind. We are all here to learn something. And by the way-all Rubbermaid Commercial Products "Brute" cans have a serial number that starts with "FG" which stands for food grade. The Gray and White ones meet NSF standards and stamp it on the can. Are they perfect? Probably not (they are close for the $44 they cost!) but you could do far worse. And if you have a better and cheaper alternative, please post that up so we can all go get a couple! But otherwise, stick to things you know about. If it's controversial, quote your credible sources, not uncle Billy-Bob. If you want to post up overly certain and opinionated comments, please start your own thread and post them there. But I would welcome helpful and constructive comments as I go through this fermentation and the wine making process.
I have never used a can so again i have no experience, just speaking from what i thought, as for batches of wine ive got over a dozen. So im not a novice, just got a single 3 gallon this year.
Again didnt know that they were food grade. Because google said they were not. Have a nice day, and please remember always be respectful.

I am eager to hear about how it turns out though, those grapes looked really nice. I do like Syrah, but have not been a huge fan of Primitivo/ZInfandel.
 

Johnd

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@CDrew , I apologize for my part in the clogging.

I’m quite jealous of that big beautiful vat of grapes you picked, carry on!!!
 

CK55

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I'd welcome some clogging and advice. But yeah, the grapes were really nice. I feel fortunate, and hope to do them justice.
I went back and re read what you were doing and you pretty much have a good solid start going for these batches, and i think that they will turn out well. I did want to ask if that cab you have coming in october is cab sav or cab franc. Since you didnt specify.
 

Johnd

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I'd welcome some clogging and advice. But yeah, the grapes were really nice. I feel fortunate, and hope to do them justice.
Plenty of experience in this group, and someone around to help.
 
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