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Johnd

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The winery is back in business, the frozen must from Spain has arrived! A very long journey from the vineyard in Montsant wine region in Catalonia, northern Spain, via Toronto, where it sat for a few weeks to get through US Customs, and a truck ride down to southeast Louisiana.

Most of the frozen must I get just gets shipped on a pallet and is partially thawed when it arrives, this batch from Grapemasters was shipped in a freezer truck and arrived frozen solid. Total of 9 pails, 5 Tempranillo, 4 Merlot, are at home at the moment in the tub in warm water, hoping to get them thawed to above freezing for some cold soaking time as they warm.

I know, I know, pictures or it didn't happen, pics to come later this evening.......
 

stickman

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Yes we're waiting for pics...in the mean time, be careful with the cold soak, stay below 50F if you are going to hold it for any length of time. Some of the wild/spoilage yeasts start multiplying and fermenting around 50F to 55F and are even SO2 tolerant to 50 to 70 ppm.
 

Johnd

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Yes we're waiting for pics...in the mean time, be careful with the cold soak, stay below 50F if you are going to hold it for any length of time. Some of the wild/spoilage yeasts start multiplying and fermenting around 50F to 55F and are even SO2 tolerant to 50 to 70 ppm.
No worries there, it was frozen solid as bucket shaped blocks. A little time in the tub full of hot water and I was able to dump them into fermenters and break them up. They're in the house at 70 and will slowly thaw and warm up to room temp with lots of agitation along the way. Temps are still below 32 in the must and it's not flowable yet. I'll pitch yeast at 65 and MLB a couple days later and we'll be off to the races.

image.jpg
 

ceeaton

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No worries there, it was frozen solid as bucket shaped blocks. A little time in the tub full of hot water and I was able to dump them into fermenters and break them up. They're in the house at 70 and will slowly thaw and warm up to room temp with lots of agitation along the way. Temps are still below 32 in the must and it's not flowable yet. I'll pitch yeast at 65 and MLB a couple days later and we'll be off to the races.
Remember earlier this Fall when a bunch of us were getting grapes from Cali-fornia? This is your payback, in the dead of winter, no grapes to be had around these parts, and your knee deep in must...enjoy my friend!
 

Johnd

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Remember earlier this Fall when a bunch of us were getting grapes from Cali-fornia? This is your payback, in the dead of winter, no grapes to be had around these parts, and your knee deep in must...enjoy my friend!
Although my Californians were a month behind y'all, it was an excruciating time frame. I'm pretty stoked about the grapemasters must, still icy, but really nice aroma, and the numbers he's had are solid, well timed picking numbers. 25 BRIX, 5.2 TA and 3.8 pH on the Tempranillo, little acidulated water my be needed, 24.5 BRIX, 6.6 TA and 3.5 pH, good to go, assuming my numbers are close.

I'm going to make wines in three sessions this year, grapemasters frozen must in winter, Brehm frozen must in spring, Californians in the fall. Should be able to keep up with my habit.....
 

ceeaton

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Although my Californians were a month behind y'all, it was an excruciating time frame. I'm pretty stoked about the grapemasters must, still icy, but really nice aroma, and the numbers he's had are solid, well timed picking numbers. 25 BRIX, 5.2 TA and 3.8 pH on the Tempranillo, little acidulated water my be needed, 24.5 BRIX, 6.6 TA and 3.5 pH, good to go, assuming my numbers are close.

I'm going to make wines in three sessions this year, grapemasters frozen must in winter, Brehm frozen must in spring, Californians in the fall. Should be able to keep up with my habit.....
Ah, to play with numbers again. To have aromas of fresh grapes wafting through the house...I'll come visit in two years and see how you did! I keep telling my wife we need a vacation, and she likes warm weather in the Winter. She just has to become an RN so I can retire and travel.

So as you are enjoying your Spanish must, I'm toying with an apple juice based wine...hummm, can't figure out which I'd rather be fermenting, NOT!
 

Johnd

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So as you are enjoying your Spanish must, I'm toying with an apple juice based wine...hummm, can't figure out which I'd rather be fermenting, NOT!
I've been watching your apple project and thinking how good the clear amber colored carboy looks. If I didn't have these dudes on the way, I'd have been raiding the frozen concentrate section of the local supermarket!

Come on down in the winter, we'll send the ladies off sightseeing and lock ourselves in the wine room with a corkscrew, two glasses, and a wine thief.
 

ceeaton

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I've been watching your apple project and thinking how good the clear amber colored carboy looks. If I didn't have these dudes on the way, I'd have been raiding the frozen concentrate section of the local supermarket!

Come on down in the winter, we'll send the ladies off sightseeing and lock ourselves in the wine room with a corkscrew, two glasses, and a wine thief.
I could introduce you to the ancient carboy tipping habit...who needs a wine thief? (Though I will admit, not carboy tipping, only thiefing lately. I thiefed a 375 of my Lanza Zin for jgmann and realized that I haven't sampled my Zin since before MLF, I'm getting downright patient).
 

Johnd

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I could introduce you to the ancient carboy tipping habit...who needs a wine thief? (Though I will admit, not carboy tipping, only thiefing lately. I thiefed a 375 of my Lanza Zin for jgmann and realized that I haven't sampled my Zin since before MLF, I'm getting downright patient).
I should've been more specific. My wine thieves are the glass type with the open top that you put your thumb over to capture the wine. I use them as glass straws, as tipping carboys requires too much effort........
 

ceeaton

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I should've been more specific. My wine thieves are the glass type with the open top that you put your thumb over to capture the wine. I use them as glass straws, as tipping carboys requires too much effort........
Nice, now you've done it, I'll infect all of my wines by the end of the weekend.

Okay. Back to your original reason for this thread, we need lot's of pictures and a play by play on these wines as they progress so we can live vicariously through your experiences (and become more and more jealous that we didn't order El musto de España). (Guessing that must is musto)
 

Johnd

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Nice, now you've done it, I'll infect all of my wines by the end of the weekend.

Okay. Back to your original reason for this thread, we need lot's of pictures and a play by play on these wines as they progress so we can live vicariously through your experiences (and become more and more jealous that we didn't order El musto de España). (Guessing that must is musto)
I'll keep my postings up to speed. I imagine I won't be able to mix this stuff up well enough to run any tests until Sunday.
 

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This morning, the ice was gone from the must and it got a good mixing with the punchdown tool, up to a balmy 28 F. Added a few grams of Lallzyme EX-V, rehydrated in water, to each container. It'll do its thing as the must cold soaks it's way to yeast pitching temps.

Later on today, I'll mix well again and draw a small sample from each must, warm it up to room temps, and run the pH and TA tests. Tempranillo BRIX is sitting right at 24, Merlot is just a shade over 27. I'll check both BRIX again later as the musts warm and the enzymes work on them a bit.

IMG_0740.jpg

IMG_0741.jpg
 

Johnd

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Went to work on the must while getting the baby backs going for dinner. Started off with the Tempranillo first.

Initial BRIX at 23
pH 3.95
TA 4.8 g/l
I was a bit surprised by the numbers, but having fresh chems and pH calibration done, there were no lies being told. In the end, after incremental adjustments, I had added 1.5 pounds of sugar and 70 g of tartaric acid to achieve the starting point:
BRIX 24
pH 3.56
TA 6.4 g/l

Fairly pleased with the results on the must I thought would be the most challenging, I moved on to the Merlot:
BRIX 27.3
pH 3.41
TA 8.8 g/l
Crap, I was planning on a little acidulated water to bring the BRIX down while maintaining what I expected to be less challenging acid. The best laid plans......
After taxing the chemistry part of my brain for a while, and constructing various scenarios on fermcalc, added a touch over 2 gallons of water, the non acidulated type. Pretty simple once the chemistry was done and the decision was made.
BRIX 25
pH 3.5
TA 7.8 g/l
Not ideal but a decent starting point. My hope, leaving the pH a tad low and the TA a tad high, is that they will meander back into the pH 3.6 / TA 7.0 range post AF and MLF. Just have to check and taste down the road and see how it pans out. Hated to add water, but 2 gallons in 25 G of must isn't that much, plus it'll get me an extra case of wine.
 

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Must temps were up above 60F on Sunday evening, so I inoculated the must with BM 4x4. Looked like the end of the lag phase yesterday evening as the must started to form a slightly raised cap around the perimeter, so it got a dose of Fermaid K. This morning, first caps of 2017 and it smells like heaven in here. Bent down for a closer whiff, yep, co2 burn to the nose. Forgot about that.

Tonight, I'll rehydrate the MLB in Acti ML and mix it into the musts with a good dose of Opti ML and let all of the little bugs do their things.
 

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Rehydrated VP41 in Actiml, mixed it into the must, added some optiml, let it roll.
 

ceeaton

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Rehydrated VP41 in Actiml, mixed it into the must, added some optiml, let it roll.
I'm assuming that your initial fermentation is just starting to go in earnest? Will be watching to see if there is any noticeable difference to pitching the MLB during early fermentation verses after primary fermentation has completed...(thinking a higher ending SG or some extra flavors (from VA) being produced). I'm watching you. :wy
 

Johnd

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I'm assuming that your initial fermentation is just starting to go in earnest? Will be watching to see if there is any noticeable difference to pitching the MLB during early fermentation verses after primary fermentation has completed...(thinking a higher ending SG or some extra flavors (from VA) being produced). I'm watching you. :wy
Did it on the California must this past fall, worked great and was finished around the same time as you guys that did fresh grapes. I'm paying particular attention to feeding the yeast and MLB so nobody gets stressed. My bugs are getting in there in low abv environment, plenty of warm temps, and boatloads of food, and hopefully acclimating to the alcohol as it increases. I'm three for three, knock on wood.

The guy I got the must from thaws it, let's it warm, and adds nothing but nutrients, wild yeast and wild MLB do all his work. Almost had me convinced..........almost.
 

ceeaton

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Did it on the California must this past fall, worked great and was finished around the same time as you guys that did fresh grapes. I'm paying particular attention to feeding the yeast and MLB so nobody gets stressed. My bugs are getting in there in low abv environment, plenty of warm temps, and boatloads of food, and hopefully acclimating to the alcohol as it increases. I'm three for three, knock on wood.

The guy I got the must from thaws it, let's it warm, and adds nothing but nutrients, wild yeast and wild MLB do all his work. Almost had me convinced..........almost.
I missed that one (or forgot, Alzheimers kicking in). Wanted to do it last Fall but I'm so new to some of this stuff I need to try it the traditional way to make sure my technique allows it to work before experimenting too much. I've read the arguments about the early low ethanol introduction of the MLB and the benefits of that, and buy into them to a point. But for now I'm living vicariously through a few of you as you try new things, because I'm new and a big chicken. I'd be a little leery about the wild yeast and wild MLB thing too! Maybe one at a time.
 

Johnd

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Fermentation is going very well, been getting some really nice caps, punching down 6-8 times per day, great aroma, no off smells. First check, SG on both musts was down around 1.050 this morning, so they'll get dose 2 of Fermaid K this evening.

Temps in the house are 70 F, as opposed to 75 F in the non winter months, so they're not getting the temp spikes into the upper 80's, just around 83 - 84.

Tempranillo is just slightly ahead of the Merlot, but hopefully both will be down into the 1.000 - 1.010 range by Sunday and will be agle to get both batches pressed and into glass before the end of the weekend.
 

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Living vicariously through you Johnd. I did sequential mlf with my reds and BM4X4 this year. Mlf all done on 1-2, well except the wife's Chardonnay. It seems I forgot to inoculate ir:(. So since I'm too cheap to order more bugs, I'm going the natural route. Scary with no meta yet, but well topped off so hopefully it will work out.

Any interesting to see when your mlf is done with the coinnoculation.
 

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