Walker's merlot started

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BernardSmith

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This looks like a real treat.
Trying to read the data they provide. What is 0.44? Is that the TA? And what is the voume of the juice container? Is that concentrate or pressed juice?
 

jswordy

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5.2 gallons; 22.5 Brix; 0.44 acid; 50 ppm sulfites. It is pressed "hot pack" juice, so it has been heated and treated, which was good since more pressing matters delayed my intended start by a week. Even has a very small amount of skins in the bottom. We'll see what happens. Next up will be the cabernet sauvignon.
 

BernardSmith

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So my ignorance is showing: why do they provide TA and not pH. Is it not the pH that impacts on the quantity of sulfites needed to prevent oxidation? TA is all about the brightness of the taste but why is that important before you pitch the yeast? If the TA is .44, the pH could be 2.8 or 4.5 and the lower pH would inhibit the yeast and the higher pH would suggest a problem with the quality of the grapes. No? Am I missing something?
 

jswordy

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So my ignorance is showing: why do they provide TA and not pH. Is it not the pH that impacts on the quantity of sulfites needed to prevent oxidation? TA is all about the brightness of the taste but why is that important before you pitch the yeast? If the TA is .44, the pH could be 2.8 or 4.5 and the lower pH would inhibit the yeast and the higher pH would suggest a problem with the quality of the grapes. No? Am I missing something?
Dunno man, I just throw yeast in it and adjust or blend it to taste, if needed, on the back end. I'm into the art of wine, not the science.
 

joeswine

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Walkers is a decent product ,I've always made the fruit juices.
 

jswordy

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Walkers is a decent product ,I've always made the fruit juices.
Thanks Joe! Coming from you, that endorsement means a lot. I was concerned about it being Pasteurized (they call it "gently heated"), but it seems fine. My first time with Red Star yeast, too (I am a Lallemand guy), and it got off to a slow start, but it is now bubbling away happily. I intend to make a Bordeaux-like blend of merlot and cab when they are finished. About a one-year project. I'll save ya a bottle if it comes out.
 

Khristyjeff

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I've got a Walker's Blueberry that's coming along nicely. Had my eye on some of the grape wine juice as well, so will look forward to your updates!
 

jswordy

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Busy day in the alcohol department. Started off bottling beer, with a yield of 52 bottles, then turned to the merlot. Transferred it to the secondary for a nice rest.

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It tastes really fruity and is well carbonated at this stage, exactly what you would look for now.

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The volume of wine supplied by Walker's is just perfect at 5.2 gallons, so you won't come up short when transferring. Very few lees from the Red Star Premier Rouge. While I was waiting for the foam to die down to top off the carboy with some remaining wine, I got things cleaned up to start off the cabernet, which is now in process. SSG: 1.095

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I will likely transfer one more time, anytime from several weeks to months from now, before starting the MLF along with a medium toast oak spiral. I want both wines to be ready to start the MLF and oaking process at the same time, since they will be blended.

All in all, a good morning.
 
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jswordy

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If you don't mind my asking, what was shipping cost to you? @jswordy
No problem. Shipping and handling charges from Walker's on two 5.2 gallon jugs was $99.20. Yeah. I know. But those jugs are heavy, too. The FedEx charge to Walker's is right on the bill, too, and it was $96.76. My total cost was $281.70 – which to my way of thinking is expensive. But then, I got out the calculator and, if I yield 48 bottles and do everything to the wine that I want to do, it should come out to ~ $8 a bottle, all costs included. If it winds up tasting like a $20 bottle, that's a good deal. We'll see.

Anyway, I am a captive market here cuz fresh CA grapes are basically just not around. That's what I would prefer to work with. I am still working on a line to some, and I might be getting somewhere. I will be making some medal-winning scuppernong wine from local grapes this fall. I can make 10 gallons of that for about $60.
 
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Old Corker

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No problem. Shipping and handling charges from Walker's on two 5.2 gallon jugs was $99.20. Yeah. I know. But those jugs are heavy, too. The FedEx charge to Walker's is right on the bill, too, and it was $96.76. My total cost was $281.70 – which to my way of thinking is expensive. But then, I got out the calculator and, if I yield 48 bottles and do everything to the wine that I want to do, it should come out to ~ $8 a bottle, all costs included. If it winds up tasting like a $20 bottle, that's a good deal. We'll see.

Anyway, I am a captive market here cuz fresh CA grapes are basically just not around. That's what I would prefer to work with. I am still working on a line to some, and I might be getting somewhere. I will be making some medal-winning scuppernong wine from local grapes this fall. I can make 10 gallons of that for about $60.
Thanks, Jim. I'm thinking about something like this as a next step in my winemaking evolution. I'll probably wait until the 2021 harvest and order in the fall/winter. I'm concerned about shipping fresh juice to Texas in the summer.
 

jswordy

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Thanks, Jim. I'm thinking about something like this as a next step in my winemaking evolution. I'll probably wait until the 2021 harvest and order in the fall/winter. I'm concerned about shipping fresh juice to Texas in the summer.
I hear ya. I got this in May. That's why I am making no more bottled wine orders now, either. It's not fresh, BTW. It has been Pasteurized (they call it "gently heated")and has 50ppm k meta added. I would gladly give it up for CA grapes but... so far, no go.
 

jswordy

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The cabernet was a bit less active than the merlot at transfer tonight. Still bubbling, though. No off flavors. All tucked away now until it finishes.

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