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cgallamo

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Hi all,

Ordered a couple pails of Grenache from Brehm making a GSM to go in vadai 50 liter barrel. The Syrah and Mourvedre are in MLF. I thought these numbers were a little odd on the Grenache and looking for advise on must adjustments. Here they are: 26.9 brix 0.49 TA 3.42 pH 71 mg/L YAN. Leaning toward not making any mods prior to fermentation and checking acid after blending in barrel. Leaning toward DV10 for the profile and good to %18. Thoughts?
 

Boatboy24

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They definitely look a little strange. Dumb question: Is the must fully thawed and have you stirred at all? That may fix it. I've heard very good things about the Brehm buckets, so I'm a little surprised to see numbers like that. Are the numbers you reported from measurements you took, or from Brehm?
 

cgallamo

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Hey Jim - thanks!

Brehm - they are shipping them Monday. It is a Columbia Valley Grenache - so I can see the brix being accurate. This could be a fun ferment!
 

Boatboy24

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Hey Jim - thanks!

Brehm - they are shipping them Monday. It is a Columbia Valley Grenache - so I can see the brix being accurate. This could be a fun ferment!

You're not kidding. My first though was you could get the brix and pH in line by simply watering back a bit with 'underacidulated' water. But then I noticed the TA and my brain exploded. LOL! :se
 

stickman

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I use DV10 all the time and it works well. The brix is of course your call, but I typically lower it to 24.5 or 25. If you like higher alcohol, go for it. I assume you are going to ferment and ML on its own, so just watch out for stuck ML due to high ABV. You'll need to check the brix yourself to make sure what you have. That YAN is very low, so you will need more nutrient than the standard addition rate, especially if you're going with high brix.
 

cgallamo

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Found this in Winemaker: "In cooler regions, like California’s Central Coast, ripeness levels are often determined more by acidity levels than sugar, as winemakers have to wait to near 27 °Brix levels before breaking 3.35 pH".

I added acidulated water to the must (got it down to 24.5 brix), and Brehm told me to add more Tartaric as well - so went with their recommendation. Just kicking it off now.
 

Johny99

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I think you have a good plan. Adding the tartaric should help, the TA is a bit low. I’d taste after fermentation to be sure. For 2017 those numbers aren’t weird for Washington. It was a funny year. Hot then cool leading up to harvest. Not sure where they are sourcing the Grenache, but it won’t be from a cool coastal area, but maybe the cold weather near harvest kept the pH down.
 

Johnd

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Didn’t see where you posted pH and TA of the must you received, did you take any readings? If so, what’s your pH after adding acidulated water, and tartaric acid, after starting (presumably) with 3.42? Looks t me like you might be driving things to the low side. Did you coinoculate your must with MLB?
 

cgallamo

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Hello J&J - thanks for the responses. The numbers were: 26.9 brix 0.49 TA 3.42 pH 71 mg/L YAN. It was 2016 Grenache from Columbia Gorge. I don't trust the readings from my current equipment. Finally broke down and bought the vinmetrica - it will be here on the 17th. I am in agreement with your suggestion it is possibly driving PH to the low side, but Brehm is telling me it will rise after fermentation (she has done these exact grapes and said she ended up with 3.8 after only adding acidulated water - no extra tartaric). I should have said I ended up doing half the TA addition they recommended - sorry for that mistake in my last post. Just kicked off fermentation yesterday so have not inoculated yet - will do at cap formation. Do you think wait and check out acid levels after fermentation?
 

Johnd

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Hello J&J - thanks for the responses. The numbers were: 26.9 brix 0.49 TA 3.42 pH 71 mg/L YAN. It was 2016 Grenache from Columbia Gorge. I don't trust the readings from my current equipment. Finally broke down and bought the vinmetrica - it will be here on the 17th. I am in agreement with your suggestion it is possibly driving PH to the low side, but Brehm is telling me it will rise after fermentation (she has done these exact grapes and said she ended up with 3.8 after only adding acidulated water - no extra tartaric). I should have said I ended up doing half the TA addition they recommended - sorry for that mistake in my last post. Just kicked off fermentation yesterday so have not inoculated yet - will do at cap formation. Do you think wait and check out acid levels after fermentation?

I think that if I were making this one, i'd do as you intend, coinoculate and take advantage of the less hostile environment to get the MLB kicked off and rolling along, the increasing fermentation temps as well as the potentially increasing pH values will help your bacteria along. Heed the advice that @stickman gave you, 71 YAN is low, you'll need to properly feed not only your yeast but your MLB as well. Be on guard for the slightest hint of off odors, and ready to boost your nutrients if needed.

As for your final pH, you can certainly fine tune that after AF / MLF. Consider the pH values of the other two wines you are blending with as well. If they are on the lowish side as well, the Grenache may be just what you need to even out your blend. Once you get your new unit, you'll be able to climb on top of the pH / TA levels more easily. FWIW, I've made lots of Brehm pails, the numbers are usually close but I have seen some variations in pH as much as .2 units, and TA over 1 g/L, it just depends upon what part of the field your must came from, as opposed to the must that they sampled and posted on the site. Happy Fermenting!!!!!
 
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