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Do you ever want to look in your barrel?

2016 May 16
by Gene Fiorot

Up to now looking in a barrel has been a difficult issue to accomplish or an expensive solution you may have not considered.  But fear not your prayers have been answered.   You too can afford the latest barrel inspection techniques in your winery.   Two versions of this now very affordable method.  One uses any computer the other an android phone.  Order one today and join the 21st century.

Computer Version

http://www.tmart.com/7mm-6-LED-IP66-Waterproof-USB-Mini-Endoscope-Borescope-Inspection-Camera-Scope-5m_p344520.html

Android version

http://www.tmart.com/5M-6-LED-5.5mm-Lens-IP67-Waterproof-Android-Video-Endoscope-Borescope-Snake-USB-Inspection-Camera_p341547.html

 

 

A Visit to the Winery on Kimball An Unexpected Pleasure

2016 May 5

Yes it is true.  I was graced by the Giants.   The Giants came for a visit to the  Winery on Kimball with one mission in mind.  To taste the wines. Yes and boy oh boy did we have wines for the Giants to taste.  About 60 percent of them Lanza / Musto Vineyards fruit.   So we tasted and tasted and augmented that tasting with some cold Italian Antipasti.  The Giants first started with  some recently barreled 2015 wine.

Then we moved on to barreled wine taken out and put into tanks ready for bottling.  By that time the Giants had destroyed the Antipasti it was a good time to leave the Winery and arrive at the Ristorante.

Of course I brought a selection older wines bottled as far back as 2011.  They ate like Animale.  These Giants really can eat.  Holy Cow.  I keep wondering why I eat half of what they eat and I am the fat fuck.   Ok I know y0u are dying to know. So the accolades from the Giants about my wine was amazing.  While some may think the Giants would say anything on a full belly, what counts for me as an honest critique.  And while the Giants can say what they want, it is really my questioning them as they drink where I flush out where it is at.  Yeah I have an ego but I am my worst critic too.   So no smoke is going to fool this old bastard and I know the flaws minor as I may think.

The results?   I could go on with all the positive comments and all the super compliments. And believe me there were.  However only comment  sticks in my mind by Ron Lanza when he said this,   “I have tasted all your wines.  Are wines are wonderful.  What is more important is you have put it on the grower of grapes who made your wine.  Me? I reply.  In other words Gene it is up to me as a grower to make your wines better.  It is you who have made wines from to fruit we provided as good as wine they can be.    Can anybody want for a better accolade than that ?     While me thinks that Phoney Corrados wouldn’t know a good wine from a Piasan they need to give  a handjob to.  If you read this be sure of one thing.  If you want the best grapes to make your wine you better go the M&M in Hartford CT and see Frank Musto. Let the rest go to Corrados and buy crap.   Thanks Giants for the visit.

A new winemaker but at Giant of a Person Carmine

A new winemaker but at Giant of a Person Carmine

Frank Musto, Ron Lanza , Todd Lanza and Carmine Serrantino.

The Giants

The Giants

What is going on at Winepress.us?

2016 April 2
by Gene Fiorot

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Bottling & barrel filling

2016 March 21
by Zac Brown

So A Guy Makes some Brehm Must

2016 March 5
by Gene Fiorot

On Winemakingtalk.com a guy reports he is making some Brehm Cab Sav.    He asks for advice because he thinks he has a problem.  Personally I don’t think he does other than to say he needs a few lessons in Nutrient Protocol and Yeast Starter Cultures.   You can read it here :

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52673

However what interested me was this response….

“I’ll make a few comments as I have significant experience with this frozen fruit.

I prefer pitching the starter at 55F to reduce the impact of the wild yeast and microbes that propagate quickly during the thawing of the must, this is especially important when not using sulfite in the must. By the time the must is at 66F, unless the starter is large, it will have a difficult time becoming the dominant strain.

The brix and TA values provided are only an average and individual pails will vary, I have seen reported values of 24 and measured values at 26 brix.

The must nutrient level was very low as indicated 60ppm YAN, I calculated the required nutrient addition for the two pails combined at 16 grams of Superfood and 20 grams of DAP; based on your description of no off odors, you did well.

My preference is to kill off the malolactic bacteria with sulfite a few days after the chromatogram shows complete and butter is not excessive. Allowing the wine to remain at 70F with a heat belt well past the end of malolactic without sulfite, can cause a little volatile acidity as the bacteria consume citric acid and then any residual sugar that is present. As long as the VA threshold isn’t crossed, it’s not entirely a bad thing, it just requires more time for those things to combine harmoniously with the wine.

All that being said, my guess is that you’re tasting a combination of natural acidity, tannin, co2, and volatile acidity, which have an additive effect on each other. Those grapes are mountain fruit from 1700′ elevation, high in tannin with a high capacity for oxygen; time with oak exposure should smooth things out.”

Now I find some things wrong with this and like detectives I think it would be fun for you to read it and comment about what flaws you find in the advice given.     Have at it.   You never know a WinemakingCrap Member could be reading here.  LOL  Wanna Bet?

 

Cold Stabilization Do you know the formula?

2016 February 17
by Gene Fiorot

Well there never is a moment where Winemakingtalk.com doesn’t seem to provide a topic which brings out the best and most qualified information and advice for home winemakers.    Let me say forget whatever you knew about Cold Stabilization.  If you don’t know the formula you don’t know squat.

Yes it seems that informed winemakers who are successful at performing Cold Stabilization use this formula.  As it turns out in over 25 years of winemaking I have never performed a successful Cold Stabilization.  Who knew?

Cold Stabilization Temp (C) = -(%Alcohol -1)/2

Here is the thread a poster provided this web blog with this information.  Here is the Thread on Winemakingcrap.com

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52507

And here is the link to the Web Blog

http://winemakersacademy.com/cold-stabilization-wine/

Here is an example using the formula if you don’t want to do the math….”For example, if you have a wine at 15% alcohol by volume your ideal cold stabilization temperature would be -6.5 degrees (C) or 20.3 degrees (F).”

I have no idea who runs that blog but I would love to know who created that formula.    LOL!

 

The Utter Stupidity of Winemakingtalk.com Moderator JohnT

2016 January 11
by Gene Fiorot

Good Lord!  Does this wanker JohnT have to add his stupidity to most treads on an already compromised Winemakingtalk.com forum.

A simple question was posed.

“Fast fermentation left my fall batch with poor color. I want a deep purple. What additives are available to add color? If you have experience with them, any technique is appreciated.”

The solution was given by the only decent Winemaker on the site.

“Grape skin extract. http://www.piwine.com/grape-skin-extract-1-oz.html

Correct Dan!  That product also known as Mega Purple has no tannin and really does not add any taste to speak of due to the incredibly small amount needed to color correct most light wines.  However the Moron JohnT has no idea but rest assured that does not stop him from adding his sage advice”

“...Additives like tannins and grape skin extract will change the flavor of the wine.”

Pay attention Mister  Moderator before you make a comment on a product you obviously have no knowledge of or most assuredly never used. Just Shut up for a change.

Winemakingtalk.com never disappoints.   LOL

Brachetto Frizzante Are you up for a challenge?

2015 December 31
tags:
by Gene Fiorot

A friend had an interesting wine tasting party.   She is a Certified Wine Specialist  (CWS) and a Certified Spirits Specialist (CSS) and teaches a course for those interested in obtaining the Wine Certificate.  She decided to have a party for her students.   The theme was “The Weirdest Wines you’ve never heard of”

And there were some weird ones I can attest to that.   One however caught my attention and the attention of Miss Virginia.    The Sangue di Giuda dell’Oltrepo Pavese, Lombardy, Italy, $20 (Sweet)”  A wonderful light red Mezzo Frizzante sweet wine with low ABV.  Refreshing, sweet yet acidic enough to keep the mouthfeel clean and bright.  And really not too much gas at all.

Curious about this wine I went to a local wine shop and inquired about the wine and was told they did not have that label but they had two other  Brachettos.   Brachetto?  Did you ever have a Brachetto? I didn’t before going to the party.   This is not a rare grape in Italy from Piedmonte. And it is grown in California in a small amount.    I purchased the two bottles they had and so far have had one.  It had a screw top.  The other a  Banfri Wine with a champagne wired cork.  I assume not all Brachetto’s have the same frizzante.

While it was not the same wine served at the party this Cornicelli by Quintessential Importers was exactly the same.  I was surprised at the ABV.  It was 4.5%  So you can drink this like soda pop if you like flat soda pop.

I like a challenge.  Each year I try to make a wine in a small amount just for the experience and the fun of it.   I would not mind trying making this wine.  Except there are a few obstacles.  The first is getting the fruit.   As for that issue I have sent Christina Musto and Frank Musto a request for them to investigate locating it and I did provide 2 vineyards that grow it in California.

The other obstacles I am not sure I have a solution for.   While I don’t know the starting brix of these grapes with a 4.5 percent ABV how do you get mezzo frizzante in the bottle and still keep the sugar.  That is the challenge.   Is the fermentation stopped to keep the sugar and then carbonated?  Or is this done by a natural process? Or is the frizzante a result of MLF?

 

Homogenizing Oak Barrels

2015 December 31
by Gaetano

Has anyone read the article in Decembers issue of Wine Business Monthly about Homogenizing Oak Barrels?
This is a real interesting article, apparently “Several cooperages have introduced barrels that they claim will stabilize the oak factor—itself, a crucial component in premium wines. They are guaranteeing the homogeneity of the tannins and even the chemical components in the barrel from one vintage to the next”.
Vicard Generation 7 (Gen7) appears to be the one that stands out among the rest “Unlike traditional barrels, where oak staves are assembled without regard for tannin potential or consistency, the Gen 7 is designed to produce the same tannin profile (TP) from year to year. “It gives you a wine style you can rely on,” said Christy Thomas, Napa-based business development manager for Vicard Generation 7. “It’s a new approach to oak. We have a fast and reliable methodology to measure ellagitannin content in the untoasted oak, and combined with our computer-driven toasting system, we can reproduce a truly homogeneous barrel that will remain identical in each new shipment from year to year.” Each stave is scanned for its ellagitannin content using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), a scanning technique using the electro-magnetic spectrum, which gives non-destructive measurements quickly and accurately. The staves are then sorted into three categories according to their tannin concentration, and barrels are then coopered based on these tannin levels.”
With the help of a $3.5 million computer-monitored system, they can guarantee that even the toast level is identical, According to Thomas, direct fire-toasting by the cooper is inconsistent due to human error and ambient fluctuations, this is just another aspect of homogenizing oak barrels.
I’m sure that the price per barrel would be a bit pricey for most home wine makers, but the possibility of being able to replicate a great vintage is very appealing.
The article is several pages long but very interesting, I’m interested in hearing what everyone’s thoughts are.
Follow the link to read it: Click Here

~Gaetano

Merry Christmas!

2015 December 24
by Gaetano

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Breaking down that Press What have you been missing all these years?

2015 December 22

Yes there are unbelievers out there and those who simply don’t know.   But whether you are using a basket press with a ratchet or a bladder press breaking down the cake and fluffing it up and reloading the press will give you additional yield.  What is even better is if you are using a ratchet press you don’t have to kill yourself with the ratchet.   Just press until the flow stops, break down, reload and press again.   As promised here is a video of a second pressing of approximately 800 pounds of grapes.  It was Merlot not the most generous type to yield to begin with.  Second pressing yields can be much more than the video when the varietal is Zinfandel or other larger berry grape.

IMPORTANT !   When watching turn up your volume FULL BLAST   MORE WINE WAITER PLEASE!!!!!!

Christmas Party 2015 Another Total Blowout!

2015 December 5
by Gene Fiorot

Thanks to all who attended the 2015 Christmas Party.  The house was packed not an extra seat available and the food was great along with all the great wine from all the winemakers.   We even were visited by a famous person!   Video to follow….

Is Accuvin Paying Attention?

2015 November 29

 

I have been a firm believer in the Malic Acid  Test Strips sold by Accuvin Inc.   Using them has been a pleasure and has made life a lot easier that doing multiple paper chromatography tests and waiting 24 hours for the results.  For the past 4 years I have, I will admit, relied on Accuvin and left the chromatography on the shelf.   Yes  you can call me a bit lazy.  I will plead guilty to that if you can credit me with doing side by side Accuvin Tests and Chromatography for a few years and saw the results were confirmed on both tests repeatedly.

Last year Al Battista tested his Pinot Noir with the test strips and had an expiration date of 2016.   The strips indicated the MLF was complete.  This summer with the wine in the barrel the MLF came back to life.   Al purchased a new set of strips and retested with both the old and new.   This time the new strips indicated the MLF was not complete.

Something is wrong with the strips.   Al called Accuvin but to date they are not responded to his call.   So there is a real question about their customer service.  But more so if this is a wide spread problem can any of us trust the Accuvin tests going forward?  If the strips cannot be trusted is there any reason to use them?

While it is a pain for winemakers to perform,  it seems to me we all will have to use chromatography to at least confirm the Accuvin Malic Acid Tests in the future.

I certainly hope Accuvin will respond to this issue with its own investigation. We wait for a response.

 

It is possible only on WinemakingTalk.com

2015 November 24

Yes it is possible to be a dumb shit, no nothing , bad advice giver, and total hoser and become a moderator on Winemakingtalk.com

Joining the ranks of the other asshole moderators is none other than JohnT    Now a moderator.   Congratulations to you JohnT.  Maybe you will read a few books and seek the advice of experts before you, as you usually do, spread horseshit to the unsuspecting winemaker who visits the leading Crap Forum for winemaking on the internet.

Just hoping not much confidence this will actually happen.

We are not alone

2015 November 22
by Zac Brown

This guy makes 2 tonnes in a 550 sq foot apartment .

Apartment Winemaking