Step-by-step recipe for a poor mans wine bottler
I am sure some or most of you have one of these, but I figured I would throw in my two cents.
I have put together my own two-spout wine bottler (based on Genes original 3 spout build) and included here a list of parts and my suggestions for your own easy build.
List of necessary Parts and tools:
- Vacuum pump
- In-line Vacuum pressure regulator (optional)
- Complete Enolmatic Nozzle (part number 1020 – $65.00, available at stpats.com)
- 18” 3/4 inch ID galvanized piping (amount of pipe will depend on # of spouts)
- 2 2×4’s cut to a minimum matching length, I suggest 10 inches for two spouts. Or if you have some scrap 4×4 lying around that will do just fine.
- 1/4 and 3/8 inch ID food grade hoses (1-2 foot length for the 1/4 inch hose)
- A ½ inch deep plastic cutting board (for a base) or a piece of scrap shelving
- Spray paint
- Pipe cutter, to trim the threaded ends off the pipes to 16”
- Circular saw (adjustable depth to 1&1/8 inch)
- Powered drill, not a battery powered one – you will need the torque
- 1/2 inch drill bit, 5/16 inch drill bit capable of boring thru metal
For the purposes of this conversation, I will refer to the two-spout bottler I built.
1. Cut the pipe threads off to make the pipe(s) 16” end to end. File to take the edge off.
2. Take a 1/2-inch drill bit (to cut metal) and drill a hole one inch on center from what will be the top of the pipe – straight through. This hole will hold the nozzle assembly. Rotate the pipe so you are drill square against the top hole. Take a 5/16-inch drill bit (to cut metal) and drill a hole 6 & 1/2 inches from the top, this is for the tension spring on the nozzle assembly.
3. From the bottom of the pipe, using the 5/16 inch drill bit drill two more holes, again, square against the top hole at ¾ inch height and 2 inch height. These will allow for the screws to attach the pipe to the support block.
4. Take your 4×4 block and cut a 1&1/8 inch square notch into the block to stand the pipe into.
5. Take some construction adhesive (I have been watching too much DIY) and attach the block, pipe and nozzle assembly to a cutting board.
6. Run 3/8 ID tubing from the side of the nozzle assembly to a 3/8 ID vacuum tee.
7. Run 1/4 ID tubing from the top of the nozzle assembly to 1/4 x 1/4 x 3/8 vacuum tee (found them online at granger supply – available in a pack of ten only!)
After several minor adjustments, I left extra tubing around the sides to allow for play when taking bottles in and out of the assembly. I originally had the tubing much shorter and found that the nozzle assemblies would shift against each other with the shorter tubing.
The galvanized pipe will be slightly over sized for the assembly, so you will have to use zip ties to keep the nozzles attached to the pipe. The proper nozzle assembly attachment pieces will not be long enough to accommodate the pipe diameter.
Making a faux port . My source of ethanol fell through so I used the sugar feeding method . Albeit a modified version of it.
Unlike a traditional method where you add a big dose of high alcohol to raise the alcohol level to 20% and kill the yeast stopping the ferment and leaving 10% residual sugar ….
The sugar feeding method works by using a high alcohol tolerant yeast , in this case ec1118 , large dose 25 grams.
So I took 150lbs of my base crushed grape must , Cabernet franc ( because I had more than I needed for my blends) and adjusted to 28 brix .
You can use sugar but I like to use some concentrate , a bag from a wine kit works. This gives the must more color , intense fruit flavours, some acid and tannins. I’ve found when concentrate is in the minority of a grape must it doesn’t give any KT.
I had a port kit on hand , I’ve been meaning to make for ages.
So I used that but you can use any red kit , a cheap 4 week one is fine but the better the raw materials the better the port
A bag from a wine kit is about right to tweak 100 lbs of must.
The adjusted must is now 28 brix , I added some oak powder , 4 grams of lallzyme EXV which is about 4 times the standard dose ( I want to really extract the grape skins) some optired stirred like mad and the next morning pitched the ec1118
Ec1118 has an alcohol tolerance of 18% but I’ve seen it go to 20 .
28 brix will give you about 16% alcohol.
Once I saw a cap start to rise I added 1/2 g per gallon of fermaid K . I added another dose when it hit 20 brix.
punch it down 4 times a day .
When it hit 10 brix i brought the brix up to 14 brix using sugar dissolved in hot water to make a simple syrup ,then when it got back down to 10 I bumped it up again. Repeat until the yeast dies and the brix won’t drop . No movement over 2 days .
When it dies you should have about 18% alcohol and 8-12% residual sugar depending on when it stopped fermenting.
Keep punching it down and press when the cap sinks .
Rack off the gross lees after a day .
Add a bottle of brandy adjust sugar if needed , so2 and then barrel age for a year or more.
A couple notes , if your base must is something like a California Zinfandel for example where it starts at 28 brix then there is no need to make an initial sugar adjustment , save your concentrate for the first sugar bump ( if you don’t have concentrate sugar is ok) then use sugar for following bumps
I’ve made port this way a few times and find the results better than letting a wine go dry then fortifying and back sweetening
I’ve pressed and racked this port , it stuck at 12 brix residual sugar and based on the sugar the yeast consumed it should be 18% alcohol. I’m letting it settle a bit and I’ve added 60ppm so2 . I ended up with 57 litres of port. I decided not to sorbate it , not needed as its unlikely the ferment will restart. and I’m going to put it in an older15 gallon neutral barrel with some stavin cubes or stave segments , probably a mix of french and american. I’ll let the fine lees settle out and rack as clean as I can , maybe even do a 2 micron filter as I fill the barrel . I will add a bottle of e&j vsop brandy for flavour .
Inspired by Dan now reading his musings on winepress, I reminded me of a discussion I had with Marty Yule a long time ago on www.Winepress.us ” and this blog. Oh yeah and Greg you are pretty Anti TA in your last post I would take you on with those comments in a heartbeat and truthfully I don’t think they are that helpful for new winemakers either. But no one will argue with you on winepress. Such is the nature of the forum you administer. Actually Greg you sound like Scorch. Anyway Here goes…
You need to experience just once the TA rising after fermentation is complete. Leaving you to wonder if the Tartaric Genie visited your Must in the middle of the night, leaving you at .85 when you were shooting for .67 You might be looking for that to happen, as it did last year with some of the Brutocoa grapes I fermented. Please don’t ask, my NAOH was standardized and 2 PH meters confirmed it and yes, don’t be insulting, even guys like me own a microwave but we warm leftover pasta in a frying pan. Believe me even with the price of heating oil being high, I prayed for a cold winter in NY. It appears the same Tartaric Genie visited Whackfol in a thread entitled: “Cs/merlot Help And Advice?” I love a guy that is confident in his testing methods too. I really do, congratulations Whackfol.
Just the Numbers Please
Let’s look at Mokadir’s Thread “my numbers are a bit unexpected”. Now, here is another example of the unexplained inconsistencies that I am speaking about. By the way, has anyone ever tried to sell you a centrifuge? Look at the numbers Cavilierhome posted. He started out with the Cabernet Sauvignon at PH 3.83 to 3.93 and a TA of .75. On October 2nd he added 2.5 gr/l of tartaric acid and his results were PH 3.52 TA 8.88. Then, on October 5th, his results were between PH 3.47 and 3.52 and a TA of .78 So he was able to lower the PH from 3.93 to 3.47 and had only a rise in TA of .03. Interesting. Is that even possible? Here are a few radical thoughts, as far as I am concerned, the hard rule of adjusting acid at the pre-fermentation needs another review. Using acidulated water expecting to get accurate readings is wishful thinking too. Without more documentation at this point I think if I have a PH lower than 3.65 and a TA of .50 or more I will ride out the ferment without adjustments. I remember well Greg saying to me “Gene just once I would love to see you get grapes you don’t need to adjust”. I heard you Buddy, believe me, I heard you and I didn’t adjust. Look at my numbers for ’08 Mackenzie Merlot. At crush, PH 3.46 TA .50 almost perfect right? Except it is a bit odd to me that the PH could be that low with a TA of only .50, certainly not a Central Valley scenario. At 14 Brix, the results were PH 3.38 TA .73 besides that PH went lower look at the TA, NO TARTARIC WAS ADDED! The Cabernet Sauvignon “Trio” followed suit, starting with a TA of .52 and ending with a TA of .70, could these seemingly unpredictable TA numbers be caused by the superior packing and shipping methods of the grapes we are now buying? Are you finding “hard to remove” deposits building up on your destemmer paddles? I am lately. One thing for sure if you buy from others around here and not M&M you don’t get a 48 degree Must after crushing. Another clue provided by Fred the Bulldog stated the grapes are stacked in a cooling tower at 32 degrees. Mokadir may be on to something after all, a new concept, “Cold Stabilization of the Grape”
- See more at: http://www.westchesterwinemakers.com/2010/01/16/how-to-get-banned-on-winepress/#sthash.y0bSdt0y.dpuf
I am sorry I know this is the season to be jolly but here is another example of completely stupid advice given freely and with utmost confidence on what has to be the worst Winemaking forum in existence. An airlock in a barrel until you bottle! Right let all that fine airlock juice be blended in your wine when the barrel creates a vacuum and draws it in.
Making wine like a chemist. The Wonderful World of Chemistry Amateur Winemaking making Dupont Proud.
It has to be said once and for all. Even if offends the scientific obsessed crowd. SOC, you make wine like Chemists and it sadly tastes like that. With all the talk of “Kit Wine Taste” permeating the winekmaking forum discussions , often overlooked is the taste of wine make by Chemists , Engineers , and Math Majors. I include Math Majors as I have a personal abhorrence to them as a group. My prejudice I admit. Nevertheless all of the above usually suck at making wine. Seriously All of the above need a new hobby. Why? Because they cannot appreciate Art. It is not their fault, they were born that way. Parts per Million always trumps human perception for them. And therein lies the basis for their failure. They have no confidence in human sensory ability even their own. These limited capability artistically challenged individuals rely on numbers as represented in laboratory tests and react to them as such. That reliance makes all their decisions for them. So they usually wind up with a product reminiscent of polyester instead of wool. Not that they actually would be able to identify the difference. Only a Lab can do that. Silly you, you should have known that.
Probably the worst part of their actions if it were not limited to them drinking only their own organic petroleum based creations , they post on Amateur Winemaking Forums on the Internet their worries , fears and worse their advice on how to make wine. Me, I don’t make wine with a paint by numbers formulae. In fact most Artist don’t create Masterpieces with a calculator and a chemistry book either.
If we turn to the Art of Cinema, the Directors of the Masterpieces never relied on Engineering. And so it is for Winemaking. So while we have all recognized this for a very long time, Isn’t it time the Big Kahunna said it on Winepress.us? Or is jousting using scientific knowledge trump more important then the reason for being there?
Is my Malolactic Fermentation Complete? Trouble Getting MLF to Finish
Reading WinemakingTalk.com you would think a Malolactic Fermentation was like preparing to receive your First Communion under the tutelage of Sister Eugene ( yes there was a Sister Eugene when I received so shut up she was a bitch). If you spend anytime at that illuminating forum of mostly nonsense you quickly find out a ML fermentation is the most feared procedure a winemaker can take on. Even the guy who is the resident ALL IN ONE Vacuum Pump Purveyor admitted to me he never does a MLF. No Shit! Too Complicated. And as a retort or innocent question he asked, “is it really necessary?” For those who know why I lost a job at a Westchester Grape Supplier the answer is, Nope not necessary since you make shit wine anyway. If you don’t know the story don’t hesitate to ask me in person. HOWEVER.
There are times when getting a complete MLF seems to give us fits. Especially Merlot it seems. I have never had the Merlot Curse prior to this year but it seems we have a full blown case for this vintage. What is worse is when the Accuvin doesn’t agree with the Chromatography. Then we really have a nightmare. And that is exactly what we seem to have this year. So you can’t look at the Chromatography and say “Yeah I think it is half done” you can’t even say it is three quarters done. But the Accuvin says you are at 50 ppm not the 30 where you really want to be. So which one do you believe? And what if it goes no further after a few weeks at a nice 70 degree environment? What’s your plan winemaker?
First let’s ask the question. Are all commercial wines complete of MLF before bottling? A trade secret no doubt. But where does that leave us? First doing a MLF to remove the harsh malic acid is only one reason to do it. If we get a wine from 500 ppm to 50 I think it is safe to say we have reduced quite a bit of harshness due to the malic acid. The other reason is wine stability. With 500 ppm one could assume stability could be an issue but what is the risk at 50 ppm over getting to 30 ppm. Can anyone answer that question? Ok while we wait for that person to appear…
So the other day I get an email from the Beverage Supply Group. They are selling a product called Bactozym SG. It is really a product which is a Lysozyme Mixture. And we all know Lysozyme stops and controls ML Bacteria. But what got me was this statement, and remember this is directed to Commercial Winemakers, “Situations arise in winemaking which require controlling the bacterial charge without using excessive doses of sulfur dioxide. ”
Hmmm shouldn’t we consider this strategy when dealing with incomplete ML fermentations instead of pulling ones hair out or worse crying on Winemakingtalk.com. Seems reasonable to me as a tool to use. Your thoughts….
Al Battista has found a new cure for sluggish MLF
I hope you are all prepared for today’s Bacchanalia. Looking forward to seeing you all very soon. Stay tuned…..
Well this was a Bacchanalia that is for sure. Wine, Food, more Wine, more food, and yes wine flowed from all directions. I lost count of the varietals and the vintages. As many as four glasses in front of me with members asking me to taste this and that and this. Members brought cases. I was having trouble remembering what was in my glass. And I didn’t even have a Martini!
And what better place to have a Bacchanalia than Resortante Chianti under the direction of Chef Paul Caputo who did an extraordinary job. Dish after dish arrived in perfect timing and outstanding cuisine from this Master Chef. And so many courses it took over 4 hours to get to dessert. We didn’t care because we drank. We compared. We discussed everything from the differences we tasted in wines made from the same grapes by different winemakers. We appreciated all the efforts of these Amateurs to produce elegant beautiful wines rivaling if not superseding many Commercial wines. We all can be very proud. All these wines and not a disappointment in the lot. I was presently surprised to taste a few excellent wines made with Central Valley Grapes. It brought me back to the days when you needed to have some good winemaking chops to make excellent wines from those grapes. Evidently we have winemakers with excellent chops.
A highlight for me was having a group taste of Zac Browns’ wines. Each one was poured as I went around the room and I read the description Zac had sent me about the wines. We tasted all three with the proviso that tasters would share their impressions here on the blog for Zac to read. I want to relate to Zac your work with Amateur Winemakers does not go unnoticed. It is appreciated and I wish you could have seen the delight in the eyes of the winemakers when I announced I would be pouring your wines. For the record I have my favorite but that will wait until later. I should be getting some pictures in the next few days which I will post here.
Thank you all for coming and I hope you enjoyed the Bacchanalia as much as I did. I just wish Al Battista would have danced the Bacchanalia in tights. Oh Well maybe next time.
It is bound to happen to all Winemakers at least once I tell myself. This makes me feel better. Almost better …Well not so much…
In 2012 I made Cabernet Sauvignon using 2 grapes. Having made the Lanza Cab, the Koch Cab along with Tembrink Cab calling it Trio in 2008 with just 2 out of three available in 2012 I called it Duet. The wine turned out fine. Really nice. I put it in a variable top tank in my wine room in December of 2012 and it remained there to be put in a Barrel this November.
We had a very hot summer and my cooling AC was not working properly. Temperature got into the 70.s and this was freaking me out being so far away in Florida. Dave and Anthony were on top of it but the solution in the end was to change the unit which we did not when I was away. Dave did add K meta to the Barrels and Tanks in August.
When I returned in October I tasted the wines expecting the worse. I was pleasantly surprised the wines were all ok. Whew!! I got lucky. At our first pressing for this season in October, during lunch, I went into the Cellar to get some samples for the guys to taste. I drew off some Duet and other wines as well. We enjoyed all of them and I was further assured no harm came to them during the summer.
One week ago I bottled my 2011 GSM and my 2011 Lanza/Musto Sangiovese. I filled the barrels with 2012 Gamay which was in a tank next to the Duet. I still had some wine left in the tank so I filled a carboy with the remaining Gamay but I was a gallon short. I decided just to hook up the hose to the Duet Tank and fill the carboy with it. All was fine, then I grabbed the ladder to lower the lid on the tank. I use a plastic elastic drum cover on top of the tank to keep dust out. When I removed the plastic cover I was hit by an unmistakable smell. OH NO IT CAN”T BE! 25 years of winemaking, on many occasions tasting old timers’ wine loaded with VA and after 25 years now it is my turn. I turned to Anthony my heart sunk in my chest. Anthony I say, the wine is ruined. He looks perplexed ,there must be a solution no? No there is no solution. You mean you can’t fix it we fix all kinds of things he says. Nope we can’t fix it. Amateurs at least can’t fix it. To be sure we have a taste. Not that I needed convincing. So here is a beautiful wine which you can still recognize almost totally obscured by VA. And all this occurred in 8 weeks. Why? I forgot to lower the lid when I took wine out of the tank when we were having lunch is my only guess.
Are there any lessons here to learn? Yes there are many. Let the discussion begin. Those who hate Variable Capacity Tanks are invited and welcome…..
Volatile Acid VA in Wine. A flat note for a Beautiful Duet
A Marty Yule Production
OK Get ready here we go….. Today the M&M Wine Grape Company delivers once again and for the last of the 2013 season. This time it is a half ton of Rutherford’s Siverado Six Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Needless to say… well…can we say?…. BStuffer? Yep. That won’t google I hope. And a very nice surprise which I did not expect. Instead of the Paso Robles Petite Verdot we were expecting we received the Atlas Peak Petite Verdot. This represents a first. The first time making Napa Petite Verdot. I am very excited about this surprise development.
Keep in mind personal matters required these two varietals to be crushed and frozen under the direction of Frank K of M&M otherwise know as Frankie Juice. Under his care these grapes were treated with So2 at the crush. Having them taken out of the deep freeze 3 days ago they arrived thawed with some slush at a temperature of 38 degrees. Both varietals dark as night and having the ability to stain your hands with simple contact foretells the future.
Like many grapes this year the numbers are not ideal and will require some adjustment. The samples were raised to 70 degrees for the following tests.
Siverado Six Cab Sav Brix 27.5 PH 3.98 TA ( are you ready for this?) .33
Atlas Peak Petite Verdot Brix 25 PH 3.96 TA .40
Expecting a TA Rise after fermentation and not really wanting one we are going to leave the acid alone. Yes we are not happy with the PH. That goes for both. We expect to adjust later.
We watered back, no acid , to 25 brix.
The yeast selection is still up in the air as we try to raise the temps in the winery with a heater to get these vats in the 60′s.
More to come …….
As most of us move into Seconday Fermentation. Whoa Chuckles! Did I just use the idiotic term secondary fermentation? Let’s start again. This year our dealing with Malo-lactic Fermentation is different than others. Most years our mission is to get through it and done with the least problems in a reasonable time frame. This year with the green light given to Co Fementation of ML bacteria with yeast brings us to observe, learn and above all try to document any differences or advantages to adopting this co fermentation protocol.
Here are the facts we are dealing with. We basically have early and late batches. The early Batches were inoculated at 18 Brix the Later Batches at 12 brix with the exception of Gamay which was inoculated at 6 Brix. The first batches were inoculated with VP41 the Later batches with Alpha. There is about 3 weeks difference between the first batches and the Last batches.
The Marty Yule famed Super Cultures were not used. All the ML bacteria was rehydrated at 80 degrees with Acti ML. for 15 minutes before pitching. One Note to Winmakingtalk.com Readers, to correct the advice given in that forum you DO NOT rehydrate ML bacteria with Opti-Malo.
So what are the results as of October 27 2013. In 37 days 3 wines are complete. Two from the first batches and one from the later batches. The Malbec and the Pinot Noir are done. And that was with all the extra racking off the lees dealing with the Malbec H2S problem. The Gamay , a later batch wine is done in approximately 21 days. Let’s assume the Gamay had very little Malic Acid Content as the Lake County Cab, Atlas Peak Merlot are still going strong showing good progress. The laggard an early batch wine seems to be the Sangiovese but it too shows a good deal of lactic and the most recent Accuvin test show a reduction more than half.
As I stated previously I usually think in terms of December 1 to December 15 for Mlf completion. In any case all of the wines which are still going have at least until November 15 to complete using the time frame of the 37 days of the first batches. At this point I think it is safe to say we impacted the MLF time frame in a big way but in 15 days that will be proved even more with results of the Merlot and Cab.
What I am looking for now is the see the progress with Accuvin in one week on the Merlot, Lake County Cab and the Sangiovese. Then in 2 weeks a Chromatography Test of these wines.
Will someone with Primitivo and Petite Sirah do a test. Please! Bunch of Cheapskates.
For the sake of Convenience let’s continue the discussion here….
Sorry to divert from our 2013 Fermentation Posts but I could not resist this. It is no secret Winemakingtalk.com is the worst winemaking forum on the planet. I know, I can already hear people saying, “Oh you think you are so smart” Well let’s say I may not be the smartest but I sure can use common sense if I have it. So…. This beginner I guess, asks the following question, “So im removing my grapes from cold soak (5 degrees Celcius) and putting them at room temperature today. Do I have to wait 24 hours before I add the yeast?”
Here is the answer from one of the resident geniuses who by the way by his own admission uses his wife’s picture as his avatar because he is so ugly. It should dawn on him maybe his wife doesn’t want to be spread all over the internet as being a dumb blonde. Anyay here is the expert’s answer, “IMHO, it is not so much how long you wait as it is the temperature of the must. I would wait until the temperature was in the 70-75 degree F range (about 21-24 degrees C) before I pitched my yeast.” Humble maybe Dumb definitely.
So what does the bloke who asked the question say? “Thank you will do” Gee that was easy. Just ask anyone and proceed as if you just received instructions from a higher power.
Ok so no books involved, no fancy terms, no chemistry equations , not even years of experience, just common sense… To the dear poor winemakingtalk.com victim. Consider the following use your eyes, do you see your must start having activity around 58 degrees from wild yeast. Probably, K meta or not for sure when you reach 65, Ask your self a question isn’t white grapes in the production of white wine often fermented as low as 58 degrees and certainly in the sixties? A little more difficult question, Doesn’t Co2 produced from fermentation protect the must and stall the growth of all sorts of unwanted bacteria? See! that was easy. Now you know what to do and you didn’t really need to ask a moron for advice.
It’s too bad that was the only response to his question, none of the other experts on Winemakingtalk.com bothered to save the poor bastard. Maybe they don’t read their own forum. Who knows maybe he will read it here. Or I might have to create another alter ego and infiltrate the evil empire. How about Captain Martini Superhero?
Now Back to your regularly scheduled program…
With almost all of our fruit going to press I thought it would be a good idea to start the conversation here. The Sourcing Grapes post has 125 comments and it gets a bit tedious to have to scroll down to read the latest comments. So we can continue our discussion of the 2013 season here. So let the conversation continue. I know Dan is having fits about PH and many of us are dealing with high ph wine this season.
As the Harvest approaches we will keep a running up date on Harvest and Varietal Information for the 2013 Season. The latest information still indicates the season will be early. The temperatures have dropped to the 80s in Suisun and in the 50′s at night. Perfect and it should stay like that for the next 10 days according to the weather reports.
Here are the latest sugar levels at the Lanza/Musto Vineyards of Wooden Valley Suisun California.
Merlot Lanza Musto– 20.00-21.5o
Cabernet Sauvignon – Valley, Scarlet Ranch – 17.50-19.50
Cabernet Sauvignon Koch – 20.00-20.50
Petite Syrah Scarlet Ranch – 19.50 – 21.00
Syrah Valley – 20.00 -21.00
Malbec Lanza Musto – 18.50-19.50
Primitivo Lanza Musto – 19.50-21.00
Sangiovese Lanza Musto – 20.00-20.50
Gamay – 18.50-20.00
Sauvignon Blanc – 19.50-20.00
Pinot Noir – 18.50-19.50
As usual we will update as information becomes available.
In addition Frank Musto and the M&M Grape Company have added to the Beckstoffer Grape offerings in Napa with additional Napa sourced grapes and for the first time will be sourcing grapes from Lake County. Another M&M Grape Company First! More to come on this.
Yeast, Enzymes, Additives and other stuff
The theme of this blog piece so as not to confuse anyone reading is, Please Grow the Freak Up! I hope after you read this you will understand why I say this. To begin, when I read WinemakingTalk.com I am astounding at the complete stupidity of the questions of most of the posters. It’s like, Oh Gee hmmm let me just go ask a question instead of doing anything on my own to figure something out. What yeast should I use? Should I use yeast nutrient? Do I need to top up a barrel? What is ML Bacteria? And it goes on and on endlessly. One guy scratched his food grade fermenting bucket and wanted to know if it needed to be replaced. That question produced about 8 comments from the “experts”. Also, I have noticed that the difference between WineMakingtalk.com and Winepress.us is growing. One can almost say despite repetitive questions Winepress.us is becoming the Gray Haired Lady of Winemaking Forums. That’s a positive development as far as I am concerned.
Oh yes back to the subject. Let’s start with yeast. What yeast should I use? Use any dam yeast you want, all will ferment your wine. But if you have reason to think one yeast will develop your fruit better than another, read yeast charts from the manufacturers. After picking one, or if possible two, and splitting a batch then you will know which one you like better. Do this over 3 years with the same fruit and then you can offer advice to others. Otherwise shut up and read. One thing if your grape is under ripe use GRE. But you can read about that too . And don’t use Montrachet no matter what anyone says. Well that about covers the subject of yeast.
Yeast Nutrient. Use it! Well that wraps up that subject. Oh which one? Not that many choices. You should be able to name at least 3 if not start reading.
Additives. Additives come in many flavors and colors. All have specific uses. A good place to start understanding their uses is the Scott Fermentation Catalog. Don’t have one? Don’t make wine then. Make Skeeter Pee instead. This arena of Additives is not that easy to master. For example Booster Rouge or Opti Red, which one? Well you can read the description of use but I have been using both year after year many times on the same fruit and I still have a problem telling the difference. Noblesse seems to be good for under ripe grapes. Zac reports this. I have no reason to doubt him but I have never used it myself. Wood Dust is good also in the fermenter when dealing with that problem too. Which ones to buy? Greg Perrucci sums it up nicely. Have all of them in your cabinet to deal with any situation that comes up.
Other stuff. I dare even bring up the subject of Malolactic Fermentation. Just do it and do it with expensive ML bacteria and Nutrient so you don’t have to moan and groan like you are in labor on Winemakingtalk.com when you MLF isn’t working.
Well that about wraps it up. Now if anyone has any questions on what experiences any of us may have with certain products make sure you do a little research and display that in your question before you ask. I am sure all of us will be more than happy to share our thoughts with you.
Boy that felt good!