My first shot at making a wine comes under some ‘pressure’. A large bucket full of white wine grapes from a friends yard showed up at my house, my wife having visited that friend. The grapes were fresh picked that morning, and measured about 18B.
Some hand de-stemming, a friends daughters clean feet, we had a white wine must.
I added enough sugar to bring it up to 25B, I overshot my target of 22B. It was about 1.5 pounds of sugar to get to that point.
I placed 4 crushed campden tablets in the must and let it sit for 24 hours and then added the Lavlin 71B-1122 yeast with some yeast energizer.
The plan is to have a semi-sweet wine when I am finished, the request of the friend who supplied the grapes. I will probably give her most of the bottles, keep a couple for myself. This will be good practice for next year, and if it goes well, I may buy some red wine grapes from the homebrew store. I wouldn’t mind making a couple of cases of some nice merlot or cab, my dad might enjoy some. A little ‘Three Buck Chuck’ or ‘Three Buck Jerry’.
1 Overflowing bucket of white wine grapes
2 lbs sugar
3 campden tablets (sodium metabisulfite)
1 pkg Lavlin 71B-1122 yeast
Yeast Nutrient (1 1/2 tsp at pitching of yeast)
Yeast Energizer (1 1/2 tsp at pitching of yeast)
Original 18B, added sugar to 25B (overshot 22B target)
24B at 63F
Moved must/grapes to smaller bucket so I could add a heater.
Heater maintained 72F temperature.
Added 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient & continued to punch down the cap several times a day. Activity is increased and the cap forms within 1 hour of punching down.
Took the must off the grape skins and seeds and measured 13B and 1.025 S.G. Placed in the carboy and the fermentation is going strongly. The taste is still very sweet, even with 10.8% ABV. I am on my way out of town tomorrow for a nice week long trip and this should sit between 62-65F, perfect. Hoping by the end of my weeks vacation primary fermentation will be done and I can let this sit and condition for a bit.
I just returned home from vacation and the gravity is at 8B (0.9942 corrected) & 14.1% ABV. There is some clearing now as well. The few drops I had and used for the refractometer still tasted very much like the same grape tannin(y). I hope leaving the skins and seeds with the juice for the 3-4 days did not adversely effect the outcome.
I will let it sit and clear some more and once I bottle my chocolate porter this coming Sunday, it will give me a free carboy to rack to. I’m a little concerned as there is so much head space, and so little CO2 generation at this point, that I could get too much O2 exposure. I may connect my CO2 regulator up to the bottle and blast the carboy with the CO2 prior to racking into it – as well as afterwards.
Also, when I rack I will get a small sample to taste and see where it stands with sweetness and acidity. At some point pretty soon, I will also be thinking about stabilizing and clarifying.
Racked the wine to a 3 gallon better bottle. Only maybe 1.75 gallons really at this point so I blew some CO2 on top of the wine before stoppering.
Still at 8B which is what I would expect. Still tasted ‘green grape’ plus some slight sourness? Not sure about that, will taste again in a week or so.