Author Topic: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!  (Read 1660 times)

Offline FRANCOIS

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Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« on: March 19, 2011, 01:57:22 AM »
So I was just working around the yard late this afternoon when a local farmer pulled up the driveway.  He had heard that I brew beer and such for some of the neighbors (I find that it lubricates the wheels of generosity being a foreigner here).  He said there was a house he looks after for a friend who now lives in Australia, it's been empty for 15 years and there is an old grape vine that grows up the side along a trellis.  Well the trellis broke was broken when he drove by today and there were loads of grapes.  For the price of a bottle of the proceeds I could take all the grapes I wanted from it.  I of course jumped at the chance, even though I have never made wine.  I grabbed a ladder and three 40 litre buckets, just to be sure. 

I filled the first two buckets just on the branches lying on the ground before I put the ladder up to get some higher ones when I then discovered that the vine had grown along the back roof and was also laden with grapes.  So now I have 120 litres of grapes and there are probably another 200 on the vine, which unfortunately has a broken main trunk, right near the ground. I just grabbed what was there, ripe or not.  No idea what kind they are, just that they are purple.

So...what do I do now?  Do I just mash them up and add some tablets to it?  There are a plethora of wine recipes on the internet, just looking for some seasoned guidance on which one to follow.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 10:30:57 AM »
Are you trying to make fancy, aged, wine, or distill the hooch? Or somewhere in between?

The basics are:
- Take the good berries off the bunch. Discard any raisins, decayed/moldy berries, green ones, etc
- Prepare a sulfite solution (I can help with amount if I know weight of fruit), spray every so often.
- Here after the destemming, crush the berries. You want something like 50% crush, or more or less, depends on what you like.
- Let the So2 evaporate.
- Add yeast, let ferment for primary fermentation with the skins. Punch down the cap that forms back into the wine.
- After primary completes, press the grapes to get all the juice out of them.
- Start secondary fermentation (for malic acid conversion)

Then you rack to clarify, add oak  (or put in barrel), etc.

But basically, start destemming the grapes and we can go from there. Taste the ones you're destemming, let us know how they are. If you have a way to measure pH and TA, that would help.

I'll try to find a good online guide... I make so little wine that all I have are my print/lecture materials, I'm not active online at all, so don't know offhand. There are other winemakers here, like Tomer1.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 04:03:02 PM »
Something in between hooch and fancy.  I do have access to cheap oak barrels, but I doubt I'll have enough to fill one.   I was up till 3 am, cleaning sorting and destemming.  I still have a bucket left to do.  I did put aside the green ones and have been crushing the grapes by hand as I through them into a primary.  I made sure to sulphur what I had done before going to bed.  If I sneak a sample into work I can measure the TA and pH.  I do have a brew bulb as well.

I don't have a way to press them unfortunately, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. 

The ripe grapes are very sweet, no idea what kind they are.  The less ripe ripe ones have a nice tartness to them.  If I leave the unripened bunches on the kitchen bench, will they ripen (like tomoatos)?

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 05:38:24 PM »
For the oaking, you can put a cut stave into the carboy, or cut it up into cubes and put the cubes in.

For pressing, get a bucket, an old piece of large cloth, like a bed sheet, and rig up a quick simple press with a piece of wood as follower. Drill holes in bottom and sides of bucket. Line the bucket, pour everything in after primary fermentation finishes, tie up the end of the cloth, and press to get the juice out. It won't be fancy, and some juice will be left, but it does an OK job. Then take the pomace, add water and sugar to it, and let it ferment some more so you can distill some grappa.

Grapes tend to raisin up if you leave them on the bench. But yes, they will definitely ripen. Kind of a balance between ripening and water loss. If they're loose enough on the bunch, you can mist them with water while they ripen, that helps. And less ripe is OK, just don't want green berries in there.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2011, 06:01:08 PM »
I'm approaching 40 litres of must, almost done sorting and squashing.  I estimate there is about 40kg of must.  I added suplhur per the directions (2 tabs per 5L).  Brew bulb is showing just over 10% final alcohol content, so I'll add some sugar. 

I have enough semi ripe and green to do about 20 litres of must.  The neighbor has a small hydraulic press.  If I were to put the grapes, stems and all, in a curd bag and press them for juice what would the final wine be like (assuming I sweetened it with sugar to get 11% FABV)? 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 06:29:25 PM by FRANCOIS »


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2011, 06:30:02 PM »
If you're using campden tablets, generally to get to 50-60 ppm, you use 1 tablet per gallon. So it depends how heavily you want to sulfite the wine. I personally like a lower sulfited wine, targetting somewhere in the 20s. It's hard to tell without titrating for SO2. You could add more if you wanted, especially if you're going to age this for a long time. This seems like you'll drink it fairly young, so in terms of the chemistry, no huge need to sulfite high.

If you make a wine out of the more green berries, and not let them macerate on the skin, you're going to get a white or blush wine. It will be somewhat thin and tart. The flavor and color is in the skin. Likely will make a nice summer wine, though, for next year. Or good cooking/marinating wine.

If you do add sugar, try to use dextrose. Sucrose is a little hard on the yeast, tends to produce off flavors.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2011, 06:40:42 PM »
Got it.  I am cleaning cotainers to go collect the rest.  I'm pretty sure I can get dextrose at the grocery store here.  I did add about 0.8 tabs per gallon on average.  I can meter back by mixing with thenext lot I get.

I'm going to give a shot at propogating some cuttings too.  Seems a shame for the old vine to die.  It's similar to your September, weather wise, here so very early to try and take cuttings.  The vine will be dead very soon anywayh, so nothing lost in trying.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2011, 06:46:03 PM »
Quote
Sucrose is a little hard on the yeast, tends to produce off flavors.
Nah...
The acid in the wine splits (inverts) the sucrose into fructose and glucose.
No reason to use expenssive dextrose.
I use table sugar all the time in fruit wines and 2nd run red wines without a glitch.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2011, 06:49:56 PM »
Check the main trunk and see if its grafted or not,
If it is dont bother with trying to grow cuttings.
Better look for a nursery and buy some proper wine vines with a rootstock most suitable to your growing conditions.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2011, 07:05:32 PM »
Quote
The acid in the wine splits (inverts) the sucrose into fructose and glucose.
No reason to use expenssive dextrose.
In my experience, this rate of inversion is not fast enough, even with cold fermentation, to not cause excessive (to my taste) off flavor formation. In some cases, this is desirable, in some cases not. In my side-by-side trials, I routinely obtained excess aldehyde formation with sucrose vs dextrose. This rate increased somewhat proportionally with the increase in sucrose, and was mitigated by available Nitrogen.

[edit]This is highly strain dependent. In some strains, it makes no difference.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 07:55:24 PM by linuxboy »
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2011, 10:10:28 PM »
The farmer is going to ask the guy who planted it what variety it is.  It certianly grows well in our conditions here.  I just picked another 160l of grapes, there's more but I have no containers left to ferment them in.  We'll see how it goes. 

Do I have to destem before I press the white wine?  It will be easier if I don't have to.

Also, do you add the sugar during primary or secondary fermentation?  I would guess primary but the comment from Tomer suggests otherwise.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 11:29:01 PM by FRANCOIS »

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2011, 04:34:32 AM »
Chaptalization is done with the primary fermentation, Francois - adjustments made after taking the s.g. of your must.  And you don't have to destem the white wine grapes, as you're not leaving anything in contact with skins/pips/stems.  Sometimes it can be a strategy to macerate some portion of the grapes intact, to allow for some color, aromatics and tannin extraction (I think of "rootstock" astringency and desired "green" palate notes, as well as a fruity intensity - has to be done gingerly), but I'd just recommend going with a straight juice extraction.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 04:51:01 AM by ArnaudForestier »
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2011, 10:45:48 AM »
If you press quickly (macerating for even a few hours with stems can cause bitter notes in white juice),
When doing rose ,most of the time (when its not a verietal which is whole cluster fermented like some winemakers like to do with pinot and sometimes syrah)
the grapes are completly destemed.
You could just crush\split the berries and move them to the press.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2011, 03:20:39 PM »
I would destem as much as possible. Having a few of the small jacks attached to the berries is not the end of the world, but pressing entire stems... you're asking for excess astringency. In other words do as good a job as time allows.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Wayne or Linuxboy HELP!!!
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2011, 08:23:43 AM »
Whole cluster is possible and thats how they do it in champagne,
I attemped it once with my DIY hydrolic press and failed, yield was low and it required very high pressure. the frame was telling me "stop, it hurts!"
I ended up having to run it through crusher destemer and repress,
The wine turned out with some bitterness which I had to fine and lost some aromatic dou to the extra handling required.
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