After talking to Eric at Fermentation Solutions in Campbell, we realized that we kind of “lost it” with the sugar addition–his words. He told us to call him next time we are about to make a dumb mistake. I took my new Refractometer over to the vinyard and started testing some grapes and a random sample tested about 18 BRIX. Eric told us that too much sugar will not allow the fermentation to finish and that we should try to get the BRIX to an ideal 26. Adding water on the other hand would water down the taste since the ratio of skins to liquid would be less. The solution was to pick another 35 lbs of grapes, remove two gallons of liquid from the must and dilute it with fresh de-stemmed grapes. Our final MUST ended up at 26 brix and now we have about 18 gallons of it. Looks like we are going to have 6 cases of wine if we don’t screw it up completely. We left about 2/3 of the grapes on the vine because we thought they looked a little over ripe, but the reality with ZIN is that those almost raisin grapes are actual primo for wine. GO figure. We added the yeast and nutrients following the recipe exactly and added it to the primary fermentation vat. Tomorrow we add the malolactic bacteria and when the the BRIXS goes down about two thirds, we will add more yeast nutrient. Malolactic fermentation (or sometimes malolactic conversion or MLF) is a process in winemakeing where tart tasting malic acid, naturally present in grape must, is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid. The job now is to push the skins down in the must daily for about a week and then press the primary fermentation into a stainless steel carboy for secondary fermentation. Someone suggested putting oak chips in the secondary fermentation. Ill have to research that. There sure is a load of mis information on the internet about making ZIN-especially about BRIX values and acidity and how to titrate it. BEWARE and add slowly and measure will be next years motto.
The wind was up again this morning as it has been the last three days so no San Luis Fishing this weekend. Been tying some flies though getting ready. Hopefully next week which is STRIPERFEST weekend in the Delta. Im going to SL, it shouldn’t be crowded.
The GIANTS are going to the WORLD SERIES! Time to buy tickets on STUBHUB!
The Contractors are putting finishing touches on the new picture window on the second floor of the house, and Mark is coming home next weekend after watching a surgery at an Oregon Hospital this week. Mia continues to do well her last year at CAL and then on to who knows