Sunday, October 5, 2014

2014 Zinfandel Wine

As mentioned, I was a little late to the store, and it was picked over. I did get some juicy Zinfandel grapes. Very juicy as the juice was dripping out of the cases after I stacked them.

2014 Zinfandel Wine Recipe

108 lb Zinfandel Grapes
4 lb sugar
11 g yeast energizer
1 pack Red Star Montrachet

I would have added a little more sugar, but I was all out.

2014 French Colombard

I went to my local wine & grape and they were picked over. The season was early this year, so I missed the best selection. I needed some white grapes, so I got French Colombard. The first two cases were great, but that third case had too many dried grapes -- some of those clumps ended up in the red wine. I thought that these raisins are not going to contribute anything if they don't soak in the juice, but the white wine got pressed immediately.

2014 French Colombard Recipe

108 lb French Colombard Grapes (Uva de Puglia, Escalon, CA)
2 lb sugar
7 g pectic enzyme
11 g yeast energizer
1 packet Red Star Premier Crevee

Last time, I included several kinds of tea to try to add some floral notes. I have not decided to do that so far. This juice had a good flavor.

April 2016: I racked this 2-3 times, and it has a good flavor with good clarity. Not too light. Fruity, but not floral.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Ruby Cabernet

I went to the local wine grape outlet, and it was packed. I just wondered around tasting the different pallets of grapes. The Ruby Cabernet was something special-- it had a nice intense flavor. It was not so sweet though, so it needed a lot of sugar.

144 lb Ruby Cabernet Grapes  (Uva de Puglia Escalon California)
11.1 lb sugar
16 g yeast energizer
2 packs of yeast
after fermentation
1 vial of malolactic bacteria (WLP675 from White Labs)

I have a handheld refractometer for measuring the refractive index, so I can track the sugar content pretty well. I added the sugar, and the refractive index did not go up as predicted by my calculation. This apparently is because there was some crystalline sugar still present. After waiting overnight, I ended up with the target number. On the other hand, I had already added more sugar by then -- so the indicated recipe will be stronger than I had planned.

After primary fermentation, I pressed it and put in glass demijohns.  I added the Malolactic bacteria. The hope is that I won't get sourness or off flavors that have affected previous vintages.

Monday, July 7, 2014

2014 Cherry Wine

The first cherry wine that I made, in 2009, was the best. We said that it tasted like Christmas, and it looked like Christmas too -- bright Santa Claus red. The subsequent wines have been drier and honestly better for blending than for drinking straight up.

This year, I am going to back to the original recipe, and making it very strong. The hope is that we get a dessert wine -- almost like a liquor.

I saw cherries were on sale for $2.99/lb at Meier, and I went back to get some on Saturday. I saw a neighbor there, and she said, cherries were $1.99/lb at Kroger.  I drove over to Kroger, and the cheap cherries were from Chile rather than Washington or Michigan. On the other hand, the cherries were sweet and flavorful.

2014 Cherry Wine Recipe

27 lb Sweet Cherries (crushed but not pitted)
3 to 3.5 gal water
6 bags of black tea
1 small orange with peel
14.5 lb of sugar (!)
2 t yeast energizer
2 t pectic enzyme
yeast - Red Star Crevee

The yeast had previously been opened, but the yeast started the fermentation almost immediately.

The pH was 4.5, and I added the orange to help control the pH, and the skin to give a little bitterness.