Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Riesling

I got to the grape dealer early this year, and they had Riesling in stock. Other years they have been sold out.

These grapes were very juicy --so juicy that the crates left a trail of grape juice when I carried them down the basement. As you might expect with juicy grapes the sugar level was low at 18 degrees Brix, which will make 9% alcohol. On the low side for me. Other years I would add sugar to get to 12%, but having been chastised by Grace, my son's girlfriend, for making only over-strong wines, I decided to leave this alone this year. Rieslings are often on the weak side. This Riesling will be finished dry.

I also did not kill the natural yeast with sulfite so that my wife might potentially drink it. Being more natural this year, I hope I don't regret it.

Riesling Grape Recipe

144 lb Riesling wine grapes (Pia; Madera, California)
10 g pectic enzyme
16 g yeast energizer
1 Pack Red Star Premier Cuvee

Other years I have added oranges or orange peel, but not this year. In the past I have added potassium carbonate as well. I will watch the pH, or perhaps taste it after the initial ferment.

I let the grapes warm to room temperature, crushed them (about 90 minutes), then pressed them. I added the additives. The fermentation was rapid with vigorous fermentation within a few hours.
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