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Making some wine - Page 2

post #21 of 32
The time may have gone by but the temps just started hitting the mid 60's... Do you think it's too late to start a batch of wine in the pavement state (NJ )
post #22 of 32
Thread Starter 
Where will you ferment the juice: garage, cold cellar, basement? What temps you expect there for the following 4 weeks?
post #23 of 32

Likely garage 65-70 daytime 53-60 nights....temps the next 4 weeks are about the same with an occasional 75-78 day

post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 
Do you use yeast? 50s and low 60s are a bit low for wild yeasts. I recommend using ec1118 yeast; works well at low temps.
post #25 of 32
Never have used yeasts. Usually crushed the grapes and not added anything. It's one of those " here's how your great great grandfather did it in Italy " things that my grand mother showed me nearly 27 years ago.

I know we usually started mid September .
post #26 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well... you need to adapt to the conditions.
post #27 of 32
Seems that we got lucky...it has not really been cold. Night temps dropped to about 60 and the garage stayed closer to 68 at night and daytime has been mid 70's. Tried a small pressing to see if it would work out so we didn't lose it all.

Made a 30+ gallon batch of red Zinfandel looking real good so far. Sitting in a barrel now for the duration bubbling away
post #28 of 32
Thread Starter 
Forgot to "close" this thread.

I've been making wine on and off for decades (even before I liked drinking it - just helped dad). First time I ran into stuck fermentation. The grapes were sweet to begin with. The fermentation slowed down quickly and did not complete. I tried every method in the book to restart it, never managed to bring the sugar under 7 brix.

I think the root cause was juice too sweet and subpar grapes. I am done with California grapes (not that all Cali grapes are bad, just the ones we get).

This year I bought local (Niagara region). Everything was textbook (so far). I am getting ready for the 2nd racking. Maybe I can manage to bottle some for Christmas.
post #29 of 32

Interesting.  I wonder if the grapes were treated to prevent spoilage during shipping, killing the natural yeast and inhibiting the action of added yeast.  We have in-laws and friends who make wine here in California.  They buy direct from the fields.  In more than ten years I've known them, and probably 30-40 different wines, I've never heard them talk about stuck fermentation.  I'll have to ask. 

post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 
Never happened to me either. And I bought Cali grapes before.

The problem is the growers keep the best for them and local markets and send 2nd grade to Canada. Another problem is some grapes (Sauv B is one) shouldn't be let to ripe to their potential. This is why I prefer cold climate Sauv B and Pinot Noir.
post #31 of 32
Thread Starter 
I bottled 3L for a NYE party. It's great. The best I ever made.

I didn't bottle all of it since is not as clear as I want.


I am fining it right now. Using bentonite. This is the slurry you make from bentonite granule (in fact a clay).


I left it overnight to hydrate properly than dumped it in the demijohn (1tbs of slurry per gallon). Then stirred well with a degasser attached to an electric drill.


Will check in 7 days...Hopefully crystal clear. If not enough one more bentonite session.

I can't believe how good this wine is.
Edited by atomicsmoke - 1/25/17 at 5:56pm
post #32 of 32
Thread Starter 
A lesser known wine fact.
You might have noticed sometimes sediment at the bottom of wine bottles that had a crystal appearance: wine diamonds. Cream of tartare crystals. The sediments appear after cold storage. So if the wine has not been thru cold stabilization you will get them in the bottle. Totally harmless. Sometimes you see them on the cork if the bottle was stored on its side.

Just racked the wine from the 2nd demijhon last night.
These were at the bottom of the demijhon:

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