Wine Making -- 1987

Background and General Notes

September 2006

I tried pourback this year, saving grape juice and refrigerating it so it wouldn't ferment. Then ferment the main batch to dryness, add sulfite and sorbate to stabilize it, and add the reserved juice to sweeten it. After doing it a few times I decided that sweetening with juice and sweetening with sugar didn't appear to make any real taste difference, so I stopped doing pour-back. I also decided I was happier with dry wines and only sweetened the ones that really needed sugar to reduce acid or astringency.

This year started my transition from fruit wines to grape wines. I also bought into partial ownership of a Buon Vino plate filter and experimented with filtration (something I dropped after a few years). AND I started messing with oak chips, although this year I added them rather late in the process.

1987 was a year for a LOT of diverse experimentation. Interesting that after trying so many different things I now pretty much stick to the basics. I don't filter, I add oak during fermentation (if I add it at all), and I rarely sweeten wines although when I do I use cane sugar.


Wines Made in 1987

Wine

Started

Bottled

Yield

Welch's Raspberry Juice Wine

25 Aug 1987

29 May 1988

28 bottles

Elderberry Wine

26 Aug 1987

29 May 1988

30 bottles

Pear Wine

03 Sep 1987

29 May 1988

4 bottles

Baco Noir

27 Sep 1987

27 Feb 1988

29 bottles

Seyval

08 Oct 1987

15 Feb 1988 (sparkling)
27 Feb 1988 (still)

25 bottles + 5 bottles sparkling wine

Total Made:

 

 

121 bottles


Welch's Raspberry Juice Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

7x 12oz cans Welch's Raspberry Orchard

Water

4-3/4 gallons

Acid Blend

2 tsp

Sugar

22 cups

Energizer

2-1/2 tsp

Nutrient

03 tsp

Sulfite

1/2 tsp

Yeast

Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started

25 Aug 1987

1.095

Yeast added

26 Aug 1987

1.095

Racked

06 Sep 1987

1.016

Racked

20 Sep 1987

1.015

Racked, oak chips added

25 Oct 1987

1.015

Racked

06 Dec 1987

1.015

Filtered, #2 filter pad

27 Feb 1988

1.015

Bottled

29 May 1988

--

Final Notes

Yield

28 bottles

Afterthoughts

Considering it's basically junk, it's amazing how popular the Welch's wines were! Side note -- I don't remember if this wine stuck at 1.015 or if I managed to stop it intentionally. The sweetness contributes to a LOT of people really liking it!


Elderberry Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

15-3/4# elderberries

Water

4-3/4 gallons

Sugar

23 cups

Acid Blend

2 tsp

Nutrient

4 tsp

Energizer

2 tsp

Sulfite

1/2 tsp

Pectic Enzyme

2 tsp

Yeast

Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started

26 Aug 1987

1.087

Yeast added

29 Aug 1987

1.087

Strained

31 Aug 1987

1.042

Racked

06 Sep 1987

0.993

Oak chips added

25 Oct 1987

0.993

Racked

06 Dec 1987

0.993

Filtered, #2 filter pad

27 Sep 1988

0.993

Bottled

29 May 1988

0.993

Final Notes

Yield

30 bottles

Afterthoughts

I strained this one early -- SG 1.042 -- as the last one came out too heavy. Elderberry wine tends to be heavy in general -- very strong flavor. I had customers who made several gallons each year with champagne yeast, feeding it sugar until the yeast died. Then they'd sweeten it up and treat it as a port-style dessert wine.


Pear Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

6-3/4# pears

Water

1 quart

Sugar

4 cups

Acid Blend

03 tsp

Energizer

1/2 tsp

Nutrient

1 tsp

Pectic Enzyme

1 tsp

Sulphite

1/4 tsp

Yeast

Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started

03 Sep 1987

1.115

Yeast added

05 Sep 1987

1.115

Strained

20 Sep 1987

1.000

Racked

27 Sep 1987

0.998

Racked

06 Dec 1987

0.988

Filtered, #2 filter pad

27 Feb 1988

0.988

Bottled

29 May 1988

0.988

Final Notes

Yield

4 bottles

Afterthoughts

I wasn't particularly pleased with either pear wine I made. Being rather bright, I stopped making it! :-)


Baco Noir

Ingredients

Fruit

7 gallons baco noir juice, 3 quarts reserved

Energizer

03 tsp

Pectic Enzyme

2 tsp

Yeast Nutrient

05 tsp

Yeast

Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started, yeast added

27 Sep 1987

1.080

Racked

07 Oct 1987

0.998

03 quarts pourback added

07 Oct 1987

1.010

Racked, oak chips added

25 Oct 1987

1.010

Racked

06 Dec 1987

1.010

Filtered, #2 filter pad

27 Feb 1988

1.010

Bottled

27 Feb 1988

1.010

Final Notes

Yield

29 bottles

Afterthoughts

This one didn't come out all that well -- technically it went ok but the taste wasn't all that great. This soured me on Baco Noir for years, although later I had some good ones and reconsidered making it again.


Seyval

Ingredients

Fruit

5 gallons seyval juice, 4 quarts reserved

Energizer

03 tsp

Pectic Enzyme

2 tsp

Yeast Nutrient

05 tsp

Yeast

Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started, yeast added

08 Oct 1987

1.070

Racked

11 Oct 1987

1.010

Racked, 1 gallon removed to make sparkling wine

30 Oct 1987

0.998

4 tsp pectic enzyme, 1 gallon pourback, oak chips added to main

30 Oct 1987

1.012

Main racked

06 Dec 1987

1.012

Sparkling bottled

15 Feb 1988

--

Main filtered, #2 filter pad; Bottled.

27 Feb 1988

1.012

Final Notes

Yield

25 bottles + 5 bottles sparkling wine

Afterthoughts

The sparkling tasted ok, but it didn't sparkle all that much. I used the method of adding additional sugar and champagne yeast and crown capped it in quart soda bottles. After it sat for the specified amount of time I put the bottles in the freezer for several hours, then one-by-one opened them, poured carefully and gently into clean champagne bottles, put in a plastic champagne cork, and wired it down. As I said with last year's apple, I may try it again eventually ... or I may not.