Wine Making -- 2011

07 March 2011

Last year was a dud year for winemaking. I ended 2009 by bottling one batch and starting another ... which I didn't bottle until now. Time to make up for last time, starting 2 kits in short order!


Wines Made in 2011

Wine

Started

Bottled

Yield

Pinotage

08 Mar 2011

08 Sep 2011

28.5

Chardonnay-Semillon

15 Mar 2011

20 May 2011

27

Green Apple/Riesling

21 Mar 2011

14 Sep 2011

28.5

Pomegranate/Zinfandel

09 Apr 2011

14 Sep 2011

29.5

Australian Chardonnay

26 Nov 2011

08 Jan 2012

26

Vieux Chateau du Roi (Chateauneuf-du-Pape)

26 Nov 2011

08 Jan 2012

26

Total Made:

 

 

165.5 bottles


South African Pinotage kit

This one caught my fancy ...

Ingredients:

Kit

Winexpert Selection Original Series Wine Kit -- South African Pinotage

Yeast

Lalvin EC-1118 (included in kit)

Sugar

2 cups

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Dissolved bentonite in 2 quarts hot tap water in fermenter, using powered stirring rod to mix. Added juice/concentrate to fermenter. Added 1 quart hot tap water to bag, put the cap back on and shook well; pulled the cap and added to the fermenter, then topped up to 6 gallons, again mixing well. SG was a bit low so added 2 cups white sugar to increase it. Added the oak dust. Rehydrated the yeast and added it.

Note: I must have read the hydrometer wrong the first time -- after adding 2 cups sugar and stirring well, it read 1.100! I usually aim for 1.085-1.090, so this one will be a bit hotter than normal. While it will be ok, it's clear I wasn't paying proper attention to detail.

08 Mar 2011

1.100

Racked the wine, filling a 5 gallon carboy and a 1 gallon jug. While the instructions said to wait until the SG is less than 1.010, this has been fermenting gently at 60 to 68 degrees F, and will continue to do so. There is no problem racking to secondary.

15 Mar 2011

1.014

Stirred up sediment and racked to a 7 gallon fermenter. Using powered stirring rod, added teh metabisuliphite & sorbate, then the chitosan. Racked back to carboy and jug

Note: The SG on this one never dropped below 0.998.

02 Apr 2011

0.998

Racked the wine.

17 Apr 2011

0.998

Bottled the wine.

08 Sep 2011

0.998

Final Notes

Yield

28.5 bottles

Alcohol

12.75%

08 Sep 2011

Very tasty at bottling. I'd have good expectations for this one aging ... except it won't last long enough to age!

07 Nov 2011

I made this one too strong. At 12.75% alcohol it's a butt kicker, feels like it's 15%. Love this wine and will make it again, but it's too strong.

This reminds me of Tony, one of my customers when I owned/operated The Winery. Tony bought Zinfandel every year and chaptalized it up to 32 brix. Damned stuff would knock down a horse. The only difference is that my wine tastes good! :-)


Chardonnay/Semillon kit

I looked at the available kits in American Brewmaster, looking to pick a white. I kept coming back to this one so I snagged it.

Ingredients:

Kit

Winexpert Selection Original Series Wine Kit -- Chardonnay/Semillon

Yeast

Red Star Premier Cuvee (included in kit)

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started kit according to directions. Used powered stirring rod to mix bentonite package into hot water. Added concentrate and rinsed bag. Topped primary up to 6 gallons.

15 Mar 2011

1.082

Racked wine into 5 gallon carboy and 1 gallon jug.

21 Mar 2011

1.001

Directions indicate SG should drop to 0.996 or lower. Never got lower than 0.998.
Stirred sediment back into wine, rack back into 7 gallon fermenter. Stirred in metabisulphite & sorbate. Stirred inisinglass. Racked back into carboy & gallon jug.

02 Apr 2011

0.998

Racked wine.

17 Apr 2011

0.998

Bottled wine.

20 May 2011

0.998

Final Notes

Yield

27 bottles

Alcohol

10.5%

20 May 2011

Surprisingly tasty at bottling. Didn't taste as green as I'd expect. Still going to age a few months before tapping the next one.

08 Sep 2011

Four month is the bottle have done well by this one. I'll make this kit again.

09 Nov 2011

This one is a keeper! I'm not massively fond of most chardonnays, the semillon rounds this one out. I'll make it again.


Green Apple Riesling kit

Having made a few "fun wines" in the past, I decided to make a couple this spring. This one struck my fancy.

Ingredients:

Kit

Winexpert Selection Original Series Wine Kit -- Green Apple Riesling

Yeast

Red Star Premier Cuvee (included in kit)

Sugar

8 cups [The fun wines are designed for low alcohol (6.5%) -- I kick then up to about 10%]

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started kit according to directions. Used powered stirring rod to mix bentonite package into hot water. Added concentrate and rinsed bag. Topped primary up to 6 gallons.

Note: Added additional sugar to raise the SG, as these kits are designed to produce 6.5% alcohol; I generally kick them up to 9%-10%.

21 Mar 2011

1.078

Wine is barely fermenting. Added Lalvin EC 1118 yeast to kick start it.

26 Mar 2011

1.065

Still not fermenting well. Added Red Star Champagne yeast.

29 Mar 2011

1.060

Racked the wine into a carboy and gallon jug. This wine is fermenting VERY slowly so I want it into a carboy to avoid infection.

02 Apr 2011

1.036

Ignored the wine for a month; it cleared to fermentation is probably done. Using powered stirring rod, stirred in metabisulphite and sorbate, apple F-Pack, and then isinglass. SG values are before and after adding the F-Pack.

30 Apr 2011

0.992
1.012

Racked.

05 Jun 2011

1.012

Bottled.

14 Sep 2011

1.012

Final Notes

Yield

28.5 bottles

Alcohol

9.1%

14 Sep 2011

Another one that is tasty at bottling. It may be that leaving an extra couple months int the carboy helps, something I hadn't noticed before in kits. Although to be fair, in the past I've left a few on the lees too long which produces off flavors.

11 Nov 2011

This one is growing on me. Too sweet for normal meals, although people who like sweet wines might call it dry. Definitely fruity, the type of wine I'd make at most once a year.


Pomegranate Zinfandel kit

I was in American Brewmaster with my friend John the day I purchased the Green Apple Riesling. This one sounded interesting to both of us so I purchased it the following week.

Ingredients:

Kit

Winexpert Selection Original Series Wine Kit -- Pomegranate Zinfandel

Yeast

Red Star Premier Cuvee (included in kit)

Sugar

8 [The fun wines are designed for low alcohol, like 7% -- I kick then up to about 10%]

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Using powered stirring rod, dissolved bentonite into hot water. Added juice/concentrate and rinsed bag. Topped fermenter up to 6 gallons and sprinkled yeast over top.

09 Apr 2011

1.072

Racked wine into carboy and gallon jug.

17 Apr 2011

1.012

Stirred up sediment and racked into fermenter. Using powered stirring rod, stirred metabisulphite & sorbate, Pomegranate F-Pack, adn chitosan into wine. Racked back into carboy and gallon jug. Note: SG values are before and after F-Pack.

30 Apr 2011

0.992
1.010

Racked.

05 Jun 2011

1.010

Bottled.

14 Sep 2011

1.010

Final Notes

Yield

29.5 bottles

Alcohol

10.0%

14 Sep 2011

I like this one better than the Green Apple-Riesling. This one is probably a keeper, although my preferences is for dry reds.

13 Nov 2011

Last week I tried some of this with dinner. NOT a good choice, this is a sipping wine not one for typical meals. Too sweet.


Australian Chardonnay kit

I decided to start 2 more kits before the end of 2011. Given that the last white & red I made (chardonnay-semillon and pinotage) are going fast, I decided to make another white & red. This one caught my eye.

Ingredients:

Kit

RJ Spagnols - Premier Cru Australian Chardonnay

Yeast

Lalvin EC-1118

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started wine following kit directions. Stirred bentonite into hot water, added juice/concentrate, stirred well. Added oak dust. Patrick topped up fermenter to 6 gallons with water while I kept the drill-mounted stirring rod going. This mixed it very well, initial SG was good, no sugar needed.

Note: I used the new wine thief I purchased last week that allows me to check SG in the thief, it worked nicely. However, next time I will not add oak dust until after checking SG.

26 Nov 2011

1.092

This fermented fast. Instructions way to let it ferment completely out, but this was good enough.

Racked. Using drill mounted stirring rod, stirred in sulphite, potassium sorbate, kieselsol, and chitosan. Transfer to carboy for clearing.

03 Dec 2011

0.998

Supposed to bottle after 2 weeks, but it wasn't quite clear enough, so I let it set another few weeks before bottling.

08 Jan 2012

0.996

Final Notes

Yield

26 bottles

Alcohol

12.8%

08 Jan 2012

Nice taste at bottling, not as green as I expected.


Vieux Chateau du Roi (Chateauneuf-du-Pape) kit

To avoid legal problems the kit wines that emulate a regional style have to use a different name, which are sometimes hard to figure out. This one is a Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone) style wine which promies to be heavy.

Eric translated the kit name for me -- "Old Castle of Kings". I think I'll take him to American Brewmaster with me next time to help with the kit names. :-)

Ingredients:

Kit

RJ Spagnols - Heritage Estates Vieux Chateau du Roi

Yeast

Lalvin EC-1118

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started wine following kit directions. Stirred bentonite into hot water, added juice/concentrate, stirred well. Added rehydrated elderberries. I topped up fermenter to 6 gallons with water while Patrick kept the drill-mounted stirring rod going. This mixed it very well, initial SG was good, no sugar needed.

As with the chardonnay, I used the wine thief to check SG. The elderberries plugged it and made it a PITA to do. For future reference I will add "extras" after checking SG.

26 Nov 2011

1.082

This also fermented fast.

Racked. Using drill mounted stirring rod, stirred in sulphite, potassium sorbate, kieselsol, and chitosan. Transfer to carboy for clearing.

03 Dec 2011

0.998

The lees compacted well after 2 week, but after 5 the lees were tight. Bottled.

08 Jan 2012

0.994

Final Notes

Yield

26 bottles

Alcohol

11.8%

08 Jan 2012

Green at bottling time, but promises nice flavor.