I got so much grapes this year that it took me 4 days to finish the destemming and crushing. The very last batch got contaminated with some sort of fungus or mold. So I added the double dosage of Potassium Metabisulfite, that it 2 x ¼ tsp per 5 gallons of must. I’ll keep the bucket opened in garage for 24 hours before adding yeast. Which I don’t have anymore anyway.
Total amount of Cabernet Sauvignon I got this year is 74.15 kg (163.47 lbs). What has filled full three 5-gallon buckets.
Past weekend I did few things. First, I racked two of my 5-gallon carboys, removed a lot of dead yeast from their bottoms. I’ve read on internet that these bottom wastes may give wine the yeast smell, exactly what I ended up with last year, so I decided to do not take risk and dumped it with some bottom juice as well. So instead of having 1 extra gallon of juice now I had -1 gallon of juice, means of the carboys didn’t have enough juice to fill it up.
Then I drove to Zillah, WA again and picked about 6 buckets of Cabernet Sauvignon from same Chapman Vineyard. I will weight all what I’ve got tomorrow and start processing right away.
I got 2 gallons of Syrah juice, again from same Chapman Vineyard, but professionally fermented at Knight Hill Winery in industrial half-ton bin. I filled up one of my 5-gallon carboys with it. The result was fascinating: it started bubbling up very actively and continues to do it till now, about 24 hours later.
I racked another carboy again, added the rest of this very active juice to it, got 1 gallon of leftovers for the future needs.
Up next: wait for bubbling up to slow down, measure specific gravity, maybe rack again.
By about 11 PM of the next day I finished processing the grapes. I got at least 15 gallons of must: 2 almost full buckets and 1 little less.
This time I purchased at Mt. Si Homebrew Supply in Snoqualmie the yeast Clos Wine Yeast DYW45 that smells pretty good and is claimed to be “amazing for Syrah, Petite Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Carignane” (Cambridge comma is mine) by Cellar Science, batch #51362 (whatever it means).
I added about 5g into first two buckets and little less than that (almost the rest of the second pack) to the third bucket.
Up next: specific gravity in bucket #3. Which was 1.100, surprisingly or not the same as in the other two.
By the end of the first day of processing the grapes I’ve got two 6-gallon buckets almost full of juice. However, unlikely the prior year when I forgot to do that, now I’m going to measure the specific gravity at the start. Also to label the buckets.
Bucket #1: 1.100
Bucket #2: 1.100 (or little more)
I decided to not kill the wild yeast, same as past year. But I’ll definitely kill the rest of the yeast at the end of the fermentation.
Over the passed weekend I, my family, and my parents stayed at Knight Hill Winery in Zillah, WA and got a chance to participate in two incredible activities:
First, on Saturday, we’ve picked a row of Roussanne at Carthage Vineyard. It took for 4 of us (me, my dad, my wife, and the owner) about 3.5 hours and produced one full bucket and a little more in another bucket, totalling more than 1400 lbs.
Then, on Sunday, we’ve crushed it using real industrial-grade production line: tipped the buckets over using a forklift, dumped the grapes over a conveyor line, that dropped them into a industrial crusher and destemmer, then pumped over the juice into a 250-gallon tank.