The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Try MLF on Merlot Again and First Reserve Kit for 2009

Time to rack and check the home merlot.  I splash racked again, and tested/tasted it.  The Free SO2 seemed to be below 20 ppm, so I’m going to try to restart MLF with the dried bacteria I got in December.  I’m not optimistic, because I’m pretty sure the bacteria is no good after this long, but I’m going to try.  Today I add the malostart and recheck the malic acid levels:  >500 mg/L for lot A, and about 300 mg/L for lot B.  They both are quite tasty, but I think they both have enough oak now, so it won’t get transferred this time.  Lot A has flavors of spiced fruit, and is definitely spicier and “bigger” than lot B, which is still very fruit-forward with a good nose of berries and oak.  Both are very clear, so the racking has paid off.

In the meantime, the first reserve wine kits have arrived and I’m ready to start!  I got both a Barolo from Mosti Mondiale and a  Muller-Thurgau (moooo-ler Tur-gow) from RJ Spagnols.  I’m going to start the MT first, since the cellar is sadly lacking in crisp whites!  This kit had about 5 gallons of juice (read as:  heavy to lift and pour!), and elderflowers – I haven’t used those before.  They came in these big “infusion bags,” basically 4 giant tea bags that get soaked in hot water first, then the water and the bags get added to the juice for fermentation.  I’ll start the Barolo tomorrow, too much wine-ing for today!

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