The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Problems with Petite Sirah

I checked in with the guys yesterday, the petite sirah was due to be pitched.  In fact, it looked like it was already bubbling away, like what happened with the merlot this year.  But, it looked great — Paul added vinozyme, and the juice was a lovely inky dark purple color.

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Then I got a call early this morning (the most shocking part really), apparently the pH on the PS was really high — 3.7 to 3.9 — so instead of pitching the yeast, they added a first addition of tartaric acid, and needed to add a second addition today.

We rechecked the pH, and it was still high, 3.8 -4.0, even after the first tartaric addition.  We only had enough tartaric acid on hand to add about 40 grams per bucket, which is probably about half of what we should add.  Oh well, it’ll have to do for now.  We can add more after we press, which is what I actually did with my primitivo.

Besides the pH problem, most of the buckets were already actively fermenting with wild yeasts.  We inoculated 4 buckets with BM4x4 and 5 with NT50, and called it a day.

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