The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Wine Wrangling Weekend

Lots to do this weekend!  Of course, there were 2 trips to the office winery to punch down the newly pitched Petite Sirah.  By the evening, the temp was up to 78 degrees (in an air conditioned room) and there were serious caps on all of the buckets.  Then I had to deal with trying to restart the MLF in the syrah at home.  I brought home the little bit of ELIOS malolactic bacteria and rehydrated it in warm water with Acti-ML for about 15 minutes.  I then added about 100 mL merlot from the barrel that we just inoculated as a source of active ELIOS culture, and let that sit for another 15 minutes.  That mixture got split into the 2 carboys of syrah and stirred well.

I ran out of malic acid tests (oops), but since the MLF on the primitivo was almost done last weekend, I went ahead and assumed that it was ready to rack and sulfite.  Since I only had one spare carboy at this point, I had to rack out the wine then clean the better bottle before I could rack the next bottle.  That made it take a little longer than it should have, but when I was done I had 3 6-gallon carboys and a 3-gallon carboy nicely topped.  I added 3 ounces of medium toast oak cubes per 6 gallons, with 2 6-gallon bottles getting French oak and the remaining 6-gallon and 3-gallon getting American oak.  This should give me a nice balance of oak in the final blend.  At least the primitivo is ready to rest!

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