The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Monthly archive: 09 2008

Slow Merlot

Brix have been steadily dropping in the merlot batches.  A second dose of yeast nutrient was added yesterday.  Looking at the numbers, lot B has become quite sluggish.  Lot A has dropped to 5.5 degrees brix, but lot B is only at 11 degrees brix.  Both batches got quite hot, over 80 degrees farenheit!  Hopefully […]

Italian Brunello 2-Month(ish) Tasting

Almost 2 month tasting of the brunello. A LOT of oak in the nose, with a weird fruity off-smell. Not outrageously tasty, not quite integrated. Needs to sit. Will decant and taste again.

Getting Punchy

Definitely getting a distinct cap on both sets today.  I have a little lab set next to the trash cans with sanitizer in a spray bottle, the wine thief and hydrometer for monitoring the brix, a floating thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature, the big spoon for stirring, and of course a plastic […]

Are You Awake in There?

It looks like the yeastie-beasties are at least alive in lot A, although it’s just kind of fizzing and most of the whole berries are sitting on the bottom of the bucket.  Lot B, though, was going nuts!  It was very vigorously fermenting and had already formed a distinct cap on top.  Yeast nutrient was […]

Starting Fermentation on Merlot Grapes

We did a cold maceration of the grapes for 48 hours, keeping them cold with additional dry ice.  Our juice was at a starting brix (sugar content) of 26 – this reading is on the high end of what you want for a good wine that’s not too hot or alcoholic.  I also checked titratable […]

Hey, Let’s Make Wine From Grapes!

This is what my friends said to me.  This guy Paul knew this other guy that makes wine and likes to share the grapes from this great vineyard in Sonoma with home winemakers.  So of course they thought of me when they found out they could get these killer grapes.  It also happens that I’m […]

One Year Plus Tasting of Cab Merlot

Still very foamy. Decanted, tasted shortly after decanting. Nose of sour cherry and herbs. Tart flavors of cherry, strawberry, raspberry with nicely integrated oak toastiness. Coming together very nicely.  Quite drinkable now, but I think time will make it even better.  It still tastes very young.