The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Monthly archive: 09 2011

Second Fermentation on 2011 Syrah

After our pressing class last night, the wine has settled out.ย  Now it’s time to pump off the cleared wine and start secondary fermentation: malolactic fermentation.ย  This process sometimes happens naturally, but it’s always safer to inoculate with fresh malolactic bacteria to be sure you know what is working on your wine — it could […]

Pressing 2011 Syrah

Our syrah finished fermenting in about 7 days.ย  Average fermentation temperatures were 80 to 82 degrees, though the bucket with Pasteur Red got up to 88 degrees on day 2 of fermentation.ย  It was progressing smoothly so we did not add Fermaid K this time.ย  Now it’s time to press out our wine! We decided […]

Pitching Yeast on 2011 Syrah

We did a 3-day cold soak on our 2011 syrah, mostly out of convenience.ย  I get a little nervous doing more than 2 days, and I don’t think I’ll soak this long again before pitching the yeast.ย  Besides the cost of putting 10 pounds of dry ice into the buckets every morning, the must does […]

2011 Syrah Harvest at Live Oak Vineyard

Time for another syrah harvest at Live Oak Vineyard in Fallbrook!ย  I was the first to arrive, just as the sun broke over the mountains to the East.ย  The weather this year was perfect so far.ย  I did smell a nearby wildfire as I drove up to the vineyard, but nothing threatening to interfere with […]