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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > grew the grapes, got lemonade
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:12 AM   #1
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Default grew the grapes, got lemonade

This was a good year for fruit here in north western N.M. my wife and I picked 240lb of grapes off of the old vines that were on the property when we moved in. I had to do a lot of pruning to get them back in shape . Hey had what might have been 15 years of old growth on them and only gave 15-20 lb the two earlier years. We have planted 67 vines of reds and will put in the whites in the spring.
So for all you true believers I am going to speak heresy now. They are seedless table grapes but I pressed them any how. We did less them half of them and got 6 gl of juice bix 21. It went straight into the fomenter with some champagne yeast . A little over a week ago. It had slowed down so I only saw a bubble in the air lock every few minuets. I need the primary for some cider soon so I racked it off to a carboy. It has a -bix now.
IT TAST LIKE LEMONADE. It is not bad I like lemonade but I had hope for something dry and tart. This is very citric. I had added 1 table spoon of tannins, one of peptic enzyme and one of wine acid at pressing at the advice of a friend that has worked in wineries and is a wine wholesaler now.
1. Can I add something to cut the lemon taste. More tannins? Or do I have lemon flavored grape wine. We were real stoked to have are first batch from our yard. We have done lots of kit wines, berry wines ,ciders and butt loads of beers.
2. The inside of the fomenter was covered in crystals. We had crystals form in the grape juice we got from the steam juicer we use last year. What are they? Last year it was a mix of the table and concords.
3. Lastly when we were racking the wine it was milky white. Put some it a glass and the hydrometer flask. After we were done the wine in the glass and the top of the flask had turned blue gray. Is this raped oxidation? I did fill the carboy with co2 from my beer tank before I transfer the wine so as of now that wine is milky and not gray.
I have not use clarifying agents in any of the ciders or the yellow cherry wine. they clear up fine after a few months in in the carboy. I do use pectin in them and I did in this also.
I am eagerly looking foreword to yous alls words . brewtroll

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Old 08-30-2009, 03:44 AM   #2
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I presume the crystals are tartrate from the tartaric acid in the wine.
21 brix is fairly low, I presume you are in a warm dry climate so in future years you might want to wait a bit longer before picking, that way you will get less of the citrus taste. Reds especially need to be as ripe as possible. Its good to test ph before adding acid mix, at that brix you probably wouldn't need acid, its only needed if the pH is above 3.5. You need to add camden tablets after primary to help prevent oxidation, but if you make lots of wine you probably know that.

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:08 AM   #3
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I use the camden to kill wild yeast. would adding some now be ok?
the grapes are grown hot and dry. We are at 6000 feet and a humid day is 20% for us. less then 10inch of rain a year. the grapes are on a drip system.
we had to pick them. the clusters were falling apart if touched. I don't think we could have waited much longer.
For next year some of the reds should produce i will get a test kit.

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:23 AM   #4
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I understand that some cold aging can cause more of those crystals to precipitate out and cut the acidity a bit further.

You can also add a touch of sweetness to it to help achieve some balance and bring out the fruit a little more.

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:54 AM   #5
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how cold. I have a loggering chest in the brewery. could set it there for along time. would like to see what the grapes will do so I don't want to add extra sweet to it. it has that champagne yeast and it would most ferment more. it is right now anyway.

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:16 AM   #6
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Lagering cold. The colder the better. 33-34 degrees. I don't know how much effect it would have but it could help some.

As far as the backsweetening, the idea is that you stop the fermentation using a sulfite and then add some sweetening agent. It is a very common practice and does not detract from the grapes but is meant to complement them. But I understand what you are saying. Besides, you probably would not want to backsweeten until shortly before bottling. So bulk age it some more and see if that acid tones down.

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Old 08-30-2009, 07:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtroll View Post
we had to pick them. the clusters were falling apart if touched. I don't think we could have waited much longer.
For next year some of the reds should produce i will get a test kit.
I can relate to that, It can be difficult getting them through the season, often decisions are made for you.
after primary all the camden has gone and needs to be replenished. cold stabilising is good but if it warms up again it needs so2 (camden) to stop nasty bugs reactivating.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:57 PM   #8
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it's a full 5gl . Camden, 5 more tabs or is this to much? I have only used them on the fruit. so2, ph I can see a wine lab is in the future.

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Old 08-31-2009, 12:48 AM   #9
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Oh yeah, those tartrate crystals will redissolve into solution when the wine warms up so rack off them while still cold.

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Old 09-03-2009, 12:25 AM   #10
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good thanks. into the freg with some camden tabs. will get back in a few months when i rack it again. the troll

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