Picked Grapes

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Re: Picked Grapes

Postby Sparky » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:13 am

I also grow Frontenac grapes because I live in a cold northern climate. I don't notice the unusual taste of the wine you mention. My Frontenac wine is light and very fruity. Probably not a heavy wine that would go with a steak dinner. One of the problems I have encountered with the Frontenac grapes is the very high acid even when the grapes are harvasted at 24 brix. Acids in the range of 1.6% are not unusual. I use potassium carbonate which is hard to find in large quanities to bring the acid down to at least 1.0% prior to fermentation. Otherwise it is impossible to get the yeast started. Since potassium carbonate only brings down tartaric acid not malic acid I use the Lalvin 71b-1122 yeast with helps bring down the malic acid during fermentation. Once the fermentation has finished I then start bringing down acid to approx .55%. I age my Frontenac wine in glass carboys on oak for approximately 1 year before even trying to bottle. The oak seems to raise the acid level so I continue to monitor the acid level and over the 1 year period slowly get it adjusted downwards.
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Re: Picked Grapes

Postby BrewBum » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:34 am

Sparky wrote:I also grow Frontenac grapes because I live in a cold northern climate. I don't notice the unusual taste of the wine you mention. My Frontenac wine is light and very fruity. Probably not a heavy wine that would go with a steak dinner. One of the problems I have encountered with the Frontenac grapes is the very high acid even when the grapes are harvasted at 24 brix. Acids in the range of 1.6% are not unusual. I use potassium carbonate which is hard to find in large quanities to bring the acid down to at least 1.0% prior to fermentation. Otherwise it is impossible to get the yeast started. Since potassium carbonate only brings down tartaric acid not malic acid I use the Lalvin 71b-1122 yeast with helps bring down the malic acid during fermentation. Once the fermentation has finished I then start bringing down acid to approx .55%. I age my Frontenac wine in glass carboys on oak for approximately 1 year before even trying to bottle. The oak seems to raise the acid level so I continue to monitor the acid level and over the 1 year period slowly get it adjusted downwards.


Great info, I checked the acid and I know I made the typical adjustments based on what came back and like I said, this was far better then my first attempt where I added Malo.

On this years harvest I will use the yeast you recommend, not sure what yeast I used last time actually. I am going to add a little Oak to this bottle and see what that does. Like I said, it isn't bad, it just has an underlying flavor I don't like. That isn't just mine either, others that I have tasted.
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Re: Picked Grapes

Postby Sparky » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:40 pm

I do have a crusher/destemmer. Everything gets thrown into a huge net bag. The net bag actually fits perfectly into a 25 gallon primary. Net bag is homemade. I can take my initial measurements from the area between the net bag and the container. When I syphon off into the secondary that is also where I place the hose.

When I oaked my Frontenac I used 2 cups light oak and 1/4 cup toasted French oak to each 5 gallons. I do not boil my oak first. At the time I add the oak I also add 1 campden tablet per gallon and 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate per gallon. When I am ready to bottle I filter through a medium filter (#2). The oak did raise the acid (tannic I suspect) level that I had to correct before bottling.
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