Saturday, October 01, 2011

Winemaking Program Plan for 2011 Chez Ray Wines

Here's the winemaking program plan for 2011 Chez Ray:

Both fresh and frozen grapes and juice to be secured.  Process is planned as follows:  Fermentation starts warm, in plastic buckets with approx 1 tsp VQ-15 Rockpile yeast (also called RP15) per 5-gallon bucket for reds, reconstituted in approx 100 ml warm water with approx 1.25 tsp Go-Ferm Protect starter. (for whites, Cote des Blancs yeast is used in same process).

Once solid fermentation is underway, 1/2 tsp Fermaid-K is added, with another 1/2 tsp of Fermaid-K added during approximately the third day of solid fermentation.  For both the reds and whites, one ounce of oak dust (via 6 tablespoons of Oakmore) is added at fermentation start.

At the end of the first full day of fermentation at room temperature for whites, three days for reds and a full week for any frozen grapes (for the frozen grapes, the room temperature while they ferment tends to be cooler because it is later in the season), the buckets are moved to basement temperatures (60-65 degrees or so Fahrenheit)  to finish at a cool ferment.

For the reds, once the primary fermentation is complete (two to three weeks, when refractometer shows approx 7-8 brix uncorrected for alcohol; a bit longer for the frozen grapes, when the skins no longer rise), the must is pressed.  For white juices, no pressing is required. 

The resulting post-fermentation, post-press juice is allowed to settle for a week, then poured (ie, racked, but done as a slow pouring) off its gross lees into glass carboys or buckets for aging.

Wine moved to carboys is topped off, and plugged with airlocks.  Any wine left in plastic pails is covered with plastic wrap, which seems to have made a nice oxygen seal in the past, unlike wax paper - which failed this test in 2010. 

Malolactic fermentation is begun for the reds.  To do malolatic, the buckets or carboys are moved to the warmer living area of the house.  Optimalo Plus is constituted in a small volume of wine and stirred in to the buckets and carboys at approx 1 gram per gallon of wine.  Then Viniflora CH16 malolactic culture is briefly reconstituted and stirred in to the buckets based on proportion (the culture package is designed for a 66 gallon target batch).

Following malo (for the reds), or right after post-fermentation racking (for the whites), wines are racked and sulfited (at approx 1/4 tsp per 5 gallons) for longer aging in carboy or bucket.

For reds, one ounce (by weight, equal to 2.5 oz by volume) of combined French and American medium toasted oak chips are added per gallon. (Optionally, this addition may be done half at the start of malolactic fermentation and half now.)   Oaking for whites varies (usually about one ounce chips by weight, or 2.5 ounces by volume, for a full five-gallon carboy).

1 comment:

  1. So far this is the most detailed wine making instruction I have read since started finding blogs like this. I must say that this is a must read one for those wine fanciers.

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