2019 Malbec/Merlot/Zinfandel Second Run
October 2019 – I purchased 180 lbs each of Malbec, Merlot, and Zinfandel. Before the grapes arrived I decided I would do a second run from the pomace of each.
The original intention was to ferment and age each second run wine separately, and blend before bottling. This required that I purchase 3 more 5 or 6 gallon carboys. However, when I purchased my wine press (used) it, the purchase included a 25 liter (6.6 gallon) and a 54 liter (14.25 gallon) demijohns. So I had the choice to use the 54 liter demijohn or spend an additional ~$150 on 3 carboys. Being frugal, the decision was easy.
I fermented each second run separately then combined them at pressing time.
Based upon reading about pressing, I realized there were flaws in what we did decades ago. We pressed the heck out of the grapes and put it all in 1 container. However, like with olives, the harder the pressing, the harsher the extract. So … I drained the free run juice from each batch and pressed hard enough to get a total of 5 gallons of wine. This went in the 54 liter demijohn (and an additional 1 gallon bottle). Then we pressed hard and got additional ~7 gallons … which meant I had to buy additional carboys anyway.
Oh, well, I’m not going to complain.
|Grape||pomace from 180# Malbec pressed at SG 1.008
pomace from 180# Merlot pressed at SG 1.012
pomace from 180# Zinfandel pressed at SG 1.008
|Water||5 gallons hot tap water for each grape|
|Sugar||13 lbs 4 oz for each grape|
|Yeast||Red Star Premier Rouge remaining in the pomace|
|Acid Blend||3 tsp for each grape|
|Fermentation Oak||Malbec has 8 oz French oak chips, medium toast that was in the original batch
Merlot has 8 oz American oak chips, heavy toast that was in the original batch
Zinfandel has 8 oz American oak chips, heavy toast that was in the original batch
|Fermax||3 tsp in each batch|
|Sulfite||added as needed, see below|
|The same method is used for the pomace from each grape:
Put 5 gallons hot tap water in the fermenter. Stirred in 10 lbs sugar until it dissolved. Stirred pomace into the water.
Zinfandel was first. When I checked the SG, it was oddly low. Adding 10# sugar should push the SG up around 1.090, but the reading was 1.054. I stirred the heck out of it to ensure distribution but got the same reading, so I added another 3 lbs 4 oz. My guess is there was more juice left in the pomace than I realized, so it diluted the sugar water. In any case the SG is high enough to continue.
The SG reading is odd, like the Zinfandel. The 10 lbs of sugar I added initially should have pushed the SG up around 1.090. My initial reading after stirring heavily was 1.052, so I added 3 lbs 4 oz more sugar.
Stirred Fermax and Acid Blend into each batch.
|These are fermenting like crazy.
Checked pH in all 3. Like the first runs, the pH is high, around 4.0. Stirred another 1 tsp Acid Blend into each batch when punching down the caps.
|Pressed each batch, just hard enough to get 5 gallons volume. These went into the 54 liter demijohn with a bit of overage in a separate gallon jug.
Pressed the remaining pomace hard, putting this in a 5 gallon carboy and two 1 gallon jugs. I call this batch the “squeezins”, which is what a friend named Vinny called it many moons ago.
The overall SG for the both the free run and the squeezins is identical.
|I’m seeing no activity in any container. The SG dropped just a bit, but that may be temperature related. I don’t typically adjust for temperature as the differences are trivial.
Added 3 pkg Lalvin EC-1118 to the demijohn, 1 pkg to the extra free run gallon, and 1 pkg to the 5 gallons squeezins, plus additional Fermax
|Still no activity. I’m going to give it another week, then add sorbate to ensure no further fermentation, then add bentonite.||11/24/2019