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.

Ingredients

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
Fining Agent

Method

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.

10/27/2019
SG:
Malbec 1.075
Merlot 1.078
Zinfandel 1.076
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.

10/29/2019
SG:
Malbec 1.035
Merlot 1.033
Zinfandel 1.012
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.

11/02/2019
SG 1.002
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

11/18/2019
SG 1.000
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
SG 1.000

SG –

Notes:

Yield – bottles
Alcohol -%

Bryan

Long time wine and beer making ....

3 Responses

  1. November 26, 2019

    […] second run batches (Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel) into one, I created a new log to reduce tracking. Click here to navigate to the consolidated […]

  2. November 26, 2019

    […] second run batches (Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel) into one, I created a new log to reduce tracking. Click here to navigate to the consolidated […]

  3. November 26, 2019

    […] second run batches (Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel) into one, I created a new log to reduce tracking. Click here to navigate to the consolidated […]

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