jamie goode's wine blog

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Winemaking is almost over. Finished pressing the remainder of my reds tonight. These last two lots were mainly Dornfelder, so they were a little riper and less tannic than the other red grape, Regent. Pictured is the gunk left after pressing - skins and seeds, with a bit of grape pulp for good measure. My white has now been racked off its lees and is now all blended together in a 5.5 gallon (about 30 litre) container, filled to the brim. It hasn't been sulfured yet. I guess I'll have to sulfur it, but I want a bit of malolactic action first. The reds absolutely have to undergo malolactic, which I'm hoping happens sooner or later because the wine will be much safer when it's in bottle. I reckon it's quite hard making wine well in small quantities of a gallon here, a couple of gallons there. It would probably be easier dealing with quantities of a barrel or more at a time.


At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Mark Robertson said...

Recipients always a problem with small scale winemaking Jamie. But they don't necessarily get easier if you scale up to barrel size. I'm working through these myself at the moment. To finish with a 225l barrel of red you need to make about 250 l of wine as you'll lose 10l or so on rackings plus 25l or so on ullage from the barrel (round about 10% depending on cellar humidity). 250 l wine = 375 kilos of grapes to process. Assuming you're fermenting crushed grapes you'll need around a 400l capacity tank to hold them for initial fermentation, plus the barrel, plus another sealed container of 25l capacity to keep your topping up wine in. As the quantity of the latter will reduce the capacity of this container must be flexible in size, unless you're storing under gas.
Fortunately on the French "amateur winemaking" market you can buy resin or stainless steel cuves from 50 - 400l with "floating" covers - closed by air pressure. These have pressure vents and will take an airlock also. Don't know if they are available on the UK market though.


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