Sunday, July 13, 2014

Frozen Grapes......

So, last weekend, Brian needed to crash so he could attend a one day course locally on the monday.

He was kind enough to deliver my frozen grapes, that I got from him last harvest (they're Italian grown, various nationality varieties).

We were having some building work done, so rather than get fresh grapes from Grapefest, I opted for frozen (which is better in a way, as he gets a wider range of varieties), and he kindly allowed me to leave them in his freezer.

Don't know whether you can make out from my scrawl on the bucket lids, but Merlot, Cabernet (can't remember which type), Shiraz and Primitivo (the small bucket is a Rhubarb and Apple honey must - melocyser ?).

I've inoculated the grapes with BDX, again, Brian got some for last years harvest (it's only available in commercial size packs unless I mail ordered from somewhere like Morewine).

I got the grapes defrosted and transferred to the fermenter buckets. I rehydrated the yeast using Go-Ferm and pitched once it looked good.

I then left them to do their thing and there was healthy signs of ferment within 24 hours.

After I'd pitched the yeast, I realised I didn't have enough airlocks, and I like to use a pectic enzyme in fruit based batches, so I did an "emergency supplies" run down to the home brew shop, for new airlocks, some rohapect and a few other bits.

The rohapect was added about 5 teaspoons per bucket.

Once the ferment was underway, I remembered the info from the Lalvin Yeast List and that apparently it's "medium" nutrient requirements. So I just mixed in 1 tablespoon of FermaidK the first time I'd "punched the cap down".

So at the moment, it's just a case of letting the ferment do it's thing, punching down the cap at least once daily and keeping an eye on it, just in case I need to add any more nutrient i.e. if there's any sign of problems like H2S (hydrogen sulphide/rotten egg stink) telling me that the yeast might be a bit stressed.

I recall stuff that others do/did for their fresh grapefest grapes, but I want to keep my meddling to a minimum. The 2012 fresh grapes, were made into a "fresh grape pyment", by me adding loads of honey, until the yeast pooped out. I haven't tasted it yet, but I should check it out, as the 18 or so gallons of it, has some mold in the open side of the airlock and while I've dropped a half campden tablet in each lock, caution might be necessary for me to clean it out etc.......

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