Table Wine from California Vinifera Grapes & Juice
Yield: Seventeen pounds of wine grapes will yield approximately one gallon of juice. 33 pounds of wine grapes (approx. one lug) will make approximately 1.9 gallons of wine. When added to the 6 gallon bucket of juice it will require at least ten gallons of primary fermenter capacity.
Yeast: Prepare yeast starter several days in advance if not using Bacchus & Barleycorn pure liquid yeast starters.
Prepare equipment. Sanitize all equipment with a solution of 2 oz. Sulphite Crystals (sodium metabisulphite) in one gallon of water. If your water pH is above 7.5 add 1 tsp. Acid Blend or Tartaric Acid to this solution.
Crush and De-stem Grapes: (This service is provided by Bacchus & Barleycorn with your California Grape order.)
Mix one lug of crushed grapes in one 6 gallon pail of juice in primary fermenter.
Adjustments: Add 4 tsp. Pectic Enzyme to the crushed grape juice in sanitized primary fermentor. Sprinkle 13 teaspoons Bentonite over the surface of the must taking care to avoid clump formation. Mix thoroughly. Acid and sugar levels occasionally need adjusting, though this is not common. Bacchus & Barleycorn will provide Specific Gravity, Brix, pH and Titratable Acid reading taken on juice received on this order. There may be slight variation from pail to pail. If you wish, use your Hydrometer to test the sugar level. It should be between 1.090 and 1.100. If specific gravity is low add cane sugar. One cup of cane sugar raises one gallon of must 0.021. Using your Acid Titration Kit, check the titratable (total) acid level. Make adjustmenst as appropriate using the table below. One tablespoon of Acid Blend raises 8 gallons of must .06%.
Dry White Wine
0.65 % - 0.75 %
Sweet White Wine
0.70 % - 0.85 %
Dry Red Wine
0.60 % - 0.70 %
Sweet Red Wine
0.65 % - 0.80 %
For white or rose wines add 7 3/16 – 14 9/16 tsp Opti-White and 1 19/32 – 2 1/8 tsp FT Blanc Soft to the juice and grape mixture. For red wines add 4 13/32 tsp Opti-Red to the juice and grape mixture. Once these adjustments have been made and the temperature of the must is approximately the same as your yeast starter, add 8 tsp. Yeast Nutrient and the yeast starter and cover with lid. Insert a fermentation lock half filled with sulphite solution if your lid is grommeted.
For red wines add 13/32 - 3 tsp FT Rouge Berry 24-48 hours after yeast inoculation.
Break time: During fermentation the grape pulp will rise to the top of the fermenter forming a cap. This cap should be broken one to three times daily by mixing the pulp back into the juice.
When the specific gravity reaches 1.020 - 1.030 (usually 2 - 5 days), it is time to rack the juice off the pulp and into a clean sanitized secondary fementer (carboy) and affix fermentation lock half filled with sulphite solution. Press the remainder of the juice from the pulp and add it to the free run juice or ferment it separately as it usually produces a lower quality wine than the free run juice. Make sure your secondary fementers are filled to the neck. Too much head space in the secondary can lead to wild yeast and bacterial contamination, premature oxidation and/or a host of other problems.
Rack wine in three weeks (at this time the specific gravity should be 1.000 or less) leaving behind the heavy sediment. If there is more than a quart of must left in the carboy then you are discarding more of the lighter sediment than is really necessary. It is important to protect the wines from browning or oxidation as it briefly comes in contact with oxygen during handling. If you are NOT doing a Malo-Lactic fermentation, add 3½ - 4 crushed Campden tablets to the wine and DualFine (formerly Super-Kleer KC) according to the directions on the package at this time.
The addition of oak to simulate barrel aging is recommended for most red wines. 2½ - 3 ounces of StaVin Oak Beans per 5 gallons of wine are recommended. Rack off the oak when the desired level of oak is attained. Maximum extraction is achieved in 8 weeks. Staves or spirals may also be used. Attach unflavored dental floss or fishing line to the hole in the end of the stave. Insert it into the carboy and hold in place with the airlock bung. Remove when the desired level of oaks is attained.
Rack again every three months until the wine is clear and stable and you are ready to bottle. At each three month racking add 3.5 crushed Campden tablets per 8 gallons of wine.
When you are ready to bottle, if a sweeter wine is desired, add ½ tsp. Potassium Sorbate per gallon 8-12 hours prior to sweetening. Sweeten to taste using Wine Conditioner, sugar syrup or grape concentrate.
NOTE: If you have done an ML do NOT add Potassium Sorbate. Therefore, back sweetening is not an option.