Early grapes

Discussions of interest about making wine, cider and other fermented beverages

Early grapes

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Aug 31, 2017 15:22

My Wrotham pinot grapes have already turned black, with a sugar content of 14%. That's a whole month early! I harvested a neighbour's white grapes last week because they were starting to split and go mouldy. The sugar level was 16%! Most of the grapes weren't fit for presentation at the table and initially the juice was distinctly brown so I added some sulphite, but after a few days fermenting and skimming off it's now a more acceptable amber.
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Re: Early grapes

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Sep 10, 2017 09:50

The white brew has stuck at 1.030. This may be due to old yeast (bb 11/16) and low volume (4 litres). Adding nutrient didn't help, so I added some yeast sediment from a previous brew, which seems to have revived it.
Meanwhile my riesling grapes have reached a sugar level of 16%, which is remarkable for a late ripener that used to be considered unsuitable for the UK climate. The birds don't seem interested yet, but I have deployed the nets as a precaution.
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Re: Early grapes

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Sep 13, 2017 14:37

fermentation is rather sluggish so I made a starter bottle with Youngs high alcohol yeast and gradually added the wine to it in stages, doubling the volume each time over a 48 hour period. Fermentation is now much better at 1 bubble per 16 seconds, which is about right at this stage.
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