RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

2nd Run Blackberry

Sometimes people like to use the skins and pulp of fruit that has already gone through fermentation a second time to make more wine. When you do this, it is called a Second Wine or a Second Run Wine. The leftover pulp (called pomace) still has a lot of live and active yeast cells in it, along with a good bit of tannin (assuming it was a tannic fruit) and sugar. If you add some sugar water to it, along with some acid (as most of the acid will be gone from the fruit) then the yeast once again have food in a low-alcohol environment. The resulting wine should only be half as large as the original batch, and it will still have less body, color, and other characteristics found in the first run wine off the fruit. It should reach maturity quicker as it will have less of all of this, and since it should be made to a lower alcohol level. Thus, starting one now could provide a nice light wine to quaff by next summer (if not before then!)

I started my 2nd run Blackberry Tuesday night – 7/25/06. I went ahead and hand pressed the pomace, at least what was still in the straining bag - there was a good bit of it that had seeped out during primery ferm of the 1st run. I left all of that in the bucket (after I got 5 and a half gallons of 1st run, which was as much as wine as I could out of it during transfer.)

I made this to 3 gallons on the pomace of the 28.5 lbs of blackberries. I only used about 4 pounds of sugar, which I added to about 1 gallon of boiled water, then added another gallon of cool water to try to bring down the temperature quickly. I added this to the pomace while it was still a little warm. If I had added it any warmer, I could have killed the yeast. I also added in a can of Welch's Concord Concentrate. I stirred everything up really well. Checking SG might have been a problem, though. The must was still warm (not hot) from the syrop I added. I still didn't have a thermometer (until yesterday), so I didn't know the exact temp, but SG came out to 1.048. I guesstimated the temp of the must at around 90-95, so adjusting for temp (according to my possibly misguided calculations) PA was going to be right around 12%. Of course, I did learn that the calculations were misguided, and the actual SG would have been about 1.052 – not enough, around 7%. So I would have to add more sugar.

I adjusted TA to about .60. While I was testing the TA, the must started fermenting like crazy! Once I determined how much Acid to add, I turned around and there was a cap already! I went to bed a couple hours later and I could hear the airlock bubbling from inside the closet!

Yesterday after work, I added about 3 and a half more pounds of sugar - in a half gallon of water, to the must. The SG had already dropped to 1.024, and seemed to be slowing down. I figured that was due to a lack of sugar. So I stirred the sugar in really well, and made my first goof with this one - I forgot to measure the SG again! If I would have measured it immediately, I could add the .028 that it had fallen and had a pretty accurate measurement of the correct SG. Oh well. I still hope I ended up around 10 - 12% for the PA, but we'll never know.

I'm interested to see what the Concord Concentrate will add to the wine, whether it be just body or flavor or what exactly. I'm considering blending with some of my Merlot once this is ready, but I'll just have to wait and see on that.

Fresh Grapes Update:
I have made initial arrangements to purchase 100 pounds of Cabernet Franc grapes from Medley Meadow Vineyards in King, NC. Randy Fulk, the owner, invited me to come up and take a look around, then come up sometime in late August or early September to test the grapes, and help make a decision on when to pick them. Harvest last year was September 10th, he told me. This year he expects it to be later because of the rains they've gotten up there. I'll keep you posted on this!


Post a Comment

<< Home