Friday, 16 October 2009

Harvest 2009

This is being written just prior to the 2010 harvest as I just recently found some notes I made from last year.

In summary the vineyard was heavily bird damaged, that coupled with the frost damage from May lead to a much reduced yield.

I came across bunches that were all-but eaten like this again and again.

The haul...

All the grapes, de-stemmed and sitting in the bottom of the fermentation bin

After lightly crushing them, I tested TA at 9.75ppt and brix at 20.4 (with my refractometer, which apparently you shouldn't do, but I didn't have enough juice for the hydrometer).

I added 0.88g sodium metabisulphite and 40g of sugar.

Wine after the primary fermentation, siphoned off and pressed out in to a demijohn. It's not much, but it's all good.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Pre-harvest assessment

So I've seen a much reduced crop in this first year compared to what I was expecting, with something like 30-40% of the vines producing grapes, with some of them only being a single bunch. Added to this the birds have started eating some of the grapes - as I thought they might but decided to chance it and not spend the £200 or so on a bird net to cover the whole thing - so the harvest's gonna be reduced even further. I recon it'll be something like a handful of bottles.

On the plus side I now own or have on order all the equipment I need to make wine. It seems a lot of English vineyards have started the harvest already ( so as soon as I get everything I need and as long as I get at least one dry day before, I'm gonna harvest the grapes.

I was going to test for acidity at the same time as taking the sugar levels, but the amount of juice required for each test would reduce the harvest by a not insignificant amount, so I plan to chance it and adjust acidity at the post-crush stage.

This year's gonna be a bit of an experiment so I'm going to try and write everything down so I can get an idea of what's going on for next time - pH, acidity, sulphite additions, times etc. - then hopefully next year it won't be so much of a last-minute, hope-for-the-best sort of thing.

Refractometer readings 07/10/09

21 :)

Average: 17.7

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Refractometer readings 01/10/09


Average: 17.3

Friday, 25 September 2009

Refractometer readings 25/09/09

Brix, from various grapes


Average: 15.1

Hoping to reach 20-22 ideally