Announcing the 2007 Comet Colombard!

Jeff, Margaret, and I bottled the 2007 French Colombard on Saturday. Sam came by and cheered us on too. This is the white that Margaret and I bought as grape juice from Delicato Winery back in the fall. We had 17 gallons, which ended up being 6.5 cases of wine (78 bottles). And, it’s really good.

It’s unfiltered, but very clear due to the cold weather we’ve been having, which causes the wine to clarify naturally. If you put it next to a white wine that’s been filtered, you’ll see that it’s hazier, but you’ll still be amazed at how pretty this wine is.

Sunday, we took a bottle down to John Carvalho at Carvalho Family Winery in Clarksburg. He was impressed with it, and said it has a nice nose, good acidity, apple and melon flavors, and that the mid-palate was surprisingly and pleasantly smooth.

Later on that evening, we took a bottle to Revolution Winery and had the winemaker there, Jason Fernandez, try it. He also had very nice things to say about it. Since this was my first non-fruit white wine, I was extremely thrilled to be getting such a glowing review.

Grapefruit Wine!

I have a recipe for Grapefruit wine that we used last year to make about 10 gallons of it. It turned out really good, and so this year, we’re going to make 30 gallons.

However, the recipe I have is for just 1 gallon. I have a feeling that multiplying this recipe by 30 might cause any acceptable margin of error from the 1 gallon recipe to be way out of wack.

So, my plan is to set targets for the acid level and alcohol and then do lots of math and testing to figure out the best way to get there.

My goal is to make a medium dry or medium sweet wine with a PH between 3.1 and 3.4 and about 12% alcohol.

The recipe calls for the following ingredients (per gallon):

6 grapefruit
6 pints water
2.25 lbs sugar
1/4 tsp. Tannin
1 campden tablet
1 package champagne yeast

So, if we just multiple the recipe by 30, we’ll need:

180 grapefruit
180 pints water (22.5 gallons)
67.5 lbs sugar
7.5 tsp Tannin
30 campden tablets
maybe 6 packages of yeast?

So, we need to figure out if this is right, or what needs adjustment.

Right now, here are the numbers for the grapefruit:

pH: 2.4-2.5 (?!)
Sugar: 11.5 Brix

So, the first thing to do is to add enough water to the juice to make the acidity be acceptable.

The second thing is to add enough sugar to the mixture of juice and water to make the resulting wine have enough alcohol.

I need to find some charts and calculators. Here’s what I’ve found out so far:

– 11.5 Brix wine will make about a 5.8% alcohol wine (according to this:
– the above recipe adds 22.5 gallons of water (0 brix, 0 lbs sugar) to 7.5 gallons of juice at 11.5 brix (1 lb of sugar)…resulting in 7.5 lbs of sugar in 30 gallons of juice, or .25 lbs in 1 gallon…to make a 12.2% alcohol wine, you need to start with 22 Brix, or 2 lbs of sugar per gallon. So, we need to add 1.75 lbs per gallon…which is actually less than the recipe above calls for. Did I do the math right? If so, the orginal recipe would result in a 13.5% or so wine…which would actually be just fine. So, maybe we stick with the original sugar addition.

Grapefruit Wine Day!

This Saturday is Grapefruit wine day!

Here’s what we need to get done (hopefully):

1: Grapefruit wine

  • Wash, peel, and segment about 100 grapefruit(s?) and put it all in big straining bags
  • Wash and sanitize winemaking equipment
  • Run tests on the grapefruit juice (more on this later)
  • Mix water and sugar in primary fermenter, lower in bags of grapefruit
  • Crush campden tablets and add them (to stun the wild yeast and kill other possibly bad things)
  • Bring the fermenter inside the house to warm up overnight (before adding yeast)

2: Limoncello

We’re going to make some Limoncello with Lemons, Citron, and Grapefruit. We’ll make three separate bottles, then try blending them later when they’re done.

3: Rack the Cab

If we have time and enough help, we’ll rack the 07 Cab into a new barrel, then wash out the old one

4: Eat/Drink/Party