Chenin Blanc – the story to date

We picked the Chenin Blank in Clarksburg yesterday. Here’s how it all went down.

We drove down there with Maya and Sam’s gang. The son of the vineyard owner (Steve) showed us where the vines were that we could pick. The field had been mechanically picked the morning before, and we were allowed to come in and pick the ends of the rows for free. The grapes were right next to Bogle’s Chardonnay vines.

We took a field test of a few grapes and decided the sugar was at 23 brix. We got to work at about 10ish, and we had picked somewhere around 750-900 lbs by noon.

When we got back to the winery, we set up the crusher/destemmer and the press next to each other and set up a production line. One person (me) stood in the truck and bailed out grapes. The next person (Kathy) brought the grapes back to the crusher. The rest of the folks took turns crushing, dumping into the press, pressing, and dumping into the primary fermenter.

When we were done, we had about 56 gallons of must. I ran some tests and got the following results:

22 Brix
TA .95%
pH 3.31

I took 6 gallons and Ian took 5 gallons. Sam and Jim split the rest between 2 primary fermenters.

I added about 75ppm SO2 to my carboy and then put it on ice in the winery at 3:00. At 3:30, the temperature of the must was 75 degrees. At 7:00 it was 56 degrees.

This morning (8:00), the Chenin Blanc was at 60 degrees and I added more ice to the tub it’s in. At 5:00, it was 64 degrees.

At 7:00, I pulled the carboy out of the tub and saw that there was about 2 inches of sediment on the bottom. I decided to rack it.

I added 3tsp pectic enzyme and 5.3 grams Fermaid K to a smaller carboy (5 gallons) and racked.

Then, I rehydrated the yeast (EC1118) and added it.

UPDATE: here are the numbers we got when Revolution tested it with their equipment:

pH 3.28
TA .84