- 20 liters Viognier juice
- Goferm yeast nutrient
- Yeast, we chose Rhone 4600
We actually needed to remove some of our juice since the sugar level (degrees Brix) was too high and would have fermented to more alcohol than we wanted in our wine. To compensate we added 1.3 liters of water to lower the sugar level to where we wanted it to be without compromising the volume of fluid in the carboy. We want to keep oxygen to a minimum inside so the wine will be a lovely color with no ‘off’ flavors or aromas.
Using a siphoning hose we took out 2 liters of juice. One liter will be set aside in the refrigerator for our use later, should we want to adjust the flavor of our wine a bit at the end of the quarter.
We chose a fairly slow starting yeast, but we wanted particular aromas and flavors that we could taste in the grape juice to be retained, this yeast will help do that. It will sit in a chilly space to slowly percolate and change the sugars in to alcohol.
The temperature of the juice was quite a bit colder than the water we used to start the yeast. By adding some juice into the beaker of yeast, we effectively lowered the temperature of that smaller unit of fluid, bringing it closer to the carboy temperature. They were still about ten degrees apart, but that should have been ok. The yeast immediately begins to consume the sugar, even before getting into the carboy.
With the carboy capped, ethanol in the S-bubble airlock to prevent any pathogens from entering, and all of the labeling of bottles done, we cleaned up the mess on the counter and the floor. siphoning is not always a neat way to remove juice – but it is efficient.
We are on our way, testing of the temperature and Brix (T’s & B’s) to ensure the fermentation is going as we expect it to. There are other yeasts to use, determinations to use oak or put the wine through a second fermentation (malolactic fermentation) that will change the wine you would end up with. Since we have only a couple of months to make this wine we chose some simple, basic steps that should do well in our allotted time.