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Crush 2011 (Part 1) Petite Sirah

October 2011

From the Calwine Broker I got (actually picked) Petit Sirah - Knightsen, CA 12 Year Old Vines

2011 Petite Sirah Grapes

Picked on the morning of 1 October 2011, cool and slightly overcast, but I was hot and sweaty at the end, temperature still under 70 degrees, but it felt a lot warmer to me. Picked about 200 pounds, and then was running out of space to hold more, and was running out of me. Grape harvesters do not make near enough money for the work they do.

When doing your own picking, select your row and go as far down the row as you think you will pick, then 30 to 50% farther. Start here and pick towards the start, because that first bucket weighs a whole lot less than the last one will, and it will be a lot fuller too. You will also find that you are lot more selective on the clusters that you pick at the beginning than at the end.

The grapes cost $0.50/pound on the vine, but the cost benefit analysis of $2.00/pound picked, crushed & destemmed looks a lot more attractive now.

Crushed and destemmed on the afternoon of 1 October. Rented a crusher and destemmer from MoreWinemaking, and worked pretty well. I am using a 20 gallon food grade (white) plastic container for my primary fermenter. The 200 pounds produced more than 20 gallons of must so I removed 5 gallons to work as Blanc (rose') at the same time. After crushing (and cleaning) I added SO2 as potassium metabisulfate. The hardest part of the crush (besides moving the crusher destemmer around (two person job)) was cleaning everything.

 2011 Petite Sirah Crushed2011 Petite Sirah Blanc

Decided to use the MoreWinemaking Brehm additive packs 4 red for the Petite Sirah, and 1 white for the Blanc

Additive Pack for Brehm Frozen Fruit (Whites) - BF995

• TAN250 — Tannin FT Blanc Soft - 3 g
• AD342 — Go-Ferm (10 g)
• AD345 — Fermaid K (8 g)
• AD356 — Opti-White - (15g)

For yeast I went with:

• DYW78 — Dry Wine Yeast - ICV GRE - (8g)

Additive Pack for Brehm Frozen Fruit — Reds - BF990

• TAN220 — FT Rouge - 10 g
• AD342 — Go-Ferm (10 g)
• AD345 — Fermaid K (8 g)
• AD351 — Lallzyme EX (0.8 g)
• AD355 — Opti-Red - (8 g)

For yeast I went with: DYW70

• DYW70 — Dry Wine Yeast - Syrah - (8g)

Day 1 - added 4 packs of Lallzyme EX (8g) to red must in morning

Early Afternoon to Blanc
Added           • TAN250 — Tannin FT Blanc Soft - 3 g
                       • AD342 — Go-Ferm (10 g)
                       • AD345 — Fermaid K (8 g)
                       • AD356 — Opti-White - (15g)
Yeast            • DYW78 — Dry Wine Yeast - ICV GRE - (8g)

Late afternoon added
Added • AD351 — Lallzyme EX (0.8 g)
6 hrs later • TAN220 — FT Rouge - 10 g
                    • AD342 — Go-Ferm (10 g)
                    • AD345 — Fermaid K (8 g)
                    • AD355 — Opti-Red - (8 g)
Yeast          • DYW70 — Dry Wine Yeast - Syrah - (8g)

Week Later - October 2011

After one week, the red was at an S.G. of 1.005, and to prevent too much tannin extraction I decide to press slightly early.  I rented a 40 Liter bladder press form MoreWine!  I picked it up on the afternoon of the 8th at about 3:45 pm.  I had already laid out my work area and cleaned and sanitized most of my equipment.

I started at about 4:30 pm and was done with the press by a little after 5:00 pm.  I had previously checked and I actually had about 15 gallons of must.  I ended with two buckets of pressed juice (~ 5.25 gallons each).  From the ~200 pounds of grapes, I pulled off 5 gallons for a blush, and now have two 5 gallons of red.

I tested the TA, pH, SO2, and SG.

Readings are:

Petite Sirah
         Day      SG     Calc    TA    SO2    pH
Must    0      1.105   25.2                     3.88
Juice                                                  3.65
           1                                    45
           2       1.082   20
           7       1.005    1.5
           8       1.000     0        10   <8      3.77
Petite Sirah Blanc
           0        1.105   25.2                     3.65
           1                                      20
           2        1.07     17.4
           7        1.02       5.8
           8        1.015     4        9       8       3.55

 am also checking the MLF and will initiate MLF fermentation (probably)

I also adjusted the SO2 up to around 50 ppm

After another week in October 2011

At the end of week 2 S.G. for all three was at or under 1.000 (depending on temperature correction).  I racked the wine to carboys (2 red and 1 blush).  I added Dry Malolactic Bacteria - Enoferm Alpha with Opti-Malo Plus and some oak chips.  If the MLF goes quickly I will be racking off within a week or two which is the reason for the oak chips.

The SO2 was still low, but will wait until after MLF.

End of October 2011

MLF has basically completed for the Petite Sirah, but the Blanc stopped.  I think the SO2 may be too high on the Blanc.  They are starting to taste good.  I took them off the lees and into clean carboys.  I heard about an interesting way to top off, using glass marbles.  Tried it on the Blanc and it seems to work.  Had to clean and sanitize them first of course.

I am going to get some oak chips for the red next weekend, and let them age for a while.  Probably bottle the Blanc early next year and the red late spring.

December 2011

The Petit Sirah is now into aging since early November, also added oak chips.  The Blanc is actually a dark rose so I guess I will call it a Petit Sirah Rose' from now on.  Anticipate bottling in either February (the Rose) and end of March the Petit Sirah.

March 2012

Racked today and will continue for another month.  Probably rack in early April and start considering bottling.

April 2012

I racked the rose' on 23 April and added some bentonite for fining, plan to add sparkaloid on the 25th.   Checked the pH and SO2 on 25 April, the Petite Sirah was low on SO2 (<10 ppm) and added about 2 grams, the Rose' was close so added about .5 grams (40 ppm).  pH is around 3.54 for one Petite Sirah and 2.6 for the other, plan to blend later today (25 April) and perhaps bottle all three on Sunday (28 April).

May 2012

Bottled the wine on 28 April, and labeled it on 5 May.  Letting it bottle rest for a bit prior to release.


MIke Albrecht, P.E.

Or my excursion into winemaking

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