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Crush 2018

For this year I am going white - Chardonnay.

September 2018

Due to several issues totally out of my control, I decided to go with Brehm Vineyards again.  Now, first I (and many others) have made some excellent wines using the Brehm frozen must and juice.  They are very good for making wines, high quality and excellent sources.  But, once you get into using fresh grapes, it is difficult to go back.  I did.

On Friday 12 October 2018 I placed an order for four (4) pails of Chardonnay from Carneros, Sonoma County CA.  They were delivered on Wednesday 17 October.  I unpacked them (very well packed) and stated letting them unfreeze. 

2018 Brehm Boxes

On Saturday 20 October 2018 I started the process.  The first step was to open the pails, which actually was the hardest part.  First I cleaned and sanitized the tops (after cleaning and sanitizing all my tools).  The stripped off the zip strips around the edge of the lids.  Then using a pair of channel lock pliers I pod the lids off.

2018 Brehm Pails

2018 Brehm Juice

Next I took readings to verify Brehms analysis.  Fits off I got a low specific gravity which meant a low Brix, then after slapping myself in the face I stirred the pails vigorously  and low and behold the specific gravity came up to where it needed to be.



Calc Brix






















In general I have found that a good additive addition is to use the More Wine BF995 - Brehm White additive pack.  They are just enough for about 5 gallons and are premeasured and packaged.  Also the pack is cheaper than buying the additives independently.          

Added at start           

            • TAN250 — Tannin FT Blanc Soft (3g)

            • AD356 — Opti-White (15g)

Added about 1 hour later    

            • DYW56.  — Dry Wine Yeast - ICV-D47  - (8g)

            • AD343 — Go-Ferm Protect (10 g)

to b added 2 days later        

            • AD345 — Fermaid K (8 g)

December 2018

I have now gone through mt first and second racking.  In mid November I racked to four (4) 5 gallon carboys and adjusted the acid and the SO2.  I also added a couple ounces of medium toast American oak cubes (  I actually bought about a pound because I wanted some for other uses.

In november I had racked to clean 5 gallon carboys, and added the oak.

5 Gallon Nov 18

In mid December I checked the pH and SO2 and they came in ataround 3.56 pH and 40 ppm SO2, whihc is good for this satage.  Also the oak flavor was where I wanted it, so I racked to three (3) 6 gallon carboys (due to lees and oak removal).

6 Gallon December 18

Now to let it age for about 6 months, checking periodically.

June 2019

In June 2019 I bottled it, and it actully came out pretty good.  I will know more in a few months.

2018 SDW chardonnay

MIke Albrecht, P.E.

Or my excursion into winemaking

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