I top off my fermentation tank to six gallons and save the extra gallon: with which to sweeten, make sparkling, or do whatever the heck else strikes my various fancies.
Last year’s vignoles wine was fine. I learned gobs of stuff while making a slightly sweet, accidentally bubbly wine. But you try drinking thirty bottles of sameness. This unfermented reserve gives me options.
I’m tired from driving. It’s late. But if I don’t put yeast in the juice tonight, either fermentation won’t happen or wild yeasts and bacteria will ruin it for me.
I need to double check the potential alcohol…
ugh…I’m spent. Fine! I’ll have to trust the Brix of 17.8 that Fallbright grape growers gave me (although that puts the end alcohol under 10%…sad).
I taste the juice.
Viva la difference. Compared to 2010’s vignoles, this vidal is mild in many ways: just as its grapes tasted this morning. My chart breaks down its basics: Although a bit demure, this juice wafts up perfumed aromatics, fresh fruits, and dancing acidity (3.1 pH, .78 TA = zing!).
It reminds of fairies. No, not Disney’s pushy Tinkerbell, nor men scared of mice. You know, those silent, mysterious, perpetually childlike, airy yet mischievous fairies. The kinds that ruined Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, keeping him from continuing Sherlock Holmes. Damn fairies.
What? Oh right, wine.
I need a second opinion…
Hmmm…insightful. But how will it taste when dry? I need a yeast to keep the aromatics and flavors intact while not upping the acidity. The potential alcohol will be low: maybe 11% by volume, probably, so no problems there.
Lalvin’s 71B-1122, (a.k.a. Narbonne) will have to do. It’s crazy popular for white wines. It’s from France (via Canada). I haven’t used it yet, but it handles aromatics and high acids.
Time to hydrate it (like watching water boil) and inoculate it into my waiting must: