Fall Bright 10110 Hyatt Hill, Dundee, NY 14837 (near Wayne) phone 607-292-3995  101winemaking.com
Coordinates: 42.490863, -77.117778

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Extended hours Sep-Oct
during grape harvest


Wine from Juice
Wine from Grapes
Yeast Starter

Basic Winemaking:  Wine from Juice

Cold pressed grapes (red or white) require 15 pounds of fruit per gallon yield.

White grapes are not fermented on the skins. They can be allowed skin contact after crushing before pressing. Cover with clear plastic to minimize oxidation.  

1. Our juices are sulfited; no additional sulfite should be added prior to fermenting, however, they may need the sugar adjusted.  Take a hydrometer reading of the fresh juice to determine the sugar percentage or brix (o).  Adjust the sugar to 210 or 220 brix.  We use corn sugar as it is a simple sugar ready for yeast consumption. Compute the increase in brix desired (i.e. 16 to 21=5).   Multiply the increase of brix desired (5) by the number of gallons to be adjusted (5x5 gal=25).  As .125 pounds of sugar raises 1 gallon 10 brix, multiply this (25) by .125 which will equal the pounds of sugar to add to the entire batch of must  (or crushed grapes).    (3 cups of corn sugar is approximately 1 pound and 2 1/4 cups of cane sugar is about 1 pound.)  Add the required sugar.  If you use cane sugar it is recommended to heat it in some of the juice.  The heat and acid will convert it to a simple sugar.

2. To ferment take the level of the juice down to the shoulder of the carboy and equip with an airlock filled with water.  The balance of the juice may ferment in a glass gallon jug with an airlock.  Our juices are refrigerated. Warm to room temperature by waiting 24 hours to avoid cold shock to the yeast.

3. Re-hydrate the yeast with water according to packet instructions (no longer than 15 minutes as there are no nutrients present).

4. Add yeast to room temperature juice to avoid "cold shock".

5. Ferment 1 to 2 weeks or until a definite line of sediment is evident. Transfer via siphon to a clean container, add proper metabisulfite, and top up with the reserved juice or wine to within 1 inch of the stopper. This is called racking.

6. Ferment 1 to 2 months more. Rack when bubbling has ceased or has become very slow and a definite line of sediment (lees) shows. Top up the new vessel with wine to within 1 inch of the stopper.

NOTE:  Check your water level in the airlock frequently.  They can go dry.  Some winemakers use colored water to help visibility.  Some use a meta solution for airlocks.

7. Rack, sulfite, and fine as necessary. (For fining go here or see page ~15 of the catalog.)

8. Wine should be brilliant, having fallen bright. Now, you can cold stabilize. Put glycerin or sufficient alcohol (vodka) in the airlock to prevent freezing. If you wish to ADD SORBATE, do so now at the rate of 1-2 grams per gallon (1/2 teaspoon is approximately 1 gram). You must have proper meta levels when using sorbate. Dose the meta at the same time you do the sorbate (or run a free SO2 test). Place the carboy at 20-25o F for 2 weeks or more. Excess tartrates will precipitate from the wine. This mellows the wine by reducing the acid. It will help stabilize the wine by preventing these tartrates from settling out after bottling. Rack into a clean carboy while cold. If you add SORBATE without cold stabilizing, allow 24 hours before bottling. However, the addition of any potassium ion will make the wine unstable and this is why cold stabilizing is recommended after adding sorbate. Add proper metabisulfite.

9. Filter if desired and bottle when stable. Always rinse bottles with a C-Brite or a meta solution. Drain well. The drainer trees are very nice for this purpose.


Mitchell's short cut yeast starter: Sprinkle the yeast onto warm (40-45oC or 104-115oF) distilled or sterile non-chlorinated water.  Leave for 5-15 minutes (NOT LONGER) and add an equal volume of sterile grape juice.  Shake to aerate.  It will take up to two days to become active.  Make up however much you want.  (A 5-gram pack of yeast is rated for 5-7 gallons).  Making a starter of a total volume of 1/2 of a gallon will inoculate a lot more than 5-7 gallons.  

Starter recipe in Frishman Enjoy Home Winemaking:  (2 cups water, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon nutrient, 1/4 teaspoon citric acid, yeast)   NOTE: In any recipe recommending or teaspoon of yeast nutrient in a small volume of water (4 oz to 2 cups) REDUCE the nutrient to a pinch else it will be too hot. The dose for nutrient is 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of juice.  Put it in the juice--and yet a starter will require some nutrient so use a pinch or the other starter method.  RE-HYDRATE the yeast first for 5-15 minutes in the water before adding to the other ingredients.



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Fall Bright   
Tom and Marcy Mitchell
10110 Hyatt Hill    Dundee, NY  14837
Phone: 607-292-3995       E-mail :winemaking@fallbright.com 
Some pictures complements of Steve Shanker    Steve Shanker's Winemaking Lesson site

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Copyright  2000 Fall Bright  All rights reserved.
Revised: July 12, 2014