Catawba Grapes Process

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Catawba Grapes Process

Postby Bill Kolosi » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:36 pm

John - I bought 250# of catawba grapes this weekend and will begin to process them Wednesday. My thought was to stick close to the Concord grape recipe shown in the Winemaker's Handbook, but with a few variations that I'd like your comments on, please.

After de-stemming and crushing I was going to leave the grape must in the food grade pails without placing the skins/seeds into a nylon bag. I know Catawba is usually a darker red than Rose, but certainly lighter in color than a typical red. I have seen recommendations to leave the skins in for about 2 hours to get to the right color, but was hoping to leave it longer - say overnight. How long would you keep the skins in the juice?

Once the grapes are crushed and put into the food grade pails I was going to add peptic enzyme, yeast nutrient, Campden, sugar and water (after measuring Brix & TA content), then cover and leave over night. Also, I would punch down the must occassionally during the 24 hour process. After 24 hours I would press the must and using a filter screen remove any skins/seeds to extract all the juice, then after measuring SG, add the yeast. When SG reaches 1.02 I will siphon off the wine into a clean carboy(s).

Do you have any suggestions to my plan that will keep me out of trouble? Thanks so much.
Bill Kolosi
 
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Re: Catawba Grapes Process

Postby grapeadmin » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:19 pm

I have never made catawba so I cannot say from personal experience.

I would let them sit on skins until you get the color you want and then press.

It sounds like you have a handle on the process. I don't see anything that jumps out at me as problematic. I think you are on the right track.

thanks
john
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Re: Catawba Grapes Process

Postby Bill Kolosi » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:11 am

John -

I am hoping I didn't make a big mistake here BUT I have sweetened my Catawba wine BEFORE I added Potassium Sorbate. When the wine had stablized and reached a SG of .998 (previously was racked 3 times and before final racking I had added Potassium Metabisulfite) I decided that I would sweeten. I usually added Potassium Sorbate just prior to bottling so thought I would do the same with the sweetened Catawba. From what I have read, however, it seems most sources recommend adding Potassium Sorbate PLUS another dose of Metabisulfite BEFORE sweetening. Then once the SG reaches 1.015 to 1.02 bottle at that time.

What I did was rack wine, sweeten and now the SG is at 1.012 and close to being ready for bottling. I want now to add the Sorbate plus Metabisulfite. Will adding the Sorbate and metabisulfite after sweetening cause any serious problems?

Thanks again John
Bill
Bill Kolosi
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 8:32 am
Location: Stow, Ohio

Re: Catawba Grapes Process

Postby grapeadmin » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:25 pm

No, it should not. Just add it and bottle as soon as you can.

thanks
john
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