Yeast trial #1 is 2/3 complete
Back on July 28, I kicked off a test of three different types of yeast. I inoculated some Welch’s grape juice with K1 V1116, EC1118, and D-47. The K1 and EC got off to a quick, foamy start, but were mostly done after a week, and completely done after two. The D-47 was slower to get started and is still going. I didn’t want the the first two hanging out there without active CO2 production going on for too long, so with Tressa’s help, I measured and extracted them.
I moved them up to the kitchen counter and used my deconstructed auto-siphon to old-school-siphon them out into a wine thief, where I measured the specific gravity. Both were exactly at 1.000. So, fermentation was pretty complete. The Welch’s started out at about 1.098, so I was looking at about 13% alcohol there.
From there, I siphoned some more into a pitcher, before pouring that into a couple bottles. I plan to save the bottles for at least a moth to see how/if age changes anything. I poured a liter into mason jars for each as well, for tasting once that slow D-47 finishes up. The remainder went down the drain. You can really only have so much Welch’s wine on hand.
Some initial thoughts on the first two yeasts
The K1 V1116 had a firmer yeast pack at the bottom and siphoned out pretty clear, despite the trip from the floor of my hall closet to the kitchen counter. The EC 1118 also had a firm yeast pack, but it was slightly looser and a bit more voluminous when I was dumping the remainder. It also foamed a lot more as the wine fell from the siphon hose into the pitcher.
I want to save any official tasting notes for when the D-47 can attend, but we did try some of each. The K1 struck us as more neutral in character. There wasn’t a whole lot going on beyond the less sweet, more alcoholic concord grape juice going on. Maybe this is what folks mean by a neutral yeast? The EC had a bit of a bitter/angular character in the background that grew stronger after a glass of it hung out in the fridge for a few hours.
All this makes me much more curious to see how the D-47 comes out. One thing I’ve definitely learned so far is that it takes a lot longer to do its thing. D-47 does not rush it seems.
Riesling update & harvest jitters
I was also going to bottle my low-intervention-Riesling-kit yesterday, after testing it for SO2 and pH levels. But while the ring of bubbles on top indicating the degassing process had died down considerably during the week, they were going pretty strong when I was starting to prep. So, I’m going to check in again next weekend.
I’m also getting a little nervous about the timing of the grapes I’ve (fingers crossed) got lined up for this year. I think they might be ready in the next week or so, but I’m headed out of town for a week in a couple weeks. So, I fear I’ll have to sacrifice them if I’m not around to pick them up. The sooner they’re picked, the better (for my selfish scheduling reasons at least).