A little later than I had planned, but I racked the wine yesterday (Saturday) to get it off the residual yeast. It also gave me a good opportunity to see how things are progressing. The two yeast batches are definitely on different tracks.
To rack them, since I only have two 5 gallon carboys, I needed to rack them into a sanitized bucket, clean/sanitize the carboy, then rack it back in. To top them off, I used the excess wine I had put into one gallon jugs.
In the end, after topping up with the appropriate yeast batch, I combined the two excess jugs into a single one gallon jug. Keeping them separate would have left too much headroom and for future toppings-up I figure any residual fermentation will be completely done and all the available sugar gone. But I had slightly more than a gallon left, so I also got a half bottle which I combined with the the clearer dregs left after the rackings, to get a rough blend that I started drinking last night (more on that below).
Last weekend was a little too busy with winemaking to do much blogging. So, a lot went down!
Last Friday (10/4), after a week and a half of fermentation, the bin running with the D21 yeast had reached 1.000 specific gravity, so I figured it was time to press. Immediately after taking the measurement, though, I had my doubts. I had taken the sample from the top of the bin, and since alcohol rises in water, I figured I may be biasing my sample a bit. The must was still foaming when I punched it down, telling me that it was still going, so that lined up.
Despite my reasonable doubts, I was still going to press the next day though. The RP-15 was starting to taste a bit tannic, so I figured it would be good to get it off the skins and stems. I bet that the downside would simply be that the wine would be lighter than a typical Petite Sirah, which was a risk I’d take over having it sit unprotected, not-fermenting.