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).
I did the D21 batch first. It was distinctly tannic and sharp, but with a dose of red fruitiness as well. I’ve heard that tannins are what you’re up against when making Petite Sirah, so this didn’t surprise me. It has character in there, though. I feel like it just needs to chill out on the tannin attack.
Next I racked the RP-15 batch. This tasted far less tannic, smoother, but a little green (likely from the whole cluster primary). Tressa noted fruitiness there as well. It was also noticably more effervescent than the D21. Perhaps there was still some fermenting going on? The dregs at the bottom were certainly thicker.
With the excess from the excess jug and the clearer dregs from the racking, I’ve also been drinking a ~60/40 D21/RP-15 blend. The tannin is still strong, but I can see these two working together well.
I’ll have to keep watching to see how they develop, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I ended up blending these.
All in all, I’m quite pleased with how these are going. I’m not ready to add any SO2 yet, but I did test and learned that using the Titrets kit ain’t easy with reds, unless it’s really naturally at 30ppm on its own.