Current StatusBottled Start Date5 January 2000
SourceAlexander's Sun Country Zinfandel concentrate. This is highly concentrated juice. It makes a 5 gallon batch from 92 ounces of concentrate.
Initial Gravity1.077 Brix19
Potential Alcohol10.5% First Racking Date15 January 2000
Specific Gravity1.005 Second Racking Date15 January 2000
Specific Gravity0.992 Bottling Date6 August 2000
Much like the previous wine made from the same concentrate, this one is relatively light in color. However, because of the addition of tannins and the oaking it has far more character than that wine. Unfortunately, as this was another experimental batch the experiment wasn't totally successful. It was over oaked.
Along with the Cabernet Sauvignon this was a test wine. I decided to hone my skills with inexpensive ingredients. In this batch I started playing with oaking and tannin addition. I first put in 1 oz of medium toast French oak chips. After about 10 days there was no noticeable taste so I added another ounce of chips. After another 20 days there was only a very mild taste of oak so I racked the wine, removed the chips, and made a tea of them. I added the tea along with 1 teaspoon of grape tannins. This added a strong oak flavor, perhaps too strong. The bottling went well though it was probably a bit early.

Great Advancement: Based on my problems of getting a decent fermentation rate for my previous wine decided to do something to keep the temperature up and stable. The solution is quite simple. I got a tub to hold water and placed my fermentation bucket or carboy in it. I then filled it with water. This extra volume of water helps mitigate temperature fluctuations. To safely keep the temperature at around 70-90°F I use an aquarium heater. After I insulate the whole thing with blankets and such the temperature stays exactly where I want it throughout the whole fermentation process. Using this technique I have gotten very rapid fermentation, particularly as compared to my first attempt. I have been using this technique ever since I came up with it.

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