The Great Riesling Yeast Experiment Part III

The Great Riesling Yeast Experiment Part III

The Great Riesling Yeast Experiment has drawn to a close. The two different Rieslings produced during the experiment have now been finished, blended, and bottled. If you missed the first two parts here is Part I and Part II. Otherwise here’s a brief summary of the experiment. Starting with a single six gallon World Vineyard Riesling Kit from Winexpert I split it into two three gallon batches. Each batch was then fermented with a different strain of yeast. The purpose of the experiment was two fold: 1. determine if different yeast strains could produce different flavor and aroma profiles. 2. see if I could create a more complex wine by blending wines made from the same grapes that had been fermented with different yeast strains. Parts I and II cover making the wine. In this part I’ll share how the wine was finished, blended, and bottled. Degassing Degassing turned into quite a project. I ended up degassing on two separate occasions because of how long it was taking. Up until the first degassing the wine had been stored at around 66 degrees (F). When wine is stored below 72-75 degrees (F) the degassing process can take much longer because the cooler temperatures help carbon dioxide stay suspended in the liquid. This was evidenced by the 20+ minutes of degassing during this first round that didn’t get all of the carbon dioxide out. After my first attempt I moved both wines where I could store them in the low 70’s. They sat for one week before I started round two of the degassing process. The increased storage temperature made all the difference in the world! I was able to fully degas both wines in about 30 minutes. Clarifying The Wines The problem with degassing in two stages was that the second degassing stirred up everything that had cleared up to that point. I added the isinglass clarifier at the time of the first degassing per the kit instructions. However, when I degassed the second time the wines were just as cloudy as they were prior to the first degassing. The RHST Riesling cleared completely within a week of the second degassing without any additional clarifier. This wine was never really that cloudy to begin with. The W15 Riesling was another story. This wine had always been really cloudy. The isinglass didn’t do much to begin with but the second degassing undid any progress it had made to date. To clear the W15 I had to add a bentonite slurry. It took two more weeks but it did finally clear. Just in time for my parents to give me a hand ┬áblending and bottling. All in all both Rieslings sat for four weeks during degassing and clearing. This was much longer than I would have liked, however, it was necessary to keep from bottling sediment and floating isinglass. No off flavors were picked up from sitting on the lees though. That was a relief. Blending and Bottling The last step was to get these two wines blended together and into the bottles. Keeping in mind the purpose of the experiment I...

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