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Wine Season and New Wine Calculators Released

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Home wine makers are wrapping up the season with late harvests coming in throughout the Northwest. This weekend is going to be the last chance for Oregon Pinot Noir. The California harvest is of course long over by now. Recent wine making activity has inspired me to write a couple new calculators related to wine making with more on the way.

Pinot Noir Clusters

New Wine Calculators:

  • Brix and Specific Gravity Conversion Calculator– Converts Brix to Specific Gravity and vice versa. The Brix scale is commonly used in wine making. Specific Gravity is commonly used in home brewing. Some hydrometers have only one or the other, which is where this calculator comes in.

    Brix and Specific Gravity are used to tell how much sugar is in solution. In wine making the freshly crushed juice is being measured (commonly known as the ‘must’). The Brix scale is very close to the Plato and Balling scales.

  • Chaptalization Calculator – Chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to must (grape juice) to boost the final alcohol level. This is often done in poor growing years where the grapes did not mature to the desired Brix level. The amount of sugar to add is dependent on how much wine is being made, and how big of an increase in Brix is needed.

I currently have 160 pounds of Pinot Noir fermenting. I split the must into two 24 gallon fermentors after doing a two day cold soak. The left one has RC-212 yeast, and the right one has Assmanshauser. After the crush they will be blended and put through Malolactic fermentation. The house smells really, really good!

24 Gallon Wine Fermentors

The above image shows the two fermentors all setup waiting for the cold soak to finish. The 1 gallon container on the side is a starter for the Assmanshauser yeast.

  1. 4 Responses to “Wine Season and New Wine Calculators Released”

  2. Be careful Larry! I made a 5 gallon batch of Pinot using fresh grapes in 2009. In 2010 I made 35 gallons. In 2011 I bought enough fruit from 3 different vineyards to make 55 gallons, plus another 20 for my friend. I can’t stop! Best of luck on all your batches, and let me know if you ever want to swap a bottle or two. I’m just South of you in Dundee.

    By Scott on Apr 5, 2012

  3. Yeah it gets to be a habit. Wine making is like a muse. Beer is straightforward. I like the degree of control I have with beer. Wine, especially Pinot does what it wants…

    Next year I’m doing ONE 300 lb batch, and that’s it. That way just one crush to go through and a lot less work all the way around. We’ll see if my goal holds true though.

    By Larry on Apr 6, 2012

  4. That’s Awesome! I know there are plenty of smaller Vineyards all over Oregon producing small batches of really good wine. Never thought of Making 55 gallons of Pinot at home.
    ~ Brilliant

    By WILL on Jun 9, 2012

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