I made good use of my new 3-gallon (11 liter) carboys this weekend. Three 1-gallon (3.785 liter) jugs, plus one wine bottle, of cherry wine fit perfectly into the carboy. Eight gallons (30 liters) of Merlot filled a 5-gallon (19 liter) and a 3-gallon carboy with a little left over in a wine bottle.
Higher yield from red wine?
I’m still surprised by the yield from my Merlot grapes. I bought 100 lb (45.45 kg) in October, and I was expecting about 5-gallons of wine, which is about what I’m getting from the 100 lb of Chardonnay grapes I bought at the same time. I think I know what happened. I treated the Merlot with pectic enzyme, then fermented it like any red wine, so the skin and pulp were soaking in a water-turning-to-alcohol mixture for a week. This, to say nothing the fermenting yeast, broke down cell walls and membranes making it a lot easier to squeeze liquid out of the pulp. The Chardonnay, on the other hand, were pressed immediately after crushing. The result: more Merlot wine from the same amount of grapes. I’ll have to make a note of this for next year to see if the extra yield from red wine is real or if this year’s experience was just a fluke.
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