Thursday, February 25, 2010

Makin' wine, entry one

Think I mentioned earlier that Kris recently bought three 600 liter tanks in the cellar for a personal winemaking project. He's brought me on board for this project, so now we're makin some wine!

It began on Tuesday -- the first bit of the cabernet sauvignon harvest came from block 4, and went straight into the first little tank. I was making deliveries at the time, but I got an invite to a Google document giving the critical stats for day one. The balling (sugar level) into the tank was 24.7. Temperature going in was 22 degrees Celsius. Rest of the info is here:
Harvested from Block 4 Rows 1-3
Pallet 1 (30 crates, 511kg, 25ºC) arrived at Cellar 1216
Pallet 2 (26 crates, 415.5kg, 25ºC) arrived at Cellar 1220 Grapes stored in cool room, sorting began at ~1530 and ended at ~1700
Sorting focused on usual stuff plus added emphasis on micro-berries; quality is good overall
Only sketchy moment was when it started drizzling mid-sort; hopefully impact is minimal
Total taken into tank C aka "Dear Leader" estimated at ~ 773.2kg
Added 12gm Lafase HE Grand Cru
Added 100ml 18% Bisulfite
Added 600gm Vin-Oak MT
Added 450gm Tartaric Acid

The naming scheme for the three tanks is still up in the air. Kris favors naming this tank "Dear Leader" and putting a picture of Kim Jong-il on the tank, though we're not sure whether the Korean Noble Hill distributors would think that is ok. This led to a conversation suggesting various other crazy world leaders as names for the other two tanks. Nothing was settled except that we aren't naming the other two tanks Mugabe and Allende. Those dudes aren't funny.

This evening we added yeast -- 150 grams. I have been nicknamed the yeastmaster, though sadly I don't think that will fit on a vanity license plate. We brought 1.5 liters of a mixture of water and must (grape juice/skins) up to 35 degrees C, then added special winemaking yeast to it. It frothed up and kind of looked like the head of a freshly-poured glass of Coke. Smelled like bread (well, like yeast?). Let it sit for ten minutes, then added more must to bring the temperature down, then added it all into the tank.

Also, learned how to do a pumpover this evening, and did our first. A pumpover is a way of mixing up everything in the tank, and giving it a bit of oxygen. That's my understanding at least. Anyway, we shot the must out of the tank into a big bucket and set up a pipe in the bucket, attached to a pump, attached to another pump that goes into the top of the tank. Spent ten minutes shooting must through those pipes using that setup. Starting tomorrow, we'll do three pumpovers each day, and three punchdowns each day (pushing down all the skins in the must to the bottom of the tank). Also adding another 450 g tartaric acid.

Also, more cabernet harvesting tomorrow! Better finish up this Glen Carlou Grand Classique and head to sleep!

1 comment:

  1. KT loves the google docs.

    I recommend "Uncle Joe's" for one of your wines.