Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The ferments

The two 'cuvées' were innoculated about a week ago. The wait for the stainless steel tank to get under way was getting too fraught with worry, so in went the yeast.

Both are now going strong, with the stainless steel tank nearly done and the dustbin proving that plastic, like concrete, is actually pretty good for fermenting wine (its temperature has remained at a constant and rather cool 19 degrees Celsius, compared to the stainless steel which got up to around 22 degrees a few days ago).

The daily routine consists merely of having to measure temperature and specific gravity (with the use of a hydrometer). It all gets noted in a little red book.

Despite the almost all-consuming effort that it took to crush, press and rack the juice at the beginning of the process, the demands (on time as well as physical effort) are now considerably less.

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Sunday, 30 August 2009

The tank


I've managed to acquire the first major bit of kit: a 300 litre stainless steel tank. It's variable capacity, or in Spanish: 'Siempre lleno' (always full). Hopefully it should do the trick for Verdejo, which is apparently quite prone to oxidation. Thus a 'floating lid' should be better than your average sturdy tank.

The lid is secured by an inflatable tube that goes around the rim and is pumped up in much the same way as a bicycle inner tube. It'll need a good clean, and I'll make a table for it to stand on.

In any case, the main piece of kit is now in my possession.

In other news, it's looking like the barrel that I had lined up for the wine isn't going to happen. It's a bit of a killer blow as my only other options are (a) to do the whole thing in stainless steel or (b) clean out a former red wine barrel as best as I can. I'm finding the latter option pretty hard to stomach because even if I get the barrel as clean as a Swiss toilet I'm damned sure the resultant wine will still have a tinge. And I'm not here to make Oeil de Perdrix, even if it's not for commercialisation.

So I'm still pondering the options.

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