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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pinot Noir Fermentation

I mentioned previously having picked Pinot Noir (for the first time). Just 30 KGs to perform a trial. The Baume was 12.7 and some berries were a little shrivelled. The bunches were collected from the western side of the rows where they were getting that extra bit of sunshine. The pH level was 4.14 which was adjusted with Tartaric Acid to 3.6. One of the side effects of some weeks of very high temperatures, the day before was 40 degrees C.

20% good quality whole bunches were selected and placed at the bottom of the fermenter and the remainder destemmed. At this stage 50ppm of Potassium Metabisulphite was also added. The fermenter was placed in an upright freezer and the temperature lowered to 10 degrees C and held at that for 48 hours. L2323 yeast was rehydrated in some warmed must then progressively lowered to 15 degrees C and the fermenter inoculated. Some yeast nutrient had been added would be topped up again in three stages.

Once fermentation was well under way the fermenter was place back in the freezer and the temperature adjusted to float between 14 and 18 degrees C. A previous experiment with some Tannat grapes showed better colour and flavour occurred using Header Boards in the fermenter rather than plunging the cap several times each day. I've jerry rigged an equivalent setup which successfully keeps the berries submerged under a thin layer of fermenting must. So to wrap up, picked 22/1/13, cold soaked until 24/1/13 and fermenting slowly for 9 days so far and not quite through two thirds of the sugar. When it reaches two thirds complete I'll stop the refrigeration and allow it to complete fermenting at a higher temperature to try and ensure a dry finish.
Fermenting using Header Boards
100 litre containers for transporting grapes and fermenting bigger batches

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