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Monday, August 19, 2013

Patience Saves Time

Attended the workshop this morning to inspect the incubator's progress in its 24 hour test. An amazing sight - all 6 thermometers read the same temperature! What is going on? The rewards of patience at work. Had I left the thing alone yesterday instead of fiddling around for 6 hours it would have achieved the same result. The entire interior lining of the well insulated box would have eventually warmed and achieved a constant temperature. All my fiddling had prevented the box from reaching equilibrium. There was no need to relocate the fan at all. Another lesson to note in the database resting on my shoulders.

The new egg incubator has been relocated to the house and after bringing up to temperature 6 eggs were selected for a trial run.

Incubation underway. Note the thermometer probe. An extra temporary addition just until we get this trial to a successful completion.

With some doubt on the accuracy of the humidity measurement a test has been instituted separately with two spare Hygrometers to see if they need calibration. It involves using a salt slurry in a plastic bag. Apparently this after 12-24 hours should show a reading of 75%. We shall see.

Apart from the usual Monday morning of checking expectant mothers of which there were none, putting out silage and feeding another green strip it was a quiet day. The very unpleasant westerly winds kept us indoors to a large extent.

One indoor activity was to take samples of the 6 red wines quietly resting in glass demijohns. Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, Chambourcin, Tempranillo and Petit Verdot. The Petit Verdot was a little acidic but as it is traditionally used to blend with other reds it will either be used in this way or go through a cold stabilisation process to drop out some of the acid. The Chambourcin was the pick of the bunch. The fruit was picked at 23.5 Brix our best result for these grapes. They are heavy croppers and hard to get to ripen in our rocky outcrop. This year the bunches were heavily pruned after flowering to reduce the crop to half of the normal level with a good increase in sugar. This year we also extended the time on skins to ensure the maximum colour extraction. The Pinot Noir in particular was on skins for 28 days and really shows the benefit with good colour and sugars fully fermented out.

The last event of the day was to open the Provolone trial cheese. This was the second attempt to replicate Provolone. Well it was very tasty but not exactly like the shop bought sample. Still experimentally a good start.

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