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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tannat Wine, Cleaning Wine Bottles, The Project is finished

We opened two bottles of wine yesterday. Both were the 2012 Tannat  (red) which had extended fermentation. T1 had been fermented on skins for 15 days and French Oak Medium toasted chips were added after the main fermentation was complete. It is beautiful. Very drinkable with a dark almost black colour and good fruit nose and palate. T2 had not only been fermented for 21 days but had the pressed skins from T1 added to it at day 15. Same oak addition. The whole idea was to extract as much of the goodness out of the skins as possible. T2 was harsher more tannic but will soften in time.

The conundrum is that T2 is at its peak in goodness and should really be the one to drink now. Our compromise was to mix the two 50/50.

Can't wait to try some of the 2013 reds as they were fermented on skins for an additional week to really push the boundaries of extraction.

One of the podcasts recently listed to was from Cellar Dwellers in the USA. Very entertaining coverage of wine making with the motto "the more you drink the better we sound". Some wrong information occasionally but always some new concepts and ideas to try. What was highlighted in one podcast was the problem a lot of people have with cleaning bottles. Getting the label off seems to be one area they struggle with. Some labels come of easily as the glue is water soluble. Others can be taken off if the bottle is filled with hot water and then soaked in hot water.

What a waste of effort. A sharp kitchen knife (not longer used in the kitchen) will scrape off the labels and the residue scrubbed off with coarse steel wool. This steel wool is kept aside just for this job as it becomes clogged with paper fragments. A few types of labels have a glue which needs to be rubbed off with paint thinners but this type is a reasonably  small percentage.

The final step is putting them through the dishwasher. They come out squeaky clean and sterile ready for wine bottling. The podcast was saying it takes about an hour to do 12-15 bottles and so they were moving away from recycling to purchasing new bottles. What a waste. The method outlined above takes no more than 10-15 minutes for 12-15 bottles.

The Project aka Egg Incubator aka Chickabator is finished. Today the bottom mesh was installed and while a full scale temperature and humidity test was underway a sliding frame was assembled to hold the eggs and allow them to be rolled easily without removing the lid.

Temperature and humidity test underway

Also tested was whether air was circulating. A small tray with smoking sawdust placed inside demonstrated that air was indeed leaving the box.

Humidity device, The cloths stop the slopping when the bator is moved. More trays = more humidity. Notice the protruding handle used to roll the eggs.

The last test will be a 24 hour min max temperature test.

The primitive egg roller installed and the wireless temperature and humidity transmitter secured to the wall.

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