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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Chambourcin - update

The Chardonnay is out of the chilling units. Once the Brix got down to below 15 i.e. it was a third of the way through the sugar it was time to let it come back to the ambient temperature and ensure a robust ferment finished of the sugars.

This didn't take long and when the airlock slowed to an intermittent gurgle it was racked into clean demijohns fully filled to eliminate any air. It will now rest until bottling in a few months.

Chardonnay - various test batches

This was an opportunity to perform an early tasting. All the now four batches have slightly different characteristics and nothing unpleasant. A very pleasing progress report.

The Pinot Noir had its chilling unit turned off and in the morning the yeast was rehydrated. A  Specific Gravity (SG) test showed a potential alcohol level of a touch above 16%. I couldn't bring myself to adulterate the must with water. I'll take a chance all will be well. The BDX yeast is rated to 16%. An interesting test.

Pinot Noir with the cap of skins formed

Pinot Noir after plunging, the fermentation very active
The Chambourcin slowly increased in temperature peaking at 31 C briefly. Because we were going away for a day a header board was inserted so as to negate the need to plunge. This worked well and it was removed the next day. The temperature commenced dropping but the Brix level was still high. Rather than risk a stuck ferment a little yeast nutrient was stirred in to feed the yeast cells. This worked a treat and 12 hours later the ferment was vigorous but not foaming any longer and the temperature rose.

Chambourcin, note the deeper colour and less vigorous activity as it moves past the half way in fermentation

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