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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pint Noir, Chardonnay, Chambourcin Update

The Pinot Noir is resting in a freezer at 4 C and is now just entering its 4th day. Tomorrow Friday it will be time to let it regain its warmth and introduce it to some yeast. I'm still undecided what to do about the high Brix reading of 26. First up, tomorrow I'll perform a Specific Gravity test to confirm the reading. The previous readings were with a Refractometer which may not be completely accurate. 26 Brix converts to 15.6 % alcohol which is at the upper limit tolerance of the BDX yeast I'd like to use. If the yeast fails to convert all the sugar the wine may end with too much residual sugar. Not what was being planned. The options open to me are do nothing or add water to dilute the sugars. I've been trying to keep this batch of wine as natural as possible. The fruit is perfect and any interference can only lead to potential disaster - well maybe not just a lesser quality than would be possible.

The Chardonnay (in demijohns) is still fermenting in various cooling units (freezers) at 15 C. There are three batches B1 is pure fresh juice, B2 is juice soaked on skins for 16 hours, B3 is juice soaked on skins for 26 hours and there is a B4 which is a few litres that continued to be pressed out over 24 hours. I just wanted to see how much fluid would extract if the skins were loosened and pressed a second time.

The Chambourcin is fermenting nicely. The temperature has been rising at a steady rate. Ideally I would like not to exceed 30 C and it is just below that now. As it is fermenting the skins rise to form a cap. This cap prevents the heat from escaping. By plunging the skins back below the juice the heat is released. During the day the plunging is performed every couple of hours or pretty much whenever I walk past. Today we are both away for 8-9 hours and I'm worried that the temperature may shoot up. I could use the last spare freezer to help dissipate some heat. Decisions.

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