Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lightning Strikes Wine!

Actually, the lightning came after my success with the acid reduction. I followed the advice of Tom Mitchell and added tartaric acid to one carboy, bringing the pH from 3.4 down to 3.2. Then I packed the carboy in garbage bags with ice and loaded the bags and carboy into the fridge. One week later I racked the wine off beautiful crispy glacier-like tartaric crystals. The taste is vastly improved, with a mild bite, but no grapefruit aftertaste. Aging will help, but I didn't even need a TA acid test to know that the wine is now remakably close to bottling condition. In fact, after racking off the crystals, I decided to bottle the leftover wine from the bottom of the barrel for some pre-bottling feedback at work. The only finishing touch from here, besides aging in bottles, will be to try to get the color right. For that, I plan to use a clarifier PVPP known as Polyclar. Polyclar removes haze causing polyphenols as well as yeast cells, which give the wine an orange glow tint. I'm shooting for the pale yellow-gold that most people typically associate with white wine.

Below is a photo of my calibration of the pH meter using the buffer calibration solutions. I picked up the calibration solutions from a store called the New Aquarium near Grand Central, in the city.

On Sunday night there was a strong thunderstorm. The motion camera went crazy and picked up a lot of lightning activity. The shot below is a streak that came down in the woods behind the house. I will check back for the tree that suffered this strike when I return next weekend.

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