Monday, October 12, 2009

Terms from Stefania's Post

These are some terms we use from time to time. For winemaking veterans they are familiar but I we though it would be worth going through a few of them:

punch downs - During fermentation of red wine the solids in the vat (grapes and clusters) get pushed to the top of the liquid by the CO2 created during fermentation. In order to keep that 'cap' from drying out we take a tool and 'punch down' the cap back into the liquid 1-3 times per day. Since the color and flavor is also in the solids and the alcohol in the juice helps extract these, it also helps with flavors.

taking readings - we check during fermentation to see how much of the sugar still needs to be converted to alcohol. We may also check the pH and TA of the wine.

carboy - 5 gallon glass container

The bottom quarter of the carboy is mostly solid gunk, and on top of that an almost equal amount of wine. -This is called 'falling clear' a term we may use from time to time.

lees - the solid bits left in the juice from fermentation, and pressing. They will 'fall clear' over time.

stainless tank - We use stainless steel tanks of different sizes in the winery. Stainless steel is ideal because it is easy to clean and flavor neutral.

stuck wine - It's rare, but sometimes fermentation can stop with sugar still in the wine. The wine is then 'stuck'. The danger is that bad yeast, bacteria and other yucky things can start feeding on the sugar and ruin the wine.

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