Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bubble, Bubble, Toil, and Trouble!

Prefermentation Phase in the WinePod:

Today, after worrying about our temperature for a spell -- it seemed a little too warm but was finally deemed "normal" -- we decided on our additions to the must.

Our first decision was to add slightly more TA (tartaric acid) than recommended based on some of our favorite California Cabs (okay, okay, so we are acid freaks by nature!). We mixed the TA with some quality bottled water and into the Winepod it went! After a good mixing to a chorus of "bubble, bubble, toil and trouble", we were on to the next step.

Moving forward we made an executive decision to skip the the oak, grape, and grape/oak tannin additives. We gave the thumbs up to the Lallzyme enzyme, which helps to deepen color, as well as the Booster Rouge and Opti-Red which promote weight and texture on the palate.

After these packets were thoroughly mixed in to the must, we checked the aromas (smells like young grape juice!) and flavors. Everything seems right on and, although certainly not ready for a nice, juicy steak, our Cabernet is surely on the way to stardom.

Also, due to our temperature problems from earlier where we never got our must down below 55, we did a quick temperature limit update after reading Westwood wine maker John Kelly's process. With the imminent addition of the yeast and John's experience, we felt that turning the alarm off and letting the must settle in to a higher temperature was not going to hurt anything. We lifted our lower set point to 61 degrees and the moved the upper to 68 degrees. (John went 62-72)

Next stop Fermentation!

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