Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wine and Whine

Last night, before AI, we took care of some wine duties.
The Barbera (L) went into the 3-gallon carboy for secondary fermentation. The Chablis (Center) has nearly finished the secondary, and is already starting to settle (note how much clearer it is than a week ago). We racked it to a clean carboy and then took it to the basement so it can sit in the cool and dark. In a couple of weeks, we'll rack it again, and add a clarifier, and after that it's a  matter of waiting until it's clear and ready to bottle (though it won't be ready to drink for at least 6 months after that, if then). The 5-gallon Gewurtz (R) sped through the primary fermentation extremely quickly and was also ready for the secondary.

We ran out of our preferred fermentation lock (the one on the right), which allows the fermentation gasses to escape without letting any oxygen back into the vessel (secondary fermentation is also called anerobic fermentation), so we had to use a taller, goofier one (on the left). Our preference has to do more with shelf head-room than anything else, though the *other* style (aptly called a Bubbler) is much harder to clean. It's also noisy- each escaping gas bubble makes a little plock sound as it moves through the lock. There are a LOT of escaping gas bubbles. It's sort of like having a dripping faucet. drip drip plock plock plock plockplockplock

We're going to start a batch of Rhubarb/Riesling next, and that will probably be it for this wine season (so far, we have 90 bottles a brewin'. Home winemakers are allowed to make 200 bottles per year, so we're well within the legal limit... hic...)

On to the Whine- though it's less of a whine than a constant, complaining observation (which is pretty whiny, come to think of it): the plot is finally beginning to thicken in The Mysteries of Udolpho. Our heroine is threatened with an action she most definitely does not want to take, by selfish (and possibly evil)(Evil, I tell you) people, and for all intents and purposes, she's being kidnapped. Of course, we take plenty of time out to admire the scenery (The Apennines don't appeal to Mrs. Radcliffe as much as The Alps did, but she finds much to describe), and even for poetry, which I have no choice but to listen to since this is an audio file and I can't figure out how to fast forward without losing my place in the story (my good friends will tell you that I am Poetry Deaf).

On the upside- we caught our first glimpse of Udolpho Castle, a dark and foreboding place... of course...  Maybe in a week or so, we'll actually get there.

P.S. And just so you'll know that it's not all w(h)ine and American Idol around here, between Friday and yesterday, I knitted 3/4 of a sweater. An adult sweater. An adult Fair Isle sweater. Worsted weight, to be sure, but... still...

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