Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Winemaking step #4: getting ready for the pressing

The Brix measurements of our fermenting wine had been decreasing rapidly these last few days. Therefore, we expect the wine to be dry soon, maybe by the end of the week. At this stage, the wine has an intense dark purple-ruby color. It is still sweet but the alcohol is now very noticeable. The palate has nice tannins, some good amount of acidity, and hints of toasted oak.

Brix is measured using a Brix hydrometer, an instrument that determines the specific gravity of a liquid using the Principle of Archimedes. A Brix hydrometer is calibrated to read in degrees of Brix, or percent of pure sugar, at a temperature of 20°C. It provides a good indication of when fermentation is complete and the wine dry, usually when the reading is -1.0° Brix or less.

This Brix hydrometer also measures the temperature of the liquid.

Crushpad has a new Wine Community software called Crushnet that allows me to have real-time access to my winemaking status. Conveniently, the data is also sent to me via email where Brix and temperature measurements are displayed on a graph:

My next visit to Crushpad will be Saturday morning and this time, we'll be pressing the wine. Stay tuned!

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