Archive for Bad Astronauts
First of all, the 2008 Wines are incredible! We bottled the Zin a little while back, and I'm having to hide it from myself so that I don't drink it all before it reaches it's peak.
If you participated in the bottling, and/or if you have some of the wine, I would say that it's just about now fully over the bottle shock and is tasting really good. I'm really looking forward to how it will taste next year!
Pretty soon, we'll be bottling the 08 Merlot, the 08 Petit Sirah, some 09 Charonnay, and perhaps a couple other surprises!
This weekend, I need to start taking the labels off and washing around 300 bottles (25 cases) that we’ve saved over the last year for bottling our 2008 Zin. I haven’t used recycled bottles like this since our first batch of wine…and that was only 30 bottles. New bottles generally cost $8-$10 per case, so, in theory, I’m saving up to $250 by doing this. And, also in theory, I’m saving the earth.
However, the process of washing and scraping labels off of wine bottles is anything but environmentally friendly. First, you soak a bottle in hot water with TSP (what you use to remove wallpaper). So, there’s a huge use of energy to heat water, plus all that TSP…which can’t be all that green, considering that you have to wear rubber gloves when working with it. After the label is off, the bottle needs to be rinsed very well, then sanitized (more detergents, more water). Repeat 300 times.
We’ve collected all these bottles and they’re taking up a lot of space in the garage, so I’m going to go forward with this… but I’m thinking that this will be the last time I bother with recycling bottles. Are there any home winemakers out there who have a different opinion…or who have found the easy way to recycle bottles and just love doing it?
Next weekend, we'll be pouring at Revolution Wines' Christmas Walk.Big things are happening for the Bad Astronauts.
* a pH increase of between 0.1 and 0.45 units (more typically 0.1-0.25)
* a chemical deacidification usually reducing titratable acidity by about 1-4.6 g/l (as tartaric)
So, our wine currently has the following stats:
TA 8.5 g/L
After ML, it could potentially have the following stats:
pH 3.6 - 3.75
TA 3.9 - 7.5
I'm not ok with the risk of the pH being over 3.6, which makes me think I should adjust pH to 3.4. However, I'm also not ok with a TA over 7, which makes me think I shouldn't adjust.
After some more reading, it sounds like what we've got is a higher concentration of Malic (a weaker acid) than of Tartaric (a stronger acid). This explains why the pH (which measures the effect or strength of the acid in the wine) is high (less acid strength) and the TA is high (more acid).
So, if I adjust with Tartaric acid, I think it will decrease the pH and increase the TA, but the Malolactic fermentation will have a larger effect because we have a relatively high concentration of Malic.
If you're a chemist, please let me know if I'm on the right track here!
If you're not familiar with TA and pH, here's some reading.
The sugar fluctuated from between 23 and 25 brix. I'll take another reading tomorrow before adding yeast and see if it's settled on something.
pH was at 3.5. This is maybe slightly less acid than I want. However, TA was .85%, which indicates slightly more acid than I want...so what do I do? My current thinking is to do some research tonight and test again tomorrow before making any adjustments at all.
This is the first public Bad Astronauts event, and we're limiting participation to around 30 people. We still have about 8 spots left, so if you're interested or if you have questions, give me a holler!
It's been a strange week weather-wise. After triple digit temps last week we now have cold, damp fog that lingers. Brix is at 23 plus or minus and I'm guessing harvest in about two weeks.