Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wine in Line

Second Malbec bottled: 

Cabernet Sauvignon begun:

I've learned a few things, and got a few good tips at a Northern Brewer mead class.  Number one: I think I leave my oak in too long.  After 6 weeks it starts to impart a woody flavor.  In a bad way, like actually sucking on a piece of wood.  So I'm going to rack it out of there before that happens.  Also, more racking, more better, so I'll probably try a tertiary, quaternary, whatever-five-is-ary, until it's as clear and well-aged as I want it to be.  I think a little exposure to oxygen is a good thing for wine, too.  It helps keep fermentation going, and you actually want it to oxidize a little, apparently, especially for reds.  And shaking is a good thing for wine.  It helps degas and keeps things well mixed, which also supports strong and complete fermentation.  In later stages of racking, I will probably also degas with my whip-on-a-drill mixer.  Wine is pretty great.