Here we are at December 20 and I still have a wine fermenting. Thats what I call a slow fermentation. The other day, I wrapped the carboy in a heating pad to warm it so that I could help the Riesling fermentation come to an endits been more than five weeks!
For next year, if I do this again, I will have to remember that the cellar temperature in my home is not warm enough for a reasonable fermentation, cool or otherwise. Ill have to take action to warm things up.
If my warming attempt doesnt work this time, and I get a stuck fermentation, Im afraid that I will have an alcohol level that is too low for my taste. Worse, however, is that I was counting on the Riesling to blend into the Gewurztraminer to adjust for acidity. I dont want to add sweetness to the Gewurztraminer.
Woe is I
Also, at this time of year I truly get excited because, after the winter solstice we start to see more daylight each day. From summer solstice to winter solstice daylight lingers about a minute less each daythe reverse takes place from winter solstice to summer solstice.
In our northeastern locale, it gets dark by 4:30 pm at this time of year, and it gets dark at almost 10 pm in June.
I love the longer daylight. Always been a daytime fellow. Therefore, I rejoice during the winter solstice, and I am almost certain that the change in daylight must have some biodynamic effect on my winesmake them better perhaps?
This year, we have lucked out thus far, having escaped major snowfallhardly any of the white stuff at all. Today, I bought snow tires for my little four-wheel-drive Geo Tracker. That ought to solidify that we get no snow at all this winter, and if so, the money will have been well spent, for as much as I love daylight, I hate snow much more. The only good thing about snow is that I can use it to help cool down my wines for tartrate precipitation, which, in my cellar, may not be necessary, so to hell with snowforever.
I know that a curmudgeon should never break this rule: but happy holiday to all my readersevery last five or six of you. This time next year, I might offer a toast with my own wine, if I dont finish them off before then.
Oh, for those who have asked: I am deeply involved in researching and writing my next book, which is why my comments on blogs have been short and sweet, and fewer.
Copyright Thomas Pellechia
December 2011. All rights reserved.