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The Sensitive Man


A woman meets a man in a bar. They talk; they connect; they end up leaving together. They get back to his place, and as he shows her around his apartment. She notices that one wall of his bedroom is completely filled with soft, sweet, cuddly teddy bears. There are three shelves in the bedroom, with hundreds and hundreds of cute, cuddly teddy bears carefully placed in rows, covering the entire wall!

It was obvious that he had taken quite some time to lovingly arrange them and she was immediately touched by the amount of thought he had put into organizing the display. There were small bears all along the bottom shelf, medium-sized bears covering the length of the middle shelf, and huge, enormous bears running all the way along the top shelf. She found it strange for an obviously masculine guy to have such a large collection of Teddy Bears.

They share a bottle of wine and continue talking and, after awhile, she finds herself thinking, oh my God! Maybe, this guy could be the one! Maybe he could be the future father of my children. She turns to him and kisses him lightly on the lips, he responds warmly. They continue to kiss, the passion builds, and he romantically lifts her in his arms and carries her into his bedroom, where they rip off each other's clothes and make hot, steamy love.

She is so overwhelmed that she responds with more passion, more creativity, more heat than she has ever known. After an intense, explosive night of raw passion with this sensitive guy, they are lying there together in the afterglow. The woman rolls over, gently strokes his chest and asks coyly, 'Well, how was it?' The guy gently smiles at her, strokes her cheek, looks deeply into her eyes, and says: 'Help yourself to any prize from the middle shelf'


To decant or not to decant: It's probably no longer the question.

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Much has been previously written and for many in wine circles the debate continues about if decanting wine is important or not. Decanting wine serves two significant purposes. In early winemaking processes, many wines were unfiltered which resulted in sediment in the bottom of the bottles. Additionally, exposing wine to oxygen can help open up a wine by letting it breath. If you have a bottle of 1999 Château Lafite Rothschild sitting in your basement, perhaps decanting might be a good idea. In today's world, however, a significant majority of wine purchased in the US is consumed within 24 hours of purchasing. Most new world wines produced today are filtered and have no sediment concerns.

As a result the only benefit likely gained from decanting is the oxygen exposure. Even that is debated. With one school of thought using a decanter to maximize surface area, or rapid oxygenation, versus slow oxygenation whereby a small amount of wine is poured off of the bottle to drop the volume below the level of the neck and the the bottle allowed to breathe for an hour or more before drinking. Decanting is also not very convenient if you are opening a bottle you do not intend to finish in one night as pouring wine from a decanter back into a bottle is a messy experience.

Many young or fruit forward wines consumed today can benefit from a little oxygen prior to enjoying and decanting is time consuming and not practical. Enter the Vinturi wine aerator. Likely named after Italian physicist Giovanni Battista Venturi, the Venturi effect is the reduction of fluid pressure when a liquid flows through a constricted pipe. Picture a thumb on a garden hose. While the velocity increases the static pressure decreases, very much like a jet engine. Venturi has utilized this little bit of technology to provide a tool that can properly aerate a single glass of wine on the fly. Available for both white and red wines, blind taste testing revealed that wine poured through the Venturi was almost always preferred.

If you are looking for something cool to add to your home wine collection, or trying to find an inexpensive gift for that hard to buy person in your life, at about $40 this nifty little gadget is available in most wine stores or online and is a must have for any wine enthusiast.



Functional Body Modifications - things that make you go Hmmmm...


Being off of work for the last few days has allowed me to catch up a bit on my reading - and some of the nether reaches of the interwebs that I don't frequently visist. I recently saw a very interesting lecture by Quinn Norton on functional body modification. This is different from ornimental body modification, things like tattoos, piercings and the more radical skin implants. Functional body modification is exactly what it sounds like - alturing your body via an artifical or outside object, to achieve a specific purpose.

Functional body modification has been around for a long time and is interesting because society is split on its acceptance. Some modifications are widely accepted and have been in use for decades. Use of an IUD, for example, to prevent pregnancy is a functional body modification widely accepted. So are breast implants. Artificial hips, knees and other prostetics are also "OK"  I think society accepts things that either prevent an unwanted condition, or correct a defficiency in ones self. More recently as technology has improved, implanted pacemakers prevent death, subdermal insulin pumps provide long term unattended diabetic control and chchlear implants are being used to correct hearing.

Where it gets wierd is to use the same technology to improve or enhance a human norm. Is it ok to use the same cochlier implant to provide a normal hearing person with always available blue tooth to connect to their phone or listen to music? The technology exists today to touch your earlobe and connect the call, without looking like a Borg with a blue flashing light connected to your ear. Norton argues that vaccines are also a form of functional body modification, introducing a forign substance into the body to prevent disease. Again widely accepted and without them we would still have small pox, plaque, etc.

So its ok to utilize a vaccine to prevent disease, but not ok to ustilize a steriod to enhance a baseball players ability? Did you know that most professional outfielders undergo radial keratotomy (Lasix) to improve their vision so they can see pop fly's? In many cases modifying their vision to better than 20/20. Thats legal under the 'rules' and ok. Some 'enhancements' are acceptable - vision, boobs - so its not just corrective to the norm....

Norton had a rare earth magnet implanted into the end of her finger. It was encapsulated so that it could spin freely based on magnetic fields around her. It in essence gave her a sixth sense, allowing her to feel strong electrical currents, magnetic fields and even changes in barometric pressure. Unfortunately the encapsulation eventually broke down and her body then began to absorb the magnet elements. - Still an interesting enhancement but probably not widely 'acceptable'.

Norton poses some very interesting arguments in her lecture. For example when a body is in extrememe physical pain, like if you get your arm broken, it release endorphins that allow the brain to say 'its going to be ok'. If a person is in extreme mental pain, those same endorphins are not released. Society says it is perfectly ok to go work out really hard - release the endorphins and you will feel better - or take an antidepressant that achieves the same function - but is is not ok to cut yourself on your wrists - a function that also achieves the same goal.

100 years ago, breast enhancement, IUD's and Lasix were not around and now all three are not only commonplace, they are widely utilized as normal and acceptable procedures. As technology improves, I can only imagine what the next 100 years will bring.

Norton's lecture is on YouTube here.




My new journey begins - Sommelier school

Sommelier Courses and Wine Classes from the International Wine Guild Wine School

The International Wine Guild Wine School


I dont know if it is mid-life crisis talking or just a decision to pursue a passion - but starting next month I have enrolled into the International Wine Guild Sommelier program. I have decided to resign my position with MedExpress and get out of the world of corporate healthcare. After more than 20 years of the corporate grind it is time. Those who know me - know I did a short stint as a franchise owner, operating the Nestle Toll House Cafe at the Cherry Creek mall. I think that was probably my true mid life crisis. Now after 45 years I have decided it is more important to be happy in life - and enjoy my limited time on this amazing planet. 

Thankfully I have an amazingly supportive wife and family. My plan at this point is to go to school - work back in EMS pulling Paramedic shifts, enjoy some much needed time with my fam and of corse, blog about the entire experience.

Colorado and Denver specificlly have an amazingly strong wine culture. I am ready to explore it, and hopefully at some point in the future - work within and become a part of it.

Stay tuned - this should be interesting.


Wine Making at home - Final Step - Bottling


So our Cabernet Sauvignon has been sitting in a carboy for about a month now and is finally ready to bottle.

If you have not been following along, step 1 is here, step 2 is here and step 3 is here.

One of the fun things about making your own wine, and something to keep you busy while you are waiting, is playing around with Photoshop a bit and making a label for it (right). After doing a bunch of research online trying to find a label making program and some actual wine label templates from Avery or something at Office Depot, I have found that the best option is to just use a paint program and print them on plain old paper. Then cut them out and use a glue stick to stick them on. Sometimes the simplest solutions work the best. This is also good for recycling the bottles in order to use them again. Labels with adhesive backs that are stuck on, tend to stay that way are are difficult to get back off. Plain paper with a glue stick comes off well so you can use the bottles again.

Most of the supplies you will need to bottle the first time are at the local brew store. You will need about 30 empty bottles and a bag of corks. I suggest fresh corks. Some sites state you can re-use old corks but I have found that once they have been compressed once, they leak and don't work very well. Most brew stores will also rent a bottle corker to you for the day like this one.

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There are some cheaper ones you can buy but they are very difficult to actually use. I ended up purchasing this one for about $75.

This will be my third time bottling and through the school of hard knocks I have found it it very helpful to get everything together in one place and within arms reach to avoid making a big mess. Create an assembly line with lots of counter or floor space.

One of the last steps in bottling is to add some sodium metabisulfite to your wine. Home wine has very low sulfite levels and you need to add some if you want to keep your wine more than about six months. This will act as a preservative and does not change the flavor profile. 1/4 teaspoon dissolved in a 1/2 cup of water will do the trick.

Rack your wine one last time into another container. I use a brew bucket with a spout on the bottom that connects to the bottle filler. This will get the last of the sediment off of the wine, and allow you to use gravity to fill your bottles. Add the Sodium Metabisulfite to the bucket and stir, then place up on a counter.

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To prepare your bottles, put them into the dishwasher and run them on the glass only cycle to clean and sterilize them. The dishwasher also works very well as a 'shelf' once they are clean to contain the mess. Position the brew bucket above the dishwasher on the counter and use the open door to fill your bottles on. Any overflow stays in the door lid!

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The bottle filler adapter is a piece of glass tubing with a spring loaded valve on one end. when you push it down on the inside bottom of the bottle it releases the gravity fed wine into the bottle. Fill until the wine gets to the top lip of the bottle then lift the filler and the flow will stop. The filler displaces just enough volume so that when you remove it from the bottle, the wine is at the correct level in the bottle, about 3 inches below the lip, so that your cork will fit and have about 1 inch of open space in the neck.

Once all the bottles are full - use the corker to seal them. I sterilize my corks before use as they tend to be purchased in bulk and who knows where they have been. Remember, clean, clean clean! The best way to do this is to put them in a vegetable steamer and steam them for about 5 minutes over boiling water. This will also serve to soften them up a bit and makes corking a little easier.

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if you want you can also cap them with foil wrappers. These are also available from the brew store and give the bottle a nice finished look. just slip them over the top and use a hair drier to shrink wrap the foil around the neck of the bottle.

Walla! That's really it. Don't forget to enjoy a glass of your new vino while you are bottling. You will find it does taste young and the longer you let it sit, the better it gets.  About 6-9 months from now, it should be at its peak.

Have you made your own wine?  How did it turn out? Let me know in the comments or better yet, send me a bottle so I can try it, I'm happy to return a bottle of mine!

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Great article on how to pick wine by the label

Wow - you would think I really like wine or something by the number of posts I have made about the subject.  Recently I ran one of those social profile index things that tracks your online social profile and it said my job finding prospects could be negatively affected by my references to alcohol.... oh well - here is another.

This is a great article on how to pick wine by the label.  Original is HERE

Sloshed: Maybe We Should Be Judging Wines by Their Labels

By: Matthew Latkiewicz

Like plenty of normal people, I buy wine mostly based on the label. Sure, price is important — and those little cards with the scores help, too — but, frankly, if I do not like the label, I will not buy the wine, simple as that. You know that wine with the three moose wearing sunglasses? It’s called 3 Blind Moose? Yeah: I hate that label. I will never buy that wine. This is actually reasonable, I think. Unless you have an extensive knowledge of regions and grapes, the wine you choose is simply not going to matter all that much. What’s the worst that can happen? Unless it literally tastes like those sweat socks that wine people insist on using as a flavor comparison, you still end up with a bottle of wine you can drink. And last time I checked, a bottle of wine will get you nicely buzzed with your friends over the course of an evening no matter what you choose. So why not choose based on the label?

And so, a proposal: If labels are so important to our wine-buying choices — and I am saying they are — then we should understand labels just as we understand the other non-label parts of the wine (e.g., the grapes and the regions and stuff).
But while you can go on the Internet and find very detailed wheel-based charts for wine aromas and tastes, there is woefully little label categorization.

Not to worry: I have gone into the field and done some research. I wanted to know whether I could identify the types of labels I liked and which turned me off. I think I have identified seven major wine-label groupings along with several subclasses. I also tasted a bunch of wines according to their labels and have made wildly ill-advised extrapolations about what the label means for your drinking experience. And so, here is the wine label kingdom.


FrenchThe French

The grand-cestor of all wine labels; the French is very word-heavy and relies on classic fonts most of the time. Owing to French wine laws, this label must contain specific data on where this wine was made, where the grapes were grown, and who made it. This standardization means that most French wine labels look the same and are all equally intimidating.

What to Expect: The words Appellation Bordeaux Contrlôlée Mis En Bouteille a La Propriété should tell you everything you need to know. It's the fancy stuff, and it will taste sort of like dirt, but in a good way.

DilFrenchFrench Subclass: Diluted French
Take the French label and remove a lot of the words. Voilà! These give the feeling of a French label — tradition, upper class — but without all the confusing detail. You usually get the grape name, the region, and they usually try to shoehorn the word “chateau” in there somewhere. Also, there is often a pen and ink drawing of a house that we are meant to believe is the aforementioned chateau.
What to Expect: The winemaker often isn't actually French, but is instead an American making wine in the French style. That means it will taste sort of like dirt andfruit. You know how people say, “I don’t know, tastes like red wine to me”? This is what they are talking about.

AnimalsAnimals Doing Things
A close cousin of Diluted French, these labels often contain exactly the same information as the D.F., but instead of featuring a chateau, they are named for an animal, which is often doing something. That “something” is usually leaping.
What to Expect: The Animal label began as a solidly American genre, but those Australians sure have taken to it, though with way more marsupials. They're often from big producers, but these wines tend to stick their landings. (Yes, that is a gymnastics reference.)

GraphicThe Graphic Design Student
This class description is not meant as derogatory; rather, they are simply very design-y. I find a lot of these labels to be focused on their attitude, a sort of “we don’t have to adhere to your chateau and scripted-font tradition.” 
What to Expect: Wine from a small-ish non-European producer (or a small-ish subsidiary of a large producer), the wines themselves can vary a lot, depending on the subclass of the label design.


LetterpressGraphic Design Subclass: Letterpress
Have you seen those greeting cards where there is some nice serif font that says something like “Thank You” and then there is an equally nice image of a dandelion on it? And also a lot of white space, and it sort of looks like a wedding invitation? That’s what these wine bottles look like. 
What to Expect: Smooth wines usually, not super-tannic (i.e, cotton-mouthy), not super-fruity or earthy. Defined more by what they are not. Which is not a bad thing, I don't think.

PosterGraphic Design Subclass: Poster Art
These labels want you to recognize that they are not like those other labels. Instead, they look like a poster from some other era of graphic design — usually a cowboy or hippie poster for some reason.
What to Expect: Interestingly, while the design itself tends to hit you over the head ("Get it?! It looks like a wanted poster from the old west!"), you can expect wines with a bit more reserve and class. I should say: The labels are well designed usually. Perhaps the wines follow suit.

PBarnGraphic Design Subclass: Pottery Barn Catalogue
Totally innocuous with respect to design, these labels looks like those leather-bound books you see in catalogues. That is their whole purpose: looking good next to a bowl of Granny Smith apples on a butcher block counter.
What to Expect: American wine that tastes like the vanilla-scented candle they always put in those catalogue rooms.

IndieGraphic Design Subclass: Indie Designer
These can also vary wildly in style, but again: You will know it when you see it, especially if you are someone who reads Print magazine. Some of my favorite tricks in this genre: huge black text on white; a black and white photograph of people in the Dust Bowl or the Gulag; custom R. Crumb–style illustrations.
What to Expect: Syrah. Or a blend with Syrah in it.

Nostalgic Small-Town Vacation
Nostalgia“Do you like vacations? What about sand dollars and/or the beach? Yeah, we like those things too.” That’s me doing an imitation of the Nostalgic Vacation label. These wine labels are sort of ingenious in that they skip over the wine entirely — “Who cares what grape it is! There’s a flip-flop on the label!” — and go straight to the lifestyle you imagine yourself having while you drink it. Shells, sand dollars, anything beach related, really — but there’s a subgenre here: labels with nostalgic Coca-Cola style drawings of red trucks, front porches, or anything a person might associate with small-town America.
What to Expect: I have had enough hangovers to know with full certainty that these are cheap wines that taste like hangovers. Often very sweet, they aim for smoothness über alles, but this gives them basically no structure.

Clever labels attempt to make you smile as you walk by. The hope is that you might appreciate a little joke, a little fun, after looking at all those chateau drawings. I identified a couple of mini-classes of the clever label.


Gimmicky: “I sure do love my local professional sports team. So much so that I cannot pass up this wine with Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett.”
What to Expect: Young, young wine that's bought in bulk by somebody like Charles Shaw and then sold for cheap. These are often one-liners. And while that one line might be Steven Wright quality, most are Rodney Dangerfield level.

Ironic: “Ha! I’m looking for a cheap red wine and look: That one is called Cheap Red Wine. Perfect.”
What to Expect: See above. In fact, all of the wines in these categories might be from one huge batch. Wouldn't that be ironic?

FunFun: “Honey, look — you know how I love moose, right? Well, look at these crazy moose! They are wearing sunglasses!”
What to Expect: Ah, forget it. All this wine is the same. Have you had Yellow Tail or Carlo Rossi? That's what this stuff is like. Thin fruit, sometimes jammy, but never more than one note.

Word Play: “Pinot Evil? Ah … cute. Look at those monkeys!”
What to Expect: Would it blow your mind if I told you that these wines were incredible? Well … they aren't. They're the same crap as all the stuff above.

Whereas most labels will have some sort of image that supports the words on the label, the Painting labels just throw a painting of whatever on there. And it’s very specifically a painting — lots of colors and obvious brushstrokes. You will not confuse this with a pen drawing of a chateau or a leaping animal. No, it’s like they licensed some of the lesser impressionists and are just going through them.
What to Expect: For some reason, you see a lot of these types of labels on Italian wine. But note that Italian wines generally have to follow similar rules that the French do, label-wise — a lot of words telling you things you don't understand — so anytime they're throwing a painting on there, I'm always a little suspicious. In other words, if you buy one of these, you'd better know what you're doing.

AholeEuro-Trash A-hole
A rare sighting, the A-Hole label is usually more than a label. Often, the whole bottle is some unique shape. Look! I’m a wine bottle in the shape of a shampoo bottle! Deal with it! Whatever.
What to Expect: I wouldn't know, for I do not condone this sort of behavior. And neither should you.

Obviously, I have not tasted every single wine in the world that has a label. I have simply tasted most of them, and I actually do find a relationship between label and wine. If I like the graphic design, I tend to like the wine. I chalk this up to two things:

1. We are a suggestive people. If I like how you look, I will tend to like you, or at least, I am inclined to like you. (But if I don't like how you look, watch out.)

2. I make the assumption that the crew who makes the wine also chooses the label, at least at some level, right? So, when a label appeals to me, I think: "Well, I like their font choices. I probably like their wine choices, too."

But maybe you disagree? Have you ever loved a label and hated the wine? Or vice versa? This is what the comments are for, people.


This would also make a great Fathers Day present (hint hint)

Store up to 21 bottles of your best wine under the conditions that the vinter intended with the EdgeStar 21 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler (model: TWR215ESS). While your wine enjoys the optimal temperature and humidity conditions, you get a wine cooler in one of the most stylish European finishes available with fully digital temperature controls with a blue LED display.

This thermoelectric wine cooler features a premium stainless steel door trim with double paned tempered glass. The tinted glass door protects your wine from harmful light. The interior of the wine cooler features insulated dual temperature zones with scalloped chrome shelves to cradle and display your wine. For a stylish and vibration-free wine storage solution, you can't miss with the EdgeStar Dual Zone TWR215ESS 21 bottle thermoelectric wine cooler.


Pretty cool new little piece of technology.

Might make a great Fathers Day present for that dad in your life!

The smooth little black pebble above from XtremeMac is a new combo charging/bluetooth-streaming option called the InCharge Home BT ($80). Pretty simple concept: Plug it into a wall outlet, then hook it up via the 3.5 mm jack to any speaker system and bango, you’ve given the system Bluetooth streaming capability, which means you can stream music to your speakers from any iDevice or Mac; then use the USB port to charge stuff (comes with a USB t0 30-pin connector and a 3.5 mm jack cable).


Making your own wine, Step 3: Stabilizing and Clearing

Well it is a slow and lengthy process, this wine making thing. If you are looking for instant gratification - you likely will not get any satisfaction here.  But the end result is so worth it.

Step 1 here.  Step 2 here

Our wine has been gently going through its secondary fermentation for the last 10 days and is now ready for Stabilizing and Clearing. In this process, the specific gravity should now be 0.996 or less, and should also be stable and not change over two consecutive days. If it changes, let your wine continue to sit, checking the SG each day until it is done Mine is now sitting stable at 0.990.

Now that it has stabilized, we want to stop any residual fermentation from occurring and move off all of the used yeast, as well as any remaining clay left in suspension. This is accomplished in two steps. We also want to remove as much of the trapped gasses from within the liquid as possible. Using the wine thief, remove about a litre of the wine from the top of the carboy. This can be stored temporarily in a clean, steralized wine bottle. This will give you enough room in the carboy to stir it well without overflowing.

Next, we dissolve the packet of metabisulphite that came in the kit into a half bottle of bottled water, and add it to the carboy. The metabisulphite accomplishes two tasks, it will help to prevent any wild microorganisms from growing and it also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the color and flavor of the wine. As part of the chemical reaction it produces SO2. So this is where we drill mount paint stirrer comes in handy. Clean and sterilize the bit and then use it to mix the wine thoroughly. Mix for a minute or so and then let it rest until all the CO2 from the fermentation as well as the SO2 from the stabilizing have had a chance to subside. Then do it again, and again, and again. This is where I messed up on my very first batch, and did not do this enough. As a result my first wine had a carbonated mouth feel to it like a flat champagne. Now I go through a complete battery on my drill ensuring the CO2 is scrubbed off.

Next, empty the packet of Chitosan into the carboy. Derived from oyster shells and other shelfish, this additive joins with the free floating yeast particals, that were previosuly suspended by the bentonite clay and once joined, all three become more dense than the surrounding wine, and as a result fall to the bottom.

Stir the Chitosan in virgously using the drill bit then top up the carboy with the wine reserved earler and place an air lock back on top. Allow the wine to sit for another 8 days to give the settiment a chance to settle to the bottom. 

In 8 days we will rack the wine again from one carboy to another.

Here is the final step.



Making your own wine step two: racking and secondary fermentation

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So our wine has been bubbling away quietly for six days now, filling our laundry room with the fabulous scent of yeast turning grapes into alcohol.

If you missed the first part - it is here.

Today begins step two, racking the wine into a carboy and off of the oak chips, and allowing it to go through a secondary fermentation process.

This begins by ensuring the wine is now at a specific gravity of 1.010 or lower. If your wine is not at this level yet, leave it be for another few days. Depending on the season and subsequent;y if the temperature in your storage location is cooler, this can take longer. If you wine is stuck at 1.080 - 1.100 - then you may have what is called a stalled fermentation. Bummer. This can be caused by everything from temperatures out of range, bad yeast or (hopefully not) bacteria introduction that has killed the yeast.

There are many discussion boards and areas to find solutions to this problem - I like the Wine Maker Magazine and site. It has lots of good articles on this issue and getting started in general.

Drop the hydrometer into the wine thief and suck up a sample of your brew. - Don't forget to clean and sterilize it again, before you do this - remember, clean, clean clean. Your hydrometer has been sitting in a cabinet for a week now growing what ever you left on it, and you have a $100 investment in grapes here.

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Our wine is currently sitting at 1.000, perfect.

Take this opportunity to drop a few CC's of the wine from the wine thief into a wine glass and taste it. The wine is murky, and cloudy but has a great aroma and at this point tastes interesting. If you tasted the plain grapes a week ago, you can definitely tell a difference. Much less sweet, beginning to resemble wine. You can tell one of the byproducts of the fermentation process is CO2 as the wine has a carbonated mouth feel.

Time to clean a carboy and transfer the wine from the primary fermentation bucket. One of the items in most kits is an auto siphon. A bicycle pump like devise with a plastic tube. Place the bucket on a counter or above the carboy and the carboy on the floor. One quick pump and its off to the races.

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As the process moves along, I have found that placing a book or other object under the side of the primary fermentation bucket helps get the majority of the wine out with a minimum amount of the sludge. Remember the primary purpose is to rack off the oak and most of the sludge that has settled to the bottom in the last week. Don't 'stir' the wine with the siphon. Stick it into one spot, then leave it there.

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Here is a shot of the sludge left behind in the bottom of the bucket.

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As you get close to the end, be prepared to lift the end of the siphon above the surface of what is left, as to not overfill the carboy. I had a bit too much liquid in my bucket once on a previous batch and was not paying attention and overflowed the carboy. This is a mess you want to avoid if possible.... trust me.

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Once again check the temperature of the wine, and ensure it is in the sweet spot of 65-75 degrees. The brew store has these great aquarium temperature stickers that can be affixed to the outside of your carboy so you can monitor the temperature easily.  One trick I have read about if brewing during the dead of winter is to set the carboy on a old heating pad plugged in on low. Mine appears to be about 72 currently.

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Finally top off the bad boy with an air lock and its back into storage for another 10 days or so. Once fermentation has reached 0.996 or less and stabilizes, (remains the same over two consecutive days), we will begin the clarification process.

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Check back soon. This is a good time to have a glass of wine, and explore possibilities for what you are going to call it, and how you want to design the label!

Happy Mothers Day to everyone!

Step 3 is here



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