Folie a Deux Crush Fantasy

Heat, Hydration & Hydrometers by Crush Crusader
September 4, 2008, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Harvest Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , ,

DAY 5:  Today was very hot, about 100 degrees to be exact. And it felt like a sauna, believe me. We had to make sure we were all very well hydrated especially since we were in the middle of crushing sauvignon blanc and zinfandel and running around everywhere. Yup, I believe we received something like 50-60 tons of sauvignon blanc and 40-50 tons of zinfandel. That’s over 100 tons of grapes to crush, in over 100 degree heat… and the weather forecast is calling for more extreme highs! Ah yes, all just a day in the life of a harvest intern.

In between crush sessions, I also started learning how to take wine samples and record the brix (sugar measurment) and temp levels. The winemaking team likes to be able to watch how the sugar levels are moving along during fermentation. First, wine samples are taken from the tank or barrel and put into a tall cylinder. The wine at this point is still fermenting, so there can be some foam present, making it difficult to get an accurate reading. Second, I dropped the hydrometer in the cylinder and waited till it leveled out. Finally, I recorded the temp and added the appropriate amount to the brix level according to the temp. It’s all part of the process, and I’m learning something new every day.

Longer day today. Day 5, done at 5:30 pm. 12hr day… time for rest.


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How are the grapes this season? We were in the East Bay area most of April, all of June and most of July and the weather was hotter than normal. When we visited the winery, the gal that served us said the heat may have affected the crops.

Comment by Rhonda Howard

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