Day 4: September 18, 2007

Today is the part of our drama where something goes wrong and everyone gets scared, but they know that our hero will find some sort of way out of the jam and we’ll live happily ever after with wine.

Yesterday, I started detecting a sulfur smell in the winery (and, for once, it wasn’t because I had been eating Thai food again…jk). I did some research, and it turns out that the yeast wasn’t happy and was/is giving off Hydrogen Sulfide. It’s a common problem, and one that’s curable if you identify it and treat it. Treatment just involves giving the yeast more food (nitrogen in particular) and then aerating the wine before fermentation stops, but after you press.

I added more yeast food this afternoon, and I’ll add more late tonight. The smell has started to go away. With some aerating, everything should be back to normal.

The other problem is that the wine is going to be ready to press tomorrow, but I want to give it a little more time on the skins (to get more color). So, to deal with this, I need to slow down the fermentation by cooling down the must. So, today, I went out and bought 5 30lb bags of ice and lowered them into the fermenters (inside of other bags so that we don’t accidentally water down the wine). This has already lowered the temperature by 4 or so degrees.

I’ve rented a press for Thursday. Are any of you available to help during the day? It’s possible that we could do it after work Thursday, but not ideal…because it would be dark.

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