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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My Plonker is bigger then your Plonker, or Brix levels for dummies

This crumby picture is of the bins that the Boy is storing in his Partners Lockers, in our old apartment complex, which is 3 floors down. Nice temperature of 56F. Every night the Boy goes to the parking garage and punches down the cap. We had dinner with his folks and then the four of us drove over to see the wine and have the Boy explain to his parents how he spends his evenings. The total process to punch down the cap each night takes about 40 minutes. There is just a ton of cleaning and testing equipment that needs to be washed. Here is your word definition of the day, impress your friends and relatives.

Fruit skins, stems, and pulp that float to the surface during a fermentation. It is essential to "punch down" the cap into the wine during a red wine fermentation to extract valuable tannins and colored compounds as well as to discourage the proliferation of spoilage organisms in the cap.

Basically he takes a Plonker, which is exactly what it sounds like, a tool used to plonk or break up the spongy and dense consistency of the cap. The Boy's Plonker (I can hear you smirking, cut it out! ) is made out of PVC pipe. As you can see there are 2 bins. Both are Zinfandel, one bin has German yeasts and the other one has French... I think... Either way 'Ze Germans zeem tu be vinning'. The juice coming from the german yeasts and grapes are really a pleasant flavor. The cap needs to be punched down every day, twice a day. His partner does it during the day and at night is the Boys turn.
On a wine stained notebook in scrawly boy handwriting is the log in which the boy and his partner, David, keep track of the temperature readings of the wine and the brix level.
Allright I lied, here is your second definition of the day.

A measure of sugar content in grape juice, used particularly in the New world.

A large collection of organic compounds present in grapes as a result of photosynthesis. Sugar is the substrate utilized by yeast in the production of alcohol, a process known as fermentation.

After a few weeks it will not be so imperative to punch the cap twice a day. After a month we only punch down a couple times a week and then eventually take the wine off the skins.


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