Friday, September 22, 2006

Measuring the Samplings: Part Deux

heh. Who wants to break into the Spongebob theme song? Aye, aye, Captain!

Connie's Post
OOOOOH! who measures brix at the level just above sea? irish, and cranky and sunburnt is he!

much further than i should have taken it, i suppose, but the refractometer (heh, just the word makes me giggle! c'mon, say it with me, ree-FRAACCTT--OOO-mmeeterrr.) totally brings out the worst jokes in me. well, that and a really good bottle of reisling on a friday.

this blog is a continuation of the previous blog, showing you how we determine when the grapes are ready for harvest. we follow our different proofing grape varieties' sugar levels (expressed in units called brix) after verasion, testing each week (see previous post for how i gather the sample). gerald is currently downstairs, punching down the cover of the sangiovese harvest, cranking the hand press and working with some glass carboys, so i'll not get much factoids from him. lucky for you and me, i scored a great web page find with tons of facts for your viewing pleasure:

tonight we will just be window dressing and eye candy for you. but totally look into that page.

very carefully, gerald measures out a drop of juice from the sampling that was squeezed and squirts it into the refractometer. Then he makes like a pirate and peers into the refractometer to see the measurement of the soluble solids (how the sugar level is expressed. did you even click on the link above?) when you peek inside a refractometer, you see a scale of sorts and the less blue you see, the higher the sugar level. after determining the sugar level, gerald diligently records the information in his vineyard journal. next, he pulls out a pH test strip in order to test the acidic levels in the juice. he dips it into the small juice container and takes the reading outside, in better light. he checks the strip up against the balance colors printed on the canister. then another recording in the journal. all the grapes ripen at different times (lucky us), so we stay busy throughout the month of September.

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