Gazza’s MuscRat fortified

23 Feb

That’s right, I said MustRat! It’s our kid name for the Muscat that today was to be fortified.

This morning I got into the skins with my feet again, discerned the detectable rise in heat, grabbed a sample and rushed back up to the lab to check the sugar level (Baume) and alcohol already produced on it. We don’t want it to drop too far, around about a 2% v/v alcohol drop would be perfect. The reading on the machine said that around 1.8 % v/v alcohol was present, which was a good thing, because it meant that Harry and I had to shift our arses into gear, get this thing cooled and pressed off then fortify it up!
But fortify it with what? SVR 96% v/v spirit of course!
Fortunately for us, the TARAC distillery is only 20 minutes away so we were able to receive some by 14:30 today. In the meantime, I got the mini-press out and loaded it up by bucketing in the two bins worth of Muscat fermenting skins and juice in, getting that going, then ending up with 250L more of juice than what we had originally anticipated! Awesome! More to go around!
The two winemakers and Stephen came around while I was working and Harry quizzed him about Gazza’s Undie Parade over the weekend to which Stephen commented that his glasses had fogged up upon entering the shed the first time, but gave me kudo’s for my spunky legs. Haha! Thanks!
Once that was ready it was a matter of waiting for the spirit to arrive then Harry and I added some sulfur, then dumped in like 80L of almost pure ethanol whilst mixing the tank.
That should kill those yeasties (shakes fist in the air)!
Stephen came and found me an hour later, telling me he’d gone to taste it. I was worried it might taste like jet fuel because it takes a while before the spirit and juice will be integrated, but he was impressed and said it is looking good. At least we didn’t overshoot how much we added. We considered a safety factor of around 10% because well, you can always add more, but once it’s in you can’t go back! So tomorrow we shall have a look and work out how far off we were then go from there. It tastes a little like fortified apricot marmalade at the moment! How about spreading that on your toast! What a shame…you can’t 😦

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