In the evening, after the yeasts had quieted, I set about setting about my secondary fermentation. I emerged from the sulfuric hot spring (i.e.: cleaning my equipment in the bathroom). Once the reek of rotten eggs lifted and my various tubes dried, I arranged the plastic rubber octopus into action.
My yeasts had done a brilliant job but they needed one last chance to ferment off any remaining sugars. So after a few forced pumps of the tubes and my wife’s help, the wine frothed into the clear carboy. The book: “Archaeologies of Memory”, edited by Ruth M. Van Dyke & Susan E. Alcock, Malden: 2003, once central to my master’s thesis, now served as a better leverage to keep the settled sediment at the back of the fermentation tank and out of my tubes.
The yeasts had dissolved quite a bit of CO2 into the wine during fermentation. Near the end of pouring, a pink but very manly foam developed from this remaining gas. Another week would let it breath off.For the sake of science, we tasted the “wine”. The yeasts had left the liquid quite hazy. The nose had gained more red current and apple pie qualities with a harsh metallic ring from the CO2. I took a sip, trying to not dwell on the dead, zombie-like yeast carcasses passing my lips.
The palate was gleefully dry and warmingly alcoholic with not a trace of sweetness (I love you goodly, honest hydrometer). A new but balanced acidity and structure of tannins had become apparent as well. The floral, cherry and red berry notes equally persisted from the last tasting: this all seemed like Barbaresco. Annoyingly, however, the finish closed with a light fizzy and bread-like, sourdough quality.
No bottling yet. Patience, patience. Next week would give the CO2 time to evaporate and the suspended yeast cells time to separate from the wine.