Like my morning paper, another day of reading a near 1.000 SG leaves few surprises. With no CO2 bubbling about, I rack the must back into the glass carboy to kick out loitering bubbles.
After a day of “real” work, I come home and look for CO2 bubbles and off smells.
The next step requires stabilizing the must. The yeasts need to stay dead, or I will have another riot of Pompeii-amphitheatric proportions. So I turn to chemical warfare.Last time, I blindly used a packet of metabisulfite & Vitamin (E) C, which stabilized the Barbarescocanadianwelches. I think. This time, my arms included potassium sorbate and a sulphite (in the handy form of a Campden Potassium Metabisulphite tablet). Combining the sorbate and the sulphite will create sorbic acid. Like the love child of Juno and Jupiter, my Mars-like acid will halt any further yeast orgies.With yeasts vanquished, their CO2 no longer blankets and protects the must from oxidizing. I would like to avoid blueberry vinegar. Instead of panicking like last time (over topping off the must with “real” wine, or worse, water), I turn again to my trusty Private Preserve can-o-neutral gasses.
After an over-thorough spray, I cap the airlock and wait for tomorrow’s fun.
A new rise of Sol’s chariot sees me ready to clear the must. Proteins and yeast cells still float about in a haze of negative energy. Kieselsol and Chitosan led the charge last time, positively zapping the yeasts, which, in turn, bound into heavy lees and sank. Great. Regrettably, Chitosan comes from crustacean shells, while Kieselsol is liquid silicon dioxide. Why kill crabs and, um, silicons, when more crab-friendly alternatives exist?
Thus, I choose Sparkolloid Powder. Sparkolloid mixes polysaccharides (from fungi or seaweed) with diatomaceous earth (hard shell algae fossils). Without offending any central nervous systems, I boil water and add the powder.
This whole fining process would not be necessary with more time and wine. But with too much airspace, hot summer days and my impatience, I needed to speed it up. So I stir in the Sparkolloid, re-spray the must, airlock it and wait.