Cellar rat this morning

I am feeling more confident in the cellar after the last month, that is where I spent a good part of my morning.  My group gathered at the now-inoculated Syrah bin; we are pretty excited about this wine.  We used buckets to move several gallons from the stainless vat to a relatively small poly tank so the fermentation won’t overflow.  It made quite a mess on the floor – but that is just the way it is.

Last night we left off with just the small tools cleaned and put away, this morning we had to do the bigger cleaning, which now included the floor.  Water washed the stray purple berries toward the drains, squeegees corralled them the rest of the way there.  I dismantled the drains, cleaned out all of the fruit skins, stems and misc. stuff and scrubbed the grating to be sure nothing was stuck; there are two drains.  Leaving the fruit in the drains encourages fruit flies and we do not want fruit flies.

The large trash cans full of sanitizing chemicals were poured over the floor and washed down with clear water, further removing the bits and pieces of fruit.  Again we squeegeed the floor and then we refilled each of the three cans with their  respective chemical solutions for cleaning through the day.

A few years ago my daughter, working at a hospital, exclaimed that we kept our house cleaner than the hospital.  I guess that is going to serve me well in the wine cellar.  If there is something that you can see that needs cleaning, you can bet there are microscopic things that could ruin your wine in a hurry also needing to be cleaned up.

My camera stayed upstairs, all that water wouldn’t have been good for it.  But this photo was sent to me by Fiona:

Tim Donahue, our illustrious leader punching down the Syrah to mix the yeast around.
Tim Donahue, our illustrious leader punching down the Syrah to mix the yeast around.

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