While my focus is inside with winemaking, the vines have been enthusiastic breaking their buds, with new shoots just beginning their stretch upward toward the top wire. There is a concern with one vine which has shoots forming on one cordon but only one small bud just breaking through on the other.
Plenty of time to cover the vineyard in the coming months, so now back to the winemaking.
Primary Fermentation (Part Two): As hinted in the last post, and evidenced by the picture, I had some issues with an overly enthusiastic fermentation. The first day everything seemed to be going well but after 24 hours I noticed the bubbles were heading up to the airlock. There are differing opinions on whether an airlock is necessary or not at this stage; my kit said to use and airlock so I did. As I watched that next night, the bubbles were pushing into the airlock. I decided, to remove the airlock and cover the opening of the carboy with a glass. I noticed a couple of fruit flies flitting about, to keep them out, I used a paper towel as a breathable seal (as seen in the picture above). It did the trick for that evening, the next day when the foam production slowed down I was able to go back to the airlock, as I was afraid a fruit fly would make its way through the folds of the paper towel into the wine. Seems my fears were warranted, the next day there were two flies floating in the fluid in the airlock. The flies were problematic. I opened a bottle of wine and came back in about 20 minutes to pour a glass, only to find seven fruit flies that flew into the bottle now floating in my glass. I figured perhaps that is a good way to exterminate them so left a small amount of wine in a bottle and left it on the counter, three days later; I had a wine bottle with lots of dead fruit flies floating about, sad to lose the bit of wine but worth it to lose all the flies.
Up next is my adventures in racking for a, hopefully, fruit flyless secondary fermentation.