Procrastination and Chemistry

Procrastination. A loaded word with a negative undertone. Last long-change, I swore off this habit, purposely sitting down for 1-2 hours a day to get my master’s paper written. Highly enlightening.

While I did sit for those 6-10 hours my first five days off, it really wasn’t until my final day of freedom that I actually accomplished anything. Hypothesis: procrastinating is only a bad habit if not harnessed properly.

This long-change, I’ve found a way to beat the system. Instead of wasting 5 days trying to work when it probably won’t happen (research turns into a highly distracting rabbit hole when the internet is involved) I’m going to block off my last day and spend the rest of the week doing things I love. Prediction: the paper will still get finished in time.

Now that we have that scientific experiment laid out (will let you know how testing and analysis turns out) let’s look at my favourite science: chemistry.

Disclosure: Prior to making my own wine, I may have inwardly mocked people who “made” wine from kits. After being involved in the process for 12 days now, I take that all back.

Today I threw in the hydrometer and our wine passed the specific gravity test, which means we’re onto the next step! For directions on how to use one, Mike’s Brewing has a great diagram/explanation here. Also, if you’re drinking while brewing, this step can be especially confusing. [not recommended]

The ice-cream pail of fermented grapes (pictured) will be put into a carboy and sit for another 20 days for secondary fermentation with a sulphite filled airlock. It smells alcohol-ish, but not in an ‘I would drink this’ way. You may notice the pail looks a bit grungy and be questioning our sterilizing abilities. Never fear, this is just sediment from the must. In step 3 it will be filtered out prior to bottling.

I often wondered if my chem eng degree would ever really be useful. I suppose this is as good as it gets. Specific gravity, meniscus, hydrometer…. If we can pull off this batch of wine, my 4 years of undergrad will definitely be worth it.

Anyways, happy fermenting all! I’m off to tackle my other projects.

*Side note: I would recommend (for those of you in colder climates) to not start fermenting your wine in the middle of winter. The cost of heating our house to the necessary 20-25 Celcius slightly cuts into the economy of DIYing.


This entry was published on February 4, 2014 at 10:21 pm. It’s filed under DIY Projects, Wine and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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