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Winemaking Terms: Wood Aging to Yeast

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wood Aging:

 

This is the process of maturing wine in barrels or casks prior to bottling. This process allows young wines to soften and absorb some of the wood's flavors and tannins and allows the wine's flavors to become concentrated through slight evaporation through the wood. While oak is the overwhelming wood of choice for wood aging, mesquite, hickory, pecan, apple, orange, and cherry wood can also contribute unique qualities to wines aged with their chips or shavings. The taste a wood tends to impart in wine is that of its smell. 

 

Woody:

 

A wine fault denoting too much contact with wood, usually oak.

 

Yeast:

 

A unicellular fungi, principally of the genus Saccharomyces, capable of fermenting carbohydrates. Before adding yeast to a liquor or must to initiate active fermentation, it should be "started." After mixing the primary ingredients, but before adding crushed Campden tablet or other sterilizing compound to the must, set aside one cup of the liquor or juice into which the yeast nutrient (or energizer) is dissolved. Add 1/2 to one tsp. yeast, stir gently, and allow to sit, covered with a clean towel or cloth, in a warm place. Allow the culture to "bloom" (grow) a total of 24 hours since adding Campden to the must. Then add this cup of yeast culture to the must, stir and cover, and allow the yeast to "do its thing."

 

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