Sorry I haven't been very active here lately, but I'm currently working on some new content and updating my site. Forgive me for any pages that aren't functioning properly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ferry Adventures

Traveling around Indonesia inevitably means island hopping. Depending on the destination, there are usually several different options available that all have their positives and negatives. Time-consuming, frustrating, and uncomfortable are a couple of descriptors used when referring to ferries, but they are also usually the cheapest mode of transport. I personally enjoy ferrying because you get to see a side of Indonesia that many tourists don't. Plus, I'm pretty cheap.
If you think smartly, you can always figure out ways to make your journey less stressful and more comfortable.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

If You Don't Look...

Since the first surfers arrived in the 1970's, Bali has become a famous destination for surfers; spots like Uluwatu and Padang are considered world-class. With fame comes crowds, and the Bukit Peninsula is well populated with surfers these days. Bali has plenty of waves elsewhere, and some that are still seldom ridden or seen. Some friends and I came across this spot, and settled on the name Black Plain Mustard. If you don't look, you don't find.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bali Flat Spell

This past week has seen the longest flat spell of my entire stay here in Indonesia. I can't lie and say that it's been a welcomed break, but I guess two months of good swell comes with a price; I can't complain, especially when I'm enjoying sunsets like this. Plus, it's been nice to relax a bit and get some other work done, along with planning what I'll get into next.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lay Day

Another swell arrived Saturday, far smaller than expected again. The high pressure system over Australia right now is producing some high winds and pushing the swell off. I did have an awesome session on a borrowed 7'6" fun board on Saturday, followed by a lay day yesterday when I stayed out of the water and let my wounds heal a bit. I also had the time to edit a few shots from a couple weeks back. One of my favorite parts of traveling are the people I meet along the way; it's quite interesting that I always seem to hang out with some New Zealanders. The first shot below is Izzy, s-turning hard, and the second is Saul, cruising into a little barrel section.
Saul even took a break in between surfs to take a few photographs of me. Thanks bro.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Successful Wine Fermentation - Selecting the Right Yeast (Part II)

I mentioned several factors to consider when selecting yeast for fermentation in the previous post. Grape varietal and wine style are often the most important factor to consider. For example, one may want to avoid a vigorous, high-alcohol tolerant yeast like Lalvin EC-1118 (prise de mousse) when residual sugar (RS) is desired after fermentation; ferment will be far easier to control and stop with a weaker yeast such as EnoFerm M1. If fermenting lower quality red varietals, one may want to choose a yeast such as RC-212 that will provide enhanced color extraction and stability.

Fruit quality and price-point are two other major considerations. Poorer fruit quality requires more attention due to several factors, including decreased nutrients and presence of undesirable microorganisms. In contrast, grapes and juice destined for low price-point wines typically receive far less attention and monetary input. A winemaker doesn't want to use expensive specialty yeast like Zymaflore Alpha to ferment fruit destined for the bulk market or cask wine; it's not cost-effective. Poor quality fruit destined for a higher price-point product shouldn't be fermented with indigenous yeast and should instead be inoculated at a higher rate.
Different yeasts require different conditions during fermentation to perform with optimal kinetics. Selecting the right yeast requires determining what conditions in will need to perform under; brix (sugar level), temperature, desired ferment rate, tank vs. barrel fermentation, nutrient availability, and desire to do malolactic fermentation all need to be considered.

When higher brix grapes are required to ferment to dryness (less than 2 g/L RS), then a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance is required. When fermenting wine in barrel (common for varietals such as Chardonnay), a low-foaming yeast is typically desired to avoid spillovers; a yeast with a high flocculation rate and high glycerol and polysaccharide production is often desired as well to bolster body in these wines and with reds like Cabernet Sauvignon. Just like yeast, malolactic bacteria require certain conditions including a certain pH balance once alcoholic fermentation is completed; if a winemaker desires to put a wine through malolactic fermentation, a yeast may be chosen that will not produce high levels of sulfur dioxide and either produce or reduce the titratable acidity (TA).

Yeast manufacturers typically provide extensive recommendations for each of their yeast strains, so make sure and do a little research before deciding on a yeast. Usually manufacturers recommend varietals that will ferment well with the strain, along with basic fermentation kinetics, condition requirements, and expected aromas/flavors. Just keep in mind that these recommendations are based off their research; there is still a lot of unknown variables in fermentation that can lead to significantly different outcomes.

Continue on to 'Successful Fermentation - Preparing Juice/Must for Inoculation'.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pretty Solid in Bali

Last week saw a decent run of swell, particularly on this day. I was actually surprised when I saw these photographs; I was calling it 6 foot when I was in the lineup but everyone else was telling me I was crazy. The second shot is Clint Reid, a friend of my from New Zealand who is always chasing big surf wherever he is. The first and third were taken of yours truly. It was a fun session, besides when I got caught inside, the reef sucked dry, and I diced my hands a little bit.