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.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bali Rights

Bali is home to plenty of world-renowned surf breaks (Uluwatu, Padang Padang, etc.), most of which are lefts. Still, this small island has some world-class rights as well (of course, the AP wouldn't hold the Oakley Pro Bali at Keremas otherwise). Most of Bali's right-hand breaks are best during Wet Season, though this year's extended transitional period means there are still plenty of good, clean days on Bali's 'other coast'. This spot has been pretty much empty the past couple weeks!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Oakley Pro Bali All Wrapped Up

Bali has seen some interesting weather patterns the past few days, with more unseasonal wet weather combined with a large SSW groundswell. Tradewinds have yet to truly kick in, providing epic conditions for the World Tour surfers throughout the Oakley Pro Bali held at Keramas over the past couple weeks.

Joel Parkinson pulled out the victory, defeating Michel Bourez in a close final. Parkinson surfed well throughout the contest, including a perfect heat score in Round 5 to narrowly defeat John John Florence 20 points to 19.20. Check out the highlights and results on the Oakley Pro Bali website. 

My good friend Chad Bolth (Hakenvisual Photography) was onsite shooting the action in and out of the water and was kind enough to share a couple with me (Above: Parkinson, re-entry with style and flare. Below: Slater's iconic bottom turn). Thanks Chad!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bali Triathlon - Safe?

The 7th annual Bali Triathlon was held on the 23rd of June. This international event attracts competitors from all over the world who were not only fighting to win, but fighting to survive as they cycled through and along some of Bali's busiest roads (some of which are the ONLY options for motorists trying to get from point A to B).

I was driving with my friends along Bali's ever-crowded Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai in route for a surf. The traffic was dismal (far worse than usual) since one lane had been closed off for the bike portion of the triathlon. Despite police and volunteer efforts, it was eventually (and not surprisingly) overrun by impatient drivers, posing significant danger to competitors. Many competitors chose to jump over the center median to continue, cycling directly into oncoming traffic! This road is dangerous enough on a motorbike, much less a bicycle, much less riding into oncoming traffic!
I know it must be difficult setting a course for such an event on this congested island. The swim and run courses made sense, and obviously the cycling course would need to be adjacent to these. Still, why not hold this event in the significantly less-crowded northern territories of Bali?

This is what the organizers had to say the evening after the event:
In seven years, over three thousand athletes have completed the Bali International Triathlon events, including the 5K Fun Run. Most of these athletes had the experience of their lives, some returning year after year to participate. In those seven years, there have been only a few injuries requiring serious medical attention, including one in 2011 where an athlete stepped into a hole on the run course, and one in 2012 where an athlete was removed from the run course due to dehydration. Our safety record in the past seven years has been nothing short of remarkable.
Athlete safety is and remains our number one concern.

This year, as in the past, over 400 police and pechalang were hired to monitor the course. They managed to divert a large portion of the overwhelming number of cars and motorcycles attempting to ride on the course. Their jobs were not perfectly done, and we recognize that improvements must continue to be made. You have our commitment that for 2014 the Bali International Triathlon will remain a world class event, and that athlete safety improvements will continue to be made.
Granted, their safety history is impressive (very impressive given the circumstances). Organizers really need to think long and hard about how to improve the course, and not rely on luck for future events.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Going Pro

With minimal swell in the water yesterday, I decided to skip on surfing and try out my new GoPro Hero2 (courtesy of Brandcast). I fashioned a wrist strap out of an old surfboard leash and did a little bodysurfing. I'm still trying to get the hang of it (this was its inaugural trip), but this thing is awesome!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wine Phenols - Red Varietal Processing Considerations

See previous posts on Wine Phenols: Flavonoids & Nonflavonoids, Tannins & Anthocyanins, White Varietal Processing. See previous posts on red varietals: Red Varietal Fermentation Vessels, Successful Fermentation - Red Varietals (Part I, Part II).

Wine phenols are of particular concern during red varietal processing. I discussed successful fermentation for red varietals at length (including their effects on phenol components) in a previous two-part series: Successful Fermentation - Red Varietals (Part I, Part II). As noted previously, choosing the right fermentation vessel is a key.

My next article will focus on oak additives and vessels, and their use during fermentation in maturation for red and white varietals.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Respect Locals

I spotted this interesting graffiti tag overlooking Bali's most famous surf break.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Surfing Borrowed Boards

After snapping three boards in three weeks, I've been surfing borrowed boards from my friend John while I await my new Alexander Surfboards quiver (I do still have an old 6'2'' but it's rather dinged up and takes in a lot of water; I call it my 'training board'). John also rides boards from Alexander and has an enviable quiver (not just to someone like me who has none!).
John's boards are significantly different to mine, so it's been interesting adjusting my surfing. I've mainly been riding his 6'10'' retro thruster, which rides really well but happens to have about twice as much floatation as my usual 6'1''; with such small swell around, it's almost like being on a longboard for me!

Photos here are of me, provided by ESP. If you're down in the Bingin or Impossibles area, make sure to pop in and say hi to Mul! He's there shooting pretty much everyday, and you're bound to end up with some great shots if your in the lineup. Conact him via e-mailfacebook, or call him at either +6281916727595 or +6285738677532.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wine Phenols - White Varietal Processing Considerations

See previous posts on Wine Phenols: Flavonoids & Nonflavonoids, Tannins & Anthocyanins.

White varietal processing is largely aimed at minimizing phenolic extraction (except with the use of oak addtivies). This starts with harvesting. Machine harvesting grapes leads to greater berry breakage and increased skin/seed/stem contact compared to hand picking. Hand-picked grapes will usually undergo whole cluster pressing because maintaining the berry structure for as long as possible will help keep soluble solids to a minimum. With machine harvested fruit, pressing grapes as soon as possible will help limit phenolic extraction by decreasing skin contact.

Short-term skin contact (up to 12 hours) is particularly common with aromatic varietals such as Gewurztraminer, Albarino, and Sauvignon Blanc; this is typically desired for increased extraction of aromatic compounds and aromatic precursors rather than phenols. During these processes, phenolic extraction is kept to a minimum through the use of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide (limit oxidation) and during solids separation procedures.

Separation of free-run and press-fraction juice is commonly practiced in wineries (this will be discussed in more depth in a separate post). In regards to phenolics, press-fraction juice will have higher concentrations of flavonoid phenols due to higher soluble solids and increased contact with stems and seeds, and higher concentrations of hydrolyzable tannins due to oxidation.

Additives during pressing and solids separation are commonly used to decrease phenolic extraction. Sulfur dioxide is commonly added to machine harvested grapes pre-pressing to limit oxidation. Various commercially-produced enzymes, primarily pectinase, aid with the removal of soluble solids during solids separation activities (enzymes and solids separation will be discussed in depth in a following post). Bentonite, PVPP, and gelatine are all applicable for fining pre-fermentation and post-fermentation. Bentonite does not directly react with phenols but does help precipitate protein-phenol complexes; it is often used in conjunction with enzymes during cold settling to decrease soluble solids and create more compact lees. PVPP (polyvinylpolypyrolidone) is used specifically for removal of flavonoid phenols, while gelatine is more effective for removal of nonflavonoids. All fining agents can have a negative effect on aromatic compounds, so they are often considered a double-edged sword and application must be done carefully.

Hyperoxidation can also be used to remove phenols in white grape juice. This technique is primarily used on press-fraction juice and requires minimal sulfite levels. The juice is saturated with oxygen, leading to oxidation and sedimentation of phenolic compounds. Just like using fining agents, this technique will often lead to significant losses of aromatic compounds.

Oak may also be used during fermentation and maturation with various white varietals, most notably Chardonnay (oak and oak additives will be discussed in a following post).

Phenolic extraction with white varietals is desired by an increasing number of winemakers in order to produce desired wine styles with more body and mouthfeel.

The increasing popularity of 'Orange wine' in the modern market is just one example (no, this is nothing new; on-skins fermented whites have been produced for thousands of years). Some winemakers are beginning to think differently, using on-skin ferments and high-solids ferments to produce blending components. These wines often lack desired aromatics and flavours but have structure; integrated into blends, they produce wines of character that have the best of both worlds.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Last Wave for my Single Fin

My 6'9'' Alexander Surfboards single fin was one of my favorite boards ever. It basically served as my big-wave board last year here in Indonesia, though I surfed it on plenty of smaller days too. I was pretty heart-broken when I snapped it a couple weeks ago, but atleast Mul from ESP got a pretty cool shot of my last wave. The board snapped while paddling back out; some guy stupidly ditched his board on top of me while trying to avoid a set, leaving me with 1 foot of board and a hazardous swim back to the beach.
Instead of getting a replica, I'm working with Jeff to take the best qualities of that board and update it with a more modern bottom (and a couple other tweaks). It's just finished getting shaped, so hopefully it will be getting glassed this next week!

Photo provided by ESP. If you're down in the Bingin or Impossibles area, make sure to pop in and say hi to Mul! He's there shooting pretty much everyday, and you're bound to end up with some great shots if your in the lineup. Conact him via e-mailfacebook, or call him at either +6281916727595 or +6285738677532.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wine Phenols - Tannins & Anthocyanins

See previous posts on Wine Phenols: Flavanoids & Nonflavanoids.

There are several different types of tannins naturally occurring in grape stems, skins, and seeds. Tannins attribute to a wine's astringency, mouthfeel, aroma, and color stability due to their reaction with proteins (including those in wine, in our saliva, and in our food). Tannins (also referred to as complex phenols or polyphenols) are polymers of phenols, and can be classed as hydrolyzable or condensed.

Hydrolyzable Tannins - These tannins are based on nonflavonoid phenols and exist primarily as esters; they are oxidative and relatively easily decomposed via hydrolysis. Hydrolyzable tannins are derivatives of gallic acid, which esterifies to the most simple form known as gallotannins. The most common form of gallotannin is pentagalloyl glucose (PGG), though there are many variations. When coupling of galloyl groups occurs, ellagitannins are formed.

Hydrolyzable tannins represent a small portion of tannins present in wine, and are primarily derived from commercial tannin additives and oak during maturation. They are generally considered as soft tannins (i.e. are not harsh or very astringent) that lead to a pronounced but rounder mouthfeel. (These tannins will be discussed at more length during a following post).

Condensed Tannins - Also referred to as proanthocyanidins/proanthocyanins because of their ability to polymerize with anthcyanins, condensed tannins are based on flavonoid phenols. These tannins cannot be easily decomposed by hydrolysis, and are made of catechins (and epicatechins) sourced from grape seeds (> 50%) and, to a lesser extent, grape stems and skins. Catechins from seeds and stems are perceived as very bitter and astringent due to their low degree of polymerization, while catechins from skins are seen as more beneficial to wine quality due to a higher degree of polymerization and are the easiest to extract.

Condensed tannin levels decrease during maturation as they react with proteins (including anthocyanins) and polymerize to form long-chain polymers. They are typically present in younger wines as dimers or trimers, but can polymerize during maturation to molecules with up to 14 flavonoid units. Longer-chain tannins tend to be perceived as less bitter but more astringent, considered more favorable for wine quality.

Anthocyanins - Anthocyanins attribute the color of red grapes and are present in grape juice as glyosides. Composed largely of luecoanthocyadinins and luecoanthocyanins flavonoid phenols, this group has very little effect on a wine's bitterness or astringency. There are typically five forms found in wine grapes/juice (vitis vinifera), the most common being malividin-3-D-glucoside.

Anthocyanin stability and resulting color is dependent on several factors including pH, sulfur, and polymerization. Here's some examples:
  • Potential red color is only 50% visible in wine with pH values greater than 3.0 (almost all wine). 
  • Sulfur dioxide binds to carbon 4, the same site as other phenolic compounds (i.e. condensed tannins), inhibiting polymerization which may lead to temporary or permanent decolorization (depending on stage of processing, which will be discussed in a following post). 
  • Polymerization rate rapidly increases in the presence of acetaldehyde.
  • A fine balance between enough and too much polymerization has been noted; reactions between anthocyanins and highly polymerized anthocyanidins (condensed tannins) can form instable compounds that will precipitate and decrease color.

Continue to read White Varietal Processing Considerations.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bingin Surf by ESP - Agus Dag Sumertasaya

I first met Dag when he was a young kid learning to surf out at Bingin. His potential was obvious from the start, and I'm glad to see that he's really come into his own the past few years. His surfing is continually improving. Whether he's dominating the lineup at his home break, pulling into barrels at Padang Padang, or wowing judges in competitions throughout Indonesia, Dag is going to be someone to look out for over the next few years. Though he's uncertain if he wants to pursue a competitive career or not, he will be one of Indonesia's top surfers either way. Seriously, how many surfers do you know that can get a switch foot barrel like this?

Photos provided by ESP. If you're down in the Bingin or Impossibles area, make sure to pop in and say hi to Mul! He's there shooting pretty much everyday, and you're bound to end up with some great shots if your in the lineup. Conact him via e-mailfacebook, or call him at either +6281916727595 or +6285738677532.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

When Does Bali's Wet Season End?

While it varies from year to year, Wet Season in Bali usually begins sometime in October and continues through April. Average temperatures tend to be more humid and slightly warmer during Wet Season, and of course significantly more rainfall.October/November and March/April tend to be transitional periods, with a mix of weather patterns.
It seems like the Dry Season is really yet to arrive here in Bali. This May has been rather strange, with far more weather patterns typically associated with Wet Season. It's been hot and humid, raining often in the afternoons and nights, and less trade wind activity (winds blowing East or Southeast). This has led to welcome surf opportunities at breaks usually not surfed this time of year, allowing me and few other like-minded surfers to avoid the crowds associated with Bali's western Bukit coast (spots like Uluwatu, Padang Padang, and Bingin).