LA COTTURA

Il mosto, dapprima raffreddato, viene lasciato decantare a basse temperature 2/3°C per alcuni giorni prima della cottura.
Ad una attenta pulizia segue la delicata fase della cottura che richiede un’enorme cura, esperienza ed attenzione.
Moderne caldaie d’acciaio, a vaso aperto e a fuoco diretto, regolano la temperatura affinché il processo si compia in poche ore e senza subire stress fisici che potrebbero altrimenti dare origine ai gusti di strinato/bruciato o comunque ad altre imperfezioni.

LA FERMENTAZIONE ALCOLICA

La quasi raddoppiata concentrazione zuccherina e la sterilizzazione, frutto della cottura, predispongono il mosto ad accogliere particolari lieviti, selezionati naturalmente da ceppi autoctoni nel corso delle generazioni direttamente dalle nostre Famiglie.
L’operosità di questi microrganismi un tempo regolata dal naturale susseguirsi delle stagioni (recentemente sempre più bizzarro) oggi non ci porterà più a San Martino con:

«..dal ribollir de’ tini va l’aspro odor dei vini l’anime a rallegrar…» (G. Carducci)

Oggi, infatti, tramite contenitori refrigerati, la fermentazione naturale avviene moderatamente e linearmente senza così bruciare aroma alcuno con il “proprio ribollire”.

LA BI-OSSIDAZIONE ACETICA

Con i primi tepori della primavera l’alcool viene poi trasformato in acido acetico da altrettanto particolari e caratteristici microrganismi: gli acetobatteri.
Solo dopo aver lentamente sviluppato un elevato grado di acidità, in grosse e vecchie botti (dette botti madri o badesse), il mosto andrà a rincalzare, negli anni successivi, i primi barili delle batterie.

Commenti (2)

  • Lafabrique

    Dear Acetaia del Cristo,

    I’m a French/American student studying the production of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar for my degree in Biotechnology. I have a few technical questions I was hoping could be answered.

    I have read that with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar the grape must never goes through vinification. The must is concentrated to a high level of sugar and transferred directly into oak barrels for the aging process.

    I was wondering, how within production, yeast contamination is avoided. Ambient yeast or even barrel contamination with such a high degree of sugar could be the start of an alcoholic fermentation. With certain AA bacteria, the sugar, pH and ethanol levels could effect their oxidation potential. How do Traditional Balsamic producers avoid high (>2%) residual alcohol?

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

    • Gilberto BARBIERI

      Dear Roxanne,
      thank for you interest in Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.
      I hope you did not read those things in our material.
      Please can you tell me where did you find them?
      Traditional Balsamic Vinegar PDO is 100% grape must, cooked, fermentated, vinegarized and aged minumum 12 years in wood barrels.
      It MUST pass through vinification process, but after the cooking process.
      All the parameters you mentioned effect the correct life and result of Traditional Balsamic.
      First the cooking process must respect the “life” parameters for the subsequent vinification by the yeast:
      · maximum 12 hours on direct fire and open cauldron average temperature 85°C (in order to avoid HMF generation)
      · maximum concentration 27/30° babo (in order to not penalize Fructose sugar against Glucose in first and then also during the subsequent alcoholic fermentation)
      · yeast are natural and NOT selected, de-hydrated etc…
      · the alcohol is necessary for the subsequent acetic bi oxidation in order to evolve in acetic acid
      Second the Acetification process:
      · it happens naturally inside the biggest wood barrels called “mother barrels” or “badesse”
      · usually it happens in a year; the process is quick but it needs the right equilibrium between the various parameter conditions (such as sugar, ph, °C, ecc..)
      Finally the ageing:
      · in groups of barrels (minimun 5, best 7) called “batteria”
      · “batterias” are stored at the highest floor of the house, under the roof
      · barrel can be in different woods (oak, chestnut, mulberry, juniper, cherry, ash-tree) and growing sizes.
      · barrels are open, protected by a little cotton towel
      · each year, after winter time, little quantities (about 10% of each content) are moved from the biggest to the smallest barrel
      · only after 12 years for the Traditional and 25 years for the Traditional Extra-Old the 10% of the smallest barrel only can be bottled (it should be less than the 3% of the total content in the whole “batteria”)
      With such a long process, in open barrels and high summer temperatures the residual alcohol is null.
      The other practice you mentioned is usual for both “Balsamic Condiments” and “PGI Balsamic Vinegar of Modena”, they cook so much the grape must so then they mix it with a variable quantity of wine vinegar (max.12% acidity).
      · Fifty/fifty maximum for the PGI in order to respect the minimum acidity of 6% as requested for a vinegar.
      · For the “condiments” they use less wine vinegar in order to obtain a much sweet and syrupy result…
      The following staying in big barrels for the “ageing” is just to best amalgamate the recipe.
      Hope to be useful, and that you will share this on our website.
      In these days we are harvesting and cooking, if you have the chance we wait for you in our Acetaia.
      Please don’t hesitate if you have more questions.
      Sincerly,
      Gilberto Barbieri
      ACETAIA DEL CRISTO

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