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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Watching first process in making Tequila

Saturday a.m.
We had such a great time last night I almost want to post about it first – but will continue on about our visit to Los Osuna Tequila to watch the first process in making Tequila.
On the way there we had to get around this obstacle first. And he wasn’t about to hurry or move out of our way. Finally after Bill blew the horn at him several times he gave us a disgusted look and wandered off the roadway.
The first thing we noticed when we got there was that all the uncooked piñas that had been in front were now moved closer to the ovens. And one of the ovens was open.
We could also see all of the cooked piñas that had been taken out of the oven. They were stacked next to the machine that would shred and crush them.
A look down into the empty oven. The pinas are cooked for eight hours then sit in the over at least four more hours. When taken out they are still hot.
The pole with the two prongs on it is used to remove the pieces of piña from the oven. Bill was asking how it was done.
Demonstration of removing the piñas from the oven – that looks like a lot of work considering how big the stack of cooked piñas is. A whole piñas weigh approximately 30 kilos – after cooking most seemed to be broken up.
There is a big machine that the piñas were put in one piece at a time. The first part of this machine crushes and tears the piña into fiber. 
As they are dropped in the worker has to duck as pieces fly out towards him as the pina is pulled into the machinery.
They traded back and forth putting the bulbs into the machine.
Pieces flying out - sometimes the pieces were really big.

A look at all the components – the uncooked piñas, the cooked piñas, the machinery and the fiber that comes out the other side of it.
The shredder part of the machine.
The fiber dropping out of the shredded onto the conveyer belt. The picture looks fuzzy because there is steam rising off the fibers.
This section of the machine crushes the fibers to extract the juice. Jessie told us that one pina will produce four liters tequila after all the processing is complete. The fibers are pressed four times. The second and third pressing produce the most liquid. We were there for the first pressing. Sometimes the fibers would jam up and a worker would climb up with a shovel or his bare hands to unjam the fibers. He is standing on the tub where the liquid gathers.
The fibers fall into a wheelbarrow. When one wheelbarrow is full another is put in its place. The fibers are dumped in a pile next to the machine to wait for the next pressing.
Busy time. Unjaming machine, changing wheelbarrows and some of the liquid pouring out into the tub.
The big pieces have all been shredded and pressed so all the little bits and pieces are shoveled up into buckets and the buckets are dumped into the machine. Every little piece counts.  
The pile of shredded fiber next to the machine.
Once everything was cleaned up production stopped so everyone could take a break. That is when we left. The next three processes would be completed later in the day.
The heart of one of the piñas – that part is delicious – very sweet – but doesn’t taste like tequila. The taste comes after the distilling process.

Here is an article about tequila and the tequila worm that I found on-line. Kind of interesting. http://www.allaboutworms.com/the-tequila-worm   Los Osuna is a small family owned tequila producer. One of the few outside of the state of Jalisco. To read about our visit to the town of Tequila and the tour of the Jose Cuervo plant visit here  - http://www.movingon1.com/tequila2.php
Just some pictures of last nights sunset.

Yesterday was a busy day - walked all over downtown and last night we went to Plazuela Machado for entertainment and dinner. Just a teaser about yesterday.

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