So, I climbed inside to try to coerce the lees out of the drain. I won't linger too long on the fact that I fell down and landed on my behind into the lees. It wasn't pretty, but it was cold. My little wet butt was cold all the way up to the farmhouse to take a shower. Did I mention it is 40 degrees today? Still didn't get the lees out; they'll wait for Plan B (whatever that is.)
The first picture is showing the tartrate crystals caked on the side. This is good because now they aren't in my wine anymore. This is also kind of bad, because since we emptied the tank today, they are still kind of wet, so they are easy (easier) to get off the side of the tank, but since the lees will be in there at least all of today, the tartrates will dry, therefore solidifying them forever more (sometimes it seems like) onto the inside of the tank.
In the second picture you can see #1 Just how big this tank is; #2 the lees that are the consistancy of applesauce on the bottom of the tank; and #3 the tartrates clinging to the side of the tank.
The last picture is the hole I climb in and out of the tank. Did I mention that I am 6 months pregnant? Good times. If I was any further along my belly nor my bottom would fit through this hole (at least that's what I plan to tell my assisstant tomorrow.)