Monday, January 4, 2010

Fermentation, Day 2

Last night I turned up the electric blanket to high because the temperature of the must was dropping in my cold cellar. I also wrapped some foam around the thing to hold in the heat and put some towels over the top of the fermenter to minimize heat loss.

This morning (day 2 of fermentation) I got up at 7 AM and immediately checked the fermenting must. Temp was up to 85 and by the beautiful smell in the cellar, I can tell that things are cooking. (Smells like yeast...a little like baking bread). The cap had risen (grapes on the top of the must buoyed up by the bubbles released by fermentation). I covered everything back up, got the kids off to school, then went back down at 9 AM to punch the cap. Using my handy dandy cap-puncher (I just love cool tools, and I had to get this one) I pushed all the grapes from the top of the fermenter down to the bottom. This keeps the ones on top from drying out and also from growing mold. It helps extract more tannin and color from the grape skins into the liquid which will become the wine.

I'll be doing this for a few days until pressing time.


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