Friday, January 25, 2008

Entering Post-Fermentation

This morning the must was reading -2° Brix at 74° F before the punchdown.

After the punch the reading was zero °Brix.

This does not surprise me as the Pod vessel is tall and narrow, and colder towards the top. My scenario is that the ferment stratifies a little, proceeding a little more slowly in and under the cap. Uniformity is re-established by mixing.

Also as I expected and hoped, as the ferment nears completion the hints of sulfide aromas that I noted yesterday are disappearing.

Over the weekend I will be checking the Brix of the must with a precision hydrometer to validate the WinePod's Brix sensor readings. (Note that the Brix goes negative at the end of fermentation because zero °Brix is defined as pure water. The density of the water/alcohol mix in wine is less than that of water, so the value goes negative.)

Once I have verified two consecutive negative Brix readings I am going to inoculate the must for malolactic fermentation, and allow the wine to macerate on the skins for an extended period (until malo is complete) before pressing.

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