Friday, February 15, 2008

Forcing An Early Peak

In yesterday's post I mentioned that the cap was up. I did not mention that the must was reading 24° Brix. At this morning's 10 am punchdown the cap was up about an inch over the top lip of the Pod, and the must was reading 17° Brix at 80° F. I believe some of this cap rise is due to the skins not breaking down as they did in the Rancho Sarco ferment – I chalk this up to leaving the enzyme out of this trial.

I added 22 g of DAP (0.50 g/L), 19 g of liquid yeast extract (0.45 g/L) and a tiny pinch of the vitamin formulation Cerevit. I added the latter two because I have no Fermaid K available in the winery. Fermaid is a formulation composed of yeast extract, DAP and vitamins – though I am committed to no extemporizing in this ferment I think I am still within bounds.

At the 3 pm punchdown I added 4 grams of potassium carbonate. The must was reading 14° Brix at 80° F after the punch.

At the 8:30 pm punchdown (number seven out of a planned 18) the must was reading 12° Brix at 80° F. I raised the setpoints to 85° and 88° F.

At the first punch tomorrow I will assess the ferment and decide whether or not to add the last 10 grams of DAP. The fermentation smells really great at this point – if it smell as good tomorrow I will skip the addition. Also, if the ferment has passed below 8° Brix (which is likely) that will also weigh against making the last add.

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