Wednesday night when I checked the Pinot ferment there was no evidence of Kloeckera activity (no aroma of ethyl acetate) so I went forward with my plan to inoculate the must. I rehydrated 11 grams of RC212 yeast (25 g/hL) in a mix of 200 mL distilled water plus 13 grams of GoFerm nutrient (30 g/hL) at 104° F for 20 minutes.
I added a pinch of table sugar to proof the yeast prep. To my mild dismay the inoculum foamed only very slightly. I pitched it into the must anyway with punchdown number 7, though I would have been more sanguine if the inoculum had foamed extensively. After the punch the must was down to 23° Brix at 82° F; I moved the setpoints to 88° and 91° F.
When I checked the Pod early yesterday morning the must had overflowed slightly perhaps a fistfull of pommace and 250 mL of liquid had gone over the side. It never ceases to amaze how much of a cleanup mess is created by such a small loss.
The Pod was reading 12° Brix at 91° F. For the first time in my WinePod experience, the cooling came on during punchdown #8. I moved the setpoints to 91° and 95° F. At the afternoon punchdown (#9) the must was reading 7° Brix at 92° F and the cooling did not come on until I dropped the setpoints to 83° and 86° F.
This morning at punch #10 the Pod was registering 4° Brix at 83° F, so according to plan I further lowered the setpoints to 78° and 81° F.
So I am past the most stressful (for me) part of the ferment. The yeast may be stressed a little there has been a whiff of sulfide at the last couple of punchdowns. If it seems that the sulfide is still present at this afternoon's punch I will probably make a very small DAP add maybe 0.1 g/L even though I normally prefer not to add DAP so late in the ferment.
The only worry I have left is whether the ferment is going to stick or not. The slope of the sugar curve looks fine this morning at this time the slope suggests that it is not going to stick but the next data point is critical. I will be reassured if the reading this afternoon is between 3° and 2° Brix. If I see a reading of 1° Brix by noon on Saturday I will be confident.