I pressed off the Annadel Syrah on 5/1/08 after a full 30 days of maceration at elevated temperature (73° F) if there was a question in anyone's mind, it was my intention to see how far I could push this protocol.
Jumping ahead a little, in my opinion the wine turned out very well, analytically and organoleptically. So since I didn't "break it" with a full month of maceration I can't say that I have pushed the procedure to its absolute limit. But what I learned is that I can be more sanguine about recommending longer maceration in the Pod at least up to this now-defined point, and with these grapes.
I pressed the Syrah as I have the other lots: first with automatic pressing on the "heavy" setting (present on this Pod beta unit likely not on shipping units) until done, then on manual every minute, then every 2 minutes, then every 5 minutes, until the press shuts off immediately on startup. Also as before, I racked the wine from the Pod into buckets, cleaned the Pod, and racked the wine back in. The yield was about 11 gallons. I set the temperature of the Pod to 65° F.
I pulled a sample for the lab; results of the analysis:
On 5/4/08 I set the temperature of the Pod to 60° F. The next day I stirred in 20 grams of tartaric acid (0.5 g/L) and 5 grams of Efferbaktol granules (about 48 ppm of SO2).
The Syrah settled in the Pod at 60° F for nearly two weeks. On 5/16/08 I racked the wine to glass carboys (7, 2 and 1 gallon) with the extra going into two 750 mL bottles. Total yield of clear wine after racking was 10.4 gallons.
In my commercial wine production I have found that Syrah benefits from spending some time in tank after the first racking, before going to barrels. It is my intention to leave this WinePod Syrah in glass for a while before I put it into wood.
Another thing I wanted to do with this Syrah ferment was collect seeds to illustrate the changes that occur during extended maceration.
The seeds in the middle were pulled from inside berries at the end of the yeast fermentation. Notice that they are darker and redder, but not uniformly colored.
The seeds on the right were removed from berries in the press cake after taking it out of the Pod. Notice how they have turned darker, and though not all of them are exactly the same dark shade the color is uniform on each. These are the visual qualities I look for in the seeds on completion of extended maceration.