Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wines I'm Making: 2011 Fermentation (November 5, 2011)

The 2011 Cabernet is mostly done fermenting. The cap is no longer rising, my punch-down tool has started sinking into the liquid (rather than riding on the cap), and the liquid tastes like wine--there is no longer any trace of sweetness. Just to be sure, I tested the wine using my hydrometer and got a specific gravity reading of 0.996, which indicates fermentation is mostly finished. I will probably press the wine tomorrow, although I had planned to bottle the 2010 Cabernet tomorrow. We'll see if there's time to do both.

I crushed the Cabernet grapes on October 24 and inoculated them with yeast on October 28, so the fermentation took only eight days, although the wine has been on the skins for 12 days now. Eight days is faster than some fermentations I've done, and usually at warmer temperatures (because earlier in the year). I'm not sure why this cooler fermentation was shorter, but every fermentation is different.

The Sangiovese rosé continues to bubble gently. Fermentation appears to be continuing. The intense red of the liquid just after pressing has softened considerably. The wine is now a nice medium pink, but it's hard to  know exactly what color the wine will be until the CO2 gas stops rising and the suspended matter begins to fall out of the wine. So far, the rosé has been fermenting for 12 days.

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