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.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
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Sunday, October 30, 2011
The Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc is also undergoing fermentation, soon to enter its third day. I added the yeast on the morning of Friday, the 28th. I'm punching down the cap of skins that rises on the surface four times a day, as I usually do. The liquid is a deep, inky purple. As I did a four-day soak before adding yeast, the skins have been giving up color for nearly a week. Fermentation will probably last another eight days or so. The 2011 wines are moving along nicely.