I woke up this morning and was uneasy about the temperature of the Winepod, which had reached 78.7, above the upper limit of 78 Taylor had set yesterday. We are having trouble with our temperature control, which is 'auto on' but doesn't seem to start the cooling process or turn on the alarm without us tinkering with it. Seeing the temperature was higher than expected (although our brix finally moved -- to 23) I lifted the lid and WHOA, the grapes were all the way to the top of the Winepod. This was unsettling to me and all I could think about was that jingle "they plump when you cook em'!"
I was pretty sure I should lower the temperature but I quickly got Taylor on the horn to huddle about what to do next. He helped me through changing the Set Temp Limits again (72/77) and we turned the Auto Temp Control on and off until it started cooling. Who knows how we did it but something apparently worked. Taylor suggested I punchdown to deal with that problem of the grapes looking like they were ready to escape. The grapes were so high that I lost a few over the top (not too many as I was going slow and steady) but the punchdown tool slid to the bottom of the Winepod quite easily. I mixed everything back up and by then the Temp had already lowered to 77 and the brix had dropped to 21.
My hands looked like I had been involved in a stabbing but otherwise everything seems back on track. I will wait for Taylor to later today to taste and make note of the aromas and flavors...
Well, the must is way up to the top of the Winepod again but Taylor was able to siphon out a sample for us. Once you get past the CO2, the aromas are still yeasty, berry, and some green olive. The taste is sweet berry and soft on the palate with only a small hint of that acidity we are going for. We did not detect any off odors at all.
In other news, we did some research and we have decided to punchdown a few times a day. Cheers!