We were happy to discover that, when we pulled the lid off the Winepod tday, a cap had formed -- so we actually had something to punchdown on our first punchdown day! We could smell the sweet fruit and alcohol as soon as the lid had been removed. The cap resembled what I can only describe as pretty pink and purple worms congregating at the top of the Winepod. We checked the temperature (around 73 degrees) and the brix (still a hearty 26 - whoa!) and then prepared to integrate the cap into the must.
Punchdown was relatively easy, although it was difficult to tell at times when -- or if -- we had reached the bottom of the must with the punchdown tool. I tried not to take out my aggression, resulting from a two-touchdown defiicit for Syracuse in the Syracuse v. Penn State football game, and push down ever so gently on the cap. Taylor (aka Winemonkey) took over to finish the job, both of us proceeding as instructed in the punchdown video.
Punchdown took all of five minutes and then we were ready to sample our wine during its early fermentation phase. The hay we smelled a few days ago has fallen to the back for the most part and today we smelled a little bread from the yeast but also fresh, darker fruit, and hints of olives. We both took a small sip and agreed that the juice is still young and sweet, but less sweet due to the growing presence of alcohol. Taylor adjusted the lower set Temp to 72 from 70 as wine maker John Kelly did during his first punchdown day.
Now we are ready for the daily punchdowns until we reach 20 brix. The question remains....will we ever get down to 20 brix?!?!
PS: What this high brix level means is that we are destined to be making a high alcohol wine. Not our intention but we will see what happens.