30L of must, TA 0.4, SG 1.050, and pH 3.85 was the original situation. Due to my previous success reducing the water/must ratio from 150% in traditional recipes to 37% in Batch 1, I pushed it further to 19% this time. Pre-fermentation post-tweaking chemistry: 32L, TA 0.7, SG 1.113, pH 3.66.
I also used my fruit crusher on this batch – which worked fantastically. The hope was that the crusher would allow more juice to be extracted right off the bat. Not so sure that’s the case. Seems it made a fine puree, and only a few days into fermentation did significant amounts of juice start to separate from the pulp.
Yeast: Lalvin RC212. The cap is seriously 90%+ of the depth of the must. I’m sure there are some inherent dangers with a cap that deep, but it has to be tried. I’m punching down every 2-3 hrs during the day if I can. I cold soaked each pail – one for 2 days, one for 4, with this technique. Fermentation temperatures have been lower than Batch 1 – simply due to the ambient temperatures. I’m going to have to intervene at some point to get the must temp up again into the high 20sC. Post fermentation I intend on doing an extended maceration using the same technique.
This wine should, in theory, be more concentrated [less water, cold soak, extended maceration], higher alcohol [higher SG], more complex in oak [it will see 2 toasts of oak], and generally ‘better’. Only time will tell…