Party time means primary fermentation time! On August 12th, I successfully brought back a tank of baby wine to Houston as it fermented. But, I still was on the lookout for clear indications that the fermentation party was rockin’ and rollin’. It didn’t take long. See the video below to see it in action.
Primary fermentation lasted a week. During this time, I had to punch down the cap (skins and stuff) that carbon dioxide bubbles had pushed to the top. I did this three times a day (I went home every day during lunch). Punching down is one method to keep the grape skins in contact with the juice (for color and flavor purposes). It is also important to keep the cap from drying out or some unsavory things can happen (like the colonization of unwanted airborne bacteria — not invited to the party!). Also, punching down allows heat to escape. At one point, I actually thought our air conditioning was broken…but thankfully no, the heat generated from the wine meant our A/C was having trouble keeping up. The wine got up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at peak fermentation!