It is now 36 hours since we inoculated the Rosella's and we have done two punchdowns since then. At this stage punching the cap down is to mainly help the yeast colonies that might be forming in certain parts of the must (winemaker term for fermenting juice and skins) mix throughout the rest of the must. Punching down also integrates a bit of 02 which the yeast need to multiply.
Every day we take Brix and Temperature readings which help us understand how fast or slow the fermentation is going and whether it needs any help. Today's readings show that Brix (approx. measurement of sugar content in the must) was 25.4 and temperature was 59° F - basically where we were when we inoculated 36 hours ago. When you are punching down you kind of know how the fermentation is running (cap feels hot, CO2 escapes when you break through the cap etc) but the numbers give us a more accurate guide and back up our sensorial judgement.
We should see some activity by Day 7 as the yeast colonies grow and start to get chomping!