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Punch Down for Pinot

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WorldTravelingJoe

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My Pinot Noir is fermenting very actively. I am into the 6th day and it has slowed some, but it forms a cap within 10 minutes or maybe even less after a punch down. What are the positive or negative effects of punching it down say... 8-10 times a day?
 

stickman

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I think the idea of punching down is to improve extraction of compounds from the skins, so more punch downs usually means increased extraction. There are a lot of details to consider: at what stage is the fermentation? brix?, if you cause the skins to turn to pulp, you'll have trouble pressing and most likely lots of fluffy lees in the secondary. Are you sure you want to extract everything from the skins? Even bitter compounds? This depends mostly on the fruit quality. How much oxygen are you incorporating during the punchdown? In small quantities oxygen is beneficial, but too much at the end of fermentation may not be so good. I've read data that suggests that a fermenting red wine needs 2 to 4mg/l of oxygen twice a day, so I drain the wine through a venturi and return it twice a day, but I certainly don't know how much oxygen I'm incorporating.
 

JohnT

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I moved this thread to the "General winemaking" folder. You will get a lot more input by having it located here.

8-10 times a day?? I think that this is overkill for a pinot and perhaps too much aeration and, perhaps, you are running the risk of stressing the yeast.

You can get PLENTY of extraction by punching down 2 or 3 times a day.

Note: There are many other factors that can aid in color extraction. Maintaining an appropriate acid level, for example.
 

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