Why does cap form?

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PPBart

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Just some post-turkey musing...

I've got my last batch of 2009 muscadines (~100 lbs grapes) in primary now. Prior to pitching yeast, the grape skins were just floating around in solution. Once the yeast took hold, a really serious cap formed that I'm punching down 2-3 times a day. Why does the cap form? Does the yeast activity somehow cause the skins to suddenly float to the top?

Gotta go get another glass of this '08 muscadine -- pretty good stuff...

Happy holidays to all!
 

St Allie

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yeast produces gas and the gas sits under any large detritus, pushes it up... that's why your skins are at the top.

Allie
 

Sacalait

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To avoid having to punch down put skins and pulp in a 5gal paint straining bag and keep a weight on top to keep it submerged. No more punching down or stirring necessary.
How big a batch are you making, a hundred pounds goes a long way.
 

PPBart

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To avoid having to punch down put skins and pulp in a 5gal paint straining bag and keep a weight on top to keep it submerged. No more punching down or stirring necessary.
How big a batch are you making, a hundred pounds goes a long way.
With the recipe we use (based on Jack Kellar's version), we expect to net 15-17 gallons of finished wine from 100-lb of muscadines. A 100-lb batch is the max I can handle at once.
 

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