I checked on the Riesling this past Sunday, three weeks after start of fermentation. The Winepod read a Brix of 8 and my hydrometer read close to 9. Last year, the Riesling was close to zero after three weeks. The difference could be a tighter control on temperature, since I set the targets further apart this time to prevent overshoot by the heater and cooler. The temperature has been a near steady 62 degrees from the start, whereas it drifted briefly up to 65 last year. The difference could be a slight increase in available sugar, but this is unlikely, because the starting Brix was within a degree or two of last years' starting point. The difference could be a higher level of SO2. I did not measure the amount of SO2 added by the vineyard, but I have no reason to suspect a spike this year. The difference could be the potassium bicarbonate added to reduce a higher starting acid in the grapes or the difference could be the higher acid itself.
Whatever the reason, I decided to add a little yeast nutrient and give the Riesling another week of primary fermentation in the Winepod. The taste is that of a sweet carbonated wine cooler.
I cracked open a bottle of the second cider lot on Monday. The added sweetness in this batch was nice, but at the moment I prefer the taste of the dry cider. The dry cider is especially good when drinking after having a few chocolates.