Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wines I'm Making: Malolactic Fermentation Initiated (November 3, 2013)

I started malolactic fermentation today in the Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc wine that's been fermenting in the living room. The alcoholic fermentation has mostly finished, so it's time to get the malolactic going. I added two 125ml packets of the Wyeast brand malolactic culture to my 8 gallons of new wine. As malolactic bacteria can be finicky, I've wrapped the carboys in blankets and inserted a small electric blanket between them, which is what I've always done, even though this Wyeast strain says it will remain active at a temperature as low as 55 degrees. In the winter months, the house temperature generally ranges from about 58 degrees to 68 degrees, but warmer will be better, I imagine. Malolactic fermentation can take anywhere from four to 12 weeks. After about six weeks, I'll test the wine to see how it's coming along.

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