Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wines I'm Making: Malolactic Fermentation 2013

I tested samples of our 2013 Cabernet wine now undergoing malolactic fermentation, on January 5. I wanted to see how far along the fermentation is, as it's been quite a long time now since inoculation with malolactic starter on November 3. The results of my paper chromatography test are shown above. It looks like it's well under way, but not completely finished by any means. A completed malolactic fermentation will show lactic acid (in the position of the uppermost yellow spot) and no malic acid (in the position of the middle spot). This shows there is still malic acid present. The problem with waiting longer is that the wine is unsulfited and exposed (if minimally) to oxygen. The sooner it can be sulfited lightly and put away to rest the better. I've decided to wait a little longer, but will have to go ahead with the sulfite addition before too long.

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