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Old 02-14-2015, 01:26 PM   #1
TheFrenchCanadian
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I've been reading lately about the importance of must temperature, especially with regard to adding the yeast. That being said, the basement room where I make my wine is usually somewhere between 16.5c/61f - 19c/66f at this time of year, depending on the weather.

With my last kit (Wine Kitz Traditional Vintage 10 litre Australian Cabernet Sauvignon), I put the concentrate and lukewarm water into the primary and simply added the yeast (Lalvin EC-1118) to it immediately, without regard for the temp as I didn't have a thermometer at the time (initial SG was 1.092). I own a bru-belt but didn't bother using it at first, opting to keep an eye on things first.

It took a few days to get going in earnest, but things progressed well until about 3/4 of the way through and then fermentation slowed down dramatically. I suspected it might be a tad cold at that point, so I stopped in at my winemaking suppier and bought a thermomether to check the temp of the must. It was about 18c/64f at that point. At their suggestion, I added my bru-belt and the next day the temp was up to about 20c/68f & fermentation was once again active. It proceeded to finish off nicely - final SG was 0.092.

I'm about to start another kit (Cellar Craft Showcase 18 litre Chateau du Pays with grape skin pack) & my question is this:

When starting a kit, is it advisable to prepare the must (in this particular case, bentonite, juice/concentrate, water & grape skins per kit instructions) and then apply the bru-belt and leave it until the temperature stabilizes before adding the yeast? I ask because I've been reading about yeast, methods of rehydrating it & simply sprinkling it on top etc. I now understand that the temperature is very important in terms of getting fermentation started properly. I'd like to make sure the must temp is in the proper 20c/68f - 25c/77c range before I sprinkle the yeast on top. Is there any harm in combining the ingredients and then waiting a day before adding the yeast?

I searched this site as well as the internet but couldn't find any information on this specifically, though I learned a lot about rehydrating etc...

Best regards,
TFC
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:56 PM   #2
terrymck
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It sounds to me like you are overthinking this. Put the water in a little warmer than the temp called for and let it cool down to the range before pitching yeast. You now have a thermometer so keep an eye on it and attach the belt if necessary.

Terry

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Old 02-14-2015, 06:24 PM   #3
grapeman
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For the kits it doesn't generally make a lot of difference if you rehydrate or sprinkle. As you found out though temperature is pretty important.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:42 PM   #4
Dhaynes
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When we start a kit, after we we add the juice concentrate to the primary we use warm water to finish filling the primary to 6 gal. If it ends up a little too warm we take a zip lock bag, fill it with ice cubes, spritz the outside with metabisulfite and put it in the must. When the temp drops to where we want we remove the zip lock bag and sprinkle the yeast on the top of the must. It's easy. No mess. No fuss. And no waiting more than a few minutes.


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Old 02-15-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
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I always use warm (not hot) water to get to 23L and sprinkle the yeast. I stick those adhesive thermometer strips on the outside of my primarys to see the general range of temperature, even though they are not super precise, they help me spot a problem. Fermentation generates some of it's own heat, as well. I don't rehydrate, as I have accidentally killed yeast with too hot of water, and don't see that it has benefit over sprinkling in my personal experience.
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:39 PM   #6
TheFrenchCanadian
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I ended up using the warm water method and it worked out good - was 22 on the nose.

I like the ziploc bag with ice in it trick Dhanyes - good thinking! I'll use that if I ever overdo the warm water.

And yes Terry - you're right, I do tend to overthink things, my friends call me Mr. Detail!

Good suggestions, thanks!

TFC
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:58 PM   #7
firstime
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I put my brew bucket and Carboy in a larger pale with water and a fish tank heater. It keeps the water at a perfect temp. Fermentation start withing 12 hours each time.

 
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:47 AM   #8
DoctorCAD
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Any temperature over 60 degrees to about 80 degrees is fine.

Are there "better" temperatures? Sure, but anywhere in that 20 degree range will do the job just fine.
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