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A 2020 Cab Franc journey with fellow WMT member

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NorCal

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6-8 weeks... Ok, since I’m in this for the long haul I’m in no particular hurry. Also, in terms of my yield. You were very generous with my quantity. I might owe the HOA a bit more coin...

I’ve only recently become aware of any type of nutrient for the bacteria. I don’t have any on hand and have not ordered any. If I ordered some today, it could be 2-3 weeks before something is delivered. The whole world of merch delivery has been upended... Previous to these recent batches (Merlot, Cab, Petit Verdot and Cab Franc) I’ve had three other batches complete w/o acti-ml or similar adjunct.

I still have tiny bubbles ascending to the surface in all vessels. Is it necessary this time? I can add this to my shopping list in the future and I wonder if I’m too late for this round. What say you?

As an update. All of my SG is down to .995 or .994. I’m happy with the primary fermentation.
At this point wouldn’t add nutrient, but would stir on occasion. Ah, that was the good neighbor state, bin weight rounding up that gave you a bit more. That was in case some grapes fell out along the way.
 

crushday

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I’m performing a chromatography test today. Here’s the set up... You can totally see the color differences between the different varieties:

CF = Cab Franc, which is the lightest
Black = Merlot
Yellow = Cab Sauv
Red = Petit Verdot
Orange = Merlot
PV 1, PV 2 = Petit Verdot

C7587399-9CFF-4A9C-891D-13254B20BC01.jpeg
 

crushday

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I’m VERY confused by these results...
A couple things to notes: 1) I did not use the standards on the test paper and , 2) It appears the solution didn’t wick to the top of the paper. I had it in the testing container for 6 hours.

Conclusions: I can’t tell if the MLF has completed and it seems necessary for the solution to wick throughout.

Can anyone in the WMT universe offer some clarity?

B87CD88C-E9CC-48C9-AC58-7C7AD902CC4C.jpeg
 

mainshipfred

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I think you have to let it dry a little longer. It should be a green background. That's a lot of samples on one here though. Not sure if that makes a difference. Not going all the way to the top is not a problem. Put it in front of a fan or use a hair dryer to finish drying it..
 

stickman

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It takes about 6 to 8 hours for the solvent to get to the top of Whatman #1 paper, so you're right at the minimum. I agree with the others, it needs to develop for a while longer to get the green background.
 

ibglowin

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With out at least the Lactic std your kinda completely in the dark as to where your spot should be for complete conversion.
 

crushday

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I’m going to redo the test - smaller dots and use of standards. I’ll let it sit overnight, pull it out in the morning and let it dry all day. I’ll confirm the test when I get home from work. No sense it rushing this one like the one this morning. Thanks for all the help.

No harm letting it sit in the developer for 12+ hours, right?
 

ibglowin

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I usually put it in the developer around 8PM at night and then pull it out the next morning ~7AM or so. You don't need the Tartaric STD. Really only the Malic and Lactic. It does take a good 12-18hours to fully dry and for the spots to really develop.
 

Johnd

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I’m going to redo the test - smaller dots and use of standards. I’ll let it sit overnight, pull it out in the morning and let it dry all day. I’ll confirm the test when I get home from work. No sense it rushing this one like the one this morning. Thanks for all the help.

No harm letting it sit in the developer for 12+ hours, right?
Even if it didn’t go to the top, you’ll see the lower two dots when it dries, the malic presence or absence will tell the tale.
 

Boatboy24

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As others have said, a long dry time. I usually put in the fluid after work and take out first thing the following morning. Then don't look at it until the end of that day. I think your current sheet will dry enough to show a decent result.
 

Jay A

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Long dry time. Pretty sure the chroma kit I have mentions holding completed test over household ammonia to amp up spots if difficult to differentiate.
 

Ajmassa

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A tip I learned from @Johnd to keep the spots smaller——- do one slight droplet from a pipette at a time for all the samples. Give it a few minutes to dry then do again over the same spots. Smaller concentrated spots. 2 or 3x of “dry & reapply”. Very convenient when testing many samples on one paper
regardlews though, that’s a very clean looking sheet. Should dry well and be able to see what’s what.
 

crushday

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So, here’s the original test. It’s clear my impatience got the best of me...again.

I’ll prep my barrels on Thursday and transfer on Sunday if no leaks. Picked up two new barrels for this project.

Other than some cropping, no other edits performed on this image:

E047D817-6372-42EB-A0AA-7AD1912A83A1.jpeg
 
Last edited:

cmason1957

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I know you are probably nervous to get some SO2 into your wine, but I would wait a couple of weeks and let it finish up. Chromotography is only good down to 30-50 PPM and I still see some indication of a malic acid spot on your paper. I really strive for nothing there, prior to racking and sulfiting.

I just racked my Chilean juices from this spring over after MLF finished and I couldn't believe how much CO2 came out during the racking with my allinonewinepump.
 

Johnd

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So, here’s the original test. It’s clear my impatience got the best of me...again.

I’ll prep my barrels on Thursday and transfer on Sunday if no leaks. Picked up two new barrels for this project.

Other than some cropping, no other edits performed on this image:

View attachment 66686
Patience is one of the last things to come, but you have made so much wine, you should be on the edge........LOL!! In the future, let the chromo paper sit in the solution overnight, it'll go all of the way to the top. Even though you pulled after 6 hours, you can see that the lactic spots are quite clear. After you pull it and hang it, it takes a good half day to day to dry thoroughly, and the drier it gets, the more easily the results are evident. Your wine spots are fine, the spacing is fine, and now that it's dry, you can see that there's really no need to spots for the standards. Very well done test in my opinion......

I'm with @cmason1957 , you've made excellent progress, good tartaric spots, good lactic spots, and just the slightest hint of malic. Another two weeks to ensure the last of the malic is gone and you'll be good to go.
 

crushday

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I dunno man. Based on your acid standards on the left your wines are still loaded with malic acid! 😁
Now, that’s funny. Previously stated on another post: When I bought this test kit, I unpacked and opened everything. It wasn’t until after I was applying the standards for the very first test that I noticed the standard bottles were not labeled. The labeling was on the small plastic bags in which the bottles were shipped and now were resting in the trash.

Because of the consistency of the agents, I didn’t bother updating my labeling. LOL... They are changed now, however.

Science...
 

Ajmassa

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You first chroma test is quite impressive I must say. Respect. Mine was a goddamn train wreck! Almost* too embarrassed to even show it. Rushed thru it. Read no instructions. Assumed I knew everything. Left with this disaster: 4DFC3BF2-949F-432F-B742-050D643C678A.jpeg

(Interestingly enough though despite all that mess you are still able to determine mlf progress)
 

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