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Cab Fran, Pinot Noir, Merlot - Testing?

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scubaman2151

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Hi guys!


Well I have a story and need some help. Couple months ago at the winery I work at the manager asked me I was making any fresh juice wine this year. I said most likely not becuase during August-October I was incredible busy and wouldnt have time to ferment it and rack becuase I was going to be out of town a few of those weeks. So he offered to ferment, rack, and store it at the store untill I could come pick it up. So I said ok and bought 3 pails of juice, 6 gals each. 6 gal of cab franc, pinot noir, and merlot. All from Lodi, CA. Well he placed the pails in the fermenting room to warm them up without adding any yeast to it, so natural yeast took over and started to ferment it. When I went back to the store to check on things I saw what happened, now fermentation had only been going on for maybe 1-2 days, so I pitched a packetofLavin yeast into each pail and gave it a good stir. I dont have the name for you of the yeast but cant get it if your really want to know what it is.


So fast forward to today. I went and picked up all three carboys full of my stuff. Brought them home, cleaned the outsides, cleaned the bungs, cleaned the airlocks and took a SG reading on all three. All three SG's were between .998-1.000 so all three fermented out.


What type of test should I do if its even needed for acid? Ph? Should any of these go through MLF? Now this is where your really going to think this is a crazy story. I dont have any starting numbers for you because the manager never took them down for me (which he said he would when he pitched the yeast, but we know how that went).


So I now come to you guys for your ever so good advice.


Thanks,


Scubaman2151


 

Wade E

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Awesome story Scuba. Hopefully Rich or someone else with knowledge of Malolactic fermentation will jump in here and give ou some more advice. I know that you will want to check Malic acid to see if this fermentation is really needed and not to add any sulfites or you wont be able to do a Malo-ferm if you did add any sulfite.
 

scubaman2151

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Nope I havent added anything :) Figured I should wait untill I hear what you guys had to say.
 

grapeman

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Scuba- The Cab Franc might need MLF, but I think the others shouldn't need it.


Cab Franc can sometimes have a fair amount of acid while the others don't. The best way to tell is to check the pH of the wines and the TA also. Depending on the numbers you get, you can make a better determination. I doubt if they have undrgone MLF on their own yet. If you could get those numbers that would be great. The winery you help out at should be able to do the tests for you or show you how. Sounds like a good opportunity for some learning to me.
 

grapeman

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Those work pretty good assuming you don't have any wine over 10 g/L. You should be OK with that since it has fermented already.
 

scubaman2151

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Is there a better one to choose? Im assuming that any Ph meter will work right, or is there a special one lol as Ph meters go that is.
 

grapeman

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For your use Scuba any pH meter will work for you (as long as it gives good readings and can be calibrated periodically). George carries a good one. Like I said, the Accuvin works pretty well. Real dark wines can make it more difficult to read, but it still works. You could just get the simple acid test kit which uses Na0H such as this one
http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=5400
 
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