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Co-inoculation

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cuz

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I buy 6 gallon pails of pasteurized juice. I have done MLF in the past but stopped after one pail didn't take. This year I would like to try coinoculation mainly for the time it takes. I have Merlot, Cab Sav, Cab Franc, Montepulciano, Zinfandel, Carignan and Barbera. I usually add sugar before the yeast is added to raise the potential alcohol so I always look for a yeast with a high tolerance.

In the past I used WLP675. This time I am going to try Vinaflora CH16 or VP41.

From what I am reading here BM 4X4 is the yeast to use in all the wines - Correct?
Is there any variety that I should not try MLF?
I also used acti malo and opti malo in the past. If I am co-inoculating do I use Go Ferm, Acti-malo and Opti malo all together?

Lastly - Is this too risky and a bad idea? My wines have been pretty decent but I think MLF did make a difference.
 

Johnd

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I buy 6 gallon pails of pasteurized juice. I have done MLF in the past but stopped after one pail didn't take. This year I would like to try coinoculation mainly for the time it takes. I have Merlot, Cab Sav, Cab Franc, Montepulciano, Zinfandel, Carignan and Barbera. I usually add sugar before the yeast is added to raise the potential alcohol so I always look for a yeast with a high tolerance.

In the past I used WLP675. This time I am going to try Vinaflora CH16 or VP41.

From what I am reading here BM 4X4 is the yeast to use in all the wines - Correct?
Is there any variety that I should not try MLF?
I also used acti malo and opti malo in the past. If I am co-inoculating do I use Go Ferm, Acti-malo and Opti malo all together?

Lastly - Is this too risky and a bad idea? My wines have been pretty decent but I think MLF did make a difference.
All of those wines will benefit from MLF, and BM 4x4 is a very good red wine yeast, but not the only one. D80 and D254 are good as well.
Both VP41 and CH16 are workhorse MLB’s, they’ll get the job done for you. Your nutrient list is good, here’s what I’d suggest:
1. Pitch yeast and add 1/2 dose of Fermaid K yeast nutrients at first signs of fermentation.
2. At that same time, rehydrate your MLB with Acti-ML, and distribute the concoction to your buckets. Add 1/2 dose OptiMalo.
3. When your sugar is around 1/3 - 1/2 depleted, add the second 1/2 dose of Fermaid K.
4. Somewhere near 1.000, rack your juice buckets to carboys with airlock.
5. When fermentation is complete (SG <.998 and unchanged for three consecutive days) rack off of the lees to a new carboy with an airlock, mix the second dose of OptiMalo with a little wine til dissolved, and add back to each carboy. Top up to within 1” of the underside of your bung / airlock.
6. Check for MLF completion in 3 weeks. Add sulfite two weeks after testing indicates that MLF is complete.

Since you’re using juice buckets, you’ll be without skins and pulp, and the nutrients that reside in them. Pay close attention during AF, you may need a little boost of Fermaid K if you smell H2S.
 

cuz

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When I did MLF in the past I kept the wine at 70-75 degrees until MFL was complete. Is it necessary to do the same until MLF completion
 

jgmillr1

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I would like to try coinoculation
Realize that there are risks with coinoculation too. Mainly that the MLF can metabolize sugar into vinegar. So this means you need to be sure the fermentation does not stick. I've always completed alcoholic fermentation and then done MLF afterwards. I figure it's not worth the risk.

I've had no trouble with D80, D254 or BM4X4. I've had good luck with CH16.
 

cuz

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How about EC1118. That seems to be the safest bet
 

Johnd

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When I did MLF in the past I kept the wine at 70-75 degrees until MFL was complete. Is it necessary to do the same until MLF completion
If you can keep the wine in that range til MLF is over, it’ll be your quickest route. Once MLF is over, I normally barrel my wines in the 55°F cellar.
 

Johnd

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BernardSmith

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Sorry , but what do the numbers associated with compatibility actually mean? What is the difference with a yeast with compatibility of 4 with one with compatibility of 2? I presume that 4 is more compatible but what does "more" in fact mean? Are there quantifiable differences (numbers) or are the differences in qualities or ??? Thanks
 

Johnd

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Sorry , but what do the numbers associated with compatibility actually mean? What is the difference with a yeast with compatibility of 4 with one with compatibility of 2? I presume that 4 is more compatible but what does "more" in fact mean? Are there quantifiable differences (numbers) or are the differences in qualities or ??? Thanks
I don't think that the numbers actually represent any quantifiable properties, instead look below the numbers at the minus and plus signs. The yeasts in the column to the left, column 5, have a ++ rating, indicating very favorable conditions for MLB in conjunction with those yeasts, as opposed to those in column 1, with -- rating, indicating less favorable conditions. The middle column 3, has a +- rating, indicating that it is somewhat neutral in terms of compatibility.

I've read that BM4x4 is a moderate producer of SO2, which is perhaps what contributes to its - rating.
 

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