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Cold Soak Duration

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Kitchen

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I currently have an 80% Cab Sav 20% Merlot cold soaking, and was wondering how long would be optimal. It is now at day 2, and the juice is really taking on a nice color. (I also removed 10% of the juice.) I was thinking about starting fermentation tomorrow.

I also have 180 lbs of Pinot Noir grapes coming in two Fridays, and I only have oner fermentation vessel. I was just thinking about keeping the crush PN grapes cold soaking for 5 days in the buckets. Does that sound like a good time span?
 

jgmillr1

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I think the question should be, what is it that you are wanting to achieve? Cold soaking has been more mainstream the last 15 years or more as a means primarily to yield more color out of varietals such as pinot noir. I'm not sure what benefit you get using it on cab Sauv though as it already has loads of pigment.

I've never had trouble extracting color and tannin from cab Sauv or merlot without either cold soaking or extended maceration.
 

Kitchen

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@Kitchen, how are you keeping the grapes cold?
When I picked up the grapes, they were at 32F already, so I only needed to maintain the low temps. I did so by pooling all of them into one container and swapping out frozen bottles of water, 3 or 4 at a time, in the must. I made sure to sterilize the bottles before adding them in.
 

winemaker81

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When I picked up the grapes, they were at 32F already, so I only needed to maintain the low temps. I did so by pooling all of them into one container and swapping out frozen bottles of water, 3 or 4 at a time, in the must. I made sure to sterilize the bottles before adding them in.
I was thinking of doing something like that -- cut open gallon water jugs, sterilize, fill with grape pulp, and freeze. Drop the frozen blocks into the wine periodically, making more as necessary.

That might have taken effort I may not have the time for. After reading a chat session with Frank Musto on WineMakerMag, I purchased Scottzyme Color Pro, which is supposed to extract more color and tannins. I'm giving that a shot this year.
 

Ajmassa

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I was thinking of doing something like that -- cut open gallon water jugs, sterilize, fill with grape pulp, and freeze. Drop the frozen blocks into the wine periodically, making more as necessary.

That might have taken effort I may not have the time for. After reading a chat session with Frank Musto on WineMakerMag, I purchased Scottzyme Color Pro, which is supposed to extract more color and tannins. I'm giving that a shot this year.
enzymes certainly give that extra boost. I use Lallzyme EX or EXV and they work great. Will get all the color those skins got to give in a week.
Despite that tho Im gonna try out giving the must a cold soak this year using dry ice (3-5 day target). Not sure if I’ll use enzymes on that as well. Hard to determine imo. If the grapes are high quality and it’s a bold red, does it even need the extra enzyme help? And if that’s the case would it thatbe much easier to go too far making the wine overly tannic with enzymes + cold soak?—-

when making wine from Brehms frozen must (typically high quality fruit) they get that cold soak byproduct from thawing. So to any Brehms frozen must makers, (@stickman lookikg your way) do you utilize enzymes or na?
(@Kitchen i just figured to piggyback your thread rather than start a new one. Pls pardon my hijacking)
 

Kitchen

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I was thinking of doing something like that -- cut open gallon water jugs, sterilize, fill with grape pulp, and freeze. Drop the frozen blocks into the wine periodically, making more as necessary.

That might have taken effort I may not have the time for. After reading a chat session with Frank Musto on WineMakerMag, I purchased Scottzyme Color Pro, which is supposed to extract more color and tannins. I'm giving that a shot this year.
I have the added advantage of working from home about 60% of the time, so I can break periodically to swap out bottles of water. I would recommend that you use large water bottles you would get at a convenience store made of stronger plastic with better caps. The gallon jugs tend to open too easily and can rupture, especially from the force of water expanding while freezing.

I have read that cold soaking does more then just color extraction, but helps with flavor development and mouth feel as well, but could be detramential depending on the variatel. Supposedly Malbec suffers from a cold soak whereas Pinot Noir develops a much better quality with 7 days of cold soaking. I plan on doing a 7 day cold soak with the PN grapes I have coming this week. I will also be doing a 50% whole cluster with the PN along with a 10% soignée.

Here's hoping the PH is where I need it to be, otherwise I got some math ahead of me to figure out how adjust knowing I can do a accurate test with half the berries not crushed.

FYI, solids dispersed in a liquid largely help insulate the liquid, so it is easier to keep must at stable temps.

With the Cab Sav Merlot blend I started, the juice went from white to almost purple after three days of cold soak. I right now have it fermenting at 86F and it is only getting darker and darker.
 

stickman

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Normally with a cold soak you get the water soluble tannin as well as color and other compounds, it's not normally harsh at this stage. I generally use enzymes with my Cab blends, though in 2017 I omitted enzymes because the harvest was delayed a couple of weeks due to the fires, so the fruit was very ripe. I want the color and tannin in my wine, it has to be able to handle nearly two years bulk aging in an O2 permeable tank, so I don't worry about enzymes causing too much extraction. I think the press timing is more important with respect to tannin extraction; when the ABV starts to rise so does tannin extraction. So much depends on the grapes, where they are grown, harvest conditions, etc., very dark wine can tolerate more tannin and still have a nice texture. Over extracting tannin causing rough wine is more of a problem with lightly colored grapes. Like everything with wine, all you can do is try it for yourself and see if you like the results, unfortunately with a red wine, it could take three or more years before you know if you made the right choices in the cellar.
 

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