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Cold soak using dry ice

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Jay A

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Ajay, Yeast was Avante on both Sangio & Cab. Very pleased with aroma & flavor, I'll be using again this year. Only difference, MLB was co-innoculated in Sangio. The cab came in later in season & MLB inventory was scarce so by the time I sourced, it was done sequentially.

I doubt it had any effect on fermentation duration. I think it was all about temperature. Cab was crushed end of October with cooler ambient temps in my shop, & capacity was much less than Sangio.

Very impressed with Washington fruit. Didn't have to adjust a thing. Still sitting on it, at last racking it was tasting great.

This was my 1st Avante ferment. Vigorous with the Sangio. Slow & steady with cab. In years prior I was using 4x4. I can say the washington cab is fruit forward. Never did it with 4x4 so who knows if its fruit or yeast? I'm thinking fruit, the Sangio was similar to prior years with 4x4 with exception to it smell. The avante fermented sangio has a very fruity smell but not too much in taste.
 

BI81

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Is your must too warm because of fermentation or because you are keeping it in a warm location?

I am cooling 20 gal of must by putting 1 frozen milk jug in it per day. This drops the temp from 72F down to 66F.
My must is inside a conditioned space. This is not a perfect system but it is simple
I’m currently in the same situation, ended up with some last minute unexpected Pinot and only had Avante on hand, it’s a beast and after 24 hours spiked to 88F, so I’ve been rotating frozen water jugs for an hour or so to get the must temp down to the mid 70’s, pull them out and do a punchdown, and continue the cycle. Seems to have slowed a bit, but Avante is a freight train that’s hard to stop. As @Ajmassa said few days better than no days!!
 

BI81

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Good commentary! Personal experience-started 300 pounds of Sangiovese on Sunday, parallel to 350 pounds of Syrah. Enzymes in both. The syrah is like ink. THe Sangio at first was just lightly pink. It's coming around though after 2 days of fermentation. It still won't be a dark wine. But in future years, I think the Sangio might make a nice Rosé.

Regarding Avante speed-Pitched Sunday night, Cap Monday morning. Between Pitching and Tuesday morning (today) it's already dropped from 25 to 15 Brix. I'm thinking press by Friday. It moves so fast, that I wanted to do feeding #2 at 18 brix, but it was already 15 brix when I measured at 0630 today. Pretty cool.

Avante is a great workhorse yeast. I'm still waiting to find a problem with it, but so far, it's a no-brainer.
Avante is a beast for sure, I inoculated Sunday at 2pm at 23.5Brix, I’m down to 5Brix at 6pm Tuesday!! And that’s with frozen ice jugs keeping the temp down.
 

Ajmassa

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I’m currently in the same situation, ended up with some last minute unexpected Pinot and only had Avante on hand, it’s a beast and after 24 hours spiked to 88F, so I’ve been rotating frozen water jugs for an hour or so to get the must temp down to the mid 70’s, pull them out and do a punchdown, and continue the cycle. Seems to have slowed a bit, but Avante is a freight train that’s hard to stop. As @Ajmassa said few days better than no days!!
That spike to 88° is actually a good thing as far as I know. I’m not positive of this, still learning new aspects all the time so maybe someone could verify. But running hot like that in the first half of fermentation helps pull in extra ‘goodness’ out of those grapes. I forget it it’s color or body or what. But that high heat locks it in, whatever ‘it’ is.
So in a perfect world for a big red it spikes early followed by slow & steady drawn out finish. —-difficult to achieve for hobbyists but we do our best.
 

Ajmassa

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Goin for the dry ice chamber. Not a finished product by any means. Likely will double up the sides for 3”. This is 1-1/2” board. Made it big enough to fit a layer of spray insulation somehow and also keep some ice inside around the buckets as well as adding to the must.
Will iron out the particulars as I go I’m thinking. Semi-confident I’ll be able to keep the must cold enough for a few days.
(totally looks like a dead body stored in my basement 😂)
C81A5501-F0F2-4866-AE15-F4D9C48E4A46.jpegD0D01133-79D4-45C4-984A-46CB660040D0.jpegED766ACF-D97A-44E5-8F54-FB5FB05368BA.jpeg
 

Ajmassa

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Also, not exactly on topic but I salvaged an old coat rack from an elementary school I was working at. Cleaned it up and hung overhead as a drying rack over the sink. Been collecting dust for 6 months and finally got around to tweaking it up to install. Should did it sooner. I’m loving it. DFAE0821-ECDE-4DEB-9DA0-FB7EEEB159DF.jpeg
 

stickman

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Track lights, storage rack, peg board and stainless sink........way better than my plastic laundry tub and old school lead contaminated brass faucet.
 

BI81

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That spike to 88° is actually a good thing as far as I know. I’m not positive of this, still learning new aspects all the time so maybe someone could verify. But running hot like that in the first half of fermentation helps pull in extra ‘goodness’ out of those grapes. I forget it it’s color or body or what. But that high heat locks it in, whatever ‘it’ is.
So in a perfect world for a big red it spikes early followed by slow & steady drawn out finish. —-difficult to achieve for hobbyists but we do our best.
Yes sir, that spike can help with phenolic extraction, but also volatilizes the esters which can lose some aromatics, it all boils down to what style you’re going for.

I like your effort for temp control, makes me feel less crazy with the cold room I’m building in the garage of our rental house to hopefully accomplish the same goal. The pursuit is almost as fun as achieving the results!!
 

Jay A

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Nice set up! I like that bottle washer rig.

If you go ahead with dry ice be mindful of ventilation, especially if you share floor space with natural gas heating equipment.
 

Chuck E

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I do have a chest freezer I’ll likely utilize. Just can’t fit it all in there at the same time. Not dedicated to the mission unfortunately. But will certainly help the cause. Still playing around with different ideas right now.

you know the deal. Running standard fermentation with no temp control I’m dry after 5-6 days of active fermentation if I’m lucky. normally crush on Saturday. Yeast on Sunday. Press on Saturday. love to get extra days of skins time. I sprung for Napa grapes (Rutherford Bench) and I want to make the best possible wine I can make.
I have cats, so I have a lot of empty "kitty litter" buckets. They are square-ish and fit/stack much better in the freezer or refrigerator. Since litter is a form of Bentonite, I don't worry about any residue left after washing. This trick has allowed me to make wine on my time schedule. They are smaller than 5 gallons though.
 

Ajmassa

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I have cats, so I have a lot of empty "kitty litter" buckets. They are square-ish and fit/stack much better in the freezer or refrigerator. Since litter is a form of Bentonite, I don't worry about any residue left after washing. This trick has allowed me to make wine on my time schedule. They are smaller than 5 gallons though.
thats very convenient. Making smaller volumes allows for so much more control so much easier. Unfortunately between my family, friends, and myself, 30 bottles is gone in a flash. When I wanted to bump up my volume I found my comfort zone around 20gal batches. Not as convenient for these things but still doable.
 

Ajmassa

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Nice set up! I like that bottle washer rig.
If you go ahead with dry ice be mindful of ventilation, especially if you share floor space with natural gas heating equipment.
Stole the idea off another WMT member’s setup (@mainshipfred ) to be able to drop in the washer or remove easily.
Duly noted On the ventilation. I’ve got a window few ft away. Hoping a couple strategically placed fans will do the trick. And a freezer in the room to store ice. Just gotta estimate how much I’ll need.

Yes sir, that spike can help with phenolic extraction, but also volatilizes the esters which can lose some aromatics, it all boils down to what style you’re going for.

I like your effort for temp control, makes me feel less crazy with the cold room I’m building in the garage of our rental house to hopefully accomplish the same goal. The pursuit is almost as fun as achieving the results!!
thanks for clarifying. The fermentation temp battle to balance color & bouquet.
Couldn’t agree more tho. Def thought to myself - ‘am I being ridiculous with this Cold soak idea’? But yea man the prep and trying new techniques to make better wine or improve your setup is a huge part of the fun for
Me. About the journey just as much the destination as they say.
 

Ajmassa

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Dry ice Cold box cold soak is underway! So far seems to be working too.

box holds x6 6gal pails. I bought 100lbs of dry ice blocks. Wrapped them in brown flooring paper and stored in a heavy duty cooler. Also Lined the box with some moving blankets. She’s not fancy but I think it’ll work. Should have plenty of ice for 3 or 4 days.

I’ve got a few block pieces placed between the buckets. And I crushed some up to add directly into the must last night after I added enzymes. Maintaining high 30’s° - low 40’s°
Starting must temp was high 50’s°
Ambient room temp is about 67°


EDE1D2E0-0A5B-4D5F-B39E-0AF560197A04.jpeg2635F571-6F0E-4088-9371-36C869BF7605.jpegFD26113B-C645-405D-83AF-738ABE64FFDD.jpegD3C20949-00FF-4874-855F-F998BDE05E56.jpeg
 

Ajmassa

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Looks awesome, keep us updated.
I will. Working great. Dry ice is no joke. Some low areas in the buckets close to the blocks are freezing up. Temp is easily maintaining 35°-45°

I added another block today and some crushed pieces into the must. Will be plenty. Likely won’t have to do any additions tomorrow.The ice will melt before I’ll need it. Any extra will help our Halloween decor out front on the 31st!

maybe I’ll add some thurs morning and that’s it. That’ll take me into the weekend before inoculating. Moving blankets and paper stuffed in hollow spots made a big difference.
I read about issues from skins being burnt by the dry ice tho. Need to do more reading to see what the actual deal is. Picture is 24hours soaking05D1EDC6-F11F-4C5D-811F-EBDBB60D5830.jpeg
 

Ajmassa

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A lot of commercial wineries use dry ice to cool grapes.
Thanks for sharing that. The most detailed report of commercial winemaking I’ve ever seen. And yeah, it does seem to be fairly common practice.

my comment was based on 1 persons opinion in 1 conversation I found. He said he didn’t like skins to get frostbite because of how it tastes after. And uses actual gueacamole bowls filled with ice on top to remove headspace! If nothing else it’s an interesting convo. I’ve no concern over the frostbite aspect.
 

Ajmassa

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Going into this I figured there was a high probability could be a giant hassle and not worth it. Theory is always different than reality.

Assembling the box (with free material) and figuring makeshift insulation in real time, locating and purchasing the ice (Never used it before ever)- and all the fumbling & curveballs of any 1st attempt - I had my doubts. But it wasn’t bad at all. 2nd time will be a breeze.

And this is the first time I’ve had control over a ferment. Normally as soon as I crush- the clock starts. Under the gun with about a 2 day window to handle everything needed.

Aside from extraction benefits— I’m putting the grapes on MY schedule. Not theirs. And that in & of itself is priceless imo.

These commercial guys are often put on a pedastal- but in reality I think homewinemakers need to be way more crafty with the deck stacked against us. Most don’t know the struggle. They got it made with all the fancy equipment & staff & funds. Spoiled. put them in our shoes with identical resources, funds, full time jobs, etc etc - I’m willing to bet we can match them punch for punch. Until they eventually stop while we keep goin year after year. Plus it’s their job. We do it for the love of the game. So in summary- WE are the truer more pure winemakers.
This concludes my TED talk. Thank u.😁
 

VinesnBines

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I'm following this closely because like you say I have a day job; add to that my homeplace/farm/vineyard is 340 miles from my other house soo...once I get a crop(s) (hopefully next fall) the grapes are going to have to meet my schedule. I have several varieties so I'll need to utilize freezers, ice, dry ice....whatever tricks I have available to fit harvest/fermentation/day job to my schedule.
 

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