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Mar 3, 2022
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Hi guys,

Malolactic fermentation!

So, I have been following a wine making book by and he say's after taking of skins, press and leave for up to 4 weeks for malolactic to finish before racking off gross lees.

Happy days, then on my down time I keep seeing everywhere that I need to get it off the gross lees within 48hrs for red wine. This was after I had it on the gross lees for 2 weeks.

I got in contact with a commercial winemaker and he said to leave on gross lees for 7 days then rack it and leave for another 3-5 weeks until malolactic finishes before adding met pot.

I have racked my wine after 2.5 weeks and it tastes fine, not funky or smelly. The airlocks 'might' have moved and I can't see any small or very tiny bubbles. I haven't added met pot.

What should I do next? Give it another couple weeks before the adding met pot then leave it for a month or two? Or what would you do.


The bad news is you will not know what your MLF is doing without running chromatography. That organism will shut down for winter and start back up in spring when tanks get above 60F.
IF it tastes fine and the sugar is fermented out/ well enough I would add potassium metabisulphite. (ex you are fermenting Chilean juice buckets with a TA of 0.5%)
lF it tasted too acidic I would wait longer (ex you are fermenting Minnesota grown high acid 1.10% TA juice). We are not making wine to get some magic number. We are making wine so that it tastes good.
I have 2 Chilean Juice fermenting now, with some excess grape skins from a kit wine made previously. At the SG of 1.020 I added Malo Culture to each fermentation bucket (day 4). I am waiting 24 hours, taking out the grape skins and then sealing my fermenters to airlock for 5 days or so. I'll then rack to carboys and let that sit for 6 weeks, then rack and add Kmeta.

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