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encouraging malo

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PhilDarby

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Thinking outside the box :-

Encouraging malolactic, using the following methods, predominantly for red wines.

For me personally I tend to swirl my tubes around, so as to dry them (ie) spin them, so the fluid flies out, this avoids trapped water etc, then leave them on the draining board a few days, so, as to ensure there is no trapped water etc, then when im sure they are completely dry I place them in an old beer fermenting vessel with my other home brew goodies including yeasts, hydrometers and other stuff.

Its my experience that most harmful bacteria, don't survive well without moisture, hence my method, same goes for all my home brew kit, I totally dry them before storage, using this methodology, I use very little sterilising stuff.

PS ive been using the same tubing for 20 years (don't laugh) without issues (it is defo food grade) in reality I don't even use tubing much these days, I tend to make small batches approx. 5 gallons max, and filter, or funnel, pouring by hand, if needs be through a sieve predominently, or a 5 micron filter, made from hypo allergenic pillow covering, which ive also, been using for years and which is very stain resistant and is probably based on polyester.

If I spied an oil slick, I would obviously use tubing to eliminate it.

In addition I tend to not let fruit sit to long on top, of the wine, although sometimes I add some fruit as a kind of f pack addition, fruit at the bottom of the vessel, I tend to leave alone, while its aging, a bit like a burgundy type wine, fruit at the bottom tends to add nuances to the flavour and provides nutrients for malo and doesn't have oxygen spoilage potential for opportunistic organisms.

In short that's my home brew philosophy, which may not be conventional, but, it works well for me personally.

In addition I tend to use a 5 gallon, beer bucket, modified to fit an airlock, for medium term storage, over a four and a half year period, this bucket has never ran less than half full and most of my wine spends some time in this bucket, on principal, I will never ever, let this bucket become dry, in similar fashion to the Spanish solera system, this is my aging bucket, which includes all my blends from the last 4 1/2 years, basically, the wine I consider worthy, of blending, recently someone gave me a microscope and out of interest I made a microscope slide and spied oenococcus oeni, the bacteria responsible for malo, meaning that, this system is aiding my wines natural aging process and introducing malo bacteria, into my aging process, meaning more mature wine at a younger age.

In addition, this idea evolves with every new batch, as the last batch adds the predominant flavour, for those familiar with blending, this is a very noticeable trait of wine, as aging wine tends to loose its basic, fruit flavours, while aging, meaning as you add more flavours It tends to become more complexed, the predominant fruit flavour, being, the last one added, which, is also, the same concept behind an f pack, as the last flavour added becomes a dominant flavour, especially, as alcohol strength increases and is more pronounced, in wine lacking initial flavour to begin with.

Further, I tend to drink my wine from a small oak barrel, before decanting, which again, I have isolated oenus from, all these elements add up to a decent mature drink at a youngish age.

The spotting of oenococcus was retrospective, as I had deliberately provided good conditions for its survival, but, it was a good sight to behold and confirmed my suspicions.

My new, basic philosophy is natural aging, good conditions and as few chemicals as possible, I can honestly state I haven't used sterilisers, apart from the occasional campden tablet, in about 2 years haven't had a wine infection in that time, bar one, from approx. 14 or 16 ferments, have used socially hygienic conditions ie basic cleaning of stuff, the main concern being that they are totally dry before storage, rinsed in clean water, before drying and totally dry before storage, these basic principals have changed my wine making ability, meaning I no longer use chemicals, by using smaller vessels, I can isolate problems when needed and avoid spread, simply by sampling methods.

A general description of the difference in flavour, if you where to take a bite of a green apple, which is usually a bit acidic and slightly harsh, that would be wine prior to malo, if you then imagine taking a bite from a red apple, that is the difference, the acid being more akin to milk than apple ie less harsh more subtle and more easy going down, for those who have tasted curds and whey, the resulting wine has a whey like flavour ie less acidic and more mellow going down and more like the flavour of a mature wine, as opposed to a new one.

Traditional, uk cider making, utilises, this principal, utilising a mix of red and green apples, in order to replicate the flavour, of green apples which have under gone malo, although at the time, I suspect they did not realise, what they where trying to achieve, suspecting they arrived at the idea from tasting, previous cider alone, realising that a blend was the way forwards.

General conditions which encourage oenus, young wine with plenty of nutrients IE plenty of non spoilage organic material, aided by sediment which lies at the bottom of a fermenting vessel, such stuff is not contributary to spoilage organisms, which lie at the top of a fermenting vessel, which are exposed to oxygen and encourage random bacterial growth, which may not benefit wine aging.

Following this, wine aged with a small amount oxygen ie a small barrel with a loose bung ie a small sherry barrel, is the ideal conditions, as these new conditions, with some oxygen, encourage oenus, to convert normal acidic wine into lacto based, more alkaline wine, which is less acidic.

The difference between yeast and oenus, being, that oenus requires more oxygen, although, both can survive in the absence of oxygen, if needs be.

Despite this, even, oenus requires less oxygen, than other, random organisms, to thrive, in wine.

They are the exact conditions under which I currently home brew wine, giving, slightly more oxygen, while barrel aging.

Pictures and further scientific info, to follow, hopefully including microscopic examples.

Additives for mouth feel, basically around 200 to 250 mls of mango, per gallon, adds mouth feel, with time this disappears and becomes a white wine flavouring, but, short term (ie) several months it adds, what I presume is vegetable glycerine or similar, a thick semi sweet, slow fermenting additive, which aids mouth feel considerably. Which strictly speaking is another subject, but, thought I would add here. It works with both red and white wine, adding a lot of body, although, it drops a lot of long term clumpy sediment, so doesn't interfere with clearing, much, depending on the maker. It is very useful, for adding short term body to a wine, in order to drink it at short notice, if not drunk right away, it leaves sediment, which, is easily removed and doesn't interfere with short term drinking. It also, has the peculiar habbit of making wine taste stronger than it really is, while adding mouth feel. Very odd additive, with, unusual benefits, if used as an f pack.
 
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Stressbaby

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Long post so I could have missed it, but how do you know it is oenococcus as compared to any other GPC in pairs or chains?
 

bkisel

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Wow! I'm so glad that this hobby can be enjoyed on so many different levels of complexity. I can appreciate the OPs approach/techniques but I feel, for me, it would be to much and take to much fun out of this hobby of mine.
 

PhilDarby

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being honest I was given the microscope and was merely thinking of stuff to look at, online I found a site, with lists of stuff found in commercial wineries, including pictures, so, basically that's what I did, I was curious (and a bit bored) about the organisms in my wine. The main reason I was going to use photos was basically out of interest for people to see, as im guessing a lot of people, might not have a microscope and those who do, it might not have crossed their minds to look. Also, I was actually very drunk, when I did the article, so it may not have been one of my better ideas, the idea actually stemmed from reading about syphon tube storage, which got me thinking, about other stuff related to bacteria etc Also, my wine making style is very different to traditional methods, due, to very limited working space (mostly in the bottom of my wardrobe) meaning, a lot of my techniques are improvised. Going way back, I knew that I don't have enough storage space to age my wine using normal wine making methods, which is basically, why I use a large 5 gallon bucket, for medium term storage (which is quite large inside a wardrobe) and why I have a weird techniques, of aging etc, it also, means I do lots of blending and most of my wines are drunk fairly young, due, to limited storage potential, due to these constraints, I arrived at trying to copy the basic concept, of rotating and blending, which is used by Spanish type wines, as that was the only viable way I could see, which, would give me any chance at all of creating some wine I could age.

The microscope slides where just something in passing, what I am actually glad about, is the fact that even in such a small space, I can produce something which, I enjoy drinking and doesn't always taste like a tart, or, young immature wine.

@stressbaby basically by comparing the images , with the known ones, which I found, online. In addition I knew oenus was in there, because, I could taste the milky like flavour in the wine anyway. After, reading about its ideal growing conditions, I realised that I had inadvertently provided near perfect conditions for its growth.
 
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