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Extended Maceration and MLF

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Cjk

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Hi All,

I am planning on doing my first 6 gallon batch from all grapes this spring. I ordered 4 cases Chillean Cabernet Sauvignon and 2 cases Chillean Merlot (108 lbs). I recently did a 2 month Extended Maceration on an Eclipse Zinfandel kit and am excited about the long term potential of that wine. I'm trying to plan ahead, but have some questions.

With my first attempt at all grapes should I do Extended Maceration?
If Extended Maceration doesn't seem to prove too difficult, can or should I do MLF during EM?
If yes to both, do you have suggestions on MLF bacteria from More Wine making?

I bought two juice buckets last fall and did MLF on them. I used Wyeast 4007 liquid malolactic blend. I tested with Chromotography a few times and didn't get the best test results. I've since read that the liquid blend does not seem to get the best outcomes.

Any suggestions or tips you may have are welcome and appreciated!

Thank you,

Chris
 

mainshipfred

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Chris, most of what you are asking are preferences except the liquid yeast which I could never get to work and you are going to get different opinions. For me I would use enzymes instead of EM and do MLF after AF. My preferred MLB is MBR 31 but most you'll find use VP41 and most are coinocculating. Yes with those varietals I would do an MLF.
 

cmason1957

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I wouldn't try to do an Extended Maceration with all grapes. Enzymes are the way to go. If you have a way to keep your wine cold, below probably 40 F, maybe lower, then maybe an extended soak makes sense, but there's just a whole lot more skins, seeds, leaves, and such to deal with. Extended Maceration is really a kit with limited amounts of skins kind of thing. I am an MLF after AF kinda guy as well, I have used both MBR 31 and VP41 both work just fine. Last time I did an MLF, I used Enoferm Alpha (or maybe it was Beta), I haven't noticed a huge difference between any of them. I don't coinocculate, since I use the buckets for both kits and all grapes, don't want that MLB hanging around, if something might get backsweetend and have Ksorbate added. My carboys are also segregated.
 

Cjk

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Thank you both,

I just started using enzymes in my kits along with yeast nutrients. What I've used is Lallzyme EX and OptiRed. I recently read about ColorPro. Does ColorPro basically acheive the same thing as those two? Is there anything else you recommend adding?

Thank you!
 

mainshipfred

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Thank you both,

I just started using enzymes in my kits along with yeast nutrients. What I've used is Lallzyme EX and OptiRed. I recently read about ColorPro. Does ColorPro basically acheive the same thing as those two? Is there anything else you recommend adding?

Thank you!
I use Lallzyme EX and Opti Red as well along with Go Ferm and FT Rouge.
 

jsbeckton

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I don't coinocculate, since I use the buckets for both kits and all grapes, don't want that MLB hanging around, if something might get backsweetend and have Ksorbate added. My carboys are also segregated.
Is the concern only if you backsweeten? I was planning to use same buckets that I do kits in but wasn’t aware of this issue but never backsweeten if that makes a difference.
 

cmason1957

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Is the concern only if you backsweeten? I was planning to use same buckets that I do kits in but wasn’t aware of this issue but never backsweeten if that makes a difference.
I wouldn't want the MLB to get anywhere near a kit. I am probably over concerned about this issue. But I figure better safe than sorry.

The issue, in case you are not aware, is potassium sorbate and the Malolactic Bacteria. When they get together the produce the wonderful smell of geraniums. There is no way to get rid of the smell.
 
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tradowsk

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I was chatting with the winemaker at a local winery a few weeks ago, and he does a 3 week EM on all his dry reds (cab sauv, cab franc, and merlot mainly). He found 3 weeks was the sweet spot to boost tannins and flavor without getting bitterness from the seeds. His wines are really good imho so perhaps a short EM would be beneficial for you.
 

jsbeckton

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I wouldn't want the MLB to get anywhere near a kit. I am probably over concerned about this issue. But I figure better safe than sorry.

The issue, in case you are not aware, is potassium sorbate and the Malolactic Bacteria. When they get together the produce the wonderful smell of geraniums. There is no way to get rid of the smell.
Thanks. I only make dry wines so my standard operating procedure it to immediately toss the sorbate into the trash [emoji51]
 

jgmillr1

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I wouldn't want the MLB to get anywhere near a kit. I am probably over concerned about this issue. But I figure better safe than sorry.

The issue, in case you are not aware, is potassium sorbate and the Malolactic Bacteria. When they get together the produce the wonderful smell of geraniums. There is no way to get rid of the smell.
And that the kit wine could have had it's acid adjusted with citric acid which can be converted to vinegar by MLF
 

baron4406

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If you co-innoculate with your MLF you could try a week or two EM with your all grape batch. I did that with my last batch of Petite Syrah and it went great, since the MLF is throwing off a small amount of CO2 it helps plus don't "stir" the wine just push down the cap slightly to wet the top layer of grapes. Its what my local winery does and his wines are top notch. It helps to visit wineries and see how the experts make wine.
 

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