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winemaker81

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I follow the various EM threads with interest, trying to decide to try it or not. Today's email from WineMakerMag pointed out the article Macerating Skin Packs, regarding EM for kit wines with skin packs.

This quote caught my attention:

Technical expert Gail Tufford from the Winexpert line of kits had the following to weigh in: “There is no benefit to extending the fermentation period of a kit with skins. It is best to rack off of the skins and sediment after 14 days, 17 at the most. The skins will be spent by this point and will offer no further alcohol, flavor, or aromatics to the wine. The lees will start to break down and can give off-flavors if the wine is left on the sediment too long. It is really important to punch the skins down every day during fermentation. Mix them around and squish the skins bag to the sides of the fermenter and give it a good stir to incorporate flavors and tannin into the must. Even though the wine is naturally off-gassing, which offers some protection, there is still a risk of exposing the wine to bacteria if left in the fermenter too long.”
 

Swedeman

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So two experts (Tim and Gail) has different view on EM. Hmmm... Anyway, thanks for sharing.

Btw this part of the qoute " there is still a risk of exposing the wine to bacteria if left in the fermenter too long. " Is Gail referring to bacteria already in the fermenter? I mean before dosing it with sulphite/sorbate according to WE instructions. I doubt bacteria would find its way into a closed fermenter during EM.
 

winemaker81

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So two experts (Tim and Gail) has different view on EM
Ask a question of 10 winemakers, get at least 11 answers.

My take on Gail's quote is that the CO2 initially protects the wine from anything in the air. But once the CO2 deteriorates, the wine is exposed to anything in the air.
 
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cmason1957

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I stopped reading when the article said that there would be a blanket of CO2 on top of the wine. There is a very short time-frame blanket, but it all mixes together in under seconds and mixes. Now I suppose if the wine is still fermenting it blankets a bit longer.
 

wineh

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I agree with Gail. In fact, last February, someone posted a question about reusing grape packs in a second kit. This was my response :
"As most grapeskin packs are manufactured products (ie some grapeskins with sugar added), there won't be a lot left after one fermentation cycle. Certainly all the sugar will be gone. In addition, if you are leaving them in the must until they sink to the bottom, they're done just like the sediment."
 

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