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Fermentation Plan; Racking; Oaking; One-Step Cleanser

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Junior
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I’m only a few years into my wine making adventure so looking for all the help I can get! Has anyone used One Step to clean and sanitize equipment? I have always used b-brite and Kmeta in the past, but I want to keep sulfites low to allow for a better fermentation and MLF. Also curious if my process below needs some tweaking.
Any helpful tips on oaking, when to press, and when to rack thereafter would be fantastic.


Wine: blend (50% cab sauv, 30% merlot, 20% cab franc) - 10 boxes of grapes

My process:
1. Ferment in primary tub until SG ~.995 ( some say to rack and press earlier - curious if there is a consensus here?)
(Fermentation plan: sulfite wild yeast, wait a day, add llayzome-ex, Fermaid k, opti-red, goferm with hydrated icv-d254 yeast; wait a day or so, punch down the cap 2 times a day, add more yeast nutrient at about 1/3 Brix depletion, add more nutrient and energizer at 2/3 depletion)

2. Add opti-malo and malo bacteria enoferm a day or two before pressing.

3. Rack free juice and press must into clean sanitized carboys (this year just used One Step - should I always sanitize the carboy with Kmeta? Was concerned that it would impact MLF)

4. Wait a week for lees to settle (should I do this sooner?? I’ve heard people say to rack 2 days after pressing, others say two weeks)

5. Rack into clean carboy (just one step used - should I have sanitized with kmeta?)

6. Bulk age for ~2 months to allow completion of MLF

7. Rack and use kmeta

8. Bulk age for 6 months on medium toast French oak cubes (should I soak these in kmeta water prior to putting into the carboys?)

9. Rack after 6 months

10. Sulfite and Bottle

Any thoughts on my fermentation plan, additives, cleansing with One step, oaking, and number of rackings would be great.

Thanks!
 

sour_grapes

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When I first started, I used One Step as a sanitizer because, until shortly before that time, it was sold as a sanitizer. Then they abjured that designation. I figured there was a reason, so I started using StarSan. Why not StarSan for you?
 

stickman

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I added my comments in red. These comments are general and very winemaker will have their own preferences.


My process:
1. Ferment in primary tub until SG ~.995 ( some say to rack and press earlier - curious if there is a consensus here?)

The decision on when to press depends on the grapes to some extent, generally early pressing is for selective extraction of tannin and color for softer wines usually earlier drinking, late pressing usually yields more tannin with greater longevity. Under ripe grapes will give harsh tannins with extended contact, while over ripe grapes don't seem to offer much with extended contact. I usually wait until the wine is dry and then add several days depending on day job schedule.

(Fermentation plan: sulfite wild yeast, wait a day, add llayzome-ex, Fermaid k, opti-red, goferm with hydrated icv-d254 yeast; wait a day or so, punch down the cap 2 times a day, add more yeast nutrient at about 1/3 Brix depletion, add more nutrient and energizer at 2/3 depletion)

Generally I would wait a couple of days before adding the first Fermaid K addition, unless you know the must is very low YAN.

2. Add opti-malo and malo bacteria enoferm a day or two before pressing.

If you are co-fermenting then add ML culture 24 to 48hrs after yeast inocculation (other people who have done this can chime in), for sequential fermentation I typically rack 24 to 48hrs after the press, then add the ML culture.

3. Rack free juice and press must into clean sanitized carboys (this year just used One Step - should I always sanitize the carboy with Kmeta? Was concerned that it would impact MLF)

Generally a small residue of sanitizer shouldn't be a problem. At this early stage, I personally don't like to leave any sanitizing residue in the carboys, but admittedly I'm a bit neurotic about this.

4. Wait a week for lees to settle (should I do this sooner?? I’ve heard people say to rack 2 days after pressing, others say two weeks)

I don't like to go longer than 48 before racking off of the gross lees, often you can go longer, but sulfides can sometimes appear overnight.

5. Rack into clean carboy (just one step used - should I have sanitized with kmeta?)

Generally a small residue of sanitizer shouldn't be a problem. At this early stage, I personally don't like to leave any sanitizing residue in the carboys, but admittedly I'm a bit neurotic about this.

6. Bulk age for ~2 months to allow completion of MLF

7. Rack and use kmeta

8. Bulk age for 6 months on medium toast French oak cubes (should I soak these in kmeta water prior to putting into the carboys?)

I add oak straight from the bag dry, others may spritz with Kmeta as a precaution.

9. Rack after 6 months

10. Sulfite and Bottle
 

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I don't like to go longer than 48 before racking off of the gross lees, often you can go longer, but sulfides can sometimes appear overnight.

This is very helpful! Thanks for the insights! Curious if you happen to sense sulfides building in the wine if kept on gross lees for too long, are there any adaquate fixes?
 

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When I first started, I used One Step as a sanitizer because, until shortly before that time, it was sold as a sanitizer. Then they abjured that designation. I figured there was a reason, so I started using StarSan. Why not StarSan for you?
I am not sure if this is true, but I was told that Star San being an acid based cleanser can potentially throw your wine out of balance. One step is an oxidation cleaner so I would have to believe that there can be negative effects as well if residue is left. Have you had positive results with Star San thus far? I know it is widely used within the home brewing community.
 

Scooter68

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I've never worried or had any problems with Star San affect my wine balance. There is so little of it left, if any, once drained and dried.

Besides the change to not being called a Sanitizing solution and nonger, One-Step has very short shelf life as well as being tedious to dissolve even in Hot water.
I switched to StarSan since it's very economical (Approx $20.00/ quart = 160 gallons of solution)

I suppose that K-Meta would be equally as economical too.

If you are worried about StarSan residue effect I don't see why you shouldn't also be concerned about K-Meta residue as well. Since cleaning solutions are relatively concentrated.
In reality I really doubt that either one is going to have any effect on a wine unless you leave a couple of oz of liquid in your carboy/bucket or bottles.
 

jumby

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I have been using One Step for about a decade to clean and sanitize all of my equipment.
 

GaDawg

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I have only used Star San and have never had a problem with over 2,000 bottles made.
 

Scooter68

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With most of these various sanitizers and cleaners, problems happen when processes not followed correctly or something in the 'mix' isn't right - Like a high mineral content.
The fact that the word "Sanitizer" has been removed from advertising may or may not be a critical thing, sometimes government standards are changed or someone decides to change the evaluation processes for products.

For me, with One-step it was two things that changed my choice: Very short effective life and The problems of getting it to dissolve into my solution. (Sometimes even after overnight sitting)
With Starsan there's that 'built-in' sign - when the solution goes cloudy, that warns you to discard the mix.
 

BgWine

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With most of these various sanitizers and cleaners, problems happen when processes not followed correctly or something in the 'mix' isn't right - Like a high mineral content.
The fact that the word "Sanitizer" has been removed from advertising may or may not be a critical thing, sometimes government standards are changed or someone decides to change the evaluation processes for products.

For me, with One-step it was two things that changed my choice: Very short effective life and The problems of getting it to dissolve into my solution. (Sometimes even after overnight sitting)
With Starsan there's that 'built-in' sign - when the solution goes cloudy, that warns you to discard the mix.
The issue with dissolving One-Step is a bit maddening.

Do you find that you switch from Star San to simply rinsing with a Kmeta solution or is star San always part of your carboy prep routine?
 

Scooter68

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I use the most plain dishwashing liquid for cleaning unless I "Trust" that the container is already clean or it's metal and clearly does not have any residue on it. I normally sanitize everything very quickly after use so nothing gets a chance to dry. I also do water rinses of things like sample tube, hydrometers and glass or metal measuring cups/spoons.
I don't use any K-Meta solution for sanitizing or rinsing, just StarSan.

(Those water rinses are before sanitizing by the way. Never after sanitizing. Also when in doubt at all, I sanitize again before using equipment of containers - easier to have that peace of mind, especially if I haven't used it in a while)
 
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Venatorscribe

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Well said. I do exactly the same. I am pleased I am not the only one who is obsessively diligent in this area and believes there is no room for error.
 

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