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First time fresh grape wine maker

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Stevea51

Junior
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Jun 12, 2007
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Hello all,

I am going to try my hand at fresh grapes for the first time this year. I have made a couple of kits to get the process down somewhat. My question is about the fermentation temp. I will be making some Cab and pretty much figure that the ferm. temp should range from 70-75 degrees. From what I have learned with my kits is that the ferm temp can get has high as 80 or above. Should I keep the temp consistant with putting cool towels or ice packs in or on the outside to keep the temp constant or let it do its own thing temperature wise. Thanks for the help
Steve - Hollister CA
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
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Last summer it was so hot that temperature here in holland went up to 85-90 degrees.

I had 2 batches of elderberry fermenting when I went on a holliday and by returning
the yeast had died in both batches.
So I had a nasty sweet elderberry syrup.
20 liters went down the drain :mad:

So keep temperature low and constant if possible.

Luc
 

Wine Maker

Rocco
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Fermentation temperature

If the must temperature get above 85 degrees during fermentation you need to bring the temperature down otherwise your wine will either ferment much too rapidly or your fermentation will stop. Yeast has varying tolerances to temperature so you need to know the tolerance when selecting the yeast. A few years ago while fermenting Zinfandel in late Fall (in the northeast) we had a 90+ degree heat wave the whole time my wine fermented in my garage. I used bags of ice which I put in garbage bags and placed in the must. I had to use about 20 lbs of ice daily for the amount of wine being made (40 gals). This certainly brought my temperature down about 8 degrees, I was approaching 92 degrees must temp but the effort was a little too late. My wine fermented in 4 days (rather than my ususal 7 days) and I had a slight sulfer odor (not what you want). Please note that anytime you put anything foreign in the must you need to sanitize it. I sprayed the garbage bags with a sanitizing solution of potassium metabisulfite.
 

curt1

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making wine from fresh grapes

I have made wine twice from fresh squeezed grapes, the first time from Chancellor grapes and most recently from Foch grapes. Each time the wine ended up a bit on the sour side. The Chancellors were picked as I was told by the vineyard owners right on time, the Foch, well I have my doubts about the growers knowledge of the exact time to harvest them. It is fun to do, but I don't know if it is something I am doing wrong, or if the types of grapes I used will naturally turn out on the sour side and need sweetening.
 

AlFulchino

Winemaker of 30+ years
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punching the cap frequently will help moderate temps...keeping the fermenting tub inside a garage where it is in the shade and touching the ground also pretty much keeps everything under control even in pretty warm times....
 
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