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Fresh Juice with fresh Grapes

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Tarpon230

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I ordered two 6 gallon buckets Petite Sirah and 1 lug PS grapes. I have never used grapes before. I purchased a 16 gallon fermenter and my thoughts are to combine them all together with the grapes in a food grade mesh bag. I have been doing just the fresh juice for a couple years and they seem a little light to me. I am hoping with the fresh grapes it will improve the wine. Also want to try mlf for the first time. Anyone have any experience with this? Looking for some pointers.
 

Boatboy24

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You can use paint strainer bags, obtainable at your local big box store. May need a few though. Destem by hand into the bags, then gently crush. If you can get it, try adding some Lallzyme-EX and let it sit for 12 hours or so before pitching the yeast. Opti-Red is also useful, but you must add that 12 hours (I usually go 24) or so AFTER adding the Lallzyme. My process is usually to add the enzyme, then 24 hours later, add Opti-Red and pitch yeast.

Definitely recommend MLF on red wines.
 

Kraffty

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You should and you need to crush or break them open also. I'm thinking your 16 gallon container is about half or so of the size you need. Once it starts fermentation the grapes will want to float up and out of container if it's not big enough. Might buy another one and split your grapes and buckets 1/2 and 1/2.
Mike
 

Tarpon230

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Having a hard time finding the bacteria for the MLF, can someone point me in the right direction? I have a small batch on 16 gallons.
 

Ajmassa

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https://morewinemaking.com/category/malolactic-bacteria.html

Morewine.com is phenomenal website for us home winemakers. They have pretty much mostly all things you'd ever need. Reasonable pricing. Free shipping anything over $60.
And dozens of manuels or instructions of all different aspects of winemaking in PDF listed under "MoreManuals". There's a couple other similar, but they are my main online source.
 

cmason1957

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You may want to purchase the Wyeast MLB that is good for 6 gallons (well three of those for your 16). I haven't heard of many people having good luck with that, but it is a little bit cheaper.

I am a big fan of VP41, the Dry Malolactic Bacteria - Viniflora, the CH16, and Enoferm Alpha. Actually, now that I look at the cost, the 3 vials of Wyest would be about $24 and the others I mentioned will do up to 66 gallons are about the same amount. Use it all, also get some Acti-ML or Opti-Malo Plus. You will probably need 3 packs of either of those. Think of them as Yeast Nutrient for MLB.
 

Tarpon230

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What is the best why to test the PH? Should I just purchase the strips? Thanks again for all your help, This is my first time trying MLF.
 

cmason1957

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Don't buy the strips the aren't worth the paper they are printed on. You need a ph meter. I have a Milwaukee mw-102. It works great. There are less expensive ones that work at least OK. But you get what you pay for. I don't often check total acidity. Many folks do, but I just taste for that part.
 

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