Other FWK and MLF

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TCPT18

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I had posted in another thread about putting my FWK reds through MLF. Thought I would follow up.
I started a Cab Sav and Bordeaux fall 2021. Fermentation went well and as I was putting other juice buckets through MLF I thought I would do so with the FWK.
The MFL was challenging but it did complete after about 4 months. I aged on oak and 2 months ago pulled from oak and rechecked my ph/TA.
Cab Ph 3.98, TA 6.
Bord Ph 4.02, TA 5.6
Taste was flat. Nice body and mouthfeel but did not love the overall balance. I did not want to play with the acidity at first. I added some cellaring tannin to see if the astringency would improve anything but as of this week still not satisfied. I have 18 gallons of each so I decided to adjust the acidity.
Did my calculations to bring both up to 6.2 and added half that addition of tartaric today. I will re taste and test in 2 weeks. Add additional tartaric if needed based on taste then numbers. Would like to get them into bottles before I start 2022 fall wines.
So in summary, MLF will throw your FWK out of balance in my opinion. Has anyone else tried MLF? What was your experience?
 

Jim Welch

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I had posted in another thread about putting my FWK reds through MLF. Thought I would follow up.
I started a Cab Sav and Bordeaux fall 2021. Fermentation went well and as I was putting other juice buckets through MLF I thought I would do so with the FWK.
The MFL was challenging but it did complete after about 4 months. I aged on oak and 2 months ago pulled from oak and rechecked my ph/TA.
Cab Ph 3.98, TA 6.
Bord Ph 4.02, TA 5.6
Taste was flat. Nice body and mouthfeel but did not love the overall balance. I did not want to play with the acidity at first. I added some cellaring tannin to see if the astringency would improve anything but as of this week still not satisfied. I have 18 gallons of each so I decided to adjust the acidity.
Did my calculations to bring both up to 6.2 and added half that addition of tartaric today. I will re taste and test in 2 weeks. Add additional tartaric if needed based on taste then numbers. Would like to get them into bottles before I start 2022 fall wines.
So in summary, MLF will throw your FWK out of balance in my opinion. Has anyone else tried MLF? What was your experience?
I posed a question about MLF and FWKs in what I’ll refer to the main FWK thread here, the one with over 2000 replies. Here is Mateo’s reply:
“The only thing I will say is that MLF will soften the wine. It may result in a flabby finished product. I’ve done MLF and I don’t prefer the outcome but that’s also my taste. I prefer aggressive acidity.”
Unfortunately for me I’d already inoculated 4 separate FW kits! They are currently bulk aging and haven’t tried them. But I guess I could blend them if they are flabby.
 

Ohio Bob

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Is it possible to add some acid to brighten it up? My only 2 kits are still bulk aging so I’ve never had to address the issue. But if MLF reduces the acidity, why not just add some back?
 

TCPT18

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Is it possible to add some acid to brighten it up? My only 2 kits are still bulk aging so I’ve never had to address the issue. But if MLF reduces the acidity, why not just add some back?
That is what I did today. Doing so incrementally so I don't over acidify at this point. Thanks for your input...
 

TCPT18

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I posed a question about MLF and FWKs in what I’ll refer to the main FWK thread here, the one with over 2000 replies. Here is Mateo’s reply:
“The only thing I will say is that MLF will soften the wine. It may result in a flabby finished product. I’ve done MLF and I don’t prefer the outcome but that’s also my taste. I prefer aggressive acidity.”
Unfortunately for me I’d already inoculated 4 separate FW kits! They are currently bulk aging and haven’t tried them. But I guess I could blend them if they are flabby.
I would agree that the end product post MLF was very flabby and flat. I would agree it was soft with a nice mouthfeel but as noted generally out of balance. Will let you know how it came out in a few weeks.
 

AR324

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Was wondering why put a kit through MLF? I understand that FWKs are not pasteurized like traditional kits but I assume they are balanced and MLF is not part of the instructions.

I guess I don’t want to mess to much with kits, aside from some minor tweaks. MLF seems dangerous to me and I’d hate to waste the money.

Thanks for the report. It doesn’t seem worth it and based on the numbers it looks like the FWKs were fairly balanced.

Just curious as to why it was attempted.
 

wineview

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I struggled with MLF last year and have no interest in doing it again. I think I would like to sell the additional equipment I bought to test.
 

TCPT18

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Was wondering why put a kit through MLF? I understand that FWKs are not pasteurized like traditional kits but I assume they are balanced and MLF is not part of the instructions.

I guess I don’t want to mess to much with kits, aside from some minor tweaks. MLF seems dangerous to me and I’d hate to waste the money.

Thanks for the report. It doesn’t seem worth it and based on the numbers it looks like the FWKs were fairly balanced.

Just curious as to why it was attempted.
AR324... I had some non kits that were going through MLF. I like what MLF does to a red wine. My thought was that with the grape solids there would be a more aggressive malic in the blend and would respond positively. So it did indeed give me a good mouthfeel however the acid balance became skewed. I am trying to regain that balance now with tartaric in incremental additions.
My post was made to advise any other curious minds who like the charictaristics of MLF to be aware of the notable resultsin TA and ph before they inoculate with a bacteria. My next 2 batches are processing without any MLF in the plan....
Some times you just got to experiement and learn what will and will not work. It will be a good wine even with my current numbers. It tastes very good just slightly soft and flabby. I hope my acid additions will give a little bounce back.
Either way I have learned something about this product. I would not do MLF again..

Thanks for your interest.
 

TCPT18

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I struggled with MLF last year and have no interest in doing it again. I think I would like to sell the additional equipment I bought to test.
Wine view...it can be a challenge howerever I really like the outcome when it completes and gives a nice round full feel to the wine. Give it another go. It can be fickle and acid, temps, ph etc can all impact MLF process and completion. But it can b e managed with some good research and reading to learn what and what not to add and do. I always use ML nutrients. try to be sure the Ph is above 3.2 and keep the temp in the mid 60s and usually it will do its thing....

Good luck if you try it again!
 

TCPT18

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I posed a question about MLF and FWKs in what I’ll refer to the main FWK thread here, the one with over 2000 replies. Here is Mateo’s reply:
“The only thing I will say is that MLF will soften the wine. It may result in a flabby finished product. I’ve done MLF and I don’t prefer the outcome but that’s also my taste. I prefer aggressive acidity.”
Unfortunately for me I’d already inoculated 4 separate FW kits! They are currently bulk aging and haven’t tried them. But I guess I could blend them if they are flabby.
look forward to your report when you test them... And what you decide to do if anything post bulk aging...
 

Cap Puncher

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I did a the Petite Sirah FWK and put it through ML. I preemptively added 12 grams or tartaric acid to keep the pH from going to high. It came out with a final pH of 3.88. It tasted decently balanced (not flabby). I would do it again.

I think preemptively added tartaric at the beginning helps to integrate the acid better as well.
 

TCPT18

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I did a the Petite Sirah FWK and put it through ML. I preemptively added 12 grams or tartaric acid to keep the pH from going to high. It came out with a final pH of 3.88. It tasted decently balanced (not flabby). I would do it again.

I think preemptively added tartaric at the beginning helps to integrate the acid better as well.
Great advisr...thanks
 

joeswine

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AR324... I had some non kits that were going through MLF. I like what MLF does to a red wine. My thought was that with the grape solids there would be a more aggressive malic in the blend and would respond positively. So it did indeed give me a good mouthfeel however the acid balance became skewed. I am trying to regain that balance now with tartaric in incremental additions.
My post was made to advise any other curious minds who like the charictaristics of MLF to be aware of the notable resultsin TA and ph before they inoculate with a bacteria. My next 2 batches are processing without any MLF in the plan....
Some times you just got to experiement and learn what will and will not work. It will be a good wine even with my current numbers. It tastes very good just slightly soft and flabby. I hope my acid additions will give a little bounce back.
Either way I have learned something about this product. I would not do MLF again..

Thanks for your interest.
These are kits and are not designed to be handled as raw juice would be , if you read tweaking cheap wine kits some of those principles apply to your problems
 

joeswine

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Great advisr...thanks
Adding oaks and tannins in the primary start the building process , adding once again in the secondary established the tasting notes . A ph of3.5 to 4.5 higher end is enough
 

Cap Puncher

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These are kits and are not designed to be handled as raw juice would be , if you read tweaking cheap wine kits some of those principles apply to your problems
I disagree, while FWK are balanced to start, they are more like raw juice than any other kits out there. Matteo had said the kits will go through ML, which is true. You just need to try to anticipate on how to balance.

Citric acid is used to balance most other kits which can cause issues with ML. FWK don’t do that from what I understand.

I tasted my FWK petite sirah that I did the ML last night. I’m really happy with it. I am going to use a gallon of it to blend with a Winegrapesdirect cab sav that I did that needs more color and depth. I am glad I put it through ML for this purpose as well. I won’t have to worry about instabilities in the blend.
 
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My post was made to advise any other curious minds who like the charictaristics of MLF to be aware of the notable resultsin TA and ph before they inoculate with a bacteria.
Thanks! I appreciate the information.

I disagree, while FWK are balanced to start, they are more like raw juice than any other kits out there. Matteo had said the kits will go through ML, which is true. You just need to try to anticipate on how to balance.
Consider that "more like" does not mean "same as". The concentration process has an effect upon the juice, making it different. FWK's process may be more benign, but it still has an effect.

Any wine containing natural malic acid is a candidate for MLF. However, my impression is that grapes and juice undergoing MLF don't need balancing afterward, which flags a huge difference with concentrates. This makes me lean away from doing MLF with kits.

YMMV
 

AR324

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I disagree, while FWK are balanced to start, they are more like raw juice than any other kits out there. Matteo had said the kits will go through ML, which is true. You just need to try to anticipate on how to balance.

Citric acid is used to balance most other kits which can cause issues with ML. FWK don’t do that from what I understand.

I tasted my FWK petite sirah that I did the ML last night. I’m really happy with it. I am going to use a gallon of it to blend with a Winegrapesdirect cab sav that I did that needs more color and depth. I am glad I put it through ML for this purpose as well. I won’t have to worry about instabilities in the blend.
The FWK instructions do not include MLF. I think it would if trials warranted such treatment. I’m just loathe to mess with these kits. They seem a cut above others, especially with the grape packs that are available.

That said, if you’re happy with the outcome, that’s what matters. I applaud your experimentation and sharing the results. It’s all food for thought.
 

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