How Long for MLF?

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mzee

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How Long for MLF?
Post primary ML inoculation done on 28 Nov. Opti malo and MLB CH-16 both at recommended dosage and carboys kept at 70°. Wines are French Am hybrids and Syrah. 5 weeks on, Syrah is still working. How long should I wait?
 

NCWC

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One way is this
What I do is,I just let it go 3-4 weeks, 70-75 F and it's done, pretty much then rack to long-term storage.
I only bulk age at 25ppm SO2 so I don't worry about killing the ML. Most if not all ML's can take 50 ppm before they die
I bulk age at 60 F again ML still works >57 F
 

Ajmassa

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How Long for MLF?
Post primary ML inoculation done on 28 Nov. Opti malo and MLB CH-16 both at recommended dosage and carboys kept at 70°. Wines are French Am hybrids and Syrah. 5 weeks on, Syrah is still working. How long should I wait?
if you aren’t running any kind of mlf test like chromatography kit or accuVin strips then people go up to even 2-3 months before transferring and sulphiting to be sure it has finished.

the commercial joints actually prefer a long gradual mlf process.
 

CDrew

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How Long for MLF?
Post primary ML inoculation done on 28 Nov. Opti malo and MLB CH-16 both at recommended dosage and carboys kept at 70°. Wines are French Am hybrids and Syrah. 5 weeks on, Syrah is still working. How long should I wait?
Lots of variables.
What bacteria
When in fermentation
Compatibility of yeast
Alcohol content
Temperature
pH

You get the picture. None of us can tell you. You, however, can tell yourself, with a chromatography test. Since I co-inoculate, and I'm in a warm winemaking climate, I know pretty reliably that by 2 weeks after alcoholic fermentation, my MLF is finished. So I wait 2 more weeks and rack/sulfite. But the best way to know is to test. I had such consistent results in 2018 and 2019 I didn't bother in 2020. I will bother in 2021 but need new chems.
 

jgmillr1

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How Long for MLF?
Post primary ML inoculation done on 28 Nov. Opti malo and MLB CH-16 both at recommended dosage and carboys kept at 70°. Wines are French Am hybrids and Syrah. 5 weeks on, Syrah is still working. How long should I wait?
I use CH16 also for my MLF and had similar temps this fall for my hybrid grapes. I ran the chromatography test after about 4 weeks and all were done. CH16 is a workhorse. I like to get MLF done and hit the wine with 50ppm sulfites before barrel aging.
 

Ignoble Grape

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I'm having a hard time finishing up MLF this year with 2 wines that are in the garage. Grapes came in late and it's just been a little too chilly for them to finish. Have them wrapped up in heating pads with some reflective bubble wrap. Looks very space-age engineering. Next year will innoculate with ML & yeast concurrently so I don't have this problem. I'm going to re-run the chromatography test next weekend. Hope that at least one of them is wrapped up.

Smarter today than we were yesterday.
 

mzee

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I'm having a hard time finishing up MLF this year with 2 wines that are in the garage. Grapes came in late and it's just been a little too chilly for them to finish. Have them wrapped up in heating pads with some reflective bubble wrap. Looks very space-age engineering. Next year will innoculate with ML & yeast concurrently so I don't have this problem. I'm going to re-run the chromatography test next weekend. Hope that at least one of them is wrapped up.

Smarter today than we were yesterday.
I read a Lallemand article about co-innoculation but it was unclear about which yeasts to use with which MLB. Do you know which yeast and MLB you will be using?
 

SLM

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A related question that I have not found an answer to. This is also my first crack at MLF. Is there any way to confirm that MLB is actually working if you don't have a chromatography kit? Any visible signs? I have the test strips that are apparently not good at showing progress, only completion. If the MLB isn't working I could potentially wait months for nothing to happen.
 

cmason1957

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A related question that I have not found an answer to. This is also my first crack at MLF. Is there any way to confirm that MLB is actually working if you don't have a chromatography kit? Any visible signs? I have the test strips that are apparently not good at showing progress, only completion. If the MLB isn't working I could potentially wait months for nothing to happen.
You might get pinprick bubbles coming up. Although I have had successfull mlfs and never seen a bubble. These bubbles will not generate movement in your airlock. The malic acid test strips are somewhat good for telling progress, provided your wine starts with enough malic acid. I'm lucky, I always have plenty in the hybrid grapes I get. If you use a good bacteria, have a good temp (above 65 F), low to no So2, ph high enough (above 3.2), add some malic bacteria nutrients you should be fine.
 

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