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How long is too long? Tannin addition

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sct1984

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This is a 2 part Question:

#1, I just received some de-stemmed/crushed Cab Sauv & Cab Franc last night, and the temp was still pretty cool (54F) this morning. I will re-take the temperature but am not sure how long is too long to wait to pitch the yeast, and if I should help accelerate the warming of the must up to around 70F? The temp in the basement is pretty constant around 70-72F, so I would hope by tonight it would be close.

#2, I will not be able to go pick up any tannins (VR Supra) until Sunday, by which time, I would think fermentation would be at least half way, even if I started tomorrow. Would this be too late to add it Sunday, or should I just find an alternative on my way home to add right at the beginning? The winemaking shop close by sells Generic "grape" and "wine" tannins.
 

Johnd

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This is a 2 part Question:

#1, I just received some de-stemmed/crushed Cab Sauv & Cab Franc last night, and the temp was still pretty cool (54F) this morning. I will re-take the temperature but am not sure how long is too long to wait to pitch the yeast, and if I should help accelerate the warming of the must up to around 70F? The temp in the basement is pretty constant around 70-72F, so I would hope by tonight it would be close.

#2, I will not be able to go pick up any tannins (VR Supra) until Sunday, by which time, I would think fermentation would be at least half way, even if I started tomorrow. Would this be too late to add it Sunday, or should I just find an alternative on my way home to add right at the beginning? The winemaking shop close by sells Generic "grape" and "wine" tannins.
#1 - When my must is warming up from a chill, I pitch yeast at 60F and have never had a failure to start. If you'd like to provide some artificial warming to get it up to temp, then go ahead and do it!!

#2 - The earlier you add your tannins, the better the job of binding your color compounds it will do. If you can't get it til Sunday, then add it then. If you have access to some oak sawdust or chips, you could use them as well. Frequent and vigorous punching down of your cap early in fermentation will also help release the tannins in your grape skins, which will also help.........
 

sct1984

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Awesome - thanks! Will wait until Sunday then for the tannin. Fortunately I have everything else (Lallzyme EX, RC-212 yeast, etc) to get started as soon as up to temp - which I could presume could be as soon as I get home :db From what I read, temps climb about 0.6F per Deg of Brix drop (factoring in a 40% heat loss to atmosphere) - something like that? Does that seem right?
 

sct1984

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Ok - numbers time & what to adjust.

Temp is up at exactly 60F now - should be mid-60s by the morning.

Brix (after adjusting): 24-25 (S.G 1.102)
pH : 3.5 (digital meter)
T.A.: 5.0 (approx - test kit)

I would be comfortable with lowering the pH a bit since I need to raise the T.A., but how much would 2g/L of Tartaric acid lower the pH by, if I were try to raise it to 7.0? I'm worried that I'll end up with a too low pH before I pitch yeast tomorrow.
 

Johnd

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Ok - numbers time & what to adjust.

Temp is up at exactly 60F now - should be mid-60s by the morning.

Brix (after adjusting): 24-25 (S.G 1.102)
pH : 3.5 (digital meter)
T.A.: 5.0 (approx - test kit)

I would be comfortable with lowering the pH a bit since I need to raise the T.A., but how much would 2g/L of Tartaric acid lower the pH by, if I were try to raise it to 7.0? I'm worried that I'll end up with a too low pH before I pitch yeast tomorrow.
I wouldn't monkey with those numbers right now, I know the 5 is a smidge low, but you're really right in the wheelhouse. Plenty of time for fine tuning later, after AF and MLF, when you can use your own taste and preferences as an additional measuring tool.
 

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