How to perform extended maceration?

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Dom Lausic, Jan 21, 2019.

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  1. Jan 21, 2019 #1

    Dom Lausic

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    Hello All,

    Getting ready to make a wine kit that comes with must and grape skins. Going to be fermenting in a 7 gal bucket. Looking to carry out extended maceration. How do you guys typically carry this out? Do i have to refrigerate that fermenting bucket after primary is complete? Or is there another way to do this? Looking for some help and suggestions.

    Thx!
     
  2. Jan 21, 2019 #2

    tradowsk

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    I did a 6 week EM on an Eclipse Lodi cab sauv a few months ago.

    The EM is very simple: just dump the skins into primary, ferment as usual punching down the cap and stirring twice daily. Once you drop below 1.020 SG, give 1 final punchdown and stir, and add an airlock. Then just wait, no refrigeration needed. I gave my bucket a bit of a sloshing every few days but the skins will sink to the bottom after 3 weeks or so, and that won't be necessary.

    The idea is to let the wine extract tannins and other compounds from the skins through extended contact. I went 6 weeks, but others have done 8-10 weeks (though with skins from a kit, idk if that's necessary).
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2019 #3

    jgmann67

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    Similar here.

    After a couple weeks, your fermentation is usually done. I check to see if I’m at 0.990, hit the wine with Kmeta and seal it up for another month.
     
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  4. Jan 21, 2019 #4

    Dom Lausic

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    Amazing! That's great to know. I always thought EM would have to be carried out with refrigeration or pumping of gasses. I guess once you've sealed off primary, and don't open the lid, there is no way for oxygen to get in, keeping everything safe.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2019 #5

    Dom Lausic

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    How much Kmeta did you use?
     
  6. Jan 21, 2019 #6

    jsbeckton

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    I go 6-8 weeks and don’t add kmeta and haven’t had any issues.
     
  7. Jan 21, 2019 #7

    jgmann67

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    Your wine is so loaded with CO2, it tolerates the EM no problem.

    I just hit it with the Kmeta packet from the kit or the 1/4 tsp dose I do every 3 months.
     
  8. Jan 21, 2019 #8

    Ajmassa5983

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    Is your “bucket” just a typical 7.9gal bucket? With the lid’s gasket not 100% and no ability for visual checks I didn’t think anyone used em for EM.
    Or are you referring to those plastic vessels with the wide screw-on lids. I don’t own one but if I were doing an EM on a kit they are 100% what i’d use. The Fermonster, Big Mouth Billy Bubbler, or a conical or something. But @Dom_Lausic mentions he’s using the standard bucket. Personally I would be hesitant to use that.
    Although I have been flirting with the idea of an EM on an all grape batch by just putting plastic directly on the cap- like a DIY floating lid. I’ve done this to buy time once or twice, but have seen others go weeks like that.
     
  9. Jan 21, 2019 #9

    Dom Lausic

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    Hey @Ajmassa5983, yes its a standard 7.9 gal bucket. Was thinking of using the Fermonster, but I already own a couple of buckets.

    @jgmann67 what fermentation vessel do you use for your EM?
     
  10. Jan 21, 2019 #10

    Boatboy24

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    I'm using a Fermonster and bought it just for EM. I'm going to try a small batch of all grape wine with it either this spring or fall.
     
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  11. Jan 21, 2019 #11

    jgmann67

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    Fermonster. Really like seeing the action through clear plastic.
     
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  12. Jan 22, 2019 #12

    ceeaton

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    I used one of these (https://morewinemaking.com/products/speidel-plastic-fermenter-30l-79-gal.html) and really liked it. Not clear like the Fermonster, but very well made, nice thick plastic, nice large opening for cleaning, two well place handles to help you move it around, spigot if you want to rack that way, oversized airlock that allows you to ferment and EM in the same vessel.
     
  13. Jan 22, 2019 #13

    Dom Lausic

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    Although I do like the Fermonster & Speidel fermenters, is the bucket possible, or is it a bad idea all together?? I don't mind upgrading the fermenter to either of these, but I'd have to order one and wait for shipping.
     
  14. Jan 22, 2019 #14

    jgmann67

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    I think you’re fine as long as you can seal and airlock your wine. I would Kmeta at 2 weeks just to be on the safe side.
     
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  15. Jan 22, 2019 #15

    jsbeckton

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    If you add an airlock at 1.010-1.020 and are not opening after that I fail to see a need for kmeta unless you are not confident in the integrity of your vessel. That wine will be full of CO2, as will any headspace.

    Adding kmeta isn’t going to hurt anything but don’t stress over it if you don’t get to it. I just try to add only what I need.
     
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  16. Jan 22, 2019 #16

    tradowsk

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    I just use a standard 7.9 gallon plastic bucket. The lid has a rubber gasket in it so it will seal tightly unlike the cheap ones.

    I did put a 1/4tsp kmeta dose at week 3 just to be safe, but I probably didn't need to
     
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  17. Jan 22, 2019 #17

    Ajmassa5983

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    Nice! This is solid info to learn that you’ve done EM in a 7.9gal bucket without issue. Its useful for anyone thinking of performing an EM but hesitant to do so with a bubbler or fermonster- myself included.
     
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  18. Jan 22, 2019 #18

    dmguptill

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    I did two 8 week EMs side by side on the Master Vintner 2016 limited cab and merlot using a standard bucket. They were 6.5 gallon buckets I think, and just had a little rubber gas relief valve on top. No problems with oxidation that I could tell.
     
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  19. Jan 23, 2019 #19

    Dom Lausic

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    Ok great! Going to give the bucket a shot and will post an update.

    Next question, will treating the must with Kmeta affect MLF?? In the past, I have done MLF after AF. Should i consider co-inoculating?
     
  20. Jan 23, 2019 #20

    cmason1957

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    Is this a kit you are thinking of doing Mlf on? Conventional wisdom says this will end poorly,if you can even get Mlf to succeed in a kit.
     
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