Is my must oxidized??

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RylanJacobs

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Received a pail of semi-frozen Chardonnay yesterday from WGD. When I removed the lid, this is what I saw:
IMG_4598.JPG
I stirred lightly, snapped the lid back on, and let it sit overnight in a 70-degree bedroom upstairs.

This evening, I removed the lid and noticed the color was much darker, resembling what I suspect is oxidation. I racked the bucket into a primary fermentor (per WGD's recommendations), and had a yeast start ready. I inoculated this evening at 62 degrees F.

Here is the thawed juice immediately after inoculation:
IMG_4602.JPG
It is dark in my wine cooler, so I know that does not help the image quality. However, this juice visually appears to be oxidized.

During the racking, I took two photos of small samples that appeared to have decent color.
IMG_4604.JPGIMG_4601.JPG
I'm not sure what's going on, but the dark color makes me nervous. I've had this juice in my possession, under locked lid, for only 24 hours.

Any insight/tips/advice you have would be greatly appreciated!!!

-RylanJacobs
 
Get it fermenting ASAP and bentonite it at around SG 1.020-1.030 from racked must and then back into glass. When it stops fermenting and the bentonite sttles so it clears, rack it and add 3/8 tsp potassium metabisulphite and then leave it alone for a few months. Then look at the colour.
 
Rylan,

I think you are fine. The first shot looks like the water in the juice was frozen. When it thawed and mixed with the rest of the juice, it appears darker. The sample in the cylinder looks fine. You should see fermentation start soon.
Thanks. I'm suspecting you are correct. The color doesn't appear to have changed since I received the juice, and it is unlikely the juice was oxidized prior to arrival as it was fully frozen.
 
Get it fermenting ASAP and bentonite it at around SG 1.020-1.030 from racked must and then back into glass. When it stops fermenting and the bentonite sttles so it clears, rack it and add 3/8 tsp potassium metabisulphite and then leave it alone for a few months. Then look at the colour.
I inoculated this evening. Will definitely consider a bentonite slurry to help with clearing. I'm wanting to do MLF, so will avoid K-Meta for now. Although things could change...
 
Thanks. I'm suspecting you are correct. The color doesn't appear to have changed since I received the juice, and it is unlikely the juice was oxidized prior to arrival as it was fully frozen.
Rylan, it does not appear to be off color for a Chardonnay. That is particulate matter suspended in the juice. You will be amazed at how much fine lees you get throughout the process. You will likely start with a full 6 gallons in your secondary fermenter but by the time you have racked of the lees a time or two, you may be closer to 5 gallons. What yeast are you using? Sixty-two degrees is on the cold side, even for a white wine.
 
That’s good to know. Thanks so much for your quick reply.

I’m using Renaissance Fresco which can go as low as 55F. Looking for a bright, fruity, Chardonnay. Going to do at least a partial MLF to get some creaminess/diacetyl notes.
 
I inoculated this evening. Will definitely consider a bentonite slurry to help with clearing. I'm wanting to do MLF, so will avoid K-Meta for now. Although things could change...
the only reason to do MLF on a white is because it is too acidic. Otherwise forget it. In 55 years I have never done MLF on a white even once, but always do it on reds.
 
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I’ve gotten Chardonnay from WGD many times. I don’t believe the must is oxidized, but rather a high degree of TDS (Total dissolved solids) which aid in the flavor development. Pitch yeast asap. Your finished wine will be rather clear with time not bentonite.
I suspect you are right. I pitched the yeast last night. Hoping for a quick start to fermentation!
 
I suspect you are right. I pitched the yeast last night. Hoping for a quick start to fermentation!
What MLB are you planning for? The best I've found to accomplish your creamy/diacetyl goal is Enoferm Beta. You can find it here: Enoferm Beta2.5 hL For your volume, any MLB is going to be pricey per bottle.

Your bright and fruity goal will naturally happen. Your early finished wine will be somewhat acidic but will settle down in about a year. Don't get in a hurry to drink it.
 
What MLB are you planning for? The best I've found to accomplish your creamy/diacetyl goal is Enoferm Beta. You can find it here: Enoferm Beta2.5 hL For your volume, any MLB is going to be pricey per bottle.

Your bright and fruity goal will naturally happen. Your early finished wine will be somewhat acidic but will settle down in about a year. Don't get in a hurry to drink it.
Thanks. I have CH35 in the refrigerator and plan on using that. I'll add in some opti-malo for nutrient and let it go a few months.

I'm open to not doing MLF as well. My pH is 3.5 (checked this AM) and titratable acidity was 5.7. The wine may be flabby with MLF.
 
Thanks. I have CH35 in the refrigerator and plan on using that. I'll add in some opti-malo for nutrient and let it go a few months.

I'm open to not doing MLF as well. My pH is 3.5 (checked this AM) and titratable acidity was 5.7. The wine may be flabby with MLF.
I don't see any reason not to do MLF which is commonly done with Chardonnays. It all depends on what style you are trying achieve.
 

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