malolactic fermentation question

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uchau408

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Finish primary fermentation. I added in malotactic bacteria from Malolactic Cultures for Home Enthusiasts | Wyeast Laboratories I don't notice any bubbles like during the primary fermentation. Is this right? In either case I'm probably going to leave it alone for 3 months before racking it and adding potassium metabisulfite. The description on the culture says it could take 1-3 months. What do you think?

I'm located in northern california and using cab grapes. So maybe there wasn't much malic accid in the first place.
 
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I don't believe I have ever seen my airlock bubble due to MLF, my guess is the bubbles you saw were degassing happening. I don't think I can over-emphasize how small the bubbles are from MLF. Imagine a pinhead size and the smallest pin you have ever seen. They might be the size of the period at the end of this sentence, but maybe smaller .
 

carfino

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A very tiny bubbles here after 4 days, but not enough to get to the airlock. Kinda wondering if the MLF fermentation is even happening.
 
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I don't believe I have ever seen my airlock bubble due to MLF, my guess is the bubbles you saw were degassing happening. I don't think I can over-emphasize how small the bubbles are from MLF. Imagine a pinhead size and the smallest pin you have ever seen. They might be the size of the period at the end of this sentence, but maybe smaller .

Agree, if the air lock is still active it's probably due to off gassing , not MLF.
 

Johnd

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There’s enough malic acid for the LAB to feed on, just try to keep your temps in the mid 70’s, have a pH above 3.3, ABV below 14%, and hopefully, you didn’t use any sulfite early in the process. It’s not mentioned much, but bound sulfite can also inhibit MLF by killing your LAB. I read the link you provided, interesting that they now include recognition that LAB can be used during alcoholic fermentation as well, which helps get your bacteria established while your ABV is 0%. I’ve been using Cali grapes for years, high pH, high ABV is the norm for me, my wines are always over 14%, co-inoculation solved my MLF issues.
Ask around a bit, but I’ve seen plenty of issues with the liquid Wyeast product finishing MLF, don’t know why, but there have been problems. You might want to consider adding some VP-41 or CH16 as insurance. Personally, I also use the full nutrient protocol. Three months down the road, if you still have malic acid, your tolerance to add new LAB and hold off on sulfite may be over
 
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I agree, a lot of my wines hover in the 3.3 range and the ABV is often time 14 or above but MBR 31(what I use) always seems to finish. MBR has slightly lower tolerances than VP-41 or CH16. I read the specs for Wyeast and the SO2 level is 15 ppm. Wine yeasts along with producing CO2 also produce SO2. To what degree I don't know but I wouldn't think 15 ppm would be out of the question.
 
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