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Malolactic Fermetation

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troutgod

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Hello,
New to the forum.
Getting ready for the 2017 harvest and am curious about malolactic fermentation (MF). Been wanting make an oaked Chardonnay using this method. But the more I read the more I see opinions that all reds should be done this way.
I have made reds from juice the last 3 years following instructions to prevent MF by adding a small amount of sulphite after fermentation. All have been wonderful and the 2015 Petite Sirah just won first place red and best overall wine at a local wine guild competition.
Can anyone help? Should I be using the same technique I have been or will MF make even better wine? Thanks.

Mike
 

NorCal

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It is hard to argue with success!

I put all my reds and chardonnay (all from grapes) through MLF. The goal of MLF is to convert the sharper malic acid to a mellower lactic acid. It might be good to split a lot and see which you like better.
 

Johnd

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I agree with @NorCal, if it's working for you, don't change just because you think you should. A few of my earlier reds didn't complete MLF, but they are quite nice, improving and mellowing with age.
 

Ajmassa

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1st place red AND Best In Show? HEY NOW! Good for you man. I was just recently talking about how great I thought my 2013 Cab Sav juice batch aged (w/ no MLF)
I Didn't plan on any juice pails but why not? Pails are great in their simplicity. Many people who just do wine from kits think fresh juice requires more experience--Maybe it's because there's no instruction manual. But like kits, the juice pails are also acid balanced to a degree so no crazy adjusting needed. You've convinced me!

I will definitely put it through MLF as well. As far as I know, any red wine would benefit from MLF. One of the benefits of the malo is that 1 packet is good enough for 66 gal. And you cannot add too much.
So instead of adding all the ML to the grape batch, I can just dump 1/4 in the Petite Syrah easily.
I get the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. And Best in show is impressive. But why not have fun experimenting and possibly make EVEN BETTER wine? I say go for it on all, not just Chardonnay.
 
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skeenatron

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I'd try putting your reds through MLF. If you made that good of wine without it, no reason to think you can't get to the next level with it. If the higher acid taste is working for you, you can always add tartaric to the finished wine later to up the acid to your taste. One thing you will not have to worry about however when putting your reds through MLF is the risk of spontaneous MLF in the bottle a few years down the road when your sulfur levels has diminished. Any sugar or malic acid left in an unfiltered bottled wine provides the opportunity for unexpected fermentation.
 

jgmillr1

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I put my dry reds through MLF to help reduce the acid. Of course these are hybrid grapes, so every bit of acid reduction helps.

MLF can add complexity to your wines, However, one downside to MLF is that it can subdue the fresh fruit notes. So you should keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish with MLF and what style you want for your wine. Bottle MLF can easily be prevented with pH-dependent sufficient sulfites at bottling.
 

Floandgary

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Hello,
New to the forum.
Getting ready for the 2017 harvest and am curious about malolactic fermentation (MF). Been wanting make an oaked Chardonnay using this method. But the more I read the more I see opinions that all reds should be done this way.
I have made reds from juice the last 3 years following instructions to prevent MF by adding a small amount of sulphite after fermentation. All have been wonderful and the 2015 Petite Sirah just won first place red and best overall wine at a local wine guild competition.
Can anyone help? Should I be using the same technique I have been or will MF make even better wine? Thanks.

Mike
As you can deduce from all of the responses, most anything you do aside from the necessary basics is all about YOUR taste!!! Not to say that experimentation is a bad thing tho... :b
 

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