Managing MLF

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by jsbeckton, May 15, 2019.

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  1. May 15, 2019 #1

    jsbeckton

    jsbeckton

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    So I co-inoculated with VP41 about 10 days ago and pressed off the skins on day 7, then racked off gross lees on day 8. The MoreWine manual suggests that I stir everything up a few times a week so the MLB doesn’t get buried in the remaining sediment but I am worried about O2 exposure.

    To stir I have to remove the airlock and then take out some wine to allow for the volume of my stirring tool. Doing this multiple times over the course of several weeks seems to put the wine at risk no?

    Curious to know if everyone is actually stirring like they say or not. I also have oak cubes floating on top which makes stirring a bit difficult as well.

    Trying to keep wine 70-75F but it’s challenging as my basement has been 64-68F.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. May 15, 2019 #2

    Bubba1

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    I co-inoculated with vp41 and like you pressed then racked off gross lees 2 days later im just going to let it sit as is with no stirring Ive done this in the past many times with no problems I too don't like to mess with it too much. after MLF is done I rack and k-meta as needed.
     
  3. May 15, 2019 #3

    cmason1957

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    I always stir, very, very gently once or twice a week. And if I miss a week, we'll life goes on. I am in my basement at somewhere between 62 and 70 at best. It all seems to work, generally takes two or three months.
     
  4. May 15, 2019 #4

    sdelli

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    I used to open the carboys and stir. Now I just take the carboy and roll it in circles on it’s edge. Works great and gotten pretty good at it. Try to keep temp between 70-75
    Mlf likes warm temps.
     
  5. May 15, 2019 #5

    Johnd

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    With coinoculation, I’ve never stirred after gross lees racking, didn’t want the oxygen intrusion, it’s always finished in a few weeks.
     
  6. May 17, 2019 #6

    jsbeckton

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    Seems like everything else in this hobby...everyone is doing things differently yet it seems to be working out just fine

    I’m going to stop opening and stirring and hope for the best.
     
  7. May 17, 2019 #7

    Donz

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    Never stir either once racked.
     
  8. May 18, 2019 #8

    jgmillr1

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    I inoculate after primary fermentation is done. When doing MLF in a full sized barrel, I will just drop in the dried bacteria, stir it in the top couple inches of wine, and leave it alone. I've never stirred and have been able to successfully complete MLF.
     
  9. May 18, 2019 #9

    SethF

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    I stir all the time, GENTLY, to make sure the bacteria is not buried. never have a problem with MLF completing. I believe it helps with mouthfeel as well etc. Sur lie and all that.
     
  10. May 18, 2019 #10

    SethF

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    And next year I am going to try and co-innoculate towards the middle of primary and see how that goes.
     
  11. May 19, 2019 #11

    stickman

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    Inoculation at the midpoint of primary fermentation may not be the best choice, there's nothing wrong with trying, but the clip below, from Lallemand 2013, by Prof Maret du Toit, suggests otherwise.

    "Inoculation in the middle of alcoholic fermentation very often results in a more significant die-off of the selected ML bacteria, caused by the production of yeast-derived toxic compounds other than ethanol and sulfur dioxide during this highly active stage of AF. The most intense levels of yeast-induced antagonism by metabolites such as decanoic acid may be encountered at this stage."
     
  12. May 19, 2019 #12

    jsbeckton

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    When doing a paper MLF test do you just draw a sample right off the top or do you guys mix first for that?
     
  13. May 19, 2019 #13

    Johnd

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    I just pull it right off the top and straight onto the chromo paper.
     
  14. May 19, 2019 #14

    SethF

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    Thank you for that quote.
    When does the Prof Toit ( ;-)) recommend innoculation?
     
  15. May 19, 2019 #15

    stickman

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    Additional information from Lallemand 2013, by Prof Maret du Toit, she suggests:

    "MLF starter cultures can be inoculated at two stages of fermentation, namely sequential inoculation, but with higher alcohol levels due to climate changes, the pressure on the strains to perform under these conditions is becoming challenging. This has led to inoculation at another stage of fermentation, the co-inoculation of yeast and bacteria at the beginning of alcoholic fermentation. It is important that co-inoculation is done within 24 hours after yeast inoculation, otherwise alcohol and the competition from the actively fermenting yeast impacts on the inoculated MLF starter. A crucial factor is to ensure that the yeast and bacteria are compatible; therefore yeast selection needs to be considered carefully."
     
  16. May 20, 2019 #16

    SethF

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    Thank you again for taking the time.

    So either innoculate at or about the same time as primary starts, or wait until dry and racked off the gross lees (which is only what I have done in the past).

    Which do you prefer?
     
  17. May 20, 2019 #17

    cmason1957

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    I am an after alcohol fermentation is complete and racked of the lees person. It always works for me. That, plus I use the same fermentation buckets for musts that won't ever see Malolactic Bacteria, I figure why take the chance that something gets missed.
     
  18. May 20, 2019 #18

    stickman

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    I also have only used the sequential inoculation method. I just haven't got around to trying co-inoculation yet, though admittedly I'm a little reluctant to change my ways.

    Based on published studies, co-inoculation favors a more fruit forward style of wine and helps reduce spoilage microbe activity. It's reported that approximately 50% of the wines from France and Spain are co-inoculated.

    Certain wines like Chardonnay may use sequential inoculation if the focus is diacetyl (butter), that's because studies have shown that under certain conditions sequential inoculation favors diacetyl production. An important point here is that the ML has to be carefully tracked and sulfite has to be added as soon as the ML is complete, otherwise the diacetyl will be consumed and lost.

    Not really applicable to us home winemakers, but some of the high end wineries may use sequential inoculation for their big heavy tannic reds that are intended for micro-oxygenation; in this case, the micro-oxygenation is conducted after AF without sulfite addition and before the start of ML fermentation, so there wouldn't be enough time for the initial MOX treatment if co-inoculation were used. MOX is started again after ML and sulfite addition, but at 1/10th of the initial oxygen addition rate.
     
    Chuck E likes this.
  19. May 21, 2019 #19

    SethF

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    Impressive reply, certainly appreciate it.

    I have been reading up on this, and every other subject, for the last year or so (not as much as you) and it appears that co-inoculation is significantly safer relative to the risks with sequential. Worth trying, but a touch worried.

    I have sequentially inoculated, and have taken care to stir gently, typically for 30-45 days until MLF is done. I have been happy with the mouth feel for the last 2 years production doing so.

    If you co-inoculate, do you kill indigineous first? Keep SO2 at or around 30ppm?

    Red (Cab/Merlot):
    Let's assume I co-inoculate after 48 hours of Crush (Crush, Kill with only small amount of KMBS, wait 24, pitch the yeast with GoFerm and Fermaid O after, then co-inoculate with MLB, add opti-malo), AF gets done in ~7-8 days for me typically. I then press. Rack within 24-48. Add Oak Staves/spirals. Then track MLF at ~70-75 degrees, gently stirring every couple of days. Once done, I move to 55 degrees, and continue to stir for a month or two. Then rack.

    What do you think?

    If the MLB doesn't take, it appears that you can inoculate again?

    Lastly, I have also been reading the Morewine docs on oxygenation during AF. They recommend significant Ox during the first 3 days fo white and rose AF, and all during red AF (if I am reading correctly). Have contemplated getting an aquarium diffuser and a pump, and running this during and throughout the AF for my red. Your thoughts?

    Thanks again.

    BTW- Stickman=Cigars?

    Seth
     
  20. May 21, 2019 #20

    Johnd

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    Not stickman, been coinoculating for some time. I use no sulfite at all, and don’t intend to unless I end up with terrible fruit one day. Your sequence from inoculation through racking off of the gross lees is fine, stirring has been unnecessary for my wine to complete MLF at 70 - 75, usually finished less than a month after pressing. Once it’s done, + 2 weeks, sulfite, move to 55, oak, etc........
     

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