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MLF wine has white stuff on top

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Brigitte

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I have Frontenac wine in secondary in which Malolactic bacteria were added on 9/1/17.
Took a sample out and it smells ok tastes ok. This is my first MLF. Is this white stuff normal?
The carboy has had argon gas in it to handle the air space issue. Beginning pH 3.3 and TA 10.7. Fermented with lalvin c to dry. Everything seemed ok until this white stuff.
We used a wine thief to pull a sample and the white stuff is like a film on top.

Thanks for any help

Brigitte
 

Ajmassa

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I'm waiting to see what they say. I'm sure I've seen this same type of film discussed before.
The 2 things that jump out to me are all that airspace and argon. But I know nothing about argon gas to counter o2.
When did you add your malo bacteria ? After fermentation was finished?
 

pgentile

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This sounds close to your image, but the link might help clarify better.

"Oiliness or Ropiness: The wine develops an oily look with rope- like treads or strings appearing within it. It pours slowly and thickly with a consistency similar to egg whites, but neither its smell nor taste are effected. The culprit is a lactic acid bacterium and is only fatal to the wine if left untreated. Pour the wine into an open container with greater volume than required. Use an egg whip to beat the wine into a frothiness. Add two crushed Campden tablets per gallon of wine and stir these in with the egg whip. Cover with a sterile cloth and stir the wine every hour or so for about four hours. Return it to a sterile secondary and fit the airlock. After two days, run the wine through a wine filter and return it to another sterile secondary. Again, this problem, like most, can be prevented by pre- treating the must with Campden and sterilizing your equipment scrupulously."

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/problems.asp
 

Brigitte

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I'm waiting to see what they say. I'm sure I've seen this same type of film discussed before.
The 2 things that jump out to me are all that airspace and argon. But I know nothing about argon gas to counter o2.
When did you add your malo bacteria ? After fermentation was finished?


Thanks for responding .. Malo was added immediately after primary fermentation was complete. Yes I agree the head space may be the culprit even tho we did add argon. We were out of 3 gallon carboys.
 

Brigitte

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This sounds close to your image, but the link might help clarify better.

"Oiliness or Ropiness: The wine develops an oily look with rope- like treads or strings appearing within it. It pours slowly and thickly with a consistency similar to egg whites, but neither its smell nor taste are effected. The culprit is a lactic acid bacterium and is only fatal to the wine if left untreated. Pour the wine into an open container with greater volume than required. Use an egg whip to beat the wine into a frothiness. Add two crushed Campden tablets per gallon of wine and stir these in with the egg whip. Cover with a sterile cloth and stir the wine every hour or so for about four hours. Return it to a sterile secondary and fit the airlock. After two days, run the wine through a wine filter and return it to another sterile secondary. Again, this problem, like most, can be prevented by pre- treating the must with Campden and sterilizing your equipment scrupulously."

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/problems.asp


Thanks for responding and for the info. We already racked it and the film was only on top and no ropes or threads were seen in the wine. The wine was very clear under the filmy stuff. We ran it through a filter when we racked. Was able to rack into a 3 gallon so no head space now. Since Malolactic has been added I don't like the idea of campden but I may not have a Choice.
Thanks for the info and help.
 

NorCal

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If it were mine, I'd do the same thing. Rack, eliminate air space and see what happens. If it develops again, I'd rack and hit it with SO2, if not, hopefully it runs its mlf course.
 

Brigitte

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If it were mine, I'd do the same thing. Rack, eliminate air space and see what happens. If it develops again, I'd rack and hit it with SO2, if not, hopefully it runs its mlf course.


Thanks for the input. So far so good. So maybe we got it racked in time. [emoji120]
 

DanWine

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This looks like Mycoderma to me. I've had this issue before and that's what I assumed it was. I ran through a course filter and added metabisulfite to the appropriate level considering pH. I wasn't trying to put my wine through MLF though. From what I read this can develop due to exposure to too much oxygen and not enough SO2 to protect. I believe it eats the alcohol content out of your wine if left untreated.

If it was me I would probably filter it at a very course grade (try to leave the white film behind) into a container with as little airspace as possible. I wouldn't add SO2 yet though since you want to finish MLF but if the film develops again you may want to forget MLF and add SO2 to protect what you have.
 

balatonwine

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Argon, even if heavier than air, will not stratify, but will diffuse into whatever air is still present. Resulting in air (i.e. O2) contact on the wine.You have to put in a lot of argon under pressure to be sure to push out all the air in that much head space. Probably cheaper to just by a smaller carboy.
 

Brigitte

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Argon, even if heavier than air, will not stratify, but will diffuse into whatever air is still present. Resulting in air (i.e. O2) contact on the wine.You have to put in a lot of argon under pressure to be sure to push out all the air in that much head space. Probably cheaper to just by a smaller carboy.


Thanks for the response! I was wondering if the argon just wasn't enough. We live out in the boonies and didn't have another carboy available. But I went out and bought 2 three gallon ones ASAP!
Sigh. So far wine is is doing ok in smaller carboy
 

sour_grapes

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I use argon when welding....Interesting... as an inert gas sounds cool, but sort of pricey no?
I should say that I do not remember actual $ amounts. I, too, use argon or argon/CO2 for welding, AND I use shit-tons of inert gases at work. I do not recall anything being expensive... ?
 

porkchopmessiah

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I should say that I do not remember actual $ amounts. I, too, use argon or argon/CO2 for welding, AND I use shit-tons of inert gases at work. I do not recall anything being expensive... ?
Well, to be clear..I'm not the boss so I dont pay for the stuff, I should have said..seems like more ez to just get another carboy..carboy 25.99 or so..lasts forever if you dont drop it..just seemed overkill albeit novel and interesting
 
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