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Gypsy509

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We have been making red wine from California grapes for over 20 years and have never done an ML fermentation. We don''t add So2 either but just started adding wine yeast this year.
What are your opinions on MLF?
 

Johnd

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For red wines, it is a recommended practice, though not mandatory. MLF tends to soften a wine substantially, a result of converting the sharp malic acid to softer lactic acid. Personally, I don't give MLF a second thought on red wines, it's just a part of the winemaking process and all of my red grape wines undergo MLF.
 

cmason1957

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I keep threatening to do a side-by-side comparision of some red wine from grapes or juice buckets, one made with MLF, the other made without MLF. Any suggestions of what to use to do that with, maybe a Norton or some other malic acid monster. Just to see and be able to tell folks, yes, you really do want to do an MLF. The main reason I do them is to make certain they don't happen later, in the bottle as SO2 levels drop while the bottles age. That probably is less of a concern, if you have never done an MLF in your winemaking area.
 

Gypsy509

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For red wines, it is a recommended practice, though not mandatory. MLF tends to soften a wine substantially, a result of converting the sharp malic acid to softer lactic acid. Personally, I don't give MLF a second thought on red wines, it's just a part of the winemaking process and all of my red grape wines undergo MLF.
Thanks John for your input.
Although I am not opposed to trying this, it just sounds very complicated from what I have read. I cant seem to find instructions that I can understand.
 

Boatboy24

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Thanks John for your input.
Although I am not opposed to trying this, it just sounds very complicated from what I have read. I cant seem to find instructions that I can understand.
It isn't as mysterious as it sounds. The procedure is similar to alcoholic fermentation. You rehydrate the bacteria and pitch into the must/wine. Nutrients are often added. The challenge with MLF is it is harder to see it happening. Measuring for completeness is a little more involved, but again, nothing mysterious or difficult to do. You will need a chromatography kit to measure and those run about $60. That'll give you enough material to do a lot of tests though.
 

Johnd

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Thanks John for your input.
Although I am not opposed to trying this, it just sounds very complicated from what I have read. I cant seem to find instructions that I can understand.
Jim ( @Boatboy24 ) pretty much said it all, it's not that tricky, though the parameters for MLB are little more sensitive. Personally, I inoculate with MLB and nutrients during alcoholic fermentation, and MLF is typically finished a few short weeks after AF is done.
 

Ajmassa

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You could do MLF without changing a thing since you already don’t use sulphites.
Innoculate early in the ferment- or after pressing. It’s not dire to check completeness since that’s really just telling when it’s ok to sulphite- which you don’t do. Many don’t test it. Just wait a couple months before adding So2 and trust it finished. Because even if it didn’t finish is it really worth all the work and testing to get it done? For some it is. For others it isn’t.
The old wines we made without MLF were 100% lesser quality the MLf wines now. (Tho many other variable changed as well)
They also sell easy test trips to check malic content. But Cost per test is much higher. Like $50 for 10 strips
 

Gypsy509

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You could do MLF without changing a thing since you already don’t use sulphites.
Innoculate early in the ferment- or after pressing. It’s not dire to check completeness since that’s really just telling when it’s ok to sulphite- which you don’t do. Many don’t test it. Just wait a couple months before adding So2 and trust it finished. Because even if it didn’t finish is it really worth all the work and testing to get it done? For some it is. For others it isn’t.
The old wines we made without MLF were 100% lesser quality the MLf wines now. (Tho many other variable changed as well)
They also sell easy test trips to check malic content. But Cost per test is much higher. Like $50 for 10 strips
Ok so I ordered Viniflora CH16 and it will be here on Saturday. We are pressing the grapes on Sunday if the Brix is at 0. It says it does not require hydration and to pitch it directly into the barrel. I hope that I don't mess this up. We will just leave it alone in the barrel until we do the first racking. We usually rack it after three months will this work?
 

Johnd

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Should work if your temps, pH, SO2, and ABV are in the proper range.
 

Gypsy509

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Ok so I ordered Viniflora CH16 and it will be here on Saturday. We are pressing the grapes on Sunday if the Brix is at 0. It says it does not require hydration and to pitch it directly into the barrel. I hope that I don't mess this up. We will just leave it alone in the barrel until we do the first racking. We usually rack it after three months will this work?
Well my order will not arrive in time so I guess this year we will not be trying the MLF. I have to say though that we do age in oak barrels and have won some contests for our wine so we must be doing something right.
 

rgonzales1981

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Ok so I ordered Viniflora CH16 and it will be here on Saturday. We are pressing the grapes on Sunday if the Brix is at 0. It says it does not require hydration and to pitch it directly into the barrel. I hope that I don't mess this up. We will just leave it alone in the barrel until we do the first racking. We usually rack it after three months will this work?
I use wyeast 4007 mlf blend, works well for me. Also add leucofood at the same time as wyeast 4007
 

rgonzales1981

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Out of curiosity what temp do others keep their wine at for the weeks or months of mlf? I keep it at 82f which is typically where my secondary fermentation ends at and slowly lower it by 2 degrees until it reaches room temp. Not sure if it matters. Any opinion on this?
 
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