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Room Temp during fermentation

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Dufresne11

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Hi Guys & Ladies,

I always bring my juice up to around 70 before pitching my yeast. Do I need to keep the room temp there all during fermentation? The room in my basement I do this work in is insulated and stays about 66-68
 

Runningwolf

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My Basement stays about 68 most of the time, It wasn't until recently when I did a few reds that I started using brew belts. Your must should be around 75 for fermenting and degassing. For whites you can age at the cooler temps.
 

robie

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Degassing below about 75 F does not work well. So, might as well keep temp at about 75 F, until active fermentation starts, which will generate some of its own heat for a few days. When fermentation slows down, temp can go down. At that time, reapply the brew belt.

The brew belt is a must for must in the basement, whether the basement is musty or not. :dg
 

Wade E

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I pitch my yeast at around 75-78* and then if its cooler in my basement after fermentation is going well I let it drop. If its a white or fruit wine Ill let it get down to around low 60's just until the sg gets to around 1.015 and then raise it back to make sure fermentation finishes. If its a red Ill keep the temps no lower then 68* cause I dont like them really fruity most of the time.
 

Dufresne11

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Okay I clicked the heater back on because i am getting very little action in teh bubbler.... could I have screwed up my yeast?
 

Dufresne11

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The Pinot Grigio seems to be moving along fine now, if a bit slow. The Cabernet Sauv appears to have no action at all...... Lil Help???

I forgot to add that I was getting a small amount of action in the Cab even with the low temp. I adjusted the Acid upward before I clicked on the heater. A little over an ounce of Tartaric Acid in order to raise the TA from .52 to around .69.

Could this be a part of the issue? Have I shocked the yeast, (that was previously working), or wiped the little guys out?
 
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Dufresne11

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Okay a bit of a follow up... although I seem to be talking mostly to myself..... I took the day off so i am guessing most of you are at work while I sit home and play with my wine.

Anyways, I went to my LWS and the guy there is very knowledgeable. He thinks I may have adjusted my SO2 levels to early. I had to add 1/2 tsp of PMeta to each bucket instead of just the 1/4 in order to make sulfite adjustment.

He said that if I had to adjust upward that much to do 1/2 at the beginning of fermentation and 1/2 at teh end. Long story short he gave me some yeast energizer and told me to apply it today and wait until Sunday to see if I have anything moving before I re-pitch my yeast.

Thoughts? This guy is usually spot on..... just looking for other opinions
 

Tom

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Why are you adding sulfite after you added yeast?
What temp is the juice?
What yeast are you using?
Is this a kit or juice?
I would have added Acid blend instead of tartanic acid
If you got the Chilean juice than the must should have been balanced.
Not sure why he said add sulfite. SO2 levels should be low so yeast can do their job. Adding that much I would leave it uncovered for at least 24 hours before adding yeast again.
 

Dufresne11

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I added the sulfite when I got it home... I probably did that because I am a noob. Tom I guess I am wondering when I should adjust the SO2 levels because I think that is the problem. I put in the energizer and I am getting a small amount of action out of the Pinot and nothing out of the Cab.

Juice is at 75 right now

It is juice

I used Tartaric because I read it was better than the blend. Something about the Malic and Citric not really being useful. Why would you use the blend? Again I am a relative noob so I am in a "need to understand" state here. Any info would help

The LWS owner didn't tell me to adjust upward. In fact he told me that I had adjusted upward on my own was the probelm

How long should I wait until I try the yeast energizer bit again?
 

Tom

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1st if you added 1/2 tsp now wait with the lid ajar (NOT snapped or NO airlock) for 24 hours
After 24 hours make a starter of hydrate the yeast
Add yeast and energizer (I like nutrient). Juices should be ready to go once temp is up. Adding 1/4 tsp of meta stuns the wild yeast so the GOOD yeast takes over.
Yes the juice has to much sulfites right now. I'm betting you added the yeast and meta the same time in the beginning.
It will still be OK just a little slower start.
Once you add the yeast LAY the lid on top. DO NOT snap it shut as in the beginning the yeasties like oxygen to multiply.
 

rawlus

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adjusting the So2 levels is not going to be practical really.
what yeast are you using?
i think the tartaric acid addition instead of blend is fine myself.
1/2 tsp of k-meta is roughly 100ppm depending on pH, about 2x the typical dose.
the MAIN reason to add k-meta at all before adding cultured yeast is to temporarily shock wild yeasts and allow cultured yeasts to take over. all yeast is succeptible to SO2 levels but cultured usually less so than wild yeasts.
after introducing that small roughly 50ppm dose (again, depending on pH) we usually wait (cold soak) 24-48 hours before pitching our cultured yeast. this allows some of that so2 to become bound and create a better environment for our cultured yeast.

typically with fresh juice or grapes, next in the process is to rehydrate the yeast culture in warm water according to instructions or alongside a yeast energizer/rehydration medium like Go-Ferm. this provides essential nutrients to yeast which help them build strong cellular walls and such to get off to a better start in the must or juice - think of it like pasta supper before a big race.

after the yeast has rehydrated for 20min or so, (again,read instructions for your yeast) it is pitched and temps are kept in optimal range for that yeast, typically a bit warmer than room temp... when brix has dropped 1/3, a yeat nutrient is often added to the must or juice, something like fermaid-K (like a power bar during the race)... then the wine is fermented to dry or nearly dry before pressing (in the case of grapes) and then racked into carboys for further fermentation... MLF, which is typically VERY sulfite intolerant, can be pitched when fermentation is around 5 brix or according to instructions. i pitch on the skins at 5 brix and i think the skins help provide some nutrients to ensure the ML bacteria get off to a good start. then i press at dry.
kept in moderate temps under airlock with minimal headspace, wine can go through ML fermentation in a matter of weeks to months. i do not apply any additional k-meta until ML fermentation is complete. at that point i rack, test sulfite levels and apply the necessary dosage to achieve 50ppm for the pH i have. and so on into long term aging, oak spiraling, etc.

an excellent book is From Vines to Wine. great resource for testing methods and step by step in juice and fresh grape winemaking. clear examples and good explanation of the calculations of proper additions and so on.

in your instance here and now, we need to know what yeast you are using, if you've rehydrated the yeast according to instructions, the rate of application for nutrient or energizer and your pH levels and what brought you to the decision to adjust acid in the first place. if your pH was very high for the juice in the beginning, the extra k-meta may have had less of an impact than you would think. the proper sulfite dosage is very tied to pH, and there's also a correlation between TA and pH but it is not a linear correlation. adding tartaric can lower pH and is sometimes used to do just that in high pH wines... but lower pH can impact MLF negatively, while improving color fixing and biological stability... it can get pretty crazy when you start making adjustments as each has an effect on the other and can create a domino effect of despair! lol.

lastly, visual indicators of fermentation are fairly unreliable and comparing one varietal fermentation to another different varietal fermentation is apples to oranges. two pails of the exact same juice can have different fermentations... so concentrate on what it is doing by the numbers, not by comparison to anything else. if SO2 was too high, it could take longer for the ferment to take hold. monitor your brix/SG levels daily for confirmation of forward progress. keep a log of that. a refractometer is especially handy for daily monitoring because it takes such a small sample and is easy to use in that way. if fermentation as indicated by SG dropping or obvious airlock activity or surface foaming is not happening by sunday, then run another round of tests to see where your pH is, your sulfite levels and your TA - report that back here and we can make a better assessment of next steps. you might need to go to a superyeast with high sulfite tolerances and wide pH range like EC1118 or you might need to go the route of preparing a yeast starter and creating an active ferment on a small scale and slowly introducing your juice into that until 50% of your juice is actively fermenting. but we can deal with those details later if this ferment does not take off.
 

Dufresne11

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Okay here goes:

Brought two pails of juice home on Tuesday.

1. Pinot Grigio
TA - .43
Brix - 22
SG 1.9ish
PH 3.8
SO2 - 37ppm
Temp 45

I added 1/4 tsp pmeta to stun natural yeast

Due to high Ph I added another 1/4 tsp pmeta ( I did this at this point because the instructions I was following from a wine making class at M&M in hartford indicated to make all adjustments at this point. I know now that I should not make final adjustments this early)

Due to low TA I added 1 oz of tartaric acid

SO2 read 70 ppm on wednesday

I pitched my yeast (Cote Des Blanc) with a yeast starter and GoFerm and once it foamed I added a TBSP of must to it every five minutes until temp gradient were within 5 degress. It appeared to be a successful pitch.

Today I added another 1 oz of tartaric to raise TA from .52 to .69. I haven't rechecked the TA yet.

After a visit to the LWS I applied a yeast energizer today but to no avail. The gentlemen who owns the store told me to wait unitl Sunday to repitch. He thinks it is a high SO2 issue

... I aerated the heck out of it.... how long until the SO2 drops?

Bucket 2

Cab Sav

Brought home Tues

Brix 21
TA .38
SG 1.85
PH 3.5
SO2 <12

Added 1/4 tsp of Pmeta to stun wilid yeast & another 1/4 to raise SO2
to 40-50ppm ( I realize this was a mistake now)

Added 1/3rs oz of Tartaric to raise TA (another mistake this early)

I pitched LAVLIN RC212 with a yeast starter (GoFerm) when it foamed I floated it and gave it a TBSP of must every five minutes until Temp gradient was within 5 fegrees...

Added another 1.2 oz of Tartaric (a mistake I know) to raise TA

Added a yeast energizer and aerated the heck out of it after speaking with the owner of the LWS.

SO2 is at 60 ppm right now... more tests tomorrow
 

Dufresne11

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Got the SO2 down to 50 ppm.... I am not sure I can save this batch of Pinot. To bad because the Cab restarted itself and I just added Malo last night...... looks like it is going to be good.... any thoughts folks?

At this point I am going to keep aerating and repitch yeast tomorrow night just to see if I can get a little something going.... otherwise I just bought a very expensive food grade pail.....
 

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