At my LHBS they told me to go for 25F for cold stabilization. They use that process in their own winery. I was using a plastic carboy at the time so I didn't worry about freezing and cracking anything.
If I were to do this I would have to leave it outside at night 30-40f, and place it in cold water during the day. I don't have a deep freeze, or a big enough fridge lol. lol troy should have no problem with this...ever lol.
I must add to this that it doesnt always work without seeding your wine. Seeding is the act of actually adding some cream of tartar to your wine for the tartaric acid to grab onto. If there isnt enough tartaric acid in your wine then it wont group together and become heavy enough to fall out of suspension.
When in the wine cycle is is appropriate to do this?
My wine was started Jan 1 and is finished fermenting. Will double check SG to make sure. My freezer is too low(0), my frig hangs just above freezing.
The weather outside is perfect right now. Can I do it now or do I have to wait til it mostly clears?
When the wine freezes that would be a bad thing to happen.
The water will expand and it might crack the carboy.
So ideal would be around 0 degrees Celsius, at that temp the
alcohol will prevent the wine from freezing.
You can only cold-stabilise when the wine has completely finished and is clear.
If you cold-stabilise when fermentation is still going on you stun the
yeast. Now even when yeast are frozen they still come back alive when the temperature is rising (trust me on this, I did some experiments) but they might have been damaged.
Next part is that the cold will also clear the wine.
When the wine is finished that is a good thing.
You rack and have a nice clear wine.
But when the wine is still fermenting all kinds of floating goodies that
have not been consumed by the yeast or metabolised by the fermentation process might also precipitate out, and then it is a bad thing.
So wait till the wine has finished and cleared and then cold-stabilise.
That is just what I needed to know. I was trying to take advantage of the cold outdoor weather. We have a screened in back porch and it would be perfect to cold stabilize right now. but guess I am not ready yet.
thanks a bunch. I have heard about patience in wine making. Not sure I do very well at it.