Secondary temperature

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Arctic Contributor
Oct 26, 2008
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Whats ideal temp for a secondary, or subsequent rackings, to rest under airlock at? Is the 70's to high?
70's is where you should be until everything is done basically with everything. I may ferment some of my white and fruit wines at cooler temps in the middle of fermentation but start nice and warm and finish warm to make sure everything does what it should. Once your wine is degassed and clear and sulfited then you can let it go down to cellar teps.

I try to run my wines about 74F from the start until they are clear (and ready to bottle). This ensures that yeast gets a good start and finishes without getting stuck. The warmer temps encourage the CO2 to escape, and ease degassing. Once the wine is clear, I don't worry about the temp too much, as I let the wines bulk age. The one exceeption would be cold stabilization, which I have done exactly once, and that was done after the wine was clear.

I have read in a few places that fermenting at lower temperatures (65-70F) makes a fruitier wine. I generally start the RJ Spagnol kits at 70-75 to get the yeast going, then let things drift down to 65-70F (here in New England, that isn't hard to do during all but a few months of the summer). I don't know if this produces "better" wines, but the yeast has never gotten stuck - I always end up with SG < 1.000, usually in 2-3 weeks from start (I currently have a Red Meritage, Rosso Grande and Malbec at about 65-68F in their second week). Then clear, and set down in the cellar at 55-65F for a month, rack and then store at same temperature for 1-2 years before bottling.
I make my wine in southeastern MA - not far from Providence, RI.


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