Should I turn on the heat?

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Senior Member
Nov 7, 2010
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Bartlett, IL
Hi all, we pressed on Sunday...since then the temps dropped and fermentation has slowed down. It's in the mid 60's in Chicago....the house is around 70. Should I warm the must up to mid/upper 70's?
If a white wine maybe but if its a red just let it go. The more time on the skins the more color and flavor. I take this is in a bucket and you are punching it down a few times a day.
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Temp in the 70s for a red is fine. What is the temp of the must? You want to get, for a red, at least one spike into the 80s if you can. I agree on letting it go for a bit. Then you can add a little warmth to jack it up. I assume you did add nutrients, yes?
You've already pressed? Then you're fine. What is the temp of the wine?
I would raise the temp. I always fear stall fermentations. I would take the temp of the wine and maintain at least 75 degrees.
Thanks all......yes, already pressed, the must (juice) is sitting in 6 gallon (primary) buckets with lids placed loosely on top so it can breath. I'll check the wine temp when I get home tonight.

Yes, I tossed nutrients...step fed, (3) 1/8 tsp...waited and fed (3) more per gallon.
Agreed... Most Reds benefit from the warmer fermentation temperature. Whites can do well with the cooler/slower ferments
Hi all.......70 degree wine/room temp. I pointed a small space heater the the direction of my buckets.....maybe that will raise the temps a bit.
Since you've pressed, you can go slow and cool, but keep a good layer of co2.
Putting the buckets on a table (or anything to get them elevated) will raise the temp a little from being on the floor. If you feel the side of the bucket, it's probably warmer than the surrounding air from the yeast doing it's thing. I put my buckets in my basement after pressing if they're not ready to transfer to carboys. My basement is usually in the high 60's this time of year and they never stall. But I like to get them off the sludge pretty soon after pressing. A couple of days to let things settle and then transfer. I don't mind if the wine is as high as 1.020, but it's usually down close to 1.00x by then. Just as long as the fermentation is slow so you can get the wine up to 4 or 5 inches from the stopper in the carboy and not risk bubbling up into the airlock. That's the good thing about it being slow toward the end. A fine ring of bubbles around the neck of the carboy looks good to me.
Thanks to all..........the heater is helping. The must temp is at/around 75 and it's much more active. I checked the SG......they (2 buckets of Zin, 1 Merlot and 1 Monte) are at around 1.010-1.020 so I think all's well.

garymc, you rack off the gross lees pretty quick. I normally wait a few weeks after pressing.
Yes, I make muscadine wine, so I have to crush, then ferment on the skins for a few days, like 4 or 5, and then press. I have to do that even with the whites because they're so tough I don't get much juice pressing first. And then, too much time on the skins and I get a lot of very healthy, harsh tasting phytochemicals. I also hit them with the pectic enzyme as soon as they're crushed.

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