Starting MLF with Chardonnay

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

RylanJacobs

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
140
Reaction score
87
Last night I racked my WGD Chardonnay into a carboy. The color is beautiful, the smell is great, and the taste is right where it should be for its age.


I directly added CH35 bacteria (per package instructions, no rehydration required) and then went and calculated an appropriate dose of Opti-Malo.

About 3-5 minutes later I added the opti-malo and had a volcanic foam eruption from the carboy. After the foaming was done, I lost about 200 ml of wine. I topped it off with some extra that I had and placed it under airlock.

Do you suspect I lost my mlb in the foaming process? 200ml wasn’t much and it happened about 5 minutes after CH35 had been added, so I hope that we’re spread out in the wine. I’m not sure if MLF will even kick off because the tolerance for CH35 is 14%, and my SG was 0.094. That sets me up for exactly 14% ABV.

I’m not sure how to proceed. I want MLF to complete, but don’t want to wait around a while for nothing to happen while the wine has no SO2.


Attached is a pic. The bottle was not inoculated with MLB, and a few French oak cubes were added. I may consider blending once it’s all done.

Any advice is appreciated. Cheers!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4630.jpeg
    IMG_4630.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 1
It’s happened to me as well. Crazy reaction. You’ll be fine. I think in reality, very little mlb is necessary for the wine to successfully complete mlf.
 
A great example of why you would want to ferment in a bucket, including the MLF stage.
That’s a good point. Any concern for oxidation when doing MLF in a bucket? I can keep it under airlock, but MLF is expected to last 30-60 days. That seems a long time to be in a fermentor with large headspace. Especially if I take the lid off periodically to evaluate MLF progress.
 
That’s a good point. Any concern for oxidation when doing MLF in a bucket? I can keep it under airlock, but MLF is expected to last 30-60 days. That seems a long time to be in a fermentor with large headspace. Especially if I take the lid off periodically to evaluate MLF progress.
You don't want to leave the wine in the bucket for the full duration. Any time a wine is in fermentation or is degassing, "dumping" anything in is often a bad idea, as the powder (regardless of type) provides points for the CO2 to come out of suspension. Doing it in a full or nearly full carboy doubles the potential problem.

I learned the hard way to make additions in a primary container, typically when racking, as the primary will contain any foaming. Sprinkling gently and stopping if the foaming is excessive is best, even if the bucket has a lot of space. If the wine has a lot of CO2, stirring for 30 seconds to expel some of it reduces future problems without adding O2. After that, put it back in the carboy.
 
I had the same volcano reaction when I attempted MLF in a carboy. So I’d like to be clear on this process. Let’s say I do my primary in a loosely covered bucket until SG 1.010 and snap the lid for skin maceration for a couple weeks. Upon removing the skins, is that a good time to add CH 35 to the bucket with nutrient? How long can I leave the wine in the bucket before racking to a carboy?
 
I had the same volcano reaction when I attempted MLF in a carboy. So I’d like to be clear on this process. Let’s say I do my primary in a loosely covered bucket until SG 1.010 and snap the lid for skin maceration for a couple weeks. Upon removing the skins, is that a good time to add CH 35 to the bucket with nutrient? How long can I leave the wine in the bucket before racking to a carboy?
Some people co-inoculate, adding yeast and MLB together at the start. Personally, I would wait no longer than SG getting to 1.010-1.020. For me it’s a convenient time to put the wine under airlock.
 
I had the same volcano reaction when I attempted MLF in a carboy. So I’d like to be clear on this process. Let’s say I do my primary in a loosely covered bucket until SG 1.010 and snap the lid for skin maceration for a couple weeks. Upon removing the skins, is that a good time to add CH 35 to the bucket with nutrient? How long can I leave the wine in the bucket before racking to a carboy?
I'd follow the same process as if MLF was not part of the process. If you're going from the primary to a carboy, then change nothing. However, I'd add the MLB to the carboy BEFORE starting the rack, so the foaming will occur in a nearly empty carboy. By the time the carboy nears full the foaming should be done.
 
I'd follow the same process as if MLF was not part of the process. If you're going from the primary to a carboy, then change nothing. However, I'd add the MLB to the carboy BEFORE starting the rack, so the foaming will occur in a nearly empty carboy. By the time the carboy nears full the foaming should be done.
The foaming occurred when I put the nutrient in.
 
Back
Top