Tale of 2 Malos

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porkchopmessiah

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So I currently have 6 gal of zin and 15 gal of cab .
I just did a chromo sheet and can see the zin almost done but the cab hasn't budged...
I have ruled out he temp since both are at the same temp 68 degrees
Ph is within tolerances as per instructions.
Both rehydrated at same time and appropriate nutrients add to both after inoculation with vp41
Have since reinnoculated with the white labs available locally with no action after 2 weeks.

I am going to check my so2 tonite as this is where I think I may have an issue..
The zin was done with bm4x4, the cab with rc212 which I have read can produce high so2 level..
Has anybody ever dealt with this issue with this yeast? If my test shows I'm right I've read splash racking will help, just curious if any body else has had this issue and how u resolved it..
Current ph of the cab is 3.48, i have ch16 being delivered Wednesday....
 

Ajmassa

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Some wines just be stubborn like that. And actually I’ve read BM4x4 is more of a pain historically for mlf. (And merlot).
With all variables the same who knows. My only suggestion would be to run down that entire checklist to help move things along.
1. Temps up. 68° is low for mlf. I sometimes use a heat pad. Gets me around 75° steady.
2. Stir the lees 2x a week
3. Adding some oak helps the bacteria latch onto something and not get buried

I try to keep so2 At crush to a minimum (20ppm ish) or avoid altogether.
Hopefully the tests tonight will give you some clarity
 

porkchopmessiah

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How would you regulate so2 at crush?,
Already bought oak, and removed heat pad on second inoculation bc I thought I might have cooked the firstbatch....after the wife and kid go to bed I'll post test results and such.
 

Ajmassa

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I don’t mean I regulate the so2 produced in AF. I just don’t typically add any At crush if all looks good. And if I do my target is around 20-25ppm. So far I’m at 100% success rate coinocculating. .
I did sequential on my juice this season. No Kmeta added at all. Added ml 2 weeks ago. Chroma is in the jar now taking a baseline test.
*used Avante yeast and VP41 ml
 
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Bubba1

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I have a slow MLF going right now myself with my all grape sangiovese I did with rc212 and vp41 mlf. Maybe there's something up with the strain of bacteria this year?
 

stickman

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Even if the free SO2 checks ok, it's the bound SO2 that also affects the MLB. How much SO2 did you add before fermentation? What about starting gravity? The various conditions are somewhat additive, high bound SO2, high ABV, low pH, low nutrients, and low temperature, all have to be considered together as negative factors.
In some stubborn cases, you can get the ML to complete if you add a little bit of wine from the batch that recently completed (as long as SO2 hasn't been added yet). Also note that there will always be a malic spot on the chromatogram if you added to the batch any acid blend that contains malic acid, as only the L-malic portion can be metabolized.
 

Joe B.

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I have the same problem. Co-inoculate with B7 Direct 1 day after pitching yeast and no problem with my Zin and Grenache. Waited after primary fermentation completed for the Syrah and a second batch of Grenache used VP41 with all the nutrients and nothing after 3 + weeks temps @ 70 stir twice a week. Just reinoculated with B7 Direct last night. This is only my second season as a winemaker so I could have done something stupid and just don"t know it.
 

Ajmassa

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Just did 2 wines with all variables the same aside from varietal.
Avante yeast. Vp-41 after AF. Hydrated with ACTi-ml and a dose of opti-malo. Temps around 75°. Added 2 weeks ago.
1st Test finished last night. Cab shows no malic spot. Barbera shows bright spot.
Some wines just take longer. I’ll test again after thanksgiving. Still way too soon to take any action IMO.
 

Ajmassa

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Also would like to point out the importance of an early baseline test. Even though one wine appears complete the other may just be moving slower— which is not a bad thing at all.

Fast doesn’t always = good. The new style co-innocculation is great for home winemakers but fundamentalists prefer a nice long MLf. The thought is ya might lose some of the magic that occurs during those few months.
So before assuming it’s not working- no harm in waiting longer to truly confirm no progress before taking action.

As long as you’re topped up and don’t have some crazy high ph then no need to sweat the lack of sulfite IMO.
 

cmason1957

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I am with you @Ajmassa If your wine is topped up and "normal" ph (3.4-3.8) there is absolutely no need to worry about not having the sulfites while Malolactic is taking place. Think to the old French wineries who don't even inoculate for MLF and just let it happen naturally the next spring in the barrel.
 

CDrew

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Just did 2 wines with all variables the same aside from varietal.
Avante yeast. Vp-41 after AF. Hydrated with ACTi-ml and a dose of opti-malo. Temps around 75°. Added 2 weeks ago.
1st Test finished last night. Cab shows no malic spot. Barbera shows bright spot.
Some wines just take longer. I’ll test again after thanksgiving. Still way too soon to take any action IMO.
I think you are holding out on us. This is the first I heard you made wine this year. What's the story? Thought you were taking a break? What grapes, what did you make?
 

porkchopmessiah

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20191106_211743.jpg Ok, so my so2 is 10, so that kinda shoots my theory down I guess...
Here is my test sheet, the ones that say non are the gallons that were not innoculated, at any rate I just dosed it with ch16 and oak cubes....
 

Ajmassa

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I think you are holding out on us. This is the first I heard you made wine this year. What's the story? Thought you were taking a break? What grapes, what did you make?
I did lay low for the most part. Though when everything became available my old man asked me to go with him to pick up his juice, which is tradition. Our local spot in south Philly always has the previous year’s wine tapped from the barrel, along with all the Italian meats/cheeses and bread. And ya just shoot the breeze with other winemakers while picking up and perusing the equipment.
Hard to walk out empty handed. I grabbed a couple juice buckets on a whim- (a cab and a barbera) because, well why not? (And the reason I went sequential ml) Those buckets can make some decent vino and age well. Unfortunately I just couldn’t commit to the typical “life gets put on pause- large grape batch” this year.

*it was a decision we discussed and agreed upon together. And when I got home that day with juice she says “I totally was expecting to see a truck full of grapes to be honest.”
Lol. Nope. I was a good boy
 
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Ajmassa

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View attachment 57452 Ok, so my so2 is 10, so that kinda shoots my theory down I guess...
Here is my test sheet, the ones that say non are the gallons that were not innoculated, at any rate I just dosed it with ch16 and oak cubes....
VP-41
White labs
CH-16

3rd times the charm? Or 3 strikes and you’re out? We will know soon enough!
 

Ajmassa

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I did a 2nd test 1 week after the 1st one (2nd test also including my dads Sangiovese we inoculated).
Just posting to show how much of a difference another week made. The Cab and Barbera are at 75° and stirred 2x a week. The Sangiovese basically untouched and at 70°.
Still staying the course. Will test again after thanksgiving. Then likely rack, sulphite, add some oak and put em all to bed for the winter. Adjustments.JPG
 

Ajmassa

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Just rubbing it in at this point:ft
Lol. No! What I meant was that based on my first test it might have seemed like mlf didn’t take —with one showing progress and 2 not.
And a week later with absolutely zero visible activity it shows minimal malic.
Just to say early tests and no visible activity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not working.
 

porkchopmessiah

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so im gonna kick this to you all bc ive have to admit defeat on the cab MLF...however the zin finished...

should I just finish the cab (sulfite and rack) as normal or is there another avenue?
ph on the cab is 3.54, the zin is now 3.84....its worth noting that I was planning on blending the with the bulk of the zin, which if done 66/33 would result in ph 3.62...which would eliminate some of my playing with the zin to bring down the ph...
given my limited palette, they taste fine so far...
currently the cab is on oak cubes for about 2 weeks now, haven't oaked the zin yet
 

Johnd

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so im gonna kick this to you all bc ive have to admit defeat on the cab MLF...however the zin finished...

should I just finish the cab (sulfite and rack) as normal or is there another avenue?
ph on the cab is 3.54, the zin is now 3.84....its worth noting that I was planning on blending the with the bulk of the zin, which if done 66/33 would result in ph 3.62...which would eliminate some of my playing with the zin to bring down the ph...
given my limited palette, they taste fine so far...
currently the cab is on oak cubes for about 2 weeks now, haven't oaked the zin yet
If you haven't yet sulfited the zin, and plan on blending them, why not go ahead and get your blend done and see if the resulting wine will go through MLF with the active bacteria still in the zin?
 
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