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Temperatures after fermentation

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docjavadude

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Been at this for a while now, but it never occurred to me and I can't find information or opinions on this question. What is the best temperature range for making wine AFTER fermentation? I have assumed cellar temperature for both red and whites, but am thinking that 55-57 degrees might be too chilly for the process. I know that this temp makes degassing difficult.

Any thoughts about what temps we ought to be seeking for the lengthier parts of the wine making process? Obviously once the stuff is bottled it will be aged at cellar temp... I'm making mostly wine from fresh juice (vinifera), with a few kits alongside.
 

Wade E

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It realy depends on what stage you are at, if you are trying to drop out extra tartaric acid(cold stabilizing) then warmer temps are not going to help you at this point. If you are trying to clear a wine using fifning agents then warmer temps work better, if using the time method (Au Natural) then cooler temps are what you are looking for. If you have not degassed a wine yet then cooler temps will hinder this operation and not let your wine clear properly. So as you can see, it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish and that will change as the process progresses.
 

docjavadude

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I guess what I am wondering has more to do with the general "wine making space" that I use for the long periods of just letting the wine do its thing... I've been keeping the carboys in my wine cellar, but worry that 57 degrees might not be the best temp for MAKING wine, though it's not bad at all for cellaring wine.

I have another space available in the basement, but it is considerably warmer -- in the mid to upper 60s. It would actually be nice to use this other area for all of my non-cellaring activities -- keep the messies out of the nicer cellar space! But I won't even consider it if it would be detrimental to the wine making process. I just haven't seen a whole lot regarding "wine making temps" besides fermentation, degassing, and cold stabelizing.

Thoughts?
 

Wade E

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i use 2 areas myself, I have my wine making area in a room with my furnace which stays pretty consistant at around 66* during 3 seasons and during the summer it gets up to 72* I use this area for making all my red wine and getting a fermentation going for my fruits and my whites and then those go onto the floor there where its colder or sometimes into my wine cellar for cool fermenting depending on how fragile the wine is, in example, my Chenin Blanc wnet right into the cellar where it stays a constant 58* cause the flavor profile on a delicate white wine can be harmed easily by a vigorous fermentation but it probably would have been fine either way but when you have the means of being as careful as you can then by all means do so. Once it was done fermenting I brought it back into the making area to warm up a little to help degass and then back in there to clear and and bulk age. The only reason for a red wine to go into there is for cold stabilization to help drop out excessive tartaric acid crystals(wine diamonds). the temps you speak of in the other room are really fine though and would have no problem suggesting to you to use it!
 

docjavadude

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Wade, thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to make the move -- I have a storage room in the basement that also has the furnace and water heater. I've monitered temps there and I think it will actually be better for making wine than the controlled conditions in the wine cellar. I'll move the carboys into the cellar for bulk aging and obviously store the filled bottles there. But since the temps don't rise above the high 60s I think I'll be fine, if not better, for the wine making process in the storage room and outside of the cellar.
 

smurfe

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I would use the higher 60's area for fermentation and the 50's area for cellaring. The 50's temps for fermentation will be an issue with some yeast strains and make degassing a real pain. Just be aware at these temps your steps in each process will be extended in time.
 

docjavadude

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Hey Smurfe,

Your post points exactly to my original question. I have actually been doing fermentation in a THIRD room (a bathroom) that I keep warmed to 70+ degrees. That space works beautifully for all kinds of reasons for the fermentation.

And, like you recommended, I do my cellaring in my actual wine cellar.

But WHEN in the wine making process does one move from "making" to "cellaring?" Obviously, degassing does not do well at cellar temperature. And degassing is not part of fermenting, but also not part of "cellaring." So it's the "middle" part of the process that I have been considering. From what I've been learning and hearing (thanks, Wade), it seems like this middle part of the process will do well in a slightly warmer space than my cellar. Once I'm totally to the bulk aging process (and certainly after bottling) the cellar space is the best choice.

Other thoughts or comments? Thanks for engaging this topic...
 

Wade E

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Upper 60's will do fine for both reds and whites while the 3rd room with mid 70's temps is a little high for a white IMO even though kits say to go in this range. I think you are just going to have to take over the whole house and do reds in the hot room, whites in the new room and cellar in the cellar. Just kidding, I think the the upper 60.s room will do fine but I would get them warmed up a tad for degassing, either move them into the other room or just hit them with a brew belt for a day before degassing. Either of the two warmer rooms will do fine.
 

docjavadude

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Of course we haven't even gone down the road of where I do bottling!!! <grin> It is amazing how this whole wine hobby can, indeed, take over the whole house! Bottling in the winter months just can't happen in the garage here in NE Ohio -- WAY too cold! We just had another snow storm the last two days. Sunny and warm again today -- I think spring is finally here!

I moved up here a few years ago from Atlanta. It has been MUCH easier to maintain good cellar temp here than in either Atlanta or my native Southern California. However, availability of the best fruit/juice is not as easy...
 
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