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jgmann67

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So, I'm in the beginnings of my first wine from grapes and I'm talking about wines which are made with an MLF stage. I remember that when making a wine kit, you don't do an MLF because the way the kit is engineered - basically it gives the wine a bad taste and smell. So, here is my question: why doesn't topping up with a wine that has undergone MLF have the same impact on the kit wine? Or, does it?

I wonder if it's the malic acid, not the lactic acid that's produced that's the cause? Or, is it that I just haven't topped up with w wine that's been put through MLF, so I just don't know?
 

MisterEd

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The MLF bacteria have a finite lifespan. So just because you add some MLF induced wine to your kit wine that does not mean it will cause the MLF cycle to restart, especially if the pH is too low (< 3.2) or the room temp not warm enough (< 70 DF) that can make the MLF sluggish to perform. One needs to remember that SO2 (sulfur dioxide) additions is a no-no, unless very careful with the ppm level, if trying to have a good MLF cycle. I only use vineyard grapes so my experience with kit wines is lacking. Hopefully I don't steer you wrong. :h
 
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codeman

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It's the sorbate in kits that will give a bad odor from the MLF bacteria.
 

ceeaton

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That's what I heard. I was just wondering if I could use my kit wine to top up my fresh wine (that's undergoing/undergone) MLF. I don't want to risk stinking up my wine.
And just to clarify you a talking about a kit wine that didn't have the sorbate package added (ie. no back sweetening)? So you might be talking your Cab Sauv kit batch into your Petit Sirah, for example.
 

jgmann67

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And just to clarify you a talking about a kit wine that didn't have the sorbate package added (ie. no back sweetening)? So you might be talking your Cab Sauv kit batch into your Petit Sirah, for example.

Exactly. I skip the sorbate as a general rule with my red kits.
 

Johnd

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Exactly. I skip the sorbate as a general rule with my red kits.
What I've always pondered, is "do they add sorbate when producing the kit?" I don't know the answer, but that's what keeps me from trying MLF on a kit I haven't added sorbate to.
 

ceeaton

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What I've always pondered, is "do they add sorbate when producing the kit?" I don't know the answer, but that's what keeps me from trying MLF on a kit I haven't added sorbate to.
The reason I've always read here and there on this forum is that the kits are supposedly balanced and if you do an MLF you will throw it out of balance. Might be a bunch of whoowee but I'm not willing to ruin a $100+ kit to try the theory out. Plus, depending on the form of Malic they added it might not be reduced by the MLB (I guess some added forms are different than the natural ones in the grapes). Don't ask me where I read that, but as you know everything is 100% the truth on the internet. :h
 

Johnd

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The reason I've always read here and there on this forum is that the kits are supposedly balanced and if you do an MLF you will throw it out of balance. Might be a bunch of whoowee but I'm not willing to ruin a $100+ kit to try the theory out. Plus, depending on the form of Malic they added it might not be reduced by the MLB (I guess some added forms are different than the natural ones in the grapes). Don't ask me where I read that, but as you know everything is 100% the truth on the internet. :h
I've run chromos on wine kits, and they definitely contain malic acid. One day, for the sake of mankind, I'll MLF a kit to see what happens. If the acid needs to be balanced afterwards, and it's not a geranium bomb, I'll be able to handle that. Inquiring minds just wanna know.
 

Boatboy24

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It would only be a geranium bomb if you try to use sorbate (IIRC). Again, IIRC, kits have a lot of Malic.
 

Johnd

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It would only be a geranium bomb if you try to use sorbate (IIRC). Again, IIRC, kits have a lot of Malic.
Certainly, I wouldn't add sorbate, but wonder if some is already in the kit juice when I get it.
 

ColemanM

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I may jump in on this one too. I have a kit I am ho hum about. I added petite sirah skins to it, I'll test the mlf route. No sorbate has been added yet.
 

ibglowin

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Probably the best explanation as to why you should never attempt MLF on a kit wine comes right from Daniel Pambianchi's book Techniques in Home Winemaking.

Do NOT attempt MLF on kit wines because these types of juices have been tartrate-stabilzed during their production and thus contain a very high proportion of malic acid, which would be converted to lactic acid. The resulting wine would have very little acid (taste flabby), and a high pH making it very susceptible to bacterial infections....


I've run chromos on wine kits, and they definitely contain malic acid. One day, for the sake of mankind, I'll MLF a kit to see what happens. If the acid needs to be balanced afterwards, and it's not a geranium bomb, I'll be able to handle that. Inquiring minds just wanna know.
 
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