White Film / Ring

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gmillercaz

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I have Marquette wine from my vineyard and have a white film ring around the top of my Carboy. I have very little head space. Do I need to worry about this or just let it run its course? I am almost 2 weeks into MLF, but the white file was there prior to ML added.
 

Johnd

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Grape wines sometimes leave little rings and have little floaters in there sometimes, typically not concerning. Just keep up with your rackings, giving the once or twice a week stirrings, and smell testing. Could be proteins, or a little leftover cleanser, just be sure it's not growing!
 

gmillercaz

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Hi John - thanks for your reply. The white film might be growing. It has moved up the top of the Carboy a 1/4 of an inch.
 

Johnd

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Hi John - thanks for your reply. The white film might be growing. It has moved up the top of the Carboy a 1/4 of an inch.
What is the ABV and pH of your wine? Since you're in MLF, you've not added any SO2? If you can post a good picture of it, that may help someone with a diagnosis.
 

gmillercaz

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White Ring and Floaters

Hi John,

Should I be concerned with the look of the floater and white rings?

IMG_2778.jpg

IMG_2777.jpg

IMG_2770.jpg

IMG_2768.jpg
 

Johnd

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Hi John,

Should I be concerned with the look of the floater and white rings?
Since our last communication in November, have you completed MLF and added sulfite to your wine?

The headspace in the larger vessel is concerning, it should be filled up into the neck, the smaller vessel level is better. If MLF is over and you haven't sulfited, do so promptly and either rack down to a smaller vessel, or combine the two. Eliminating the headspace and proper sulfite levels are important factors in eliminating the potential for oxidation and infection.
 

Johny99

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I'm with JOHN. However I'd be a little concerned with the top of the smaller jug. I'd spritz it with a 10% kmeta solution just to kill anything bad that might be trying to grow on top.
 

gmillercaz

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Hi guys - thanks for your advice. John - I have not tested to see if MLF has completed - had a hard time getting Chromatography paper around here. Need to order on-line. I racked the larger vessel last night and tested the PH. PH is currently 3.0. Would you recommend I just assume MLF is complete now that it has been 3 months and look to adjust the PH by moving to adding Potassium Bicarbonate and cold stabilize for a while? Greg-
 

Johnd

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Hi guys - thanks for your advice. John - I have not tested to see if MLF has completed - had a hard time getting Chromatography paper around here. Need to order on-line. I racked the larger vessel last night and tested the PH. PH is currently 3.0. Would you recommend I just assume MLF is complete now that it has been 3 months and look to adjust the PH by moving to adding Potassium Bicarbonate and cold stabilize for a while? Greg-
Are you certain of that pH reading, what method did you use to test it? If 3.0 is the correct pH, I doubt seriously that MLF is complete, it probably didn't even get started with a pH that low.

At any rate, you sort of have things out of order here, best practices are to adjust your pH and TA prior to alcoholic fermentation, attempting to achieve a pH in the 3.5 - 3.6 range, with a TA around .6 - .7. These ranges facilitate a clean AF as well as MLF, and a wine that is microbiallly stable.

Cold stabilization of a wine with a pH under 3.6 will decrease the pH, not raise it, so if 3.0 is the right number, don't cold stabilize.

In your current situation, these are the steps I would take:
1. Get all of the Marquette racked into a vessel(s) with proper head space
2. Confirm that the pH reading is correct, using a good meter that is properly calibrated.
3. If it's not 3.0, but something higher, like 3.5ish, run a chromatography to see if MLF is complete, and get it sulfited if it is, give it a bit longer if it is not.
4. If it really is 3.0, I've attached an article below that will help you with your acid adjustments:

http://wine.wsu.edu/research-extension/2010/10/managing-high-acidity/
 

gmillercaz

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Hi John - your advice is refreshing. I have read numerous books and countless content on winemaking from grapes you grow and nowhere did I see the advice to adjust you PH and TA prior to alcohol fermentation. Doing it after is not easy and the results are poor.

I am using a Martini tester and I am pretty sure it is showing the right PH. I tested distilled water, etc and it appears to be calibrated well.

Both varietals seem to consistently produce high acidity as far as I have read.

I will take your advice on head space and follow the recommendations in the article you sent.

Thanks Again. Greg-
 

Johnd

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Hi John - your advice is refreshing. I have read numerous books and countless content on winemaking from grapes you grow and nowhere did I see the advice to adjust you PH and TA prior to alcohol fermentation. Doing it after is not easy and the results are poor.

I am using a Martini tester and I am pretty sure it is showing the right PH. I tested distilled water, etc and it appears to be calibrated well.

Both varietals seem to consistently produce high acidity as far as I have read.

I will take your advice on head space and follow the recommendations in the article you sent.

Thanks Again. Greg-
Do yourself a favor and get some pH testing solution, one for low range tests (pH 4.01) and one for mid range (pH 7.0) and check your meter at both points. Just because it's reading properly at 7.0 doesn't mean it's correct down in the lower pH ranges. Make sure your meter is reading correctly before it leads you down a dead end road............
 

gmillercaz

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Ok - so I have 7 gallons of Frontenac that is still sitting at 2.9 PH. I would like to make some adjustments to bring the PH up and get it as good as I can before I bottle. Does anyone have advice as to what they would do to finish the must and get it ready for bottling. The grapes were harvested in late Sept.

I also have 1.5 gallons of Marquette that is currently sitting at a 3.1 PH. Any feedback on this one would be appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance.

Greg-
 

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