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Will fluctuating temperature hurt my wines?

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cann0n

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Hello Winemakers!

This is my first thread. Looking forward to some advice from your collective expertise :)

I have three batches of wine on the go presently, a Tempranillo, GSM and Leibfraumilch. They are all in the degassing stage right now. I have been using a space heater in an enclosed room to keep the temperature at a constant 23 degrees Celsius from the time of primary fermentation until after the yeast has been killed off for all the wines i have made. From there, I usually turn off the heater, and allow the wines to return to room temperature, which is usually around 16-18 degrees in my home. That's the temperature it usually remains for the duration of the process.

My first question is whether this is a good practice, or if it should be kept the same right up until bottling? I usually bulk age for about a month before i bottle.

My second question just came up. I bought a cucumber melon fruit wine kit and started it today, then placed the primary in the room with my other carboys. I plugged in the heater again to get the room to where i normally would for the first stages of fermentation, then thought "wait a sec, will this mess up my other three wines that are already sitting at around 16-18?". I then moved the three carboys into a separate room so they will remain at room temperature, just in case.

Am i being paranoid, or did i just dodge a bullet?
 

NorCal

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I’d leave the room at the lower temp, fermentation should be fine. Not sure what yeast you are using, 1118 desired fermentation temperature: 10-30°C.
 

cann0n

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I’d leave the room at the lower temp, fermentation should be fine. Not sure what yeast you are using, 1118 desired fermentation temperature: 10-30°C.
Are you saying that i should just go with the ambient house temperature for the entire process? The kits I use say that i should have everything between 22-24 degrees for the primary fermentation, so i have just kept it at that until i add the sorbate and metabisuphite. I thought my house temperature of 16-18 might be too low for proper yeast action. I have heard that a lower temperature for the yeast would mean a longer time to achieve the desired specific gravity, but yields a better tasting wine, but i have yet to try that out.
 

cmason1957

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I ferment everything I do down in my basement. I am not quite as far north as you are, but right now it is about 17 C (63F) down there. Almost all yeast can handle that temperature quite fine. It might and I really stress might add a day or two more to time before you do your first racking, but maybe not even that much longer. Kit manufacturers want to make sure you have no problems whatsoever and that it goes quickly, so you can buy another kit sooner. 16-18 C (60-65 F) is a great temp.
 

cann0n

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That's sweet news! I suppose as long as the yeast is warm enough to be active, and you go by specific gravity, the precise temperature shouldn't matter heaps. I'm relieved to learn this. Perhaps i will try my next batch at my home's room temperature and see how it goes. Thank you!
 

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