Co-Fermenting with Malo-Lactic Bacteria New Territory for Amateur Winemakers
As most of us move into Seconday Fermentation. Whoa Chuckles! Did I just use the idiotic term secondary fermentation? Let’s start again. This year our dealing with Malo-lactic Fermentation is different than others. Most years our mission is to get through it and done with the least problems in a reasonable time frame. This year with the green light given to Co Fementation of ML bacteria with yeast brings us to observe, learn and above all try to document any differences or advantages to adopting this co fermentation protocol.
Here are the facts we are dealing with. We basically have early and late batches. The early Batches were inoculated at 18 Brix the Later Batches at 12 brix with the exception of Gamay which was inoculated at 6 Brix. The first batches were inoculated with VP41 the Later batches with Alpha. There is about 3 weeks difference between the first batches and the Last batches.
The Marty Yule famed Super Cultures were not used. All the ML bacteria was rehydrated at 80 degrees with Acti ML. for 15 minutes before pitching. One Note to Winmakingtalk.com Readers, to correct the advice given in that forum you DO NOT rehydrate ML bacteria with Opti-Malo.
So what are the results as of October 27 2013. In 37 days 3 wines are complete. Two from the first batches and one from the later batches. The Malbec and the Pinot Noir are done. And that was with all the extra racking off the lees dealing with the Malbec H2S problem. The Gamay , a later batch wine is done in approximately 21 days. Let’s assume the Gamay had very little Malic Acid Content as the Lake County Cab, Atlas Peak Merlot are still going strong showing good progress. The laggard an early batch wine seems to be the Sangiovese but it too shows a good deal of lactic and the most recent Accuvin test show a reduction more than half.
As I stated previously I usually think in terms of December 1 to December 15 for Mlf completion. In any case all of the wines which are still going have at least until November 15 to complete using the time frame of the 37 days of the first batches. At this point I think it is safe to say we impacted the MLF time frame in a big way but in 15 days that will be proved even more with results of the Merlot and Cab.
What I am looking for now is the see the progress with Accuvin in one week on the Merlot, Lake County Cab and the Sangiovese. Then in 2 weeks a Chromatography Test of these wines.
Will someone with Primitivo and Petite Sirah do a test. Please! Bunch of Cheapskates.