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Best Time To Rack?


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#1 mote

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 07:37 PM

Hi, I have some Chambourcin working and duiring the primary, approx 4 days in, added Malolactic Bacteria. I racked it into the secondary since. Is there any rule of thumb when to rack?
When is the best time to rack again?

#2 Chef Neil

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (mote @ Nov 10 2008, 06:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, I have some Chambourcin working and duiring the primary, approx 4 days in, added Malolactic Bacteria. I racked it into the secondary since. Is there any rule of thumb when to rack?
When is the best time to rack again?



I rack in the morning - having more energy and the bright sun makes the task a li'l easier.. however- one must not plan any appointments afterwards- depending on number of wines racked and how much was tasted... (insert smiley here) a quick run to wine supply shop- and well- blew the budget-again!!! seriously- my first MLF seemed to go well- I could see action for several weeks- and then it went quiet- so I am assuming I should rack soon- I have about an inch of fine lees-

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#3 gregorio

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE (mote @ Nov 10 2008, 07:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, I have some Chambourcin working and duiring the primary, approx 4 days in, added Malolactic Bacteria. I racked it into the secondary since. Is there any rule of thumb when to rack?
When is the best time to rack again?


Racking should be avoided during MLF. MLB are generally sensative to O2 and can produce VA. The timing of the first racking post MLF is dictated by several factors. Among them are the amount of diacetyl you want left in the wine. Delaying the racking for several weeks after malic acid is consumed will cause the MLB to go after the diacetly.
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#4 dagobob

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 08:09 AM

QUOTE (gregorio @ Nov 10 2008, 10:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Delaying the racking for several weeks after malic acid is consumed will cause the MLB to go after the diacetly.


Is this a good thing or bad?

I too started my MLF on the Chambourcin about 5 days into fermentation; then racked into the secondary TA went from 1.31 (pH=3.1) before fermentation to .9 (pH=3.4)). Four days later, there were very visible signs of MLF, after two weeks, only a few bubbles forming.
I then carefully racked off gross lees and TA was .75 (pH=3.6). So I assume that MLF was nearing completion. After racking a lot of new bubbles formed, so I probably renewed some MLF. I will test with Accuvin in another week.

Question. Did I rack too soon? I didn't want to leave on the gross lees too long.

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#5 gregorio

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 09:55 AM

Good or bad depends on the style of wine you are making. Diacetyl is responsible for the buttery flavor you find in many big California Chardonays like Rombauer and Pahlmyer. Many French Chardonays let the MLB eat as much of the diacetyl as possible or forgo MLF altogether. Most all reds benefit from MLF and although not as apparent in the overall flavor, they rarely have much diacetyl.

If you are worried about gross lees, keep them stirred. Unless they are stinking going into the MLF process, they usually will not develop H2S if they are kept in suspension.



QUOTE (dagobob @ Nov 11 2008, 07:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is this a good thing or bad?

I too started my MLF on the Chambourcin about 5 days into fermentation; then racked into the secondary TA went from 1.31 (pH=3.1) before fermentation to .9 (pH=3.4)). Four days later, there were very visible signs of MLF, after two weeks, only a few bubbles forming.
I then carefully racked off gross lees and TA was .75 (pH=3.6). So I assume that MLF was nearing completion. After racking a lot of new bubbles formed, so I probably renewed some MLF. I will test with Accuvin in another week.

Question. Did I rack too soon? I didn't want to leave on the gross lees too long.


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#6 mote

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:26 AM

I'll checking it with Accuvin. When would be a good time to check it?

I would think in the beginning to see if the malic decreases after the following racks.



QUOTE (gregorio @ Nov 11 2008, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good or bad depends on the style of wine you are making. Diacetyl is responsible for the buttery flavor you find in many big California Chardonays like Rombauer and Pahlmyer. Many French Chardonays let the MLB eat as much of the diacetyl as possible or forgo MLF altogether. Most all reds benefit from MLF and although not as apparent in the overall flavor, they rarely have much diacetyl.

If you are worried about gross lees, keep them stirred. Unless they are stinking going into the MLF process, they usually will not develop H2S if they are kept in suspension.



#7 gregorio

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 11:00 AM

Always check before you pitch to have a baseline. Once in a while, you might find that there is no Malic to be converted after alcoholic fermentation. Follow up tests when activity slows. If the retest reveals there is considerably more Malic to be consumed, stir, add nutrient, raise temps, etc to get it to pick up speed.
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#8 mote

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:34 PM

I checked our 1st run product and it shows 160mg of Malic.

Interesting enough, we did a second run with the skins, and it tested less than 30mg of Malic. The 2nd run is fizzing away, while the 1st isnt at all.





QUOTE (gregorio @ Nov 11 2008, 12:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Always check before you pitch to have a baseline. Once in a while, you might find that there is no Malic to be converted after alcoholic fermentation. Follow up tests when activity slows. If the retest reveals there is considerably more Malic to be consumed, stir, add nutrient, raise temps, etc to get it to pick up speed.






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