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How Long Is Too Long In Primary Fermentation (2 More Days Hurt?)


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#1 burtchitter

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:06 PM

Long story short. Red wine (Cab/Merlot) has been cooking for 6 days. I checked the SG today and it is roughly 1.00. Will two more days in my Brute container with a towel over it hurt anything? Should I continue to punch down cap?

#2 wxtrendsguy

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:00 PM

IMHO Keep going and keep punching down till SG gets to 0.995, if you are getting a cap rise there is still some fermenting going on. The wine still has plenty of CO2 in it so it should be ok.

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#3 mokadir

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:27 PM

It will be fine. It should still be fermenting as it is still not dry. Check SG again tomorrow, it should be less than 1.000.
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#4 Wade's Wines

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:35 PM

Keep punching, Sugar Ray, if it's floating. :)
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#5 glenn1959

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:13 AM

Go until the cap sinks, then press

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#6 tater1337

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:30 PM

wait, i thought you only ran in the primary til about 1.010 then transferred to secondary. wouldnt running in primary to full dry possibly cause a stuck secondary?

#7 gregorio

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:58 PM

Primary/Seconday really does not apply to wine made from fresh or frozen fruit. Alcoholic fermentation is done on the skins in open fermenters and pressed when dry or in the case of whites racked when dry. Malolactic fermentation is typically performed on clear, settled wine in a tank. Dry, BTW, is when AF stops someplace below 1.0 SG. It could be .996, .222, etc. if you can actually read that on the hydrometer scale.
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#8 gregorio

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:58 PM

Sorry not .222. ....I meant 992!
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#9 lodestone

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:34 AM

I was just re-reading the Sheridan Warrick section of his book, on pressing, in anticipation of yesterday's pressing of 3 batches: a single Sangio batch and a split batch of Syrah. All are at slightly different SG's, both Syrahs are below 0, and the Sangio is slightly above (.3 brix according to my +5 -5 hydrometer), likely due to having more whole berries than the Syrah.

They were all relatively long, slow ferments, never getting above 80F, (although I was hoping to get a brief spike to 85 or so, just didn't happen for me) and the fermentation was on it's 12th day on the skins, so I decided that was probably long enough.

Warrick is pretty relaxed about pressing "dry" or nearly so. In fact, he says once the SG is below +3, you can press if you want to and let the fermentation finish in the carboy.
Since it was helpful for me to press all of the batches in one day, just so I didn't have to setup, and clean and go through all the prep etc. twice, that's what I did.

It seems to me I've read some winemakers on the forum express concern about pressing at just above Zero, with regards to sticking the ferment at that point.

I am wondering if opinions here differ from Warrick's opinion about pressing anytime after +3, or if it's any more risky as you approach Zero, and the ferment is starting to poop out anyway.

thanks,

DanL

 


#10 tim221

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:29 AM

DanL--
It ain't worth much, but my input: I followed Warrick's thoughts and took two recent batches and pressed around 1.010 for my convenience (so much better when timing coincides with weekend vice workweek!). I noticed after a little lag both were doing some slow bubbling in the carboys, so didn't seem to affect the AF process much--or at least, near as I could tell. All this going on at around 72F temperature-wise.

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#11 gregorio

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:50 AM

I consider pressing above dry an advance winemakig technique that requires careful attention. It is a stylistic choice and not a matter of course like some "experts" write about. I see at least a half dozen amatuers with stuck ferments every year because of this. Some of those are further ruined trying to treat it or due to something like Brett.
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#12 lodestone

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:14 PM

Thanks, Greg. I'll follow the ferment closely with SG readings. We'll see what happens.

DanL

 


#13 John Flanagan

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:41 PM

Can you expand, Greg?

I assume by "stylistic choice" you mean considerations of tannin, possible green flavors, fruit forwardness, etc., but what advanced techniques are needed for finishing of the ferment post press?

#14 Proud Puppy

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:07 AM

I would assume 'not unless you have experience' in restarting a ferment, having the available strains to do so, yeast hulls fining experience, knowing if truly it is stuck or only creeping, knowing if in this case more or less risk than usual existed when decision was made, and it is also probably 'not for the faint of heart'!

Greg I'm sure I left 1 or 2 reasons out to qualify for 'advanced' somewhere.........

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#15 lodestone

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:24 AM

Well the good news is that I racked off the gross lees this morning, and checked the Sangio SG...and it's at -1.0..

so I guess I got a little lucky. Will ignite MLF here forthwith.

thanks for the information.

DanL

 





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